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The Sheridan Chamber of Commerce’s Dixie Johnson, right, presents Tongue River Valley Community Center Executive Director Erin Kilbride with the Chamber’s 2020 Spirit of Sheridan award Tuesday, Feb. 17, 2021.

SHERIDAN — Active and full of energy, Erin Kilbride was chosen as this year’s Spirit of Sheridan honoree.

Kilbride has served as the executive director of the Tongue River Valley Community Center in Dayton and Ranchester since 2007. With a passion to help others, she believes that good, positive opportunities help us grow. Kilbride wants her energy to be contagious, and she wants to give people opportunities they may otherwise not have.

Although she is an introvert, Kilbride is a programmer and has a passion for giving opportunities to youth, families and senior citizens to increase quality of life and opportunities she was afforded when she was growing up.

Kilbride has served on many boards including Wellness Council of Sheridan County, Sheridan KidsLife and as a trustee for the Homer and Mildred Scott Foundation. In 2020, she served as the board chair for the Center for a Vital Community at Sheridan College. She spends time volunteering for The Food Group by making sure Tongue River Valley students get the food they need; Habitat for Humanity of the Eastern Bighorns helping build Habitat homes; Sheridan Memorial Hospital Foundation helping with The Link — Partners in Pink; Antelope Butte Mountain Recreation Area by cutting trees and opening slopes; the Sheridan County YMCA, serving as a coach and referee for youth programs; and for a multitude of programs and events for Sheridan County School District 1.

Kilbride also serves as an advocate for Sheridan Rotary Club, Joey’s Fly Fishing and Greater Wyoming Big Brothers Big Sisters.

Kilbride has served on the Sheridan Economic and Educational Development Authority board and was recently elected to the Northern Wyoming Community College District Board of Trustees. She said she serves Sheridan County and the Chamber because she has a passion for giving and believes in a healthy community.

“I want to help make my community — Dayton, Ranchester and Sheridan — the best community possible,” Kilbride said. “Sheridan County has so much to offer. It gives my family so many opportunities, and I want to give back and help support the great causes and businesses that make these opportunities possible. The Chamber is a major contributor to our healthy community, and our community thrives because of organizations like the Chamber. If I can be a small part of supporting and helping make our community great, I will.”

Kilbride said strong leadership is an integral part of organizational success.

“Strong leadership is a major part in building a healthy community, therefore, leadership means innovation, integrity and initiative,” she said. “A leader must be a good listener, one who brings excitement and innovation, one who leads and makes decisions with integrity and takes the initiative to get things done.”

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