Wyoming Business Council board names Grenfell interim Chief Executive Officer

Chief Operating Officer Amy Grenfell will serve as interim CEO of the Wyoming Business Council beginning Dec. 13, the council announced in a news release.

The CEO Search Committee intends to conduct final interviews for the position Jan. 8. Grenfell will serve as CEO until the new hire’s start date.

“The Wyoming Business Council Board of Directors is confident in Amy’s leadership during this transition,” board co-Chairwoman Megan Goetz said in a prepared statement. “The search committee is working hard to fill the position with the right person as soon as possible, and we know the Business Council is in good hands in the meantime.”

Grenfell has worked closely with outgoing CEO Shawn Reese to create a culture of teamwork, creativity and leadership at the Business Council while advancing the state’s economic development and diversification goals, according to the release.

With confidence in the direction the Business Council is headed, and wanting to spend more time with his family, Reese announced his resignation from the CEO position in September.

The search committee includes Business Council staff and board members, as well as state business leaders and representation from Gov. Mark Gordon’s office.

Applications open for 2020 Better Business Bureau Spark Awards for Entrepreneurship

The Better Business Bureau Serving Northern Colorado and Wyoming is now accepting applications for the 2020 BBB Spark Awards for Entrepreneurship.

The Spark Awards honor businesses that start their journey on a solid foundation of trust and ethics.

To be eligible for the BBB Spark Awards, a business must be:

Headquartered in BBB’s Northern Colorado and Wyoming service territory;

Be in operation at least six months, but not longer than three years as of January 2020; and

Be in good standing with BBB.

Eligible businesses can apply by submitting short, written answers to nine questions and uploading a short video testimonial about why the business embodies the Spark Award criteria. Those criteria are:

Character – Leaders must be teachable and open to growing with ideas. Leaders habitually seek the truth, are open to criticism and know that their own personal development is never complete.

Culture – Purposeful entrepreneurs start businesses for more than just the opportunity to be their own boss or fill a gap in the market. Instead, they create organizations committed to serving the needs of all their stakeholders and make intentional decisions about who they align with to bring their mission to fruition.

Community – The most successful entrepreneurs understand they are part of a community and commit to supporting those that supported them. They give back to worthy causes and treat other entrepreneurs and competitors as peers rather than opponents.

Applications for the 2020 BBB Spark Awards are due Jan. 31. All completed applications will be reviewed by an independent judging panel of local business leaders who will select the Spark Award winners. The Spark Awards will be awarded at the 2020 BBB Torch Awards for Ethics on April 23 at the Embassy Hotel and Suites in Loveland, Colorado.

To apply for the 2020 Spark Awards or to learn more about the program, visit the Spark Awards website, https://www.bbb.org/wyoming-and-northern-colorado/spark-award. For more information, contact Greg Pierson at gpierson@wynco.bbb.org or 970-488-2049.

CyberWyoming and Meals on Wheels team up to provide scam information to seniors

CyberWyoming and Meals on Wheels of Cheyenne are teaming up to provide scam alert information to senior citizen clients of Meals on Wheels.

Seniors are some of the most vulnerable to internet scams in Wyoming, according to the FBI Internet Crimes Complaint Center. In 2017, the Wyoming 50-and-older population reported losing $1,461,672 to the FBI, but this more than doubled to $3,424,097 in 2018’s reported internet crimes.

Thus, Executive Directors Sharon Benson of Meals on Wheels and Laura Baker of CyberWyoming decided to do something about it as they sat next to each other at the recent Women of Influence conference in Casper. CyberWyoming provides Meals on Wheels of Cheyenne with weekly scam alert and cyber information flyers specific to senior citizens. The Meals on Wheels drivers distribute the flyers on their Wednesday routes, which has the most people.

Meals on Wheels of Cheyenne delivers almost 300 meals per day to the Cheyenne community. The volunteer drivers will distribute the information to the clients and start a discussion.

The plan is to develop 13 weeks of material and then recycle it once each quarter. CyberWyoming will review the material on a semi-annual basis, and add or remove flyers as necessary. Scam alerts from the Federal Trade Commission, like the recent scam about your Social Security number expiring, will be worked into each quarter as needed.

Teton Gravity Research commits to green power at Wilson headquarters

Teton Gravity Research official recently flipped the switch in their offices, committing to run their Wilson headquarters on 100% local green power.

This decision ensures that all of the electricity purchased by TGR is through verified green power sources. In this case, Horse Butte Wind Farm outside Idaho Falls, Idaho; Pleasant Valley Wind Farm in Evanston; and Swift and Strawberry Creek micro-hydro facilities in Star Valley.

Teton Gravity Research has been a long-time advocate for combating climate change. Over the past 10 years, it has made numerous changes in its own practices, such as investing in carbon offsets for its production footprint and completing an energy audit and LED lighting project at its Wilson offices.

In its own industry, Teton Gravity Research has advocated for action through its various media outlets, writing dozens of articles on the topic, as well as producing a feature-length film, “Generations,” addressing “the consequences of climate change and … what you can do to make a difference.”

A Green Power option has existed in the Jackson Hole area since 2007, starting with an option to buy green power “blocks.” In September 2017, Lower Valley Energy and Energy Conservation Works (ECW) partnered to encourage growth in the Green Power Program. Since then, more than 500 residential and business customers have made the switch to green power.

Teton Gravity Research is the third major organization in Jackson Hole to switch to 100% green power in the past month. Its decision follows that of Center for the Arts and Jackson Hole Mountain Resort made just a week prior.

