SHERIDAN — The Wyoming Business Report named its 2018 Wyoming Women of Influence Friday in Cheyenne. Among the honorees, Wendy Smith of the Northern Wyoming Community College District earned recognition in the education category.

Smith works as the assistant vice president of strategic communications and public relations for the NWCCD.

Paul Young, president of the NWCCD, said Smith has a strong vision for the community she serves.

“She’s so very proud of the college district and she just has this kind of energy that I think people saw in giving her this award,” Young said, adding that Smith is a “visionary leader.”

Young said Smith was one of the first people he met upon moving to Sheridan and noted that it’s been a pleasure to watch Smith grow professionally. He described Smith as a “tireless advocate” who seeks to ensure the NWCCD’s connections to the communities it serves. 

Smith was one of five nominees in the education category. The other nominees were: Jillian Balow, state superintendent of public instruction; Mary Margaret Legler, principal of Holy Name Catholic School; Hilarie Schalger, third-grade teacher in the Carbon County School District; and Marcia Young, lead teacher at the Child Development Center.

In addition to her role at NWCCD, Smith serves on the Center for a Vital Community and Leadership Wyoming boards and has been a longtime member of the FAB Women’s Conference planning committee. She has also served on the Sheridan County Chamber of Commerce board and Governmental Affairs Committee. Smith also has a slew of leadership training having participated in Leadership Sheridan County, the CVC’s CiViC Project, Leadership Wyoming and Academic Management Institute. She also earned Gracious Space certification through the Center for Ethical Leadership. 

Winners in the other categories were:

Banking and finance — Amber Hestla-Barnhart, owner, chief options strategist, Hestla Research

Business and business services — Laura Morrow, owner, Laura M. Gallery

Energy and utilities — Deby Forry, senior vice president of risk management, Trihydro Corp.

Government, military and law — Lynne Budd, Chief-Security Division, Wyoming Office of Homeland Security

Health care — Tracy Garcia, chief nursing officer, Cheyenne Regional Medical Center

Hospitality — Renee Penton-Jones, general manager, Ramkota Hotel

Manufacturing and technology — Erin Moore, CEO/partner, Gannet Peak Technical Services

Nonprofit — Donna Sheen, director, The Wyoming Children’s Law Center

Best mentor — Marjorie Bedessem, senior engineer, Trihydro

Best company to work for — Hirst Applegate, LLP

Lifetime achievement — Susan McMurry Samuelson, owner, Warren Livestock Ranch