Second ‘Lunchtime Conversations about Open Spaces’ Session Set for Feb. 25

The Sheridan County Chamber of Commerce Ag & Natural Resources Committee will hold the second event in its new series, “Lunchtime Conversations about Open Spaces,” on Tuesday, Feb. 25, from 12 to 1 p.m. at Luminous Brewhouse, 504 Broadway St.

The session will explore “The Role of Private Working Lands.” Presenters include Beth White of the White Ranch, Orrin Connell of the Big Horn Equestrian Center, John Heyneman of the Plank Stewardship Initiative, Jeff Way of Eatons’ Ranch and Andrew Cassiday of the Natural Resource Conservation Service. The panel will interactively explore with attendees the balanced use of our open space and how we continue to balance that use into the future as well as the importance of open spaces to our community’s economy and culture now and into the future.

Additional upcoming sessions include “Outdoor Recreation and Its Impacts” on March 24 and “Effects of Land Use Policies” on April 28. All sessions are from 12 to 1 p.m. at Luminous Brewhouse.

A member of the audience poses a question during the first “Lunchtime Conversations about Open Spaces” session on Jan. 28.

There is no cost to attend the series, and attendees are welcome to bring their own lunch. For convenience, Fired Up! Food Truck will be set up by 11:30 for lunch orders.

For more information, call the Sheridan County Chamber of Commerce at (307) 672-2485.


Chamber Announces 2019 Awards of Excellence Recipients

The Sheridan County Chamber of Commerce announced the recipients of the 2019 Awards of Excellence, as selected by the members of the Chamber, during the Chamber Lunch Feb. 12. Pictured are (left to right) Susan Holmes and Brad Bauer of Sheridan Community Land Trust, Key Service Award recipient; Stephen Mullins of Red Bison Studio, Award of Excellence in Small Business recipient; Brian Miller and Antonia Armenta Miller of Bonafide Foods, Business Person of the Year Award recipient (Antonia); Casey Osborn of EMIT, Award of Excellence in Large Business recipient; Jenny Craft, Spirit of Sheridan Award recipient; Erin Butler of the WYO Theater, Inc., Strength of Sheridan Award recipient; and Sasha Johnston, Sheridan County Chamber of Commerce Board President.
Photo courtesy Capturyd Studios.

The Sheridan County Chamber of Commerce announced the recipients of the 2019 Awards of Excellence during the Feb. 12 Chamber Lunch at the Holiday Inn Sheridan.

Nominations for the awards were submitted by members of the Chamber. The nominations then went before the Chamber’s Awards Committee, who compiled the final slate of nominees. Voting to determine the winners was done by the membership via on-line ballot.

The awards presented and the recipients are:

Spirit of Sheridan

This award honors a business or individual who volunteers countless hours for the betterment of the Chamber and Sheridan County: demonstrates vision, ambition, and drive to serve the community and the mission of the Chamber, understanding a community thrives when those in it invest and contribute to its success.

2019 Recipient: Jenny Craft

Ask anyone who knows Jenny Craft to describe her in one word, and you’ll most likely hear “connector.” Although Jenny Craft’s job at the Homer A. & Mildred S. Scott Foundation involves providing financial support to the area’s non-profit organizations, philanthropy and volunteer work are an integral part of Jenny’s personal life as well. She serves as a Big Sister for Greater Wyoming Big Brothers Big Sisters, a volunteer coach and referee for the Sheridan County YMCA, a Court Appointed Special Advocate for Compass Center for Families, assists with the Keystone Awards, delivers Meals on Wheels with The Hub on Smith and Sheridan Rotary Club, and serves as Rotary’s Inbound Exchange Student Coordinator. She also participates in Rotary’s numerous service projects throughout the community. Jenny says “Contributing to someone’s day, project, community program or large-scale endeavor truly feels great. To be part of a team, to be part of an initiative with a positive outcome really benefits my life.”

Key Service

This award honors a Chamber member non-profit organization that has made a significant impact in Sheridan County: a non-profit that serves with enthusiasm and dedication, addressing needs in the community and aligning the vision of its organization for maximum effectiveness.

