Wyoming Working Together Wrap Up
The Laramie Chamber Business Alliance staff spent Thursday at the UW Conference Center with other Chamber, Main Street and Economic Development agencies from across the state listening to experts from across the nation. For the first time Wyoming Economic Development Association, Wyoming State Chamber of Commerce and Wyoming Main Street held a joint conference.
It all kicked off with a reception in First Street Plaza Wednesday night sponsored by LCBA’s Business Retention and Expansion Committee. Registrants who arrived in Laramie early were invited to take tours of LCBA projects such as HiViz, Underwriters Laboratory, the Spec Building and Cirrus Sky Technology Park along with the new site for Big Hollow Food Coop. The tours stopped in downtown and concluded in First Street Plaza for a night of networking and local microbrews.
Thursday was full of breakout sessions after a motivating speech from adventure guide Shelli Johnson, a Lander native. Sessions catered to all different interests including presentations from speakers across the nation. With economic development, chamber of commerce and main street focuses, the multitude of sessions gave all attendees something to walk away with and take back to their own towns and put to use.
After the long day of sessions, an award banquet was held in the Gateway Center. Each group awarded their respective honorees, including Laramie local Jerry Schmidt who won Wyoming Main Street’s 2017 Leadership Award.
The conference wrapped up Friday morning with various updates and an in-depth presentation of the Economically Needed Diversity Options for Wyoming (ENDOW) program.
LCBA staff walked away with new knowledge of programs available to Wyoming, ways to think about our organization and motivation to put the new education to work. Here’s what staff has to say about their experience:
JJ Harris, CEO:
“WOW! An excellent conference with all the Economic Groups collaborating. Thanks State Chamber, Mainstreet, WEDA and WBC for all the great networking tools, great speakers and good food. You are always welcome in Laramie and by the Laramie Chamber Business Alliance – Albany County’s and the City of Laramie’s Economic Development Organization we’ll see you back here again real soon.”
Josie Molloy, VP of Membership:
“We were very excited Laramie was able to host one of the first joint conferences between WEDA, Wyoming State Chamber, and Wyoming Main Street. One of the huge topics was diversifying our economy. It was a great opportunity to show that Laramie is already diversifying our economy with companies like Bright AgroTech, Underwriters Laborites, HiViz, and Tungsten. We have great things happening in the State of Wyoming and I am excited to see these partnerships continue in the future. It was a great joint conference with outstanding speakers.”
Josh Boudreau, VP of Economic Development:
“It was great to see the three organizations (Main Street, Chamber, and Economic Development) collaborate this event. Hopefully this was the first in many to come.”
Hannah Robinson, Marketing Director:
“It was great to have all these different groups together in one room and getting to know what’s happening all across our state. One thing I’ll be walking away with is a presentation from the president of the Western Association of Chamber Executives Dave Kilby about how to think of the local business community, along with several other presentations. I know we all left with the motivation to put our new knowledge to work, and I know others left inspired by the current economic development happening right here in Laramie!”