Noso Patches of Jackson partners with two new clients on custom repair patches

Noso Patches of Jackson recently announced two new partnerships with major outdoor clothing companies committed to sustainability.

Noso provided trusted workwear company Dickies with seven custom-designed fabric patches to celebrate Dickies’ current sustainability initiatives. Arcteryx worked with Noso to design two new custom patches to celebrate the opening of 11 new Arcteryx stores in North America.

Noso founder Kelli Jones said her growing list of custom patch clients shows a growing awareness of the need for sustainability.

“These huge brands are excited to work with us,” Jones said in a news release. “It makes me excited for the future. I’m looking forward to getting a call from other leaders in the outdoor apparel world like Patagonia and North Face.”

U.S. Dept. of Labor presents 2019 HIRE Vets Medallion Award to Wyoming employer

The U.S. Department of Labor last month awarded The HIRE Vets Medallion to Mesa Natural Gas Solutions from Evansville for recruiting, employing and retaining America’s veterans.

The nationwide award recipients hired more than 52,000 veterans since 2017.

The awards were presented at a ceremony hosted by Secretary of Labor Eugene Scalia at the department’s headquarters in Washington. Mesa Natural Gas Solutions was recognized with a Gold Level Award for its commitment to veterans and their families.

Recipients of the 2019 HIRE Vets Medallion Awards attested to meeting the rigorous employment and veteran integration assistance criteria, including veteran hiring and retention percentages; availability of veteran-specific resources; leadership programming for veterans; dedicated human resource efforts; and/or compensation and tuition assistance programs for veterans.

Applications for the 2020 HIRE Vets Medallion Program will open to employers Jan. 31. For more information about the HIRE Vets Medallion or assistance with applying, visit www.HireVets.gov.

Array school announces launch of Girls Who Code chapter in Cheyenne

The Array School of Technology and Design and its new 501©(3) nonprofit, The Array Foundation, is proud to announce the launch of a Girls Who Code chapter in Cheyenne.

Girls Who Code is an international organization designed for girls in junior high and high school who want to get computer science skills. According to its website, “Girls Who Code is on a mission to close the gender gap in technology and to change the image of what a programmer looks like and does.” This program is building the “largest pipeline of future engineers in the United States.”

Ana Monzon, a software developer at Systems Analyst, will be leading and facilitating the Girls Who Code chapter. Classes will meet weekly for 15 weeks beginning Tuesday, Jan. 15, at the Array School of Technology and Design in downtown Cheyenne. Class size is limited to 15 girls, and computers will be provided for the students to use during the course.

For more information, to volunteer or to donate a computer ($500 each, 15 needed), email ana@arrayschool.com. Those interested are also encouraged to attend an Hour of Code Special Event from 5-7 p.m. Dec. 11 at Array, 1601 Central Ave.

Blue Federal Credit Union enters into deal with Budweiser Events Center

Spectra, the providers of venue management, food services, and hospitality and partnerships at the Budweiser Events Center at The Ranch, recently announced a new partnership with Blue Federal Credit Union, headquartered in Cheyenne.

Under this multi-year partnership agreement, Blue FCU will rebrand assets around the campus and is now the official naming rights partner for both Guest Services and The Ranch Bar & Grill, with their new names becoming Blue Federal Credit Union Guest Services and Blue Bar & Grill.

“As a member-centric organization, Blue FCU is always looking for partnerships that align with our mission of working hard, having fun and winning for our members, and this partnership embodies what is important to Blue,” Raj Madan, Blue Federal Credit Union’s chief marketing officer, said in a news release. “We will leverage our brand to create a memorable experience for our members while investing in the communities we serve.”

Blue Federal Credit Union is the largest in Wyoming with 14 branches in Wyoming and Colorado. Blue FCU is currently preparing to break ground on its 15th branch in Erie, Colorado.

Milestones

Kevin C. Murphy, senior vice president/investments branch manager at Stifel Investment Services in Casper, was recently named to the Barron’s Top 1,200 U.S. Financial Advisors list for 2019. Stifel is located at 123 W. First St. in Casper.

First Northern Bank of Wyoming has recently added three new employees. Ashley Nielson joined the team as a data processor. When she isn’t working, she is with her husband, Slayter, and their 8-month-old, Braxton, at the lake or traveling to her family’s ranch in Montana. Carissa Roberts also joined the team as a data processor. She enjoys ice fishing and cooking when she isn’t working at the bank. When she has more time, she and her family head to Big Horns and dig for dinosaur bones with her toddler. Samantha Mehling started in October as a front desk teller for the bank. In her free time, she enjoys spending time outdoors hiking, fishing or camping. In the colder months, she enjoys curling up with a good book at home. The Buffalo branch is proud to have these three joining them in their mission to serve their community.

Todd Fornstrom of Laramie County was recently elected to his fourth term as president of the Wyoming Farm Bureau Federation at the organization’s 100th annual meeting in Laramie. He and his wife, Laura, have four children. Fornstrom works with his family on the Fornstrom Farm near Pine Bluffs. The diversified farm consists of irrigated corn, wheat, alfalfa, dry beans, and a cattle and sheep feedlot. They also run a trucking business, custom harvest and Todd Fornstrom is in a partnership and runs Premium Hay Products, an alfalfa pellet mill.

Correction

On page 6 of the November edition of the Wyoming Business Report under a story headlined “Luxury resort affects local community,” the owner of the Brush Creek Ranch was incorrectly identified as White Lodging Resorts.

The owners of the Brush Creek Ranch are actually Bruce and Beth White.

The mistake was due to reporter error.

The Wyoming Business Report regrets the error.

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