Scottsbluff-Gering Chamber of Commerce members gathered in Gering Thursday night to celebrate 2018 and honor the trio named as Chamber Award Winners.
Former Terrytown Mayor Kent Greenwalt was named the Chamber’s 2018 Trail Blazer, given to an outstanding leader in the community. Greenwalt’s many achievements include service on the Heartland Expressway board, President of the Panhandle Shrine club, and a member of the Scotts Bluff County Fair board for 18 years, three of those as president. He served as President of the Half-Century Club during Oregon Trails Day, is a three time Admiral in the Nebraska Navy, has been Star-Herald’s citizen of the year and was the first mayor for the city of Terrytown. Greenwalt has lived in the area since he was 18 months old, graduated from Gering High School and has been married for 58 years with a son and a daughter.
Gering City Council member Susan Wiedeman was selected as the 2018 Visionary Super Star, presented to a community member who has been a part of the local business community for six years or more. Born in Scottsbluff and a graduate of Gering High School, Wiedeman started in radio at KNEB as an air personality and talk show host following graduation from the University of Wyoming. She is an alumnus of Leadership Scotts Bluff Class XIII, was elected mayor of Gering in 2006 serving four years and was elected to the Gering city council in 2016. Wiedeman is Marketing Director for Panhandle Co-op, and her volunteerism includes Scottsbluff Noon Kiwanis Club, past president, United Way & served as a Past Campaign Co-Chair, as well as Keep Scottsbluff/Gering Beautiful.
Colleen Johnson was named the 2018 Rising Star, given to a Chamber member with less than five years in the community. Before moving to Mitchell, Johnson was a hair stylist, florist and elementary school teacher in Colorado before eventually becoming a hot air balloon pilot and instructor. She helped re-establish the Old West Balloon Fest, serving as balloonmeister and is now Executive Director of the event, with her latest success a successful bid for the Balloon Federation of American US national Hot Air Balloon Championships for 2019, 2020, and 2021. She’s president for the Mitchell Chamber of Commerce, a member of Soroptimist of Scotts Bluff County and runs her own hot air balloon business.
The awards were announced during the banquet held at the Gering Civic Center.