SHERIDAN — The Sheridan County Chamber of Commerce announced the winners of this year’s annual business awards at its monthly luncheon Wednesday afternoon. Four entities were recognized in the respective categories of Spirit of Sheridan, Strength of Sheridan, Business Person of the Year and Business of the Year.
Powder River Heating and Air Conditioning was given the Spirit of Sheridan Award, which is designed to acknowledge a business that volunteers hours for the betterment of the Chamber of Commerce and the community as a whole.
PRHAC was given the award this year in recognition of its involvement with The Food Group, a project sponsored by the Sheridan College Center for a Vital Community that delivers food to be sent home with kids over the weekend. In addition to helping raise funds for the endeavor, the business provides shop space for the bags of food to be assembled before they are distributed around the county.
Manager Ken Thorpe, served as president of the chamber’s board of trustees last year, accepted the award.
“I learned there was a pretty huge need right here in Sheridan County to help feed our kids, and it kind of grew and blossomed,” Thorpe said. “(The Food Group) is a great organization and a great cause.”
The Strength of Sheridan Award, designated to acknowledge a business that has served the community for more than 20 years, was awarded to Hammer Chevrolet.
“Over many years, they have endured economic hardships and fierce industry competition while other businesses like theirs have sold, changed or folded,” Award presenter and Director of Marketing for the Chamber Meredith Sopko said, reading aloud from the award nomination.
Dick Hammer accepted the award.
“It’s a pleasure and an honor to do business in Sheridan,” Hammer said. “You don’t do things in this town because you want people to notice, but it’s really nice when they do.”
Ron Kensey of Kennon Products was named Business Person of the Year. Over the course of the past year, Kensey has donated more than $60,000 worth of services and products to nonprofit organizations within the community.
Kensey said his contributions to the community were motivated by slow work that began when the economic recession hit Sheridan in 2008.
“It was either that we were going to stand around and look at each other or do something for nonprofit organizations,” Kensey said. “We all feel good about doing something good and it helps our organization keep our folks engaged employed.
“We really believe nonprofit organizations are a fundamental core of American society, doing many of the things government should probably not be doing.”
WIth that, Kensey’s acceptance speech concluded.
The 2014 Business of the Year award went to Warehouse Market, which houses Killy’s Smokehouse Deli. The family business has been in operation for 46 years.
“This award honors a Sheridan-area business that serves the Sheridan area in the finest way possible,” Sopko said, citing the award nomination. “They take pride in their work by offering exceptional customer service and climate and atmosphere for their employees, clients and customers.”
Cindy Boyd received the award alongside her father, Pat Killworth.
“I’m very happy but very emotional,” Boyd said. “It’s a great honor.”
Approximately 150 people attended Wednesday’s luncheon.