Wyoming Chamber’s Hoehn selected employee of the year
TORRINGTON, Wyo. — Sandy Hoehn was recognized for her work for Goshen County Economic Development.
Hoehn is a native of Albany County, and first came to Goshen County for student teaching while attending Chadron State College. After graduation, she worked for the State of Wyoming as a social worker for a few years until a position opened up at GCED.
“I thought it’d be really cool to see all the good things happening in a community,” she said, “instead of the not-so-good that happens that social workers sometimes see.”
She got the job as a project coordinator and later moved up to community development director.
The chamber merged with Goshen County Economic Development on Jan. 1, 2017.
“(GCED) was overlapping on a lot of things with the chamber, and we were struggling on not stepping on people’s toes,” Hoehn said.
The week GCED merged with the chamber, the chamber’s computers were hit with a virus that made their information inaccessible.
“We were left with a little information in the filing cabinets and nothing on the computers at that point,” Hoehn said. “To say it was a struggle would be an understatement, but it was also a blessing in disguise.”
Hoehn and the chamber had to start again from scratch to create a relationship with the county and build off activities the old chamber had started. Hoehn began to take over the chamber’s responsibilities along with Tammy Derr. On a day-to-day basis, Hoehn facilitates the chamber’s activities, such as the Third Thursdays in downtown Torrington, while also operating the county’s tourism, promotion and main street community development programs. She builds videos to highlight businesses and industries for special events, aids businesses in building a social media presence and helps write grants.
Ashley Harpstreith, CEO of GCED, presented the award to Hoehn at the 2018 Wyoming Working Together — Border to Border Conference in September. Harpstreith said Hoehn was critical in getting GCED to fit into its new role following the merger with the chamber, with all the extra entailing responsibilities.
“She’s been working through that wonderfully,” Harpstreith said.
Hoehn also stepped up to take the extra behind-the-scenes work to make the chamber’s activities possible.
“It’s great for our community, they can show up and have fun, but there’s a lot of hard work and effort that goes into them,” Harpstreith said.
Hoehn said she appreciates the recognition for her work.
“It’s been a lot of work,” she said. “The Third Thursdays (for example) took two years to get the ball rolling and everyone on board. It’s been a lot of work, a lot of long hours to building the chamber back to where it is now. It’s always really nice to get recognized for the work you’re doing.”