Changing of the Guard for 2016

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

(This article originally appeared as a “Community Perspectives” column in The Sheridan Press, January 2, 2016.)

Last week’s community perspectives column by Shawn Parker, Sheridan Travel and Tourism director extraordinaire, was spot on., as he deservedly gave recognition to many of the “gifts” 2015 brought to Sheridan. So many of the “gifts” he mentioned didn’t just happen by chance; they happened because of the incredible risks many individuals took to start, purchase or grow their businesses right here in our neck of the woods.  

The Chamber of Commerce has at its helm myriad individuals like this, and thankfully so. As we prepare for our cyclical changing of the guard on the board of directors, a transition which takes place annually, I can’t help but think about the impacts our outgoing board members have made on the organization. Stacey Staben, realtor at ERA Carroll Realty, joined the Chamber board in 2013, excitedly stepping in to fill another director’s unexpired term. Her commitment, enthusiasm and willingness to speak up and step up were always revered. Stacey has successfully grown her own business within ERA and is one of their top producers.

Tim Barnes, our second departing director and co-owner of the Black Tooth Brewing Company, stepped into his leadership role with the Chamber back in 2011, just a year after opening the doors of his business. Tim’s dedication and determination are hard to mirror. He’s grown his business while also serving the Chamber with his intellect, his perseverance and his vision. In less than five years, Black Tooth has become the largest craft brewery in the entire state.

I will miss both Tim and Stacey; they both thoroughly embraced their roles on the Chamber board; both gave of their knowledge; both gave of their time; both left their marks on this organization. As we bid adieu, we at the same time welcome two new directors to the Chamber. Jessica Garrelts, owner of The Cottonwood Kitchen Shop, and Nate Williams, VP of Business Ops at Kennon, will both jump on board with the board this month.

But as this transition takes place, so too does the transition of our Chamber board leadership. Stacia Skretteberg, with both Sugarland Enterprises and PeAk Consulting, has successfully steered our ship as president of the board since 2014. With her insight and leadership, the Chamber has maintained its solid reputation as the voice of business and front door to our community. At our next luncheon, set for January 13, Stacia will officially pass the gavel to Richard S. Garber. Stacia will readily step into the role of past president while still fulfilling the remainder of her term on the board of directors.

Our board is solid; our business community is solid; we in fact did receive from 2015 several “gifts,” as Shawn pointed out. As we bring 2015 to a close and prepare to embrace 2016, it’s most fitting to extend our heartfelt gratitude for those “gifts” and to those individuals who made them possible.

Thank you 2019 Community Partners

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