CHEYENNE – On Tuesday, June 8, the Powder River Basin Resource Council will conclude its spring webinar series, Reclaim and develop the future of Wyoming, helping community leaders and potential entrepreneurs explore the tools available to support sustainable community development.
Experienced Wyoming economic and business development professionals will share what has worked in other communities and direct those interested in starting a business to resources and programs. This event promises to be useful for community planners, local government officials, and anyone interested in starting a business.
In this discussion, Resources and opportunities of the new economy, speakers Jay Stender from WY Ranch, Kelli Roemer from Resources and Communities Research Group at Montana State University in Bozeman, MT, and Josh Dorrell and Ron Gullberg from Wyoming Business Council will discuss various aspects of attracting and sustaining economic development in the communities. Wyoming State Representative Chad Banks of Sweetwater County will moderate the panel.
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“The unprecedented challenges of 2020 have reinforced the need for Wyoming to move beyond mere survival mode and find ways to thrive. Seeing people come together, find creative solutions and really take care of their neighbors gives me a great sense of pride and excitement for the future. We need to tell our stories and learn the lessons we’ve learned so far, ”said Dorrell, CEO of Wyoming Business Council.
The webinar is free but requires prior registration. Registration is available on www.powderriverbasin.org/events. The webinar will run from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., starting with speaker presentations followed by a question and answer period.
June 8 webinar speaker bios:
Since graduating from the University of Wyoming in 1979, Jay Stender has accumulated four decades of business experience in a variety of technology and service-oriented industries. Most recently, Stender served as CEO of Forward Sheridan from 2009 to 2020, a privately funded economic development entity. Currently, he is the Director of WY Ranch, a Sheridan-based center for organizations working within the community and related industries across Wyoming. There, he seeks, identifies and pursues new opportunities for Wyoming’s business partners and explores forward-thinking diversification options for communities. Stender’s experiences in his coal community have shown that the diversification of economic sectors enables vitality and sustainability.
Kelli Roemer holds a doctorate. candidate and researcher in the Resources and Communities Research Group at Montana State University in Bozeman, MT. She studies political and planning processes in rural communities affected by coal-fired power plant or mine closures. Roemer served two AmeriCorps terms in Helena, Montana and Lakeview, Oregon. Roemer holds a Master of Science degree from the University of Idaho and a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Montana. Roemer has conducted research on planning rural communities for the social and economic impacts of coal plant closures. Specifically, she focuses on the opportunities and challenges of local planning and key strategies that support community resilience.
As CEO of the Wyoming Business Council, Josh Dorrell’s extensive private industry experience in technical sales, business innovation processes, identifying customer needs and leveraging partnerships, as well as mentoring entrepreneurs / start-ups, are perfectly suited to the leading role of the agency in economic diversification and growth. Dorrell was Senior Vice President of Technology Services and Solutions at Laramie-based Trihydro Corporation before joining the WBC in February 2020. After graduating from the University of Wyoming, Dorrell worked for IDES, a small business in software in Laramie. He is a lecturer at UW College of Business.
Ron Gullberg is Director of Strategic Partnerships for the Wyoming Business Council. Gullberg’s extensive experience in communications, team building and project execution supports the agency’s leadership role in diversifying and growing Wyoming’s economy by leveraging public partnerships. public, public-private and B2B. Gullberg joined the Business Council in March 2014 as Director of Communications, then served as Director of Business Development for 2.5 years before becoming Director of Strategic Partnerships in December 2019. He previously served as Journalist, Sports Editor, Director Online and Editor-in-Chief for a 25-year career in the daily press, including 22 years with the Casper Star-Tribune.
Banks of the Republic of Chad, Moderator
Wyoming Representative Chad Banks (Sweetwater) is a community champion who has spent most of his career trying to improve his community and state. He currently works as a director of Rock Springs Main Street / Urban Renewal Agency (URA), where he primarily focuses on small business growth and expansion. Banks holds a Bachelor of Science in Marketing from the University of Wyoming.