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.
Ask anyone who knows Jenny Craft to describe her in one word, and you’ll most likely hear “connector.”
Craft’s role as executive director of the Homer A. and Mildred S. Scott Foundation naturally puts her in the role as a bridge and community partner; she connects organizations in need with funds to assist them in carrying out their missions and puts people together to help strengthen the community. In her free time, Craft serves the community in numerous ways.
Through the Greater Wyoming Big Brothers Big Sisters organization, which Craft calls a “mutually beneficial mentorship,” she serves as a Big Sister, meeting nearly weekly over the school year for the past four years. She has served as a volunteer soccer coach for about 15 years and occasionally as a referee for the Sheridan County YMCA. As a court appointed special advocate for Compass Center for Families, she has worked with three foster boys and the foster parents who support them, helping Compass and those associated create opportunities, next steps, education and future direction for families.
Craft has assisted with the Keystone Awards through The Hub on Smith and, in conjunction with Sheridan Rotary, has participated in home-delivered meals. As a member of Sheridan Rotary, she serves as Inbound Exchange Student coordinator and is hosting a student from Brazil, as well as participating in Rotary’s numerous service projects.
Craft grew up in Sheridan and earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Wyoming. Her first job in the community was at the Sheridan County YMCA, and she then served as the Center for a Vital Community’s executive director. In her current role at the Scott Foundation, Craft says it is a true honor to work for an organization where the goal is to collaborate across sectors to improve quality of life, enhance community and develop and sustain leaders.
Craft said she serves her community in so many ways, because that service is the model and practice for how she was raised. Her parents were great examples of service above self and lived the old adage, “It is better to give than to receive.”
“Contributing to someone’s day, project, community program or large-scale endeavor truly feels great,” Craft said. “To be part of a team, to be part of an initiative with a positive outcome really benefits my life. The Sheridan community has given/afforded so much for my life — a safe, active, prosperous community — and I hope my presence can in some way add to this canvas making it an even greater place for those to come after. And, as a parent — I am hopeful I am also an example to my children of how to live a good life. And kindness, volunteerism, contributions of one’s self are characteristics I’d want them to not only possess but deeply share.”
Craft defines being a leader as being a collaborator — to listen, to be present and to be aware.
“Sheridan has tremendous leaders both seen and unseen,” Craft said. “It is the opportunity to participate in this landscape — to engage with others and bring forth the best that we each have to offer. I love the visual of light — of being a person who helps others’ light shine.”
This content was provided by Sheridan County Chamber of Commerce for the 2020 Community Guide, a magazine created by the Chamber and The Sheridan Press. Pick up a free copy at The Press, the Chamber or in magazine racks throughout Sheridan County.