Celebrating Excellence in the Billings Business Community

The 2018 Billings Chamber Business Excellence Awards are now open for nominations. This is an exceptional opportunity to celebrate the people and organizations doing important work in Billings, Montana’s Trailhead! Click here to submit your nomination to recognize the best of the best in business, customer service, management and overall employer excellence.

New this year: the nomination form is online, making it even easier to submit your suggestions! The deadline to submit your nomination is February 2nd at 5 p.m.

A Look at Recipients of Excellence Awards in Year’s Past

The Chamber’s Business Excellence Awards have a nice legacy in Billings. Formerly called the Roche Jaune Awards, the program of honoring outstanding individuals in the business community began in 2007. To date, nearly 100 awards have been given to people and organizations deserving of the honor. Over the years the award categories and events have evolved, but the common theme remains the same: to seek out, honor and celebrate excellence in Billings, Montana’s Trailhead. Here’s a look at those who’ve been honored over the history of these awards:

2007 Award Recipients

  • Education Excellence:  Patrick Kenney, Ponderosa School
  • Adult Volunteer of the Year: Jay Strever, Billings Gazette
  • Youth Volunteer of the Year:  Melinda Field, Eagle Mount
  • Employer of the Year: Don Bottrell & Jim Bennett
  • Healthcare Excellence: Yellowstone City-County Health Dept.
  • Business Person of the Year: Bill Simmons, Master Lube
  • Salesperson Excellence: Gloria Wester, Welcome! Billings Visitor Guide
  • Tourism Excellence: Billings Motorcycle Club
  • Customer Service: Barb Wagner, Edward Jones
  • Civic Leadership: Bruce Parker, Senior VP of FIB
  • Lifetime Achievement: George Selover
  • Transportation Excellence: Engineering Inc.

2008 Award Recipients

  • Lifetime Achievement: Sam McDonald
  • Civic Leadership: Billings Association of Realtors/Quality of Life
  • Business Person of the Year:  Stella Zeigler, Stella’s Kitchen & Bakery
  • Education Excellence: Mrs. Cindy Walsh, Meadowlark Elementary School
  • Healthcare Excellence: Stacy Handley, St. Vincent Healthcare’ Children’s Hospital
  • Salesperson Excellence: Kate Hamlin, Century 21 – Life Launch
  • Customer Service Excellence: Jan Otteson, Stockman Bank
  • Tourism Excellence: Michael Marsh, RASE
  • Employer of the Year: Keith Cook, First Interstate Bank
  • Supervisor/Manager of the Year: David Hinson, St. Vincent Healthcare
  • Adult Volunteer of the Year: Evelyn Noennig, Billings Gazette Communications
  • Youth Volunteer of the Year: Jessica Leuthold

2009 Award Recipients

  • Lifetime Achievement: Marilyn & Don Floberg
  • Civic Leadership: The Billings Police Department
  • Businessperson of the Year: Dr. Michael Schaer, Owner, Computers Unlimited
  • Education Excellence: Don Gleason, West High School
  • Healthcare Excellence: Northern Rockies Radiation Oncology Center
  • Salesperson’s Excellence: Lee Humphrey, Edward Jones
  • Customer Service Excellence: The Boothill Inn Front Desk Team
  • Tourism Excellence: Western Romance Company
  • Employer of the Year: Whitewood Transportation
  • Agriculture Excellence: Butch Bratsky, Senior Banking Executive, Stockman Bank
  • Youth Volunteer of the Year: Damon Wanchena, Billings Clinic
  • Adult Volunteers of the Year: Dr. Steven and Lucinda Butler, Rimrock Opera Company
  • Supervisor/Manager of the Year: Mark Dawson, Century 21 Hometown Brokers

