Chamber Announces 2021 Awards of Excellence Recipients

The Sheridan County Chamber of Commerce announced the recipients of the 2021 Awards of Excellence during its Awards of Excellence Lunch program Wednesday, Feb. 9, 2022, at the Ramada Plaza Sheridan.

The recipients were voted on by the membership via on-line ballot.

The awards presented and the recipients are:

Community Champion Award

This award honors a Chamber member individual, business or organization that has made a significant impact in Sheridan County. Understanding that a community thrives when those in it invest and contribute to its success, the nominees demonstrate vision, ambition and drive to address needs in the community and strive for the betterment of the local area.

2021 Recipient: Sheridan County YMCA

The Sheridan County YMCA has bounced back from a difficult 2020 to provide a stable, reliable place for the community to gather for healthy, family-oriented activities such as their world class swimming facility, youth summer camps and community wellness challenges. Anyone can participate in these activities without a membership. The YMCA provides family nights, with extra safety precautions, and other family activities to encourage healthy interactions and fun at a time that is challenging for everyone. Many parents of young children depend on events like these to offer children a care-free, playful setting that is appropriate for the whole family. Despite current conditions, the YMCA continues to seek funding to fulfill their vision and expansion and to provide a location and services accessible to the entire community, regardless of financial challenges. This expansion focuses on providing expanded child and after school care for children and youth, extended health and well being offerings in an easily accessible area, additional offerings for their arts and Big Horn programming and infrastructure improvements for Camp Roberts.

Strength of Sheridan

This award honors a Chamber member business or organization that has a distinguished tenure of 20 or more years in the community. This business or organization demonstrates consistent service, continually invests in the community, meets challenges with innovative solutions and demonstrates sustained quality performance.

2021 Recipient: Centennial Theatre

It’s been a rough time for movie theaters, but Centennial Theatre has weathered the pandemic storm. Centennial Theatre is a family corporation serving Sheridan for two generations since 1955. Their mission has always been to furnish the best in Motion Picture entertainment to the residents of Sheridan. They began in the Orpheum Theatre next to the Elks Lodge in 1955. In 1960, they purchased the Skyline Drive In, which remained in business until 2004, and took over operations of the WYO Theater from Fox-Intermountain. With that lease, they had to close the Orpheum. In 1976, they remodeled the old Safeway store on Alger to be the Centennial Twin Theatre, and then in 1982, closed their operation at the WYO Theater. In 1989 they added two screens, 1994 another, and again added a screen in 2005 along with converting the other theaters to stadium seating. They also converted their 35mm film projectors to digital projection. Recently, Centennial introduced the “Orpheum Luxury Experience” which includes full electric recliners, extended leg room, reserved seating and immersive sound and picture. Centennial Theatre continues to show the newest and most popular films while still remaining one of the best values to watch and enjoy movies.

Business of the Year

This award honors a Chamber member business that positively impacts the economic health of the Sheridan area through exceptional business practices, customer service and innovation. This business shows steady growth and consistent strong performance, excels in community relations, practices exemplary business conduct, responds positively to adversity and shows proven business achievement.

2021 Recipient: L&H Industrial

L&H Industrial is a leader in the manufacturing industry with locations in several communities across the United States, Canada, Mexico and Chile. Their Sheridan facility offers two unique processes not offered in any of their other locations — cylinder repair and chroming and induction hardening. L&H only performs these processes in the Sheridan branch which make the Sheridan facility an essential portion of their overall business. The custom hydraulic cylinder and rod repair market is very important to businesses that rely on equipment to produce their product and a reliable source for these services is crucial to the continued success of many businesses. The 33,000 square-foot facility in Sheridan supplies a niche market that is vital to heavy construction, mining, road construction and development work to be successful and on time. Without the chroming facility, many employers within the area would have significant delays to their business. L&H provides services that many local employers need in order to run their business and keep people employed. The induction hardening process is also a key service that businesses rely on to keep their heavy equipment fleets operating. L&H is dedicated to the local community and participates in and donates to local events such as the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, Manufacturing Day, Habitat for Humanity, Sheridan High School graduation and the Sheridan Youth Livestock sale.

Business Person(s) of the Year

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

20201 Recipient: Joe Wright, Kennon

CEO at Kennon, Joe Wright oversees the company’s operations and is responsible for its culture and financial performance. He has been an integral part of establishing a safe, productive and communicative atmosphere at Kennon. A strong believer in Open Book Management, Joe values a transparent culture within the organization. He is an industrial engineer by training, however, he has also held several management positions in both in large and small businesses. Joe obtained his Professional Engineering license in 2008 and joined the Kennon team in 2010 after a 13-year career with UPS. After working as an engineer and executive vice president, Joe was named Kennon’s Chief Executive Officer in 2015. Joe has been incredibly involved in the execution of the (NextGen) New West Manufacturing group and has positively impacted the network of manufacturers in Sheridan and Johnson County. He played a significant role in the relationship with the Wyoming Business Council and SEEDA, resulting in a new state-of-the-art facility for Kennon in the High-Tech Business Park. Joe serves on the Sheridan Memorial Hospital Board of Trustees, is a co-chair of the New West Manufacturing Partnership and is active in the local Rotary Club. He is also a member of the Vistage CEO Network and currently enrolled in Stanford University’s Executive Leadership Program.

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


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