Capitalizing on Momentum, Blasting Forward into 2014

Chamber Staff - Dixie Johnson, CEODixie Johnson
Chief Executive Officer
Sheridan County Chamber of Commerce

This article originally appeared as a “Community Perspective” article in The Sheridan Press, February 8, 2014.

As we blast full forge ahead into 2014, I can’t help but notice there is so much momentum in our community. Many examples can be found by looking at the WYO Theater’s expansion, by seeing the new E.A. Whitney Academic Center come to fruition, or by watching the expansion of the many festivals and events, all of which provide a boost to our local economy.

And, just the other day, I was talking to one of Sheridan’s small business owners, who told me they’ve added four jobs this past year alone. This is in large part due to momentum. However, just as Shawn Buckley said in his column last week, “Sheridan is having one of the strongest performing years of any Wyoming community, but we’re in no position to let up now.”

And I wholeheartedly agree. In fact, I remember well many of my daughter’s and son’s college basketball games at Black Hills State University. So many of the outcomes were directly tied to momentum. In fact, time after time, as a game headed into halftime, one team would be up by 20 or more points. Now, in high school contests, being up by 20 at halftime was a pretty good indicator of the game’s outcome. However, at the college level, with competition so fierce, a team could never let up. Coming back out on the floor post-halftime, the team that kept their heads up, competed at a high energy level, and remained confident and motivated either capitalized on or changed momentum and ultimately won the game.

This past week the Chamber of Commerce was asked to be part of a steering committee that will help to produce a new Sheridan Land Use Plan. This effort, I know, will continue to gain momentum. Presently, the newly-formalized Critical Air Service Team is finding its momentum as the need for a committed community effort to improve Sheridan’s air service is entering the critical stage. And, the Economic Development Task Force, led by Forward Sheridan and in which the Chamber is a key stakeholder, is using the momentum that’s been created through collaborative efforts, as well as city and county infrastructure improvements, to further economic development for the Sheridan area.

This coming Wednesday, the Chamber of Commerce will deliver its annual report to our business community. As we’ve been gathering and analyzing data for that report, we’ve seen even more evidence of community momentum. For instance, this last year alone, community momentum enabled us to issue an all-time high of $59,287  in Chamber Bucks (part of the Chamber’s “Think Local First” campaign), up nearly 27 percent over 2012.

There will always be forces at work, trying to affect momentum. We all have, or will, experience momentum shifts at one time or another. However, understanding and recognizing momentum enables us to not only capitalize on it, but also to know when it’s time to shift the momentum. Here at the Chamber of Commerce, we will do just that, as we continue to hold our heads up, operate at a high energy level, and remain confident and motivated. After all, just like Shawn said, “…we’re in no position to let up now.”

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