Celebrating Sheridan’s Business Community

Chamber Staff - Dixie Johnson, Executive Director

Dixie Johnson
Executive Director
Sheridan County Chamber of Commerce

This article was published on the “Community Voice” page
of The Sheridan Press, December 22, 2012.

Now, at year end, we here at the Sheridan County Chamber are especially celebrating the Sheridan County business community – for their vitality, creativity, community support, and examples of excellence.

In last week’s column, Jay Stender of Forward Sheridan used an example of one community success (in that case, economic development in Austin, TX) being attributed to having “deeply caring, highly engaged business, political, and philanthropic leaders with principles, policies, beliefs and values about human nature that work.” That surely applies to the best of Sheridan County as well.

Our businesses are a vital part of our quality of life. Most certainly, they provide the goods and services that we need and want. And they provide jobs. But they’re also good employers, generous supporters of the many worthy causes in our community, and active participants in making Sheridan County a great place to work, live, and play for everyone. We can easily point to the membership of Sheridan County Chamber of Commerce as just one example, where over 560 of our local businesses and organizations are making a financial investment and giving their time to work together for the prosperity of our community.

Each year, at the Chamber’s monthly luncheon in December, we put the spotlight on a few of those businesses and business leaders as we announce the recipients of the Chamber Business Awards of the Year, chosen from dozens of nominations submitted by our Chamber members. This year’s winners, as always, are among the best examples of contribution to our community.

2012 BUSINESS OF THE YEAR, “honoring a Chamber member business that serves the Sheridan County area in the finest way possible. A business that takes pride in their work by offering phenomenal customer service and a positive atmosphere.” This year’s recipient is Black Tooth Brewing Company. Black Tooth opened only two years ago, and is already making a difference. Its award-winning brews are making Sheridan known in new circles across the country. The brewery is an active participant in the 3rd Thursday Street Festivals and partnered with the Chamber this past September to bring the first annual Brewfest to Sheridan, which drew thousands of residents and visitors alike. And they provide a facility now used for many gatherings large and small, including a special Non-Profit Tuesdays every week to support the community.

2012 BUSINESS PERSON OF THE YEAR, “honoring a Chamber member business person who makes a substantial contribution to the Sheridan County area.” This year’s recipient is Steve Rucki. Steve, managing owner of Rucki, Marshall, Newbrough CPAs PC, might also be called “Employer of the Year,” in that his entire staff came out in support of his nomination. “He never asks anything of anyone that he wouldn’t do himself.” “He has the right perspective on priorities, always putting family first.” “There is no doubt how much he genuinely cares for you.” He donates his time, to the Chamber, the Sheridan College Foundation, and Sheridan on Skates, just to name a few.

2012 SPIRIT OF SHERIDAN, “honoring a Chamber member business or person who volunteers countless hours for the betterment of the Chamber and the community.” This year’s recipient is Jim Schellinger. Jim, sales manager at Sheridan Media, has been involved in almost all aspects of Sheridan County over the last several decades and is currently a Chamber Ambassador, Chamber and Sheridan Travel and Tourism board member, on the new Sheridan Channel 22 committee, keeping busy with the Elks, and an active member of many of our special events committees. He’s always there, ready to help.

2012 STRENGTH OF SHERIDAN, “honoring the Chamber member business that has been in business and supporting our Chamber and community for 20+ years.” This year’s recipient is McDonald’s and the Storo family. McDonald’s in Sheridan has long been an outstanding employer and contributor to the community. One of their most notable actions, though, occurred this year when the North Main McDonald’s was closed for several months during the rebuilding. The Storos helped the employees fill volunteer needs at various organizations in Sheridan while keeping them on McDonald’s payroll. Like all of our best employers, the McDonald’s and the Storos care about their employees.

We applaud the contributions of these businesses and persons, as well as others like them. They represent our business community at its best. The next time you see any one of our businesses “at its best,” we encourage you to give those employees a big thank you too.

In return, we know that the businesses want us to express their appreciation to all you as individuals and customers as well. It’s exciting how you have taken “Shop Local” to heart! We hear every day from residents who are very intentional about doing their buying right here in Sheridan County. Even the sales of our Chamber Bucks gift certificates – redeemable only at our local businesses – are at an all time high.

I’m reminded constantly of one of my favorite themes, “We’re all in this together.” Thank you, everyone!


Thank you 2019 Community Partners

Platinum Partners

Gold Partners


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