Chamber Announces 2023 Awards of Excellence Recipients

The Sheridan County Chamber of Commerce announced the recipients of the 2023 Awards of Excellence during its 25th Annual Awards of Excellence celebration Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2024, at the WYO Theater.

The recipients were selected by the Chamber’s 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.

2023 Recipient: Cody Sinclair
Chief Development Officer – Sheridan Memorial Hospital
Currently the Chief Development Officer at Sheridan Memorial Hospital, Cody Sinclair grew up working in his parents’ small business in Thermopolis. Interacting with the community every day, he learned to draw meaning and purpose from community involvement on the storeroom floors. Cody and his siblings worked alongside their parents, but they also learned to connect with everyone in the community and offer help whenever they could, to whomever might need it. Cody serves on the Sheridan Economic and Education Development Authority Joint Powers board, the Perkins board and as a Bighorn Mountain Trail Run volunteer. Cody was a member of the Chamber board for seven years, serving as both president and treasurer during that time. Cody also works closely with hospital volunteers and the Foundation board and staff who fundraise for various hospital projects such as the Link Partners in Pink that benefits the patients and families at the Welch Cancer Center. He also enjoys working with gift shop and surgery waiting room volunteers and those planning events for the community. 

Strength of Sheridan Award
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.

2023 Recipient: First Federal Bank & Trust
First Federal Bank & Trust is a community bank and the only mutual bank in Sheridan. They provide full-service banking solutions including deposit accounts, business loans, cash management services, home loans, equipment financing and wealth management services. First Federal was founded in Sheridan in 1935 as a mutual bank, meaning they don’t pay stockholders – they pay their communities. The bank’s mission is “We will support and improve the lives of our staff, customers and communities.” First Federal upholds that mission in many ways, including their Community Commitment program where the bank donated $1,000 every week to a nonprofit in the community. They contribute to many other organizations and causes in the community, and team members are encouraged to support the community through volunteering. Each employee is provided with $100 per year to use towards registration fees for nonprofit organization events, and in honor of each employee’s work anniversary, First Federal donates $250 to a nonprofit of the employee’s choice. First Federal team members serve on the boards of over 20 local organizations and the bank participates in the Adopt-A-Highway program. While banking continues to evolve and change, their mission remains constant, and they look forward to finding new and innovative ways to support our communities and local organizations as the only mutual bank in Sheridan.

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.

2023 Recipient: AlphaGraphics
AlphaGraphics of Wyoming is a locally owned and operated, full-service visual marketing and print provider. The business started in the 1930s as a small print shop called Quick Printing Company. Current owners Matthew and Nadine Gale purchased Quick Printing in 2010 making them the 3rd generation of Gales to own Quick Printing. In 2015, Matt and Nadine decided to convert the independent print shop into a member of the AlphaGraphics franchise which provided them with access to a network of other owners, increased purchasing power, training and more. The AlphaGraphics team partners with clients to provide business solutions and solve problems. Vested in their success, the team really gets to know their clients and their businesses. AlphaGraphics commits at least eight percent of its annual revenues in discounts and donations to local nonprofit organizations. Nadine serves on several boards including the Whitney Benefits Board of Trustees and the Chamber of Commerce board. Members of the AlphaGraphics team helped organize and put on the Sodfarm Festival in 2023 raising money for the Sheridan High School Marching Band and Sheridan Foster Parent Exchange. In 2021, AlphaGraphics acquired Sheridan Printing and moved to its current location on North Main Street to accommodate its need for expansion. 

Business Person 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.

2023 Recipient: Megan Cook, Java Moon
In 2021 Megan and Ron Cook purchased local coffee shop, café and bakery, Java Moon, located in the heart of downtown Sheridan. Java Moon provides customers with a warm comfortable place to gather while enjoying quality coffee and tea, made from scratch baked goods and breakfast and lunch sandwich options as well as catering and takeout orders. When the Cooks purchased Java Moon, they did so with a desire to preserve and enhance the business- making sure that it remains a favorite in downtown Sheridan for years to come. Java Moon supports the Sheridan community in many ways. Megan showcases local art and musicians and donates to and sponsors local organizations and events throughout the community. Megan currently sits on the local Whitney Benefits Board of Trustees and state-wide Make A Wish Board and is a past Girl Scout leader, Leadership Sheridan County graduate, past Downtown Sheridan Association Board member and volunteer Make A Wish wish grantor. Seeing a need in the community for a place to hold a private meeting or work quietly, Megan created The Phases by Java Moon, a conference room available for rent for business meetings and gatherings by the hour or day. Megan and the Java Moon staff are committed to providing a place for locals and visitors alike to gather and feel welcome while supporting the Sheridan community.