2019 Recipient: Sheridan Community Land Trust

Sheridan Community Land Trust (SCLT) works to preserve our heritage of open spaces, healthy rivers and creeks, working ranches, wildlife habitat and vibrant history, while expanding recreation opportunities to connect people with the places they love. In the last year, more than 10,000 visitors have enjoyed the 13 miles of single-track trail built and maintained by SCLT, including Red Grade Trails at the base of the Bighorns, and Soldier Ridge and Hidden Hoot trails on the west edge of Sheridan. They’ve also developed the Tongue River Water Trail, organized educational courses for ranchers, recreationists and children, preserved two iconic images of Sheridan’s past through their historic preservation easements and worked with local families to conserve 3,000 acres in Sheridan County. SCLT most recently announced a trailblazing partnership with EMIT Technologies to bring more recreational trails close to home and received approval for the Red Grade Trails expansion to develop 15 new miles of safe, sustainable trails so more people have new ways to enjoy the beauty of the Bighorns.

Strength of Sheridan

This award honors a Chamber member business or organization that has a long and distinguished tenure in the community (20+ years):  an organization that demonstrates consistent service, continually invests in the community, and demonstrates sustained quality performance.

2019 Recipient: WYO Theater, Inc.

The WYO Performing Arts & Education Center (also known as the WYO Theater) is a live performing arts venue in the heart of downtown Sheridan offering a wide variety of live performances, student classes, rental space and like activities. The WYO serves as a gathering place for individuals of all incomes, backgrounds and ages to enjoy a shared experience and is often cited as one reason newcomers decide to relocate to Sheridan. The WYO’s nominator said, “The WYO offers (among many things) a place for children to learn and grow in confidence and skills, space for other nonprofits and Sheridan College, the opportunity for residents region-wide to broaden their cultural horizons and is an economic driver for Main Street.” This past season the WYO served nearly 21,000 patrons, with close to 4,000 of those students attending one of nine free student matinees. The WYO presented or hosted 20 free outreach events in 2018-2019, offered more than 2,700 free or discounted tickets to those in need and logged 7,000 plus volunteer hours. In the past year, the WYO celebrated its 30th Anniversary Season and was a recipient of a Governor’s Arts Award.

Small Business (under 20 full-time employees)

This award honors a Chamber member small business that demonstrates steady growth, solid leadership and a strong commitment to the success of the Sheridan area. This business shows innovation in strategic planning, employee development and customer service and is actively involved in the betterment of the community.

2019 Recipient: Red Bison Studio

Red Bison Studio started in 2012 in a ceramics class at the University of Wyoming by owner Stephen Mullins. In 2014, Stephen moved to Sheridan for a teaching job and the studio continued to grow to the point that he was able to resign from teaching and open a brick and mortar shop in downtown Sheridan in June 2018.  By February 2019, Stephen hired additional employees and moved into a larger location on Sheridan’s Main Street. Red Bison Studio continues to grow its customer base locally, statewide and beyond. One of Stephen’s goals when opening Red Bison was to make clay accessible to nearly everyone. He and his staff are dementia friendly certified and work with rural schools who don’t have a ceramics program. As stated by one of his nominators, “Using his teaching background and creative skills, Stephen has developed an amazing community clay studio that is welcoming to people of all ages, skills and abilities.” This past year, Stephen also was recognized for his work, receiving an honorable mention in the Wyoming Arts Council fellowship program.

Large Business (20 or more full-time employees)

This award honors a Chamber member large business that maintains consistent growth and strong performance, understands its customer, has an engaged workforce with effective leadership, and is continually innovating to support future growth. This business not only invests in its continued success, but also invests its resources in the success of the community.

