The Panhandle Business and Professional Women (BPW) on Wednesday recognized two businesses and two women with awards at its monthly meeting at the Scottsbluff Country Club.
“We have a proud history of honoring some of the best minds and businesses in our area, and this awards class was no different,” said Patricia Comfort, Panhandle BPW Awards Committee Chair.
The organization recognizes two businesses both small and large. The small business qualifies with having less than 30 employees and the large with 30 or more.
The North Platte Natural Resources District was recognized, as the small business Employer of the Year.
“It’s just really an honor that we were looked at in this light for the work that we do, expanding our workforce making it more diverse having the strong women we have in our staff makes us better,” said John Berge general manager of the NPNRD.
Women make up more than half of the payroll and claim three of the seven department head positions. In the last year, the NPNRD District has had more women participate in stakeholder groups bringing valuable insight.
The large business honored for Employer of the Year, was Fresh Foods of Gering owned by Kerri and Ben Dishman. Women also make up half of their team ranging from teens to empty nesters. The Dishmans have consciously worked to change the status quo and support women in their company.
The Panhandle BPW recognized JaCee Petko, as its Young Careerist. Petko is an Edward Jones financial advisor in Gering and widely volunteers. She is also a board member for Panhandle BPW, and under her leadership, the group had a record-breaking year for its annual fundraiser.
The Woman of the Year award recognized Katie Camacho, operations manager for Elite Health, LLC and property manager for Webb Property Management, LLC.
“They (Panhandle BPW) do so much for the women and young girls in the community,” Camacho said. “And that’s exactly what I’m trying to show my daughter too, that strong women, build each other up and give back. It is truly a great honor.”
Camacho donates much of her time advancing the community and filling leadership roles on several boards, such as United Way of Western Nebraska, Friends of Alzheimer’s Dementia and Court Appointed Special Advocates.