BHSU alumni recognized at annual Chamber banquet

Author: BHSU Communications/Thursday, March 5, 2015/Categories: 2015



   

   

   

       

           

       

       

           The Black Hills State University Alumni Association received the Micropolitan Award at the Spearfish Area Chamber of Commerce annual banquet.  

       

       

            

       

       

           The Bay Leaf Caf&eacute, owned by Black Hills State University alumni French Bryan and Taffy (Tucker) Bryan, received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Spearfish Area Chamber of Commerce annual banquet.  

       

       

           

       

       

           

           Black Hills State University alum John Steele received the Prairie Family Business Excellence Award at the Spearfish Area Chamber of Commerce annual banquet.

           

       

       

           

       

       

           

           Black Hills State University alumna Kelsi (Darling) Hoffman, owner of Quik Signs in Spearfish, was the recipient of the Business Beautification award at the Spearfish Area Chamber of Commerce annual banquet.

           

       

       

           

       

       

           Black Hills State University alum Paul Young was the recipient of the Spirit of Spearfish Award at the Spearfish Area Chamber of Commerce annual banquet.  

       

   



Black Hills State University had a strong presence at the 2015 Spearfish Area Chamber of Commerce annual banquet, reinforcing the strong connection the University has with the Spearfish community.

Five BHSU alumni, in addition to the BHSU Alumni Association, were honored during the banquet, which was held recently.

"BHSU and the community of Spearfish walk hand in hand and they integrate with each other on a daily basis," said Melissa Barth, director of the Spearfish Area Chamber of Commerce. "Giving the awards to so many alumni at one annual banquet proves how integral BHSU is in Spearfish."

"As great as it was for the BHSU Alumni Association to be recognized, I think it was even more meaningful to see our alumni recognized for their achievements.  It&rsquos always gratifying to see how our former students adopt Spearfish as their home and find ways to continue to improve the quality of life for the region through their businesses and volunteer efforts," Steve Meeker said.

BHSU alumni that received awards included:

&middot  Micropolitan Award, Black Hills State University Alumni Association, Tom Wheaton, Class of &rsquo87 and Steve Meeker, Class of &rsquo84

&middot Spirit of Spearfish, Paul Young, Class of &rsquo78

&middot Lifetime Achievement Award, Bay Leaf Caf&eacute, French Bryan, Class of &rsquo72 and Taffy (Tucker) Bryan, Class of &rsquo72

&middot Business Beautification, Quik Signs, Kelsie (Hoffman) Darling, Class of &rsquo07 and &rsquo08

&middot Prairie Family Business Excellence Award, John Steele, Northern Hills Cinema, Class of &rsquo74

The BHSU Alumni Association received the Micropolitan Award for its commitment to bettering Spearfish. Barth noted that the Alumni Association sponsors and presents events each year that connect BHSU with the Spearfish community.  

Paul Young, who was awarded the Spirit of Spearfish award, has played an integral role in the community for decades. Young served 18 years as an elected official and donated his time to community entities including Grace Balloch Library, the Spearfish Economic Development Board, United Way Northern Hills and the BHSU Yellow Jacket Club.

"Paul is one of those people that leads and gives with genuine commitment and modesty," Barth said. "We commend him for his commitment to Spearfish."

The Bay Leaf Caf&eacute, located in downtown Spearfish, received the Lifetime Achievement Award. BHSU alumni French Bryan and Taffy (Tucker) Bryan have owned the eatery, which specializes in a unique Mediterranean and seafood menu, for more than 20 years. The duo have been in the restaurant industry for 40 years, however, previously owning and operating a restaurant in the Franklin Hotel in Deadwood.

"It was really meaningful," Taffy Bryan said. "Forty years is a long time to be in the hospitality industry and 20 years to be in one town and one restaurant."

Keslie (Hoffman) Darling, BHSU alumna and owner of Quik Signs in Spearfish, recently finished a vast remodel, enhancing not only her business, but the Spearfish commercial district. The project granted her the Business Beautification award from the Chamber.  

"It was such an honor to get the award," Darling said. "Our employees, my husband, local contractors, customers &ndash they were all patient during our remodel. We had a lot of support from the community undergoing the transformation."

The final BHSU alum to be honored was John Steele, second generation owner of Northern Hills Cinema. Northern Hills Cinema has a strong history of giving back to Spearfish. That commitment made Northern Hills Cinema a fit for the Prairie Family Business Excellence Award. John Leonard Steele first opened a cinema in Spearfish with the Campus Theater in 1968.
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