NEWS – “Box Elder Chamber of Commerce honors locals at annual banquet”

BOX ELDER COUNTY – April 20, 2021


The Box Elder Chamber of Commerce held their annual awards banquet on April 16, 2021 at the Box Elder County fairgrounds honoring local citizens and businesses.

Information courtesy of the Box Elder Chamber of Commerce

Total Citizen of the Year - Michael C. Nelsen

Michael Nelsen is a longtime resident of Brigham City. He has balanced family, career and community involvement and is always willing to go the extra mile. He has worked for the Brigham City Police Department for the last 41 and a half years. He started working as a new officer, up the ranks to a Corporal, Sergeant, Lieutenant, and is currently serving as the Chief. Improvements he has made for the Brigham City Police Department includes starting the Volunteers in Police Service program and the Citizens Police Academy. He also implemented Facebook and Twitter for the Police Department to keep the community informed and organized the National Night Out Against Crime community gatherings.

Over the course of more than three and a half decades, Michael has distinguished himself as one of Utah’s most dedicated and reliable supporters of the Special Olympics. He serves as the director of the Box Elder County Torch Run for Special Olympics and was the former deputy director of the Utah Law Enforcement Torch Run. He ran in the International Torch Run for Special Olympics in Alaska and was selected to carry the Olympic Torch for the 2002 Winter Olympic games as the torch made its way to Salt Lake City. Year after year, Michael dedicates time and resources to help make the Brigham City Law Enforcement Torch Run a success, raising money for the athletes participating in the Special Olympics.

Throughout his professional career he has been involved in many local and statewide organizations. He is a member of the Box Elder Safe Communities Coalition, the Children’s Justice Center, the Citizens Corp Council, the Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Abuse with the New Hope Crisis Center, the Brigham City Suicide Prevention Coalition and First Judicial Victims’ Rights. He is involved in politics serving as a county and state delegate. Additionally, he served with the SWAT Team as the Hostage Negotiator for many years, helping numerous individuals in some of their darkest times.

Michael is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He has faithfully served on the High Council, in three Bishoprics, with the Cub and Boy Scouts and in many other callings.

Michael was raised on a ranch and was taught from a young age the value of hard work. He has never forgotten the valuable lessons he has learned throughout his life. He battled cancer a few years ago and never lost hope or stopped working. He remained dedicated to the people he served with and for.

Michael is married to Carrie and they have five children and 11 grandchildren.

Businessperson of the Year - Cindy Parsons

Cindy Parsons has been employed by Members First Credit Union since 1993. Cindy has done a variety of positions within the credit union and has been Marketing Supervisor/ Community Outreach Officer since 2012.

Cindy is passionate for the Box Elder Community. She shows this by her dedication to the nonprofits. She has served on numerous boards and volunteers at many of the nonprofits. She served on the Chamber of Commerce board beginning in 2014 and was elected to serve as President of the Board in 2017. She has also served on the Advisory Board for the Boys and Girls Club of Northern Utah. She volunteers as a driver for Meals on Wheels and in 2020 when the pandemic began and Meals on Wheels services grew tremendously she volunteered to drive more often.

Cindy is one that gives 100% to whichever organization she is serving. Cindy has donated her design expertise to the Chamber for many years. In 2020 she designed the very popular, “It’s the Pit’s” T-shirt design. For the past few years she has also designed the Peach Queen Poster, Summer Movie Poster, Golf Tournament Flyer, Car Show Poster, Peach Days Poster, Peach Days T-Shirt and much more. Cindy was instrumental in bringing the Play Unplugged Program to Brigham City in 2015. She helped to talk to schools, businesses, and principals to ensure the success of this program.

Cindy has also volunteered at Discovery Elementary School in the Read Today Program. She is currently on USU Brigham City’s Advisory Board.

Cindy exemplifies Members First Credit Union’s vision which is: Members First Credit Union will emphasize service that inspires our members, as well as our community.

Cindy is married to Randy Parsons and together they have seven children and 18 grandchildren. She really enjoys living, working and volunteering in the Brigham City community.

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Cindy Parsons - Courtesy photo

Home Based Business of the Year - Two Color Photography

Two Color Photography is owned by Amber Rust. She has been in business for over 15 years in Brigham City.