Each recipient is featured in the Chamber’s newly released 2024 Community Guide and Membership Directory. The guides are produced in partnership with The Sheridan Press and are available at both the Chamber’s and the Press’ offices, newsstands, the Visitor Information Center on Fifth Street and many additional locations throughout Sheridan County.

For more information about the Awards of Excellence or the Chamber’s Community Guide and Membership Directory, contact the Sheridan County Chamber of Commerce at (307) 672-2485.


Recent Ribbon Cuttings

WELLS FARGO BANK

The Chamber Ambassadors welcomed new Chamber member, Wells Fargo Bank, with a ribbon cutting ceremony on Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2024. Located at 424 N. Main St. in Sheridan, Wells Fargo provides a full range of banking options tailored to meet the specific needs of its customers. Christine Temple is the Sheridan branch manager. For more information about Wells Fargo Bank, call (307) 672-0705 or visit www.wellsfargo.com.

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Pictured are (left to right) Chamber Ambassadors J.T. Grainger, Amy Blumenstock, Jim Schellinger and Ty Fauber; Dee Crawford, Wells Fargo Bank; Chamber Ambassador Kayla Andrews; Christine Temple, Wells Fargo Bank; Chamber Ambassador Stephanie Ellis; Joy Zemski, Wells Fargo Bank; and Chamber Ambassadors Blake Mortensen, Ginny Rieger, Connie Begger, Nancy Herdt and Judy Ford.

MISTY GARDNER REAL ESTATE – ENGEL & VOLKERS

The Chamber Ambassadors welcomed new Chamber member, Misty Gardner Real Estate – Engel & Volkers, with a ribbon cutting ceremony on Wednesday, Feb. 7, 2024. Misty Gardner provides local real estate expertise with a global reach. Through her “White Glove Real Estate Services,” Misty specializes in luxury residential, commercial and land. For more information about Misty Gardner Real Estate – Engel & Volkers, call (307) 752-9335 or visit mistygardner.evrealestate.com. 

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Pictured are (left to right) Chamber Ambassadors Ginny Rieger, Debi Isakson and J.T. Grainger; David Turner, Zach McDermott, Misty Gardner, Josh Gardner and Cody Hunt, Misty Gardner Real Estate – Engel & Volkers; and Chamber Ambassadors Gail Symons, Brianne Martin and Judy Ford.

GIRL SCOUTS OF MONTANA AND WYOMING

The Chamber Ambassadors welcomed new Chamber member, Girl Scouts of Montana and Wyoming, represented by Sheridan’s Brownie Troop 1332, with a ribbon cutting ceremony on Wednesday, Feb. 7, 2024. According to the organization, “Girl Scouts bring their dreams to life and work together to build a better world. Through programs from coast to coast, Girl Scouts of all backgrounds and abilities can be unapologetically themselves as they discover their strengths and rise to meet new challenges—whether they want to climb to the top of a tree or the top of their class, lace up their boots for a hike or advocate for climate justice, or make their first best friends. Backed by trusted adult volunteers, mentors, and millions of alums, Girl Scouts lead the way as they find their voices and make changes that affect the issues most important to them.” For more information about the Girl Scouts of Montana and Wyoming, call (406) 252-0488 or visit www.gsmw.org.

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Pictured are (front row, left to right) Chamber Ambassador Gail Symons; Brownie Troop 1332 members Addie Berens, Olivia Leahy, Ariyah Clark, Reyna Clark, Delilah Cassiday and Charlotte Foster; Brownie Troop 1332 leader Cassandra Foster; Troop members Audrey Curiel, Aura Creech, Mariah Spangler and Samara Munks. Back row: Chamber Ambassadors J.T. Grainger, Judy Ford and Debi Isakson; Brownie Troop 1332 leader Brekke Peterson-Munks; and Chamber Ambassadors Stella Montano, Ginny Rieger and Brianne Martin.

