A community is woven together by the strengths and gifts that its residents share with each other to make their hometowns great places. Much of that great work is done by unsung heroes who volunteer countless hours to help those in need; rolling up their sleeves to do the hard work to make our communities stronger.
At Black Hills Energy, volunteerism is a critical part of our culture. Each year, the company names a Volunteer of the Year in the state of Nebraska.
This year’s winner is Laurie Cook, operations support specialist for the Kearney area.
“The volunteer of the year award recognizes employees who exemplify our mission, vision and values,” said Kevin Jarosz, vice president of Nebraska operations. “This past year and years prior, Laurie Cook has demonstrated that she is generous with her time and focused on making life better for our customers and their communities.”
Cook is recognized for her participation in community events throughout the Kearney service territory, from helping with the Christmas Polar Express, Kids Exploration Days at the children’s museum, and preparing backpacks for the Salvation Army. One major contribution is facilitating a partnership with the Commodity Supplemental Food Program, an offering of the local community action partnership, where company volunteers helped load and deliver food across 12 communities in the region. She also just finished a three-year term on the United Way board of directors and has led many other efforts to give back to communities in the region.
“Helping others is a concept deeply engrained in Laurie’s heart. Before, during and after her board membership with United Way of the Kearney Area, Laurie continually advocates in many ways to make a lasting impact in her community,” says Nikki Erickson, United Way of the Kearney Area Executive Director. “It’s clear that she loves others, and she helps people rally around great causes that matter. We appreciate all she does to make the Kearney area a wonderful place to work and live. I’m thrilled to know Laurie is the recipient of this well-deserved award!”
As a part of the award, Cook was given $500 to donate to the organization of her choice.
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