Amber grew up in the printing industry working as a graphic designer at her father's printing business and after graduating from high school went to Utah State University where she worked at Utah State University's Conferencing Division as a graphic designer for four years. She then took on the role of graphic designer for Cache Valley Parents magazine which was later renamed Top of Utah Families. Through her work at Top of Utah Families, Amber began using her own pictures in the magazine when it was hard to find stock photos that fit into the tight budget of a small magazine.

Amber shot her first two weddings 16 years ago using a film camera. She bought her first Digital SLR after her second wedding and hasn't looked back since. Her business has now grown from two weddings a year to hand selecting the weddings she chooses to photograph! Twelve years ago, she decided to specialize in newborn photography from the basement of her home.

In April 2018, Amber decided to take a huge risk and open her second business Cooley Collective Studios by investing in the Old Cooley Hospital and has completely remodeled the third floor into a photographer’s dream studio. She rents the space to other photographers as well to community, business or family gatherings. She has a newborn studio in the old labor and delivery room of the hospital.

In December 2019, Amber decided her next business venture was waiting and opened her third business The Baby Photo Academy. The Baby Photo Academy is a series of online photography courses designed for the beginning photographer who wants to venture into newborn photography.

Amber served as Chair of Brigham City’s Women in Business Organization in 2015. She has been a member of Women in Business since 2012. Amber also donates her talents to photograph families suffering infant loss. She donates services to the Chamber of Commerce in taking photos for the Annual Banquet, Peach Days and the Peach Queen Pageant. She has also presented at the Brigham City Community Hospital’s Women’s Forum.

Small Business of the Year - American Family Insurance C. Gregory Agency & Associates Inc.

C. Gregory and Associates has been serving the Brigham City and surrounding areas since 2016 when Cortney first opened his agency. Cortney has three employees - Melissa, Heather and DarLa, and though they are a team of just four, their efforts and accomplishments are mighty. In 2020 alone, they achieved the Centurion Award for life insurance sales which is only achieved by the top 10% of the company. American Family Insurance also awarded them with Utah’s 2020 New Agent of the Year, 2020 Community Impact Award in recognition for our service in our local community, second overall in the state of Utah for Life Insurance Production in 2020 and the American Star Agency Award 3 years in a row for customer service.

Cortney is very focused on getting involved in the community and when the pandemic hit in the spring of 2020 it only ramped up his efforts. Knowing the struggles that local businesses were facing, Cortney went around town to many local businesses, supporting them by purchasing gift cards, and then giving them away using his social media pages. He helped drive the community to shop local and keep our small businesses afloat.

Another way Cortney will stay connected in the community is through his involvement with the Brigham City Rotary Club, The Box Elder Chamber of Commerce as well as serving as president of the board for Habitat for Humanity of Northern Utah, putting in hours of time and support to serve the Box Elder community. Currently Habitat for Humanity is working on two new builds and working on plans to add another to help some of the families in need of affordable housing in the county. Cortney and his team also sponsored an Angel Tree the last two years. Through these efforts they’ve been able offer a place for our community to donate to those families in need and have helped dozens of families with gifts in the process.

Cortney also loves sponsoring the Chamber of Commerce Golf tournament by offering the hole in one prize the last couple of years and is looking forward to sponsoring again this year.

Cortney and his team are dedicated in providing the best insurance coverage and top-notch customer service. When you leave their office, you know, you are more than just a policy. Their team is kind and listens to their customer’s wants and needs. They are great at finding solutions, maximizing discounts, and making sure their customers have the right insurance coverage. They truly are the kind of business you can’t help but tell your friends about.

Medium Business of the Year - Members First Credit Union

In mid-October, 1958, 35 people met at Box Elder High School and voted to form Thiokol (Utah Division) Employees Credit Union. Membership was open to employees of Thiokol Corporation and families of Credit Union members. By July 1959, the Credit Union had rented office space at Forest and Main in Brigham City and had assets totaling $175,002.49 with 817 members.

In November 1975, the Credit Union built and moved into its first wholly owned building at 20 West 700 North. In 1988, the Credit Union built and moved into a new, modern facility located at 707 N Main Street. Assets reached $10.5 million with 6,818 members.

In January 1990, the Credit Union opened a full time branch at the Thiokol Plant and installed its first ATM. In 1995, the name was changed to Members First Credit Union. At the end of 1996, President Steve Christensen left the Credit Union and Brad Barber was named as President.

In 2005, the Credit Union moved into a beautiful new building, located at 120 E 1000 S Brigham City, with 23 employees and $51.6 million in assets. In 2007, the Credit Union opened a new full service branch on 1000 South in Tremonton, Utah and in 2017, the Credit Union opened a new full service branch in Providence, Utah.

