2018 Women of Influence
2018 Women of Influence Honorees:

Top row, from left: Marjorie Bedessem, Senior Engineer, Trihydro Corp. (WOI Best Mentor); Lynn Budd, Chief-Security Division, Wyoming Office of Homeland Security (WOI Government Law and Military); Laura Morrow, Owner, Laura M Gallery (WOI Business & Business Services); Deby Forry, Sr. VP of Risk Management, Trihydro Corp. (WOI Energy & Utilities); Renee Penton-Jones, General Manager, Ramkota Hotel (WOI Hospitality); Erin Moore, CEO/Partner, Gannett Peak Technical Services (WOI Manufacturing & Tech)

Bottom Row: Susan McMurry Samuelson, Co-owner Warren Livestock Ranch, philanthropist (WOI Lifetime Achievement); Tracy Garcia, Chief Nursing Officer, Cheyenne Regional Medical Center (WOI Healthcare); Traci Lacock representing Hirst Applegate, LLP (WOI - Best Company to Work For); Donna Sheen, Director, The Wyoming Children's Law Center (WOI Nonprofit)

Not Pictured: Amber Hestla-Barnhart, Owner, Hestla Research (WOI Banking & Finance) and Wendy Smith, Assistant VP of Strategic Communications and Public Relations, Northern Wyoming Community College District (WOI Education).

The Grand Ballroom at Little America, filled with Wyoming’s female finery, including award nominees sporting peach rose corsages “looked like a beautiful field of wildflowers,” according to one male attendee. “And we few men are like a bunch of cows coming through. But we’re really glad to be here!” he added.

The sixth annual gathering may have been the largest ever for the Wyoming Women of Influence. The awards seek to honor women statewide for their outstanding work in nine industries, lifetime achievement, best mentor (male or female) and best company to work for.

Earlier this year the public was invited to nominate their favorite Women of Influence, explaining the impact each nominee has had on her industry and on her community. A record-breaking 121 nominations were received by the deadline.

The nominations are then sent to the Women of Influence previous honorees in each category. The Women of Influence alumna then vote on their top three nominees. The votes are tallied, and the three highest scoring nominations are named finalists. The top vote tally is declared this year’s honoree, with the Wyoming Business Report editor breaking any ties.

After opening remarks by conference keynote speaker Selina Hoflund, emcee Sharon Fain got the awards portion of the program moving at a brisk clip.

And the honorees are:

Banking & Finance

Amber Hestla-Barnhart, Owner, Chief Options Strategist, Hestla Research

Business & Business Services

Laura Morrow, Owner, Laura M. Gallery    

Education

Wendy Smith, Assistant VP of Strategic Communications and Public Relations, Northern Wyoming Community College District

Energy & Utilities

Deby Forry, Sr. VP of Risk Management, Trihydro Corp.

Government, Military & Law

Lynn 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 & Technology

Erin Moore, CEO/Partner, Gannet Peak Technical Services

Non-Profit

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    

For a full list of nominees and profiles of the honorees, please watch for the next issue of the Women of Wyoming magazine, which will be delivered to all WBR subscribers along with the September issue. In addition to the Women of Influence profiles, the magazine will include a biography of Mary Mead, who might have been our first female governor save for a tragic accident; and of Harriet Byrd, Wyoming’s first black female legislator. In addition, WOW includes a directory of all woman-owned businesses in the state.

Watch our Facebook page for a photo album of last night's event!

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