The Forward Sheridan and Sheridan County Chamber of Commerce board of directors are pleased to announce that the activities and mission of Forward Sheridan will be transitioned to the Sheridan County Chamber of Commerce, effective this month.
Forward Sheridan was formed in 2005 to serve as Sheridan County’s primary economic development organization. The organization and its 16-member board of directors focused on maintaining, developing and supporting economic vitality. The organization suspended operations in early 2020.
“We are pleased that Forward Sheridan’s mission will live on under the capable management of the Chamber,” stated Forward Sheridan Board Chair Mark Law. “2020 was unprecedented and as the pandemic wanes, Sheridan County is, more than ever, in need of a consistent path of sustainable economic development. We believe that the vitality and national interest of Northeast Wyoming and the Bighorn mountains has never been as robust as we see it today. We know that under the capable leadership of CEO Dixie Johnson, board of directors and staff, the mission of Forward Sheridan will expand to the benefit of our community.”
Based on the suspension of Forward Sheridan’s services and the results of a feasibility study of Sheridan’s economic development footprint, the Forward Sheridan board of directors determined that moving under the Chamber of Commerce would allow the community’s economic development organizations to better serve Sheridan County.
“The Chamber sees this change as an exciting opportunity to join forces and build on our mission,” said Dave Schwend, Chamber Board Chair. “Business retention and expansion is already a key focus for the Chamber, and with this new structure, we will be able to expand resources and broaden our efforts to support existing businesses.”
“The Chamber was involved in the creation of Forward Sheridan approximately 15 years ago, and their work over the years has helped create a strong foundation for economic development in our community,” stated Chamber CEO Dixie Johnson. “Since Forward Sheridan suspended operations over a year ago, we have been working closely with other economic development partners in the community to address opportunities. We plan to continue working with those partners and the economic development task force to develop a strong plan for Sheridan’s future.”
Over the next several months, Law and the Forward Sheridan board will convene with Johnson, Schwend and the Chamber board to complete the transition and provide guidance for the continued development of economic strategies for the community.