Rock Springs Main Street/URA Announces 2019 Downtown First Award Winners

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Winners (from left to right) are: Cassandra Vincelette (Outstanding New Business) – Square State Brewing, Maria Mortensen (Spirit of Downtown), Kathy Griffin (Outstanding Volunteer), Libby Langi, accepting award on behalf of Jane and Larry Caller, (Outstanding Individual) – Bitter Creek Brewing, Clark Stith, accepting award on behalf of Lisa Ryberg, (Outstanding Downtown Business) – Sidekicks Book and Wine Bar and Mayor Tim Kaumo. Not pictured is Rob DeBernardi (Downtown Better Beautification) – DeBernardi Construction.

ROCK SPRINGS– The Rock Springs Main Street/Urban Renewal Agency (URA) is pleased announce the recipients of the 2019 Downtown First Awards. 

The Downtown First Awards recognize businesses, organizations and individuals who put downtown first through their commitments of time, advocacy and resources. The community was invited to nominate businesses, organizations, and individuals deserving of recognition.

An independent selection committee then reviewed all of the nominations, selecting one winner in each category.  There were nearly 100 total nominations so narrowing in on one winner per category was no easy task.  Winners were announced and the awards presented at the Rock Springs Main Street/URA’s annual volunteer recognition on April 9.  

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Winners included:

  • Outstanding Downtown Business – Square State Brewing (422 South Main Street)

This award is presented to a business located within the Downtown Rock Springs focus area.

  • Spirit of Downtown Award – Maria Mortensen

This award is presented to a business, organization or individual who exemplifies Downtown in their actions.  Maria currently serves as the chairwoman of the Main Street/URA Board of Directors and spends many hours each week helping.  There’s rarely an event that takes place Downtown that you won’t find Maria.  She also contributes financially to the program. 

  • Outstanding New Business/Merchant – Sidekicks Wine and Book Bar (507 Broadway) (opened in 2018)

This award is presented to a business or merchant located within the Downtown Rock Springs focus area that has opened or relocated to the district in 2018.

  • Better Rock Springs Beautification Award – DeBernardi Construction Company

This award is presented to a business or property owner within the Downtown Rock Springs focus area that has made improvements to his/her property or who has otherwise contributed to the beautification of Downtown Rock Springs.  DeBernardi Construction Company provided funds and resources to help develop the former community garden space at M and N Front Streets into the wonderful Pocket Park that occupies that space today.  

  • Outstanding Individuals – Jane and Larry Caller (Bitter Creek Brewing) (within a Company or Organization)

This award is presented to an individual who, as a representative of his/her company or organization, serves to enhance the Downtown experience.

  • Outstanding Volunteer – Kathy Gilbert 

This award is presented to an individual or group whose volunteerism within the Downtown Rock Springs focus area enhances the downtown experience.  Kathy has been active with the Rock Springs Main Street/URA program since its inception.  She serves on the promotion committee and helps at various events including Blues n’ Brews, Rods & Rails, National Women’s Small Business Month, the Main Street Murder Mystery and more.