GOLDEN MEADOWLARK INSURANCE

The Chamber Ambassadors welcomed new Chamber member, Golden Meadowlark Insurance, with a ribbon cutting ceremony on Wednesday, Feb. 7, 2024. Owner Jobe Horsley is an independent Wyoming Medicare and Group Health Insurance Specialist. Golden Meadowlark partners with a variety of insurance companies to provide personalized plans for clients at no charge. For more information about Golden Meadowlark Insurance, call (307) 461-5555, stop by their office at 2 N. Main St., Ste. 409, or visit www.golden-meadowlark.com.

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Pictured are (left to right) Chamber Ambassadors Stella Montano, Yvonne Swanson and Nancy Herdt; Amber, Noël, Watchman, Jonah and Jobe Horsley, Golden Meadowlark Insurance; and Chamber Ambassadors Jim Schellinger, Jack Wood and Ty Fauber.

VALOR ACADEMY

The Chamber Ambassadors welcomed new Chamber member, Valor Academy, with a ribbon cutting ceremony on Wednesday, Jan. 31, 2024. Located in the Sheridan KidsLife building at 426 W. Alger St. in Sheridan, the mission of Valor Academy is to provide a personalized Christian education that supports each student’s unique needs and abilities and fosters creativity, mastery and excellence. Amber Van Dyke serves as the School Administrator. For more information about Valor Academy, call (307) 461-0132 or visit sheridanvalor.org.

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Chamber Ambassadors (left to right) Jennifer Roe, Ty Fauber, Ginny Rieger, Nancy Herdt, Debi Isakson, Stella Montano, Jim Schellinger, Amy Blumenstock, Gail Symons, J.T. Grainger, Corey Jones and Brianne Martin held a ribbon cutting ceremony for Valor Academy on Wednesday, Jan. 31, 2024. Valor School Administrator Amber Van Dyke (center) cut the ribbon. Also pictured are Valor Academy students, staff and board members.

MANNY CAKES

The Chamber Ambassadors welcomed new Chamber member, Manny Cakes, with a ribbon cutting ceremony on Monday, Jan. 29, 2024. Manny Cakes’ owner and baker, Amanda Johnson, specializes in custom, made from scratch, edible art, which includes cakes, cookies, cupcakes, macarons and cake pops. For more information about Manny Cakes, call (307) 751-5365 or visit 307mannycakes.com.

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Pictured are (left to right) Chamber Ambassadors Yvonne Swanson, Ginny Rieger, J.T. Grainger, Amy Blumenstock, Brianne Martin, Blake Mortensen and Stephanie Ellis; Amanda Johnson, Manny Cakes; and Chamber Ambassadors Connie Begger, Stella Montano, Jack Wood, Rose Leonard and Gail Symons.

DU WEST HOMES, LLC

The Chamber Ambassadors welcomed new Chamber member, Du West Homes, LLC, with a ribbon cutting ceremony on Thursday, Jan. 25, 2024. Du West Homes is a builder of fine custom homes, and owner Lyle Harris has 25 years of experience with custom home building. For more information about Du West Homes, call (307) 683-7878 or visit www.duwesthomes.com

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Pictured are (left to right) Chamber Ambassadors Judy Ford, Stella Montano, Nick Cordingly and Blake Mortensen; Curt Stewart, Stephanie Green, Caleb Truman, Donna Harris, Lyle Harris and Sawyer Harris, Du West Homes, LLC; Chamber Ambassador Stacie Wells; Brooklyn Green, Willow Harris and Cheyenne Harris, Du West Homes, LLC; and Chamber Ambassadors Ginny Rieger, J.T. Grainger and Gail Symons.

DAVID BARE – PREMIER FINANCIAL ALLIANCE

The Chamber Ambassadors welcomed new Chamber member, David Bare – Premier Financial Alliance, with a ribbon cutting ceremony on Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2024. Premier Financial Alliance provides life insurance with living benefits and tax-free retirement strategies. For more information about Premier Financial Alliance, call Bare at (307) 441-8253.

