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Chamber announces business, citizen of the year nominees

On April 13, the Thermopolis-Hot Springs Chamber of Commerce held its annual board meeting at Big Horn Federal. CEO Meri Ann Dorman and board members, along with previous chamber presidents, voted for the 2022 Business, Citizen and Nonprofit of the Year.

The nominees for 2022 Business of the Year are Ava’s Silver and Rock Shop, Dickie Animal Health, Discover Thermopolis/Print Zone, Hellie’s TePee Pool & Spa, Jadeco, Inc., Lazy Fox Artisan Goods, Los Cabos, Mortimore Funeral Home and Ambulance Service, One Stop Repair & Service Center, Owl Creek Graphics, Paintbrush Inn, RYTE Rehabilitation and Storyteller.

The nominees for 2022 Citizen of the Year are Dale Andreen, Joe Arnold, Kim Bartlett,  Nancy Brown, Judy Carswell, Wade LIppincott, Kevin Skates and Kelly Strampe.

The nominees for 2022 Non-Profit Organization of the Year are: Big Horn Basin Children’s Center, Bobcat Booster Club, Central Wyoming 4x4 Association, Children’s Resource Center, Federated Community Church, High Country Behavioral Health, Hot Springs Health, HSC Prevention Coalition, Main Street Thermopolis, River of Life Fellowship, Rotary Club of Thermopolis and Wyoming Dinosaur Center.

The winners will be announced at the Chambers Banquet, which will take place on October 7.

In old business, regarding the nomination committee, Dorman said she received applications from Stephanie Mohr of High Country Behavioral Health, Scott Alwin of Hot Springs Health, Jana Oliver of Thermopolis EyeCare, LLC, and Howie Samelson of Discover Thermopolis Print Zone. Dorman said the slate of four positions, according to their bylaws, will be printed under public notice in the Independent Record on April 27. 

Dorman added, “What that does is it gives anybody who was not solicited to submit their board application time to request and submit an application.  Their application is required to have ten chamber members in good standing to sign off on their application to be added to the slate. The deadline for them to submit the application is May 11th.  So elections can work two different ways. If we do not get any additional applications, then the four will just fill the four vacancies and we do not have to mail out ballots. Then at our June meeting, we will present the new board members. If we do get an application submitted, then on May 18, we are required by bylaws to mail out the ballots to our membership to vote for four board members. The ballots have to be returned to the Chamber by June 2nd. Then the election committee will count the ballots on June 5th, and we will be announcing the new board of directors at the meeting on June 8th.”

Regarding the chamber’s Workforce Bootcamp, Dorman reported they started on April 3 was two weeks at the time of the chamber meeting with 11 students participating. The students’ ages are 14-18 years old. Dorman said the training is “great” and added that she spoke with Hot Springs School District’s Superintendent Dustin Hunt about implementing the Workforce Bootcamp into the school’s regular curriculum as a 12-week program. Dorman also said the training can be useful with seniors who need help and want to be part-time employees. There was some discussion about seniors staying away from such work because of them not being familiar with technology. 

The chamber’s final Lunch & Learn for the season will be on April 19 where the speaker will discuss Google Map listings. Dorman said the most important piece of data to searchers of business are what their hours are and this training will help business owners know how to change this information. 

Also, the chamber’s Pageant Day Parade will be on August 5 with the theme: “Voyages of Discovery.”

In new business, the Demolition Derby will be on August 12. Dorman and the board members held a discussion about their vendor fee for beer concessions.

Hot Springs County (HSC) Commissioner Phil Scheel was present and gave a report about their work in subjects such as the new HSC Rural Water Joint Powers Board, the continuation of the Town’s transfer station location, their current litigation over a land-use change, new Commissioner Paul Galovich, and the Black Mountain Road Project.

Suzanne Samelson was present and gave a report about Main Street Thermopolis and their Brewfest on June 3, 4-8 p.m. The event is free to attend. There is a $25 per mug fee for those who want to taste various beer brews. The event will have music, cornhole games, and historical tours. April 25 will be their next meeting at Central Bank and Trust.

CEO Dorman gave the Director’s Report and said she will attend the Wyoming State Chamber of Commerce Spring Conference on April 24-26 in Saratoga. Also, the chamber’s summer hours starting May 1 will be Monday through Friday 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. 

The next Chamber meeting will be May 11 at Big Horn Federal.


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