Congresswoman Harriet Hageman to Attend Chamber’s Eggs & Issues Legislative Breakfast

The Sheridan County Chamber of Commerce’s Government Affairs Committee will host “Eggs & Issues: Post-Legislative Session Breakfast with our Local Delegation” on Wednesday, March 15, 2023 at 7:30 a.m. at the Best Western Sheridan Center. Wyoming Congresswoman Harriet Hageman will speak at the event.

Members of Sheridan County’s local legislative delegation in attendance will discuss actions taken during this year’s legislative session, followed by a question-and-answer session. Members of the local delegation are Sen. Bo Biteman, Sen. Dave Kinskey, Rep. Barry Crago, Rep. Mark Jennings, Rep. Ken Pendergraft and Rep. Cyrus Western. At this time, Sen. Kinskey, Rep. Crago, Rep. Pendergraft and Rep. Western have confirmed attendance.

Congresswoman Hageman was elected to represent Wyoming in the U.S. House of Representatives in 2022 and in Congress serves on the House Committee on the Judiciary; Subcommittee on the Constitution and Limited Government; Subcommittee on the Administrative State, Regulatory Reform and Antitrust; Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government; House Committee on Natural Resources; Subcommittee on Indian and Insular Affairs (Chair); and Subcommittee on Water, Wildlife and Fisheries. Her Caucus Membership includes Republican Study Committee, Congressional Western Caucus, Congressional Native American Caucus, Congressional Air Force Caucus and Anti-Woke Caucus.

Cost is $20 per person, which includes breakfast and the program.

Seating is limited, and reservations are required by 4 p.m. Monday, March 13.

Register here:

Feb. 28 Lunchtime Conversations About Open Spaces to Focus on Water

The next session of the Sheridan County Chamber of Commerce Ag & Natural Resources Committee’s “Lunchtime Conversations About Open Spaces” on Tuesday, Feb. 28, will focus on water. The discussion begins at 12 p.m. and will be held at Luminous Brewhouse, 504 Broadway St. in Sheridan.

Discussion will revolve around the question “how do we work with limits to water and other infrastructure to plan for open space and meet open space values?” During each session, the topic will be interactively explored with attendees with the focus on what is balanced use of our open space, and can we continue to balance that use into the future? Each session will also discuss the importance of open spaces to our community’s economy and culture now and into the future.

All sessions are free to attend and open to everyone. No registration is necessary. Bring your lunch and your questions and comments to join the conversation.

For more information, call the Chamber at 672-2485.

Community Perspectives: Chamber celebrates 2022 success stories

By Dixie Johnson | Sheridan County Chamber of Commerce
Published by The Sheridan Press Feb 18, 2023

Last month, before rolling full steam ahead into 2023, I shared the Chamber’s top 10 2022 highlights as part of our annual report and membership meeting. It was a great opportunity to see how much was accomplished.

In 2022, the Chamber coordinated several events in support of our local business community, and the engagement was off the charts. Thousands came out for the Christmas Stroll, 140 attended the Ignite Conference, 200 participated in our Lunchtime Conversations About Open Spaces series, 65 attended our Chamber Coffees, and 1,950 attendees joined us at Business Before and After Hours and Chamber Lunch Programs.

We also partnered again with Sheridan County Cattlewomen, 4-H and Fair Association to host the Buyers’ Dinner prior to the Youth Livestock Sale and coordinated the Boot Kick-Off for WYO Rodeo.

Your Chamber advocated for our businesses and community through the U.S. Chamber, Wyoming Business and Industry Federation Partnership, Sheridan-Johnson Counties Critical Air Service Team, New West Manufacturing Partnership and the Economic Development Task Force, completing a housing study and community review with a whopping 945 survey responses.

We celebrated excellence by recognizing 20 businesses, organizations and individuals at our Awards of Excellence program and recognized 20 local leaders who completed our 10-month Leadership Sheridan County program, which now boasts more than 400 alumni, many who serve in leadership capacities in their businesses and the broader community.

As the community’s front door, we responded to hundreds of requests for referrals, information and relocation packets and provided 3,500 welcome bags to visitors, distributed 9,000 community guides and produced 11,000 community maps.

We kept members and the community informed by distributing 87 newsletters, which had an above average open rate of 45% and click rate of 4%. That equates to over 65,000 opens and 5,000 click throughs.