In early 2021, President/CEO Brad Barber announced his retirement after 30 years of service to the Credit Union. As they celebrate their 63rd year they have over 13,000 members and assets nearing $160 million dollars.

Since its inception, the mission of the Credit Union has been to “professionally and courteously serve the financial needs of their members, while maintaining a sound financial position,” as well as working to inspire others though service and support. Members First has a long history of community involvement and sponsors numerous events, activities and causes. This past year, while dealing with the effects of the COVID virus and lockdowns, they have assisted numerous organizations including the local hospitals, police departments, Sheriff’s Department, schools, and others with treats and other support to help everyone make it through this difficult time together. All this while continuing their high school scholarship program and elementary school grant program.

Members First Credit Union remains “Large enough to provide the services you need, yet small enough to provide the service you deserve.”

Large Business of the Year - Procter & Gamble

The year 2021 marks Procter & Gamble’s 10th anniversary in Box Elder County, and as a Charmin toilet paper manufacturer during the COVID-19 Pandemic, it’s been a year like no other!

Throughout the pandemic consumers have had more “at home” bathroom trips leading to increased demand for Charmin and other hygienic cleaning products like Bounty. The agility and resilience of P&G’s people allowed them to produce record volume over the last 12 months to meet this unprecedented demand. Additionally, in the early days of the pandemic P&G donated Charmin to the local senior centers and other public organizations to ensure that some of the most vulnerable in our community had access to these critical products while the world was adapting to COVID. P&G has also looked for opportunities to support other local businesses – including food trucks, restaurants, and other merchants.

P&G Box Elder was featured in several local and national news stories related to their efforts during the COVID pandemic, and P&G has partnered closely with other statewide organizations in sharing and reapplying best workplace practices to keep employees safe and operations running during COVID-19.

Over the last decade P&G has expanded its local operations several times, including its current expansion into the manufacturing of Always feminine hygiene products. P&G now employs 300 plus highly capable individuals who produce world class brands like Charmin, Bounty, Pampers, Luvs, and Always. P&G is currently hiring for its plant expansion and more information can be found at www.pgcareers.com and search for “Bear River City.”

Medium Business of the Year Board Member of the Year - Marcie Powell

Marcie Powell has been employed at Autoliv North America for the past 27 years. She is currently the Plant Administrative Assistant at the Promontory facility, supporting the Plant Manager, Human Resources, Quality and Finance. Marcie has worked with the Autoliv Community Involvement team supporting many local activities including Angels for Christmas, Meals on Wheels, Soup Kitchen, Relay for Life and Peach Days. She holds an Associate’s Degree in Office Systems Support and a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management.

She has been a director on the Brigham City Area Chamber of Commerce Board for over six years and is currently on the Chamber’s Executive Committee. She served as President of the Board in 2020. The year 2020 was unprecedented with struggles, difficult decisions and pivoting continuously throughout the year.

In her history on the Chamber board, she has also served on Community Events and Fundraising Committee helping to organize the Summer Movies, Golf Tournament, Annual Banquet, Play Unplugged and the Christmas promotion. During Peach Days, Marcie has been Coke Booth Chair, overseeing all the Coke booths and has also served as the Chair of the Peach Queen Pageant Committee in 2016.

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Marcie Powell - Courtesy photo

Ambassador of the Year - Cortney Gregory

The Man, the Myth, the Bearded Agent! Cortney has lived in Brigham City since he was 10 years old after his family moved here from Idaho. He attended Box Elder High School and got a degree while attending school in Cache Valley. He met his amazing wife, Erin, shortly after moving to Brigham City. They are raising their family of five here in Brigham City.

Cortney has the soul of a hunter with an incredible love and respect for the outdoors.

Cortney has been involved with the Chamber of Commerce since 2016. He was excited to join the Ambassador group to help other businesses in the area. As an Ambassador Cortney has attended many ribbon cuttings and meetings. He is also a member of Rotary Club and is currently serving as president of the board for Habitat for Humanity of Northern Utah, putting in hours of time and support to serve the Box Elder community.

In 2020, C. Gregory and Associates really focused on community involvement and when the pandemic hit, he knew he could help. Cortney went around to many local businesses and purchased gift cards to help families that were struggling and to support those local businesses. Cortney is always coming up with ways to serve others and will continue to be involved in our community for many years to come.

Cortney Gregory - Courtesy photo

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