Goal setting requires vision. No matter who undertakes the task, you must have an idea in mind. You are X, but want to be Y. This applies across all industries. If you’re setting a goal to be the best business in the city for which to work, that must mean you aren’t right now, or, you’d like to continue to be — that takes maintenance.

The Sheridan County Chamber of Commerce set out to conduct some strategic planning last year. They had ideas; now they have a vision.

Members of the Chamber’s leadership team presented the results of that process at the monthly luncheon that took place Wednesday.

Some of the goals are lofty — but worthy. In short, the Chamber has four initiatives for its three-year plan. They are to support the retention and expansion of member businesses; to be a proactive voice on vital issues impacting the business community; to engage the staff and volunteers to best serve the organization’s mission; and to practice responsible financial stewardship. See the article in today’s edition of The Press for more details.

Strategic planning can reenergize a group, and I hope it spurs further community discussion in this case.

In addition to a look ahead, the Chamber gave a rundown of 2017’s accomplishments. Here’s a quick glance:

• 76 new members, bringing the total members to 671

• a 92.7 percent retention rate of members

• 48 ribbon cuttings

• 196 relocation packets sent out

• 5,905 welcomed bags distributed

• 105 newsletters created and distributed

• 8,000 copies of the community guide and membership directory distributed

Plus, the Chamber has 200 volunteers who donate countless hours to helping further the Chamber’s causes. One of those initiatives — “Think Local First” — had a banner year in 2017. The Chamber tracks the amount of Chamber Bucks purchased each year and that amount has steadily increased over the last several years. In 2016, they sold $88,338 in Chamber Bucks. In 2017, that number topped $103,400.

Nicely done.


“The most difficult thing is the decision to act; the fears are paper tigers. You can do anything you decide to do.”

— Amelia Earhart, American aviation pioneer and author