Annual House Dinner Honors Business Excellence in Times of COVID | Local News
CHEYENNE – It was a night of celebration for the Cheyenne community on Friday as the Greater Cheyenne Chamber of Commerce presented awards recognizing outstanding achievement and business excellence.
Nominations for the business awards were submitted by chamber members and the chamber business council narrowed the nominations to the nominated finalists. The chamber focuses on four areas of business and community advancement: economic development, advocacy, community development and talent development. These four criteria all aim to make Cheyenne a more prosperous and quality community.
“We come together to recognize the companies and individuals who have made the tremendous success of our economy and our community,” said Chamber President and CEO Dale Steenbergen. “We have seen so many people in our community stepping up to help others and this is one of the reasons we have weathered the pandemic so well. When you compare the Cheyenne area to so many other communities, we can be proud of what we have accomplished.
The awards recognize achievements made during the previous year. Steenbergen noted that this year’s prices were particularly important, however, due to the coronavirus pandemic and how businesses of all types have been affected.
The evening’s highest honor was the Businessman of the Year award, which went to Larry Meuli, a local physician and dedicated public servant. This award is used to exemplify the best of Cheyenne and set a standard for community engagement and recognizes excellence in the community.
The award is given to recognize a culmination of dedication to Cheyenne, Wyoming and the United States, which Meuli has accomplished.
Meuli served as Cheyenne’s representative for six years in the Wyoming House of Representatives, served as director of the Wyoming Department of Health, and was also responsible for public health for Laramie County and Wyoming.
This is not the first time that Meuli has been recognized for his leadership and service, receiving the Nathan Davis Award in 2004, which is the most prestigious award that the American Medical Association bestows on an elected official.
The chamber described Meuli as a “game changer” who helped lay the groundwork for the organization’s advocacy and engagement platform. This transformation of advocacy facilitated the chamber’s evolution into an advocacy and government relations work hub through the Wyoming Business Advocates, which were funded and launched through Meuli’s work over a decade ago.
Now, the WBA is advocating for programs like the Army’s New Missile System and over $ 1.2 billion in community funding, all of which started with the hard work of Meuli and four others. people.
Additionally, U.S. Senator John Barrasso received the chamber’s Business Advocate of the Year award, which is awarded to an elected or agency employee who goes above and beyond the call of duty for the business community to Cheyenne.
During the onset of COVID, Barrasso connected with Cheyenne business leaders on multiple Zoom calls, personally vetted local businesses, worked with the chamber to draft federal legislation to save many of Cheyenne’s business entities and asked his staff to serve the people of Wyoming and help through the difficult times they faced.
Barrasso was also a champion on issues such as military and transportation funding, the challenges of Wyoming’s energy industry, and the state’s infrastructure needs.
However, there were also local businesses and individuals honored for their own outstanding performance. These included: Mike Williams of Jonah Bank received the Chamber Spirit Award; Taco John’s received the Community Service Award; Derrek Jerred of Cheyenne LEADS received the Emerging Leader Award; the Comea Shelter received the non-profit award; Black Tooth Brewing was recognized as the Best Small Business; and the accounting firm MHP LLP received the award for best large company.
The business resources team received the committee of the year award.
Ellen Fike is a freelance writer living in Cheyenne. She can be contacted at [email protected] Follow her on Twitter at @EllenLFike.