Volunteers at the Heart of the Chamber
The Sheridan County Chamber of Commerce has been an integral part of Sheridan County since the “Sheridan Commercial Club” was incorporated in 1913. At the heart of the Chamber are our volunteer committees whose work carries our mission throughout the community. Without their dedication to the Chamber, we wouldn’t be able to provide the numerous services and programs that we offer.
The Chamber’s Board of Directors, made up of 13 to 15 representatives from member businesses, is the guiding force behind our mission and strategic initiatives. They are instrumental in setting Chamber policy, providing guidance for a variety of issues and serving as champions for our mission.
Our Ag & Natural Resources Committee promotes and supports agriculture, natural resources and public lands in our community. The committee co-hosts the annual 4-H/FFA Buyers Reception, provides volunteers for the Sheridan Farmers Market, hosts agricultural forums, provides natural resources education and serves as a liaison to the U.S. Forest Service.
The Chamber Ambassadors, easily identified by their red jackets, serve as “high profile” representatives of the Chamber. The Ambassadors conduct ribbon cuttings, attend open house celebrations and serve as convention greeters and volunteers for community events such as the Community Holiday Dinner, Big Horn Homebuilders Home & Garden Show and WYO Rodeo parade. Each year, the Ambassadors coordinate and lead the Boot Kick-Off event for Sheridan WYO Rodeo Week.
The Chamber’s Business Retention & Expansion Committee works to help area businesses grow and prosper, works to ensure the future employability of our workers and addresses issues affecting business retention. The committee hosts Community Chamber Coffees in the outlying areas of Sheridan County to connect city and county businesses, residents and legislators. The “Ignite Your Business” Professional Development Conference is coordinated by the BRE Committee along with the Peer Groups program. This past year, the BRE Committee served as the hub of activities for the national Manufacturing Day event.
A conduit for ideas and information regarding public policy to flow between members, the Chamber Board, local municipalities and elected officials, the Government Affairs Committee helps support the health of Sheridan County and the Chamber. Each year, the committee hosts a legislative forum, providing the opportunity for all local legislators and their constituents to come together to discuss matters of importance. In election years, the committee hosts candidate forums to give the public an opportunity to hear from candidates.
The Leadership Sheridan County Steering Committee oversees the Leadership Sheridan County program. They assist in coordinating the program and seek leadership and committee participation development opportunities. This committee has overseen the successful graduation of more than 300 business and community leaders.
We also have two event planning committees for our signature community events: Suds n’ Spurs Brewfest and Christmas Stroll. Committee members and volunteers generously provide time, ideas and lots of muscle to make these events successful.
The Chamber is tremendously grateful for all of these volunteers who dedicate their time, resources and knowledge to continue making Sheridan County the best it can be and more!
Jodi Hartley is the director of marketing and communications for the Sheridan County Chamber of Commerce.
[This article was originally published in the Jan. 6, 2018, edition of The Sheridan Press in the Community Perspectives section.]
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