We also held six candidate forums for the primary and general elections in Sheridan and the Tongue River Valley, with 5,000 in-person and livestream views. And we hosted the annual Legislative Forum with 25 presenters and 100% participation from our state senators and representatives.

As a catalyst for business prosperity, we held 75 ribbon cuttings for new Chamber members, grand openings and other celebrations, and we championed National Manufacturing Day, with 13 businesses in Sheridan and Johnson Counties hosting tours of their manufacturing facilities.

We also closed out the year with 163,500 visits to our website’s membership directory and listed 275 employment opportunities on our job postings page, with over 2,300 views, in addition to realizing over 7,000 social media followers and 850 members in our Live Life Local Facebook group.

We were so pleased to end the year with our third-highest year of Chamber Bucks issued at $168,360. These dollars are spent at local businesses and turn over to strengthen our local economy. And, at the end of 2022, your Chamber had 757 members and a 91% member retention rate.

As you can see from our 2022 top 10, it was another full and active year for the Chamber. We’re able to accomplish all of this and more, thanks to the efforts of a great team and hundreds of volunteers who serve on our board and committees.

Dixie Johnson is CEO of the Sheridan County Chamber of Commerce.

Chamber Announces 2022 Awards of Excellence Recipients

The Sheridan County Chamber of Commerce announced the recipients of the 2022 Awards of Excellence during its Awards of Excellence Lunch program Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2023, at the Ramada Plaza Sheridan.

The recipients were voted on by the membership via on-line ballot.

The awards presented and the recipients are:

Community Champion Award

This award honors a Chamber member individual, business or organization that has made a significant impact in Sheridan County. Understanding that a community thrives when those in it invest and contribute to its success, the nominees demonstrate vision, ambition and drive to address needs in the community and strive for the betterment of the local area.

2022 Recipient: Patrick Henderson

Patrick Henderson retired in 2022 after 22 years of dedicated service as the executive director of Whitney Benefits, an educational foundation started by the late Edward A. Whitney. While director of Whitney Benefits, Henderson was instrumental in many changes, expansions and partnerships for the foundation. In addition to his work for Whitney Benefits, Patrick has been an active and engaged member of the local community. He has served on the Parks & Recreation Master Plan Advisory Committee for the City of Sheridan, a member of the Sheridan College Hospitality & Culinary Advisory Board, board member and past board president of the Wyoming Lodging and Restaurant Association, board member and past chair of the Sheridan Travel & Tourism Board, board member for the Sheridan County Fair Board, a member of the City of Sheridan Planning & Zoning Board, a member of the Wyoming Rural Development Council and a member of Sheridan City Council. He also has served on the Economic Empowerment Vestry and Student Loan Committee for St. Peter’s Episcopal Church.

Strength of Sheridan

This award honors a Chamber member business or organization that has a distinguished tenure of 20 or more years in the community. This business or organization demonstrates consistent service, continually invests in the community, meets challenges with innovative solutions and demonstrates sustained quality performance.

2022 Recipient: Ace Hardware/Sheridan Arts & Crafts

Sheridan’s Ace Hardware/Sheridan Arts & Crafts started as a Coast to Coast Hardware store on Main Street in downtown Sheridan. In 1965, John and Sue Behles (pronounced “BAILS”) moved to Sheridan and purchased the store. In 1983, it became Coast to Coast Ben Franklin, and the business moved to Coffeen Ave., where the current Ace Hardware/Sheridan Arts & Crafts stands today. The business eventually expanded to include Ben Franklin, Champion Auto, Ace Hardware and the Coast-to-Coast Appliance Store. Following John Behles’ (“BAILS”) passing, Mead Lumber purchased the store in 2004. The store underwent a major remodel in 2021, which provided a more open floor plan and easier flow for customers. Now known as Ace Hardware/Sheridan Arts & Crafts, the Sheridan store is one of 5,000+ Ace stores locally owned and operated across the globe. Known for excellence in customer service, Sheridan’s Ace offers a full line of hardware supplies, tools, lawn and garden, housewares, arts and crafts, seasonal items and more as well as a number of services.

Business of the Year

This award honors a Chamber member business that positively impacts the economic health of the Sheridan area through exceptional business practices, customer service and innovation. This business shows steady growth and consistent strong performance, excels in community relations, practices exemplary business conduct, responds positively to adversity and shows proven business achievement.

