New ACDC-COC Director hits the ground running

Cheryl Garner began her tenure as the ACDC-COC Director on Oct. 30. She moved from Bismarck and has more than two decades of sales, marketing, and hospitality experience. (Record Photo by Cassidy Fosheim)

She’s only been on the job since Oct. 30, but new Adams County Development Corporation Executive Director Cheryl Garner has hit the ground running.
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“[It’s going] good,” she said. “There’s a lot to do.”
Garner, who was hired from Bismarck, has over two decades of sales and marketing experience to go along with experience in the hospitality industry.
“I basically go into businesses, hotels and property managements, and I go in and fix them,” Garner said.
Garner replaces the retiring Jim Goplin, who served the community for many years.
She holds degrees in both business management and culinary arts and moved to the Hettinger area for the opportunity while bringing her closer to loved ones; it was a good fit for her and the community.
Just four days after her first day she was already making her way around the southwest region and attended the Fusion conference in Bowman. Since then she’s been going door-to-door encouraging residents and business owners to attend the community open forum which was scheduled for Wednesday, Nov. 15 at the Hettinger Theater. Garner looked at this as a great opportunity to get a start on driving the community forward.
“We want the community to be involved,” she said. “And we want to get their take on what they think Hettinger needs in order to grow Hettinger more.”
She wants to capitalize on that mentality, and keep the community involved and informed. She suggested using the paper, or other methods of communication, to keep that line open between what her office is trying to accomplish and what the community wants to see happen.
Now she said they need to figure out where the community needs to go for growth. Does Hettinger need a manufacturing company that could bring whole families to the area?
These are some of the questions she wants the community to answer.
“What do we need,” Garner said. “[We’re] trying to hone in on everything.”
Garner was scheduled to go around the community with some of the Real Estate brokers and look at all the open store fronts of Main Street, to get a feel of where Hettinger is. She’s also looking at ways they can take advantage of the governor’s Main Street Initiative, and possibly forming a renaissance zone.
“Those are probably the three things that we definitely want to capitalize on first and foremost,” Garner said. “And go from there.”
The biggest thing she’d like to do in her new position is to bring a large business to town, to really drive the tax dollars back into the community.
“We have to keep Hettinger running, and it’s got to grow,” she said. “If it doesn’t grow, it goes stale.”
Some of the things that are already in place in Hettinger Garner would like to grow, like some of the activities throughout the year that have been a success in the past.
But in the end, she said growing the area can’t be done by one person, and that it takes the whole community to accomplish growth and expansion. And she really wants to get people involved and get them what they want.
“We need the community, I need the community to help,” she said. “Because in order for us to be successful, we need everybody on the same page, and we need everybody on board, it takes more than one person to be successful.”

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