Sherwood Forest Thursday night was filled with members and supporters of the Sherwood Chamber of Commerce held the annual banquet and installation of officers.
The event saw the changing of the guard from outgoing Chamber President Steve Cobb with the swearing in of the organization’s newest president, Jessica Rodgers.
“I had said we were going to have a good year and I was right,” Cobb said. “So many things fell into place. The year 2012 was a year of collaboration. So many good things happened. It was a year of people getting together and working together and getting things accomplished.”
Cobb pointed out the recent development of Custom Aircraft Cabinets on Landers Road that builds cabinetry for jets around the world. CAC is housed in the former National Home Center building.
Cobb hinted another airline and space-related business may be coming to Sherwood. “The economic impact on the city will be tremendous,” Cobb said.
Cobb pointed to some of the other businesses that opened their doors in town in the past year, such as the Kum & Go gas station on Kiehl Avenue and Buffalo Wild Wings on Warden Road.
Cobb said the chamber’s decision to partner with Sherwood’s city government for the creation of an economic development office and director is paying off great dividends for the community.
Cobb credited former chamber President Joey Parker for spearheading the effort for a Sherwood economic development director, a post currently occupied by Kelly Coughlin.
Employing an economic development director has helped Sherwood tremendously, according to Cobb.
“Look at all the construction on Kiehl and (Arkansas) 107,” Cobb said. “It has never been this busy ever.”
Cobb said requests for commercial building permits in Sherwood have skyrocketed during the past 12 months.
“It doesn’t show any signs of stopping,” Cobb said. “I think Sherwood is in its renaissance with economic development. There are other businesses that are looking at Sherwood and want to come here if certain things fall into place. It will only get better.”
Cobb added, “When you are walking through town on Saturday, you can buy whatever you need in Sherwood. The benefits continue to accrue.”
Cobb said Sherwood was fortunate to have Coughlin as its economic development director. “There are a lot of other municipalities which would like to steal her from us,” he said.
Cobb also credited Chamber Director Marcia Cook for leading the organization into a positive direction.
Cobb said this year marked the first time Sherwood has had a Farmer’s Market, which he judged as a tremendous success.
Newly sworn-in President Jessica Rodgers thanks her fellow chamber members for electing her to her new post. She pledged to be a president with enthusiasm.
“Ralph Waldo Emerson said nothing great ever was achieved without enthusiasm,” Rodgers said.
Rodgers said her hope for 2013 is that enthusiasm will help continue Sherwood down the path of improved economic development.
Rodgers said she wants to see a Sherwood Young Professionals group developed. She wants to help make the first year of the Arkansas Scholars Program a success in Sherwood for 2013.
Special guest speaker Mark Wilcken, producer for the Arkansas Educational Television Network, gave chamber members advice if they want to put Sherwood more visibly on the map.
“If I would give Sherwood any advice to purse, I would say embrace what makes you unique and what will make you unique in the future,” Wilcken said. “If you do that, someone like me will want to film you.”
Wilcken added, “Sherwood if you are doing something interesting and different, let people know about it.”