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Pictured are (left to right) Chamber Ambassadors Ty Fauber, Amy Blumenstock, Gail Symons, Jack Wood and Kathleen Wood; David Bare, Premier Financial Alliance; and Chamber Ambassadors Nancy Herdt, Jennifer Roe, Jim Schellinger, J.T. Grainger, Stella Montano and Judy Ford.

MOUNTAIN MATTRESS COMPANY

The Chamber Ambassadors welcomed new Chamber member and Sheridan business, Mountain Mattress Company, with a ribbon cutting ceremony on Thursday, Jan. 18, 2024. Located at 862 Lincoln Dr., Unit A, in Sheridan, Mountain Mattress Company is a family owned and operated Beautyrest and Serta mattress retailer. Greg and Meaghan Simonich are the owners. For more information about Mountain Mattress Company, call (307) 655-5596 or visit www.mtnmattress.com.

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Pictured are (left to right) Chamber Ambassadors Stephanie Ellis, Stella Montano, Brianne Martin and Jim Schellinger; Greg, Malcolm and Meaghan Simonich, Mountain Mattress Company; and Chamber Ambassadors Jack Wood, J.T. Grainger and Amy Blumenstock.

ALTITUDE HOME MORTGAGE

The Chamber Ambassadors welcomed new Chamber member and Sheridan business, Altitude Home Mortgage, with a ribbon cutting ceremony on Wednesday, Jan. 17, 2024. Altitude is located at 228 E. Brundage St. in Sheridan and is owned by Stefanie Gilbert. Altitude is a residential, commercial and ag mortgage broker offering purchase, refinance, construction, renovation loans and more. For more information about Altitude Home Mortgage, call (307) 689-9234 or visit www.altitudehomemortgage.com.

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Pictured are (left to right) Chamber Ambassadors Ginny Rieger, Jim Schellinger, Nick Cordingly and Kayla Andrews; Stefanie Gilbert, Altitude Home Mortgage; and Chamber Ambassadors Stella Montano, Rosemary Garber, Gail Symons, Jack Wood and Judy Ford.

ARETE DESIGN GROUP

The Chamber Ambassadors celebrated the new office building for Arete Design Group with a ribbon cutting ceremony on Wednesday, Jan. 17, 2024. The new office is located at 228 E. Brundage St. in Sheridan. Founded in 2000, Arete Design Group is an architecture firm, providing commercial design, custom residential design and master planning. The group drafted the design for the building remodeling project. Arete Design Group is led by Karen Kelly, Rachel Delventhal and Levi Van Buggenum. For more information about Arete Design Group, call (307) 672-8270 or visit www.aretedesign.group.

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Pictured are (left to right) Chamber Ambassadors Judy Ford, Jack Wood, Ginny Rieger and Jim Schellinger; Sarah Ackerman, Chris Larsen, Karen Kelly, Ian Scott, Levi Van Buggenum, Jennae Fieldgrove, Daysi Castaneda, Rob Kelly, Heidi Smith and Nolan Buckley, Arete Design Group; and Chamber Ambassadors Rosemary Garber, Stella Montano, Kayla Andrews, Gail Symons and Nick Cordingly.


Chamber to Host 25th Annual Awards of Excellence Celebration Feb. 28

PURCHASE TICKETS HERE.

The Sheridan County Chamber of Commerce will host its 25th annual Awards of Excellence celebration on Wednesday, Feb. 28, starting at 5 p.m. at the WYO Theater, 42 S. Main St. in Sheridan.

The Chamber will recognize all of the nominees and announce the recipients in four awards categories: Community Champion, Strength of Sheridan, Business of the Year and Business Person(s) of the Year.

The four award categories and nominees are as follows:

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.

Community Champion Award Nominees:
Rosie Berger
Sheridan Rotary Club
Cody Sinclair
Gail Symons
The Salvation Army

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. 

Strength of Sheridan Award Nominees:
Big Horn Equestrian Center
First Federal Bank & Trust
Kilpatrick Creations, Inc.
Peter D’s RV Park
Sheridan County Fair Association

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.