2019 Recipient: EMIT

EMIT was founded in 2000 by Casey and Sue Osborn who had relocated to Sheridan after working in the oil and gas industry. From their experience with air quality requirements affecting natural gas-fired engines used in gas compression, EMIT began building catalytic converters out of a shop near Fifth and Main. With the basic focus of providing a customer-focused solution, EMIT has built upon that strategy to offer a variety of exhaust, controls, structural and safety solutions to the gas compression industry. This year EMIT has successfully relocated all of its manufacturing to a state-of-the-art facility on North Main Street and continues to expand all operations into one North 4.0 campus. EMIT considers it an honor and a duty to reinvest resources back into the community through their #EMITCommunity initiatives. By partnering with some of the organizations in and around Sheridan who are making real impacts in our community, they continue to work towards making Sheridan a better place for everyone.

Business Person of the Year

This award honors a Chamber member business person who shows outstanding business acumen and strong leadership in business and community efforts. This person is a champion for economic development, constantly strives to exceed customer expectations, delivers industry leading standards of service and quality, and exhibits innovation in business development.

2019 Recipient: Antonia Armenta-Miller, Bonafide Foods

In 2017, Antonia Armenta-Miller and her husband, Brian, decided to take all of their life savings and make their dream of a mobile food business a reality. After being involved in the local foods network in the Sheridan area, the couple realized that the producers needed a larger commercial outlet for their produce and products to stay viable, and locally Sheridan needed some “real and genuine” local foods. Thus the Bonafide Food Truck was born and after the first summer, Bonafide catering was added. Bonafide now purchases over $40,000 in local meats and produce each year, providing clients with the freshest of foods and their producers a viable living. Outside of the business Antonia has been active on the Farmers Market steering committee and Local Foods Board and was instrumental in establishing the mobile vending policy for the City of Sheridan. She and Brian volunteer with Rooted in Wyoming and Pheasants Forever and are leaders of mentor-ship program of the national FOODTRUCKR network. In the past year, Antonia opened a community commissary kitchen for other mobile vendors and local producers to have access to a certified kitchen.

For more information, contact the Sheridan County Chamber of Commerce at (307) 672-2485.



Chamber to Recognize Nominees, Announce Recipients of 2019 Awards of Excellence

The Sheridan County Chamber of Commerce will host its annual Business Awards Lunch to recognize nominees and announce the recipients of the 2019 Awards of Excellence on Wednesday, Feb. 12, at 11:30 a.m. at the Holiday Inn Sheridan.

The awards to be presented and their nominees are as follows:

Spirit of Sheridan
This award honors a business or individual who volunteers countless hours for the betterment of the Chamber and Sheridan County: demonstrates vision, ambition, and drive to serve the community and the mission of the Chamber, understanding a community thrives when those in it invest and contribute to its success. Nominees for the Spirit of Sheridan Award are:

•             Jenny Craft
•             Christine Dieterich
•             Mark Kinner
•             Gail Symons
•             Matt Westkott

Key Service
This award honors a Chamber member non-profit organization that has made a significant impact in Sheridan County: a non-profit that serves with enthusiasm and dedication, addressing needs in the community and aligning the vision of its organization for maximum effectiveness. Nominees for the Key Service Award are:

•             Greater Wyoming Big Brothers Big Sisters
•             Holy Name Catholic School
•             Rooted in Wyoming Youth Gardening Collaboration
•             Sheridan Community Land Trust
•             Tongue River Valley Community Center

Strength of Sheridan
This award honors a Chamber member business or organization that has a long and distinguished tenure in the community (20+ years):  an organization that demonstrates consistent service, continually invests in the community, and demonstrates sustained quality performance. Nominees for the Strength of Sheridan Award are:

•             Carroll’s Furniture
•             Sheridan Rotary Club
•             Sheridan Stationery Books & Gallery
•             Sheridan WYO Rodeo
•             WYO Theater, Inc.

