SHERIDAN — Despite the less than ideal weather and the travel advisories across the area, the Awards of Excellence luncheon celebrating local business and community leaders boasted solid attendance numbers Wednesday.

Organizers of the event noted the turnout of 225 people and pointed to it as an example of the dedication of the local business community and its supporters.

Sasha Johnston, Chamber of Commerce board president, noted that each honoree helps make Sheridan County stronger and fuels the Chamber’s mission of being a catalyst for business prosperity and a champion for a stronger community.

“I believe in today’s fast-paced world, we don’t often take the time to pause and really examine all the phenomenal things going on around us,” Chamber CEO Dixie Johnson said. “Yesterday’s awards program was one of those times we came together to honor several of the businesses, organizations and individuals who are focused not only on their success but the success of the community as a whole.

“The annual awards of excellence is by far one of my favorite programs the Chamber has the privilege of hosting,” Johnson continued. “Each year, I’m blown away by the number of nominations as well as excited to see who our members select as the overall recipient in each of our six categories.”

Each of the award winners are featured in the 2020 Community Guide, a free magazine created by the Chamber and The Sheridan Press. They will also be featured in The Press over the next several weeks.

The awards and winners were:


Spirit of Sheridan — Jenny Craft

This award honors a business or individual who volunteers countless hours for the betterment of the Chamber and Sheridan County. They also demonstrate 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.

Others nominated in this category included Christine Dieterich, Mark Kinner, Gail Symons and Matt Westkott.


Strength of Sheridan — WYO Performing Arts and Education Center

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

Others nominated in this category included Carroll’s Furniture, Sheridan Rotary Club, Sheridan WYO Rodeo and Sheridan Stationery, Books and Gallery.


Key Service — Sheridan Community Land Trust

This award honors a Chamber member nonprofit organization that has made a significant impact in Sheridan County, a nonprofit that serves with enthusiasm and dedication, addressing needs in the community and aligning the vision of its organization for maximum effectiveness. Others nominated in this category included Greater Wyoming Big Brothers Big Sisters, Holy Name Catholic School, Rooted in Wyoming Youth Gardening Collaboration and Tongue River Valley Community Center.


Small Business — Red Bison Studio

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. Others nominated in this category included BEST Real Estate, WY, LLC, Born in a Barn, LLC, Domino’s Pizza and Teton Therapy.


Large Business — EMIT Technologies

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.

Others nominated in this category included Frontier Asset Management, LLC, Security State Bank, SWCA Environmental Consultants and WWC Engineering.


Business Person of the Year — Antonia Armenta-Miller, Bonafide Foods, LLC

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.

Others nominated in this category included Melissa Butcher (Confluence Collaborative, Lazy R Campground & Cabins and Innominate Coffeehouse & Bakery), Bob Gates (Alpine Climate Control), Kayla Hert (Real Deals on Home Decor) and Andrew McFaul (Excalibur Construction, Inc. and Camelot Realty).