Business receives Torch Award

Basic Beginnings Early Learning Center, a Laramie business, won the Better Business Bureau’s Torch Award for Ethics in the large business category. Shown above are center staffers who attended the awards ceremony late last month in Fort Collins, Colo. They are, from left to right, Charli Raben, assistant director of the south center; Sydney Montoya, preschool coordinator and outreach liaison; owner Kerry Greaser; owner and director Jan Lawrence; Kamie Dorssom, infant and toddler coordinator; Casey Shiver, assistant director of extended hours; Nikki Rogers, assistant director of the north center; and Chelsey McIntyre, assistant to the director. Courtesy photo

An image outlining nine standards hangs in nearly every room inside Basic Beginnings Early Learning Center’s two Laramie facilities.

The standards — safety, nurturing, development, communication, respect, support, training, mentoring and positivity — are integral pieces of the center’s mission statement and central to each decision made, director Jan Lawrence said.

“They are important to us,” said Lawrence, also an owner of the local business established in 1983. “Those standards are critical.”

Lawrence said she believes Basic Beginnings’ emphasis on those standards were a reason behind the business’s recent award.

In late April, Basic Beginnings received the Better Business Bureau’s Torch Award for Ethics during an event in Fort Collins, Colo.

The Torch Award, according to a news release, recognizes businesses demonstrating “exemplary business ethics, uphold high standards in relationships with customers, suppliers and shareholders, show honesty and integrity in marketing and advertising, and give back to their communities.”

Basic Beginnings received the award in the large business category. It serves more than 300 children and employs 95 staffers at its two centers.

Lawrence and Kerry Greaser, who is also an owner, accepted the award in Fort Collins. 

They were joined by six members of the Basic Beginnings leadership team.

Lawrence credited the award to Basic Beginnings employees.

“When you have as many children as we do, the people who truly make a difference in our business are the ones who work directly with the children,” she said.

“I really want as much credit as possible given to the Basic Beginnings team. … It is most certainly a team effort and requires commitment to the mission from each and every employee.”

The Better Business Bureau of Northern Colorado and Wyoming covers 38 counties that include 3,500 businesses.

GF Harvest, a gluten-free oats company in Powell, was the other Wyoming business winner during the event, claiming the ethics award for small businesses. 

An independent panel of judges chose the award winners.

“We are really proud of these Wyoming business men and women who exemplify the high-level of professionalism and ethics that have become synonymous with Wyoming business,” Wyoming Business Council CEO Bob Jensen said in the release. “It is a great honor for these folks and a great honor for Wyoming.

“We’re very proud that these companies call Wyoming home.”

Basic Beginnings, according to its website,, was founded in response to a rising number of families with two working parents.

The center has a “history of offering the nurturing and attentive care you want for your child,” according to the website.

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