2022 Recipient: The Big Horn Y

The Big Horn Y isn’t your ordinary gas station. The Big Horn Y offers freshly made salsa, dips, breakfast burritos, burgers, sandwiches and salads, along with fresh, ready-to-bake meals and casseroles. In addition, The Big Horn Y offers a large selection of grocery and liquor items as well as hard to find boutique wines and spirits. They also provide catering services for local events. Bonnie Wallace took over the original Big Horn Y store, located at 7088 Coffeen Ave., in 2015. The Big Horn Y West, located near Sheridan High School at 901 Long Dr., opened in 2018. Recently, The Big Horn Y opened its walk-up Farmhouse Patio Window for “to-go” foods. During the warmer months, the patio features live music and a festive atmosphere. Committed to their customers and community, The Big Horn Y staff support local schools and The Food Group.

Business Person of the Year

This award honors a Chamber member business person(s) who shows outstanding business acumen and strong leadership in business and community efforts. This person is a champion for economic development, strives to exceed customer expectations, delivers industry leading standards of service and quality and exhibits innovation in business development.

2022 Recipient: Kathy Bede, Verdello

Kathy Bede has been a small business owner since she opened Cottonwood Kitchen Shop in 1996. A few years after “retiring” and selling Cottonwood Kitchen, Kathy opened Verdello Olive Oils and Fine Foods in 2017. Verdello, located at 23 Grinnell Plaza in Sheridan, is a family-owned and operated gourmet food store designed to bring unique food experiences to Sheridan. The store offers more than forty olive oils and vinegars, artisan meats and cheeses, quality food products from around the world, charcuterie boards, wine and cooking classes. Besides providing flavors and experiences from around the world to the Sheridan community, Kathy encourages a family-friendly work environment in the store. She takes care of her employees, especially working mothers, by being flexible with their schedules and encouraging them to continue their education. Kathy also volunteers her time and partners with various groups that enhance life in Sheridan. In 2022, Kathy received the Woman Entrepreneur Award from the Wyoming Council for Women. The award recognizes woman-owned businesses in Wyoming and is designed to increase the attention to, and recognition of, the contribution female entrepreneurs make to Wyoming’s economy.

For more information, contact the Sheridan County Chamber of Commerce at (307) 672-2485.

Chamber’s Ag & Natural Resources Committee to Host Next Round of ‘Lunchtime Conversations About Open Spaces’

The Sheridan County Chamber of Commerce’s Ag & Natural Resources Committee will begin their next round of “Lunchtime Conversations About Open Spaces” with “The Role of Land Use Planning” on Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2023, at 12 p.m. at Luminous Brewhouse, 504 Broadway St. in Sheridan.

The committee relaunched the series in 2022 after the pandemic put the initial round on hold. In 2022, more than 200 people attended the four sessions. This year’s sessions are “Water” on Tuesday, Feb. 28, “Maintaining and Managing Open Spaces” on Tuesday, March 28, and the series will wrap up with an examination of communities that have been successful at maintaining open spaces on Tuesday, April 25.

During each session, the topic will be interactively explored with attendees with the focus on what is balanced use of our open space, and can we continue to balance that use into the future? Each session will also discuss the importance of open spaces to our community’s economy and culture now and into the future. Attendees are encouraged to join in with questions and discussion.

Each session will be held from 12 to 1 p.m. at Luminous Brewhouse. All sessions are free to attend and open to everyone. No registration is necessary. Bring your lunch and your questions and comments to join the conversation.

For more information, call the Sheridan County Chamber of Commerce at (307) 672-2485.

Chamber Seeks Training Proposals for Ignite Conference

The Chamber’s Business Retention & Expansion Committee is seeking proposals from trainers to teach during the IGNITE Conference on May 16, 2023. The Ignite Conference provides the opportunity for professionals at every level to gain innovative ideas, learn about best practices and acquire vital information to spark their professional development and business growth. 

IGNITE, in its 8th year, will include a full day of 60 to 75 minute seminars where individuals can pick which seminars are most relevant to them/their business. Attendees should leave with tangible concepts that can be implemented immediately as an owner, manager or employee. Typically, sessions may fit under one or more of the following general business categories:

• Human Resources
• Customer Service
• Marketing & Communications
• Business Growth & Development
• Leadership
• Entrepreneurial Development
• Cybersecurity 
• Finance/Accounting

Proposals must be received no later than Feb. 10, 2023, including any related attachments/supporting materials.

Download the complete RFP here:


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