Dixie Johnson, the executive director of the Sheridan County Chamber of Commerce, stopped in last week. Dixie’s commitment to the Chamber and its membership is always evident; she’s able to light up a room and engage the member meaningfully. Dixie’s a native of Sheridan, went away for awhile, tending to a career and family and then returned to lead a prominent organization. Like many others hereabouts.
We discussed, for example, the forthcoming Destination Sheridan magazine, the slick, glossy lifestyles and tourism magazine that will be published in May by The Sheridan Press. It’ll be 100 pages. And will include a 12-page pullout guide for local restaurants. This year’s cover story is about local economic development efforts. Plus, there will be features about Sheridan people, businesses, where to go and what to see. Good stuff, this.
Sort of like the Chamber under Dixie’s leadership. The recent record of Chamber accomplishment is worth noting:
• A new website expressing Sheridan’s considerable strengths. A successful “Think Local” campaign, that combined with the Chamber Bucks program, increased local sales.
• The Chamber coffee programs, its monthly luncheons (average attendance around 100), its monthly Business After Hours socials all promote a sense of cohesiveness within the Sheridan business community. More than 800 people attended the Chamber’s first-ever Brewfest last September. The Chamber also provides a number of staff training programs. Every Sunday night, the Chamber newsletter arrives and gives off the feeling that they are working for its membership, now totaling more than 570 businesses with more than 8,300 owners and employees.
• The Chamber office, along with the Sheridan Travel and Tourism office on East Fifth Street, is a “must-see,” as the saying goes, for visitors. Last year, some 104,000 people passed through its doors, the highest number since 2007, a number that bodes well for 2013 tourism. These two offices are also where thousands of Destination Sheridan magazines end up going out the door and into the lives of those visitors who enjoy and explore our area.
The Sheridan Chamber is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year.