Small Business (under 20 full-time employees)
This award honors a Chamber member small business that demonstrates steady growth, solid leadership and a strong commitment to the success of the Sheridan area. This business shows innovation in strategic planning, employee development and customer service and is actively involved in the betterment of the community. Nominees for the Small Business Award are:

•             BEST Real Estate, WY, LLC
•             Born in a Barn, LLC
•             Domino’s Pizza
•             Red Bison Studio
•             Teton Therapy

Large Business (20 or more full-time employees)
This award honors a Chamber member large business that maintains consistent growth and strong performance, understands its customer, has an engaged workforce with effective leadership, and is continually innovating to support future growth. This business not only invests in its continued success, but also invests its resources in the success of the community. Nominees for the Large Business Award are:

•             EMIT
•             Frontier Asset Management, LLC
•             Security State Bank
•             SWCA Environmental Consultants
•             WWC Engineering

Business Person of the Year
This award honors a Chamber member business person who shows outstanding business acumen and strong leadership in business and community efforts. This person is a champion for economic development, constantly strives to exceed customer expectations, delivers industry leading standards of service and quality, and exhibits innovation in business development. Nominees Business Person(s) of the Year are:

•             Antonia Armenta-Miller, Bonafide Foods, LLC
•             Melissa Butcher, Confluence Collaborative & Lazy R Campground & Cabins
•             Bob Gates, Alpine Climate Control, Inc.
•             Kayla Hert, Real Deals on Home Décor
•             Andrew McFaul, Excalibur Construction, Inc. & Camelot Realty, Inc.

Nominations for the awards were submitted by members of the Chamber. The nominations then went before the Chamber’s Awards Committee, who compiled the final slate of nominees. Voting to determine the winners was done by the membership via on-line ballot. The recipients will be announced at the Awards Lunch.

The Awards Lunch is open to everyone, and cost is $17 per person which includes the program and lunch buffet. Reservations are requested and may be made online here, by calling the Chamber at (307) 672-2485, emailing info@sheridanwyomingchamber.org or visiting the Chamber Office at 24 S. Main St.


Lunchtime Conversations to Look at Balanced Use of Open Space Now and Into the Future in Sheridan County

The Sheridan County Chamber of Commerce Ag & Natural Resources Committee will host a new series, “Lunchtime Conversations about Open Spaces,” starting Tuesday, Jan. 28, from 12 to 1 p.m. at Luminous Brewhouse, 504 Broadway St. in Sheridan.

A panel of representatives from area businesses and organizations will interactively explore with attendees what is balanced use of our open space and can we continue to balance that use into the future? They’ll also discuss the importance of open spaces to our community’s economy and culture now and into the future.

A total of four sessions is scheduled, each with varying representatives on the panel.

“We are hosting this event to provide a forum for interactive, open conversations with the community to address numerous questions about open spaces in Sheridan County,” said Clarke McClung, chair of the Chamber’s Ag & Natural Resources Committee. “What do open spaces mean to our community, culture and local economy? Can we collaborate to sustain and balance the uses of these open spaces? What are the roles of public lands and private working lands in maintaining open spaces? How do the amounts and types of outdoor recreation impact open spaces? How do land use policies affect open spaces?”

Each session will be held from 12 to 1 p.m. at Luminous Brewhouse with attendees welcome to stay after for further discussion. The series dates and topics are Jan. 28: The Role of Public Lands, Feb. 25: The Role of Private Working Lands, March 24: Outdoor Recreation and Its Impacts and April 28: Effects of Land Use Policies.

January’s session will feature representatives from the Wyoming Stockgrowers Association, Sheridan Travel and Tourism, Wyoming Wilderness Association and Antelope Butte Foundation. There is no cost to attend the series, and attendees are welcome to bring their own lunch. For convenience, Fired Up! Food Truck will be on site, and Sagewood North Cafe/Designing Dinners is located across Broadway Street.

For more information, call the Sheridan County Chamber of Commerce at (307) 672-2485.


Chamber to Host Pre-Session Breakfast with Local Delegation

The Sheridan County Chamber of Commerce Government Affairs Committee will host “Eggs & Issues: Pre-Session Breakfast with Our Local Delegation” on Wednesday, Jan. 29, at 7:30 a.m. at the Holiday Inn Sheridan.

Each of the legislators in attendance will discuss what they see as some of the most important issues facing us this upcoming session, followed by question and answer time.

A full breakfast buffet will be served. Cost is $15 per person, and RSVPs are required at https://conta.cc/2QWH3in or by calling (307) 672-2485.


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