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UW College of Business Students Nominate Local Businesses for Regional Awards

May 11, 2012

University of Wyoming College of Business students were instrumental in getting two Wyoming businesses nominated -- and selected -- for the prestigious Better Business Bureau (BBB) Torch Awards for Business Ethics.

BBB Torch Awards recently were presented to Altitude Chophouse and Brewery in Laramie, and Puma Steel of Cheyenne. Representatives of the two local businesses, along with UW students who nominated the companies, attended a dinner in Loveland, Colo., to honor a total of seven Colorado and Wyoming businesses.

The Torch Awards honor companies that demonstrate exemplary management practices; uphold high standards in relationships with customers, suppliers and shareholders; and show honesty and integrity in marketing and advertising.

Kit Bartke, marketing/international business student from Laramie; Pelar Conaway, business administration, Loveland, Colo.; Kaitlyn Davis, business administration/marketing, Folsom, Calif.; and Naomi Duprey, business administration, Cody; prepared the nomination for BBB Torch Award winner Altitude Chophouse and Brewery.

Blake Donoho, business administration/finance and decision science student from Cheyenne; Kylie Haag, management, Cheyenne; Kat Halsey, accounting/finance and Honors Program student from Grand Junction, Colo.; and Kasey Watson, business administration/banking, and financial services and finance, Douglas, prepared the nomination packet for Puma Steel.

The UW students are members of Alpha Kappa Psi Honor Society. Alpha Kappa Psi is the nation's oldest and largest professional business honorary and has chapters around the world.

Greg Smith and Karen Robillard opened Altitude Chophouse and Brewery in Laramie as a complement to its sister restaurant, Lovejoy's Bar and Grill. Altitude has won numerous regional and national awards for its beers and has been featured in national magazines.

Puma Steel is recognized as Wyoming's largest structural steel fabricator and fastest-growing steel supplier. The company began in1986 in Greeley, Colo., when Vickie Lewis and two girlfriends, along with Vickie's husband, Rex, decided to start their own steel business. They later relocated to Cheyenne.

Each year, peers, colleagues and customers nominate businesses for the BBB Torch Awards for Business Ethics. Business students at UW, University of Northern Colorado and Colorado State University prepared the entries on behalf of nominees, evaluating the ways in which the businesses promote the six "TRUST! principles of Ethical Enterprising." The six principles are: transformation at the top; reinforce and build; unite the team; steer performance; treasure people; and enthusiastically give back.

"Our partnership with UW's College of Business provides students with experience in meeting and learning from owners and managers of ethical businesses in our area," says Carrie Rossman, director of the BBB Foundation, which presents the annual Torch Awards for Business Ethics.

To read complete profiles of all the business winners, visit the website at

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