2010 Award Recipients

  • Education Excellence: Peter Gesuale
  • Adult Volunteer of the Year: Chris Cook
  • Youth Volunteer of the Year: Carrie Stiff
  • Employer of the Year: Bresnan Communications
  • Healthcare Excellence: Karen Sandford Gall, Big Sky State Games
  • Business Person of the Year: Lisa Wyss, Meridian
  • Salesperson Excellence: Damian Forrester, Century 21 Hometown Brokers
  • Tourism Excellence: MetraPark Staff
  • Supervisor of the Year: Chris Johnson, Crowne Plaza
  • Agriculture Excellence: Taylor Brown, Northern Broadcasting System, Inc.
  • Customer Service: Customer Care Team, Integra Telecom
  • Civic Leadership: Greg Krueger, Downtown Billings Partnership
  • Lifetime Achievement: Dr. Ronald Sexton

2011 Award Recipients

  • Agriculture Excellence: Justin Mills, The NILE
  • Business Person of the Year: Kim Sapone, Acclaim and Yellowstone Art Museum
  • Civic Leadership: Lisa Harmon, Downtown Billings Alliance
  • Customer Service Excellence: Midland Claims
  • Education Excellence: CTA Architects
  • Employer of the Year: EBMS
  • Healthcare Excellence: Meier Family Chiropractic
  • Salesperson Excellence: Brian Schulz, Medtronic Spine and Biologics
  • Supervisor/Manager of the Year: Brian Huso, Eagle Cliff Manor
  • Tourism Excellence: Kevin Kooistra, Western Heritage Center
  • Youth Volunteer of the Year: Emily Kooistra-Manning
  • Adult Volunteer of the Year: Keri Wilson, Billings SportsPlex
  • Lifetime Achievement: Joseph Sample

2012 Award Recipients

  • Civic Leadership: Randy Hafer, High Plains Architects
  • Business Person of the Year: Jonas Vachal, Vertex Consulting Group
  • Customer Service Excellence: Nichole Miles, Hilton Garden Inn
  • Tourism Excellence: Pat and Dennis Tryan, Wrangler Team Roping Championships
  • Employer of the Year: Ortho Montana
  • Supervisor/Manager of the Year: David Irion, St. Vincent Healthcare Foundation
  • Youth Volunteer of the Year: Marissa Van Atta
  • Adult Volunteer of the Year: Larry Wilson, Townsquare Media

2013 Award Recipients

  • Lifetime Achievement: Jim Soft, Yellowstone Boys and Girls Ranch Foundation
  • Business Person of the Year: Buffy Stiles, Picture Perfect Ultrasound
  • Supervisor of the Year: Sheri Boelter, Tumbleweed
  • Tourism Excellence: Ginny Hart, Big Horn Resort
  • Civic Leadership: Krista Hertz, Billings Education Foundation
  • Employer of the Year: First Montana Title
  • Customer Service: Kassia Lyman, Billings Family YMCA
  • Adult Volunteer of the Year: Larry Seekins, Montana Pickleball Ambassador with the YMCA and Big Sky State Games Commissioner
  • Youth Volunteer of the Year: Boping (Jenny) Kang, Billings Clinic Volunteer
  • Roche Jaune Award for Excellence: Dr. Larry Severa

2015 Award Recipients

  • Employer of the Year: Avitus Group
  • Supervisor/Manager of the Year:Eric Pollard, St. Vincent Healthcare
  • Business Person of the Year: Michael Sanderson, Sanderson Stewart
  • Customer Service Excellence: Dr. Fred Gunville, Billings Clinic

2016 Award Recipients

  • Legacy Award: Karen Sanford Gall
  • Agricultural Excellence: Dave Kelsey
  • Business Person of the Year: Jeff Ewelt, ZooMontana
  • Customer Service Excellence: Damian Forrester
  • Manager of the Year: Jan Person, Western Security Bank
  • Employer of the Year: Rimrock

2017 Award Recipients

  • Legacy Award: Bruce MacIntyre
  • Business Person of the Year: Harvey Singh, Singh Contracting
  • Supervisor of the Year: DeDe Stoner, First Federal Bank & Trust
  • Employer of the Year: Billings Federal Credit Union
  • Customer Service: Leif Welhaven, EEC
  • Agricultural Excellence: Steve Lackman