Business of the Year Nominees:
AlphaGraphics
Cross E Dairy & Freedom Foods Market
Imperial Powder Coating
Sheridan Honda & Sheridan Powersports
WYO Candle Co.

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, strives to exceed customer expectations, delivers industry leading standards of service and quality and exhibits innovation in business development.

Business Person of the Year Nominees:
Mike Ash, Powder River Party Rentals
Doug Carlton, Carlton Construction
Megan Cook, Java Moon
Darin & Marisa Olson, On the Rocks Jewelry, Inc.
Patrick Suchor, Harker Mellinger CPAs, LLC

The nominees were named by the Chamber’s Board of Directors, and the recipients were selected by the Chamber membership via online vote.

A reception will be held at 5 p.m. followed by the ceremony at 6 p.m.

Tickets are $65 for adults, $35 for ages 12-18 and free for those under 12. Packages of five adult tickets are available for $275. Tickets are required for all levels, including free. Cash bar will be available. Online tickets may be purchased in advance here or by calling the Chamber office at 672-2485. Everyone is welcome to attend.

The Awards of Excellence are brought to you in part by Nathan Hans Photography, Sheridan Media, The Sheridan Press and the WYO Theater.


Chamber Accepting Training Proposals for Ignite Business Conference

The Sheridan County Chamber of Commerce is seeking training proposals for the 9th annual Ignite Conference on May 21, 2024.

The Ignite Conference provides the opportunity for professionals at every level to gain innovative ideas, learn about best practices and acquire vital information to spark their professional development and business growth. 

Ignite includes a full day of 60- to 75-minute seminars where individuals can pick which seminars are most relevant to them/their business. Attendees should leave with tangible concepts that can be implemented immediately as an owner, manager or employee.

Sessions typically fall within several general business categories such as human resources, customer service, marketing and communications, business growth and development, leadership, entrepreneurial development, cybersecurity and finance/accounting. Business-related topics outside of those categories may also be submitted for consideration.

Proposals must be received by Feb. 9, 2024. For more details, click here or call (307) 672-2485.


Chamber to Host Breakfast with Legislative Delegation

The Sheridan County Chamber of Commerce’s Government Affairs Committee will host “Eggs & Issues: Pre-Legislative Session Breakfast with our Local Delegation” on Thursday, Feb. 1, 2024, at 7:30 a.m. at the Ramada Plaza in Sheridan.

Members of Sheridan County’s local legislative delegation will discuss priorities and issues facing us this upcoming session, followed by a question-and-answer session. Members of the local delegation participating in the breakfast are Sen. Dave Kinskey, Rep. Barry Crago, Rep. Mark Jennings, Rep. Ken Pendergraft and Rep. Cyrus Western. Sen. Bo Biteman is unable to attend.

A full breakfast buffet will be served. Cost is $20 per person for the breakfast and program, and reservations are required by 5 p.m. Friday, Jan. 26, 2024. Online registration is available here. For more information, call (307) 672-2485.


Outdoor Recreation Focus of Chamber’s Next Series of Lunchtime Conversations About Open Spaces

The Sheridan County Chamber of Commerce’s Ag & Natural Resources Committee will again host “Lunchtime Conversations About Open Spaces” starting Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2024, at 12 p.m. at Luminous Brewhouse, 504 Broadway St. in Sheridan.

This year’s series will focus on Outdoor Recreation. The Jan. 23 session will explore “Municipal Parks & Pathways.” On Tuesday, Feb. 27, “County/State Parks, Land & Trails” will be discussed, and “Federal Lands” will be the topic of the Tuesday, March 19, session. On April 23, the topic will be “Private Lands.”

Throughout the series, participants will explore what role outdoor recreation plays in maintaining open space and how does it contribute to our vibrant community. Additionally, the conversation will examine where we are now and where we are going with outdoor recreation, what are the challenges and how do we maintain what is developed?

Each session will be held from 12 to 1 p.m. at Luminous Brewhouse. All sessions are free to attend and open to everyone. No registration is necessary. Bring your lunch and your questions and comments to join the conversation.

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


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