Get to know Councilman Viktorin
TORRINGTON – Local businessman and Councilman Shane Viktorin brings a unique mindset to the Torrington City Council.
Viktorin was born and raised here in Torrington. After graduating from Torrington High School, he continued his education at Eastern Wyoming College (EWC).
“I think that EWC was, to borrow their catchphrase, a great decision, both financially and because they give a good if not a better education to students than going directly to the university,” Viktorin told the Telegram. “I did not want to go straight to UW (University of Wyoming) and sit in those auditorium lecture halls with hundreds and hundreds of students.”
By going to EWC, Viktorin got to enjoy the various benefits that come with attending a community college. These benefits include, but are not limited to, lower cost, smaller classes, and better teacher-to-student ratios.
After graduating with his associate, Viktorin transferred to UW and studied communication. In the spring of 2013, he finished his program and moved back home to Torrington and started working at his family’s company Z & W Mill.
“A little bit of background, my mom and dad bought (the company) from my grandfather in the early 1990s,” Viktorin explained. “After my father’s passing, I made the life choice to return to the family business. I’ve been there ever since, ten years this summer.”
Viktorin is the fourth generation of his family to run Z & W Mill. The company was started by his maternal great-grandfather.
Viktorin has a vast amount of family support both in Torrington and elsewhere in the state. Locally, he has his mother Mary Viktorin, grandparents Russell and Ila Zimmer and aunt and uncle Vickie Zimmer and Michael Bond.
Reflecting over his career, Viktorin told the Telegram, “I think with all jobs you find the joy in the process; you have good days and you have bad days. Overall, I enjoy the work I do, and I enjoy working with our customers and our employees. Our business is a valuable business for the community and provides a valuable service. I do not regret the decision to decide to keep the family business going, because in my heart it’s what was needed.”
Viktorin said he uses his education in his daily interaction with customers and employees. It has been a valuable tool for the interpersonal aspect of the business.
“What I brought to the job was continuity,” Viktorin said. “I have not changed very much with the business I have kept it the same. We are operating the as my father did, my grandfather did, and my great-grandfather did. I knew when approaching the job that our customers needed continuity. They needed dependability and reliability.”
Serving as Councilman
In an interview, Viktorin was asked what led him to decide to serve the city, he said, “I’ve always had an interest in public service. I saw an opportunity with their becoming a new mayor and the retirement of Councilman Kinney, to throw my hat into the ring and see what I could offer to the public.”
He felt that by being a member of the city council he could not only fulfill his desire to serve the public but also be able to balance his work responsibilities.
“I knew it was something I could handle right now,” Viktorin continued. “I think that I have something unique to offer the community by being a young person and a businessman. I think that will bring a unique mindset to the council.”
Viktorin explained that at this time, there is a need for young people to take their role in society in terms of public service. In many places across the country, the senior leaders in the communities are beginning to step down and retire. There needs to be a new generation of leaders to help fill this role. These people can bring unique perspectives and new ideas to the table and help their communities flourish and prosper.
“I think it will be a rewarding experience because I have colleagues who are tenured in this job,” Viktorin reflected. “They understand the process and the employees. I can look to them for advice and education on how this office works.”
In order to be successful, Viktorin said he will focus on listening, communicating and educating himself when needed. This will help him completely understand issues and make the best decisions possible.
Moving forward, Viktorin said, “The most challenging part of the job, I think will be continuing to provide public services. I think the city government will have a difficult time in the current economic climate, and this will be an issue for the foreseeable future. The city of Torrington is going to find itself in a difficult position to be able to purchase goods and services at competitive costs.”
He said it’s important for everyone to remember that we’re all experiencing these struggles alongside each other. Eventually, the economic climate we find ourselves in will improve; it’s just going to take time.
Comments to Others
“I certainly want to thank my family and friends that helped me all summer long on my campaign,” Viktorin said. “It’s a bit cliche to say it, but I couldn’t have got here without them.”
“For the citizens of Torrington, I want to thank them for giving me this opportunity to serve them,” Viktorin continued. “It’s my hope that I will serve them well. I am always open to comments and suggestions on things affecting residents and business owners and how to improve things here within the city.”