UniWyo Federal Credit Union President Larry Knopp was named Business Person of the Year at the Laramie Chamber Business Alliance’s annual banquet Thursday evening in the Marian H. Rochelle Gateway Center.

Knopp has worked at UniWyo for 20 years and has been president for the last 16. He opened all three current branches after the credit union outgrew its original location at 15th and Flint where the University of Wyoming Police Department is currently located.

Knopp obtained a bachelor’s degree in secondary education at Emporia State University in 1973 and a masters of public administration at UW in 1997. Knopp says he went from working as a janitor to a position in UniWyo’s loan department, where he worked as a loan officer for a few years before becoming the department manager.

“And then the current president of the credit union retired, and I like to say they couldn’t find anybody good, so I got the job,” says Knopp.

“I was really appreciative of getting an award like that,” says Knopp. “I really didn’t dream of ever getting recognized like that and it’s an honor for me, but really an honor for the team here at UniWyo that made that possible.”

Five other awards were given at Thursday’s banquet to honor local individuals and organizations for their service to the community.

Big Dipper Ice Cream Shop won the Shuster Award, which is given to a local business that has been open for at least two years and proven successful.

The Jim Cavalli Service to Others Award was presented by Linda Cavalli to CLIMB Wyoming’s Laramie Office for selfless service to others in the community.

Small Business of the Year went to Spine and Injury Clinic of Laramie, while ANB Bank won Large Business of the Year.

Rick Malone received the Castle Award for his volunteer effort in organizing the annual LCBA Golf Classic Tournament, a relaxed 18-hole scramble usually held in July or August.-