CHEYENNE — On Tuesday, June 8, Powder River Basin Resource Council will wrap up its spring webinar series, Reclaiming & Growing Wyoming’s Future, by helping community leaders and would-be entrepreneurs explore tools available to support sustainable community development.
Experienced Wyoming economic development and business professionals will share what has worked in other communities as well as direct people interested in starting a business to resources and programs. This event promises to be helpful for community planners, local government officials, and anyone interested in starting a business.
In this discussion, Resources & Opportunities of the New Economy, speakers Jay Stender of The WY Ranch, Kelli Roemer with the Resources and Communities Research Group at Montana State University in Bozeman, Montana, and Josh Dorrell and Ron Gullberg from the Wyoming Business Council will address various aspects of attracting and retaining economic development to communities. Wyoming State Representative Chad Banks of Sweetwater County will moderate the panel.
“The unprecedented challenges in 2020 have reinforced the necessity for Wyoming to go beyond just survival mode and figure out ways to thrive. To see people rally together, come up with creative solutions and really look out for their neighbors gives me a great sense of pride and excitement for the future. We need to tell our stories and learn the lessons that we have taken in so far,” said Dorrell, CEO of the Wyoming Business Council.
The webinar is free but requires advance registration. Registration is available at www.powderriverbasin.org/events. The webinar will run 11:30 am – 1:30pm starting with the speakers’ 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 spanning a variety of technology and service-oriented sectors. Most recently, Stender served as the CEO of Forward Sheridan from 2009-2020, a privately-funded, economic development entity. Currently, he is Principal at The WY Ranch – a Sheridan-based hub for organizations working within the community and related industries across Wyoming. There, he seeks, identifies, and pursues new opportunities for Wyoming business partners and explores forward-thinking diversification options for communities. Stender’s experiences in his coal community have shown that diversification of economic sectors enables vitality and sustainability.
Kelli Roemer is a Ph.D. candidate and researcher in the Resources and Communities Research Group at Montana State University in Bozeman, Montana. She studies policy and planning processes in rural communities affected by coal plant or mine closures. Roemer has served two AmeriCorps terms in Helena, Montana and Lakeview, Oregon. Roemer has a Master of Science from the University of Idaho and a Bachelor of Science from the University of Montana. Roemer has conducted research on rural communities planning for the social and economic impacts of coal facility closure. Specifically, she focuses on opportunities and challenges to 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, along with entrepreneur/startup mentoring, are well-suited for the agency’s leading role in diversifying and growing Wyoming’s economy. Dorrell was Senior Vice President of Technology Services and Solutions with Laramie-based Trihydro Corporation prior to joining the WBC in February 2020. After graduating from the University of Wyoming, Dorrell worked for IDES, a small software company in Laramie. He is an assistant lecturer at the UW College of Business.
Ron Gullberg serves as the Strategic Partnerships Director for the Wyoming Business Council. Gullberg’s extensive communications, team-building and project execution experience support the agency’s leading role in diversifying and growing Wyoming’s economy by leveraging public-public, public-private and B2B partnerships. Gullberg joined the Business Council in March 2014 as communications director, then served as business development director for 2 1/2 years before becoming strategic partnerships director in December 2019. He previously served as a reporter, sports editor, online director, and managing editor during a 25-year daily newspaper career, including 22 years at the Casper Star-Tribune.
Rep. Chad Banks, 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 the Rock Springs Main Street/Urban Renewal Agency (URA) manager, where much of his focus is on helping small businesses grow and expand. Banks has a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Marketing from the University of Wyoming.