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Governor Mead Op-ed: Getting Down to Business

posted Sep 12, 2013, 11:12 AM by Unknown user   [ updated Sep 17, 2013, 7:44 AM ]


State Capitol
Cheyenne, WY 82002
Ph. (307) 777-7437
November 2, 2011
Renny MacKay
Communications Director
                                                                                  Governor Mead Op-ed: Getting Down to Business
Wyoming is getting down to business at the Governor’s business forum on November 15th and 16th in Cheyenne, Wyoming.  Business and community leaders, government leaders, national and international business men and women, the Wyoming Business Alliance and I will spend two days putting our heads together - discussing economic development in Wyoming.  We will focus on Wyoming’s economy; where we are, where we want to go, and how to get there.  We will showcase twenty-one Wyoming businesses, learning from their experiences and hearing how they translated entrepreneurial skills into successful enterprises.
The range of Wyoming businesses represented at this forum reflects the breadth of economic diversity in Wyoming.  Individuals from banking, manufacturing, agriculture, construction, healthcare, technology, tourism, energy and hospitality companies will tell their success stories.  They will be joined by six top-notch business leaders from the national and international stage. Listed in order of their appearance at the forum, these acclaimed speakers are James Wolfensohn, former President of the World Bank, Herb Allen, President and CEO of Allen and Company, Rick Walje, President of Rocky Mountain Power, Foster Friess, founder of the Brandywine Fund, Hank McKinnell, former CEO and Chair of Pfizer, and John Schopp, Vice President of North Rockies and New Ventures for Encana. These leaders will present their insights and perspectives about economic opportunities in our state and strategies for taking advantage of these opportunities.
Business drives our Wyoming economy.  Jobs, tax revenues, education, government services, and our quality of life -- all depend on a healthy and thriving private business sector.  Yet, we do not always set aside the time to reflect on and congratulate successful businesses and the individuals behind them that make Wyoming economically stable today and poised for growth in the future.  It is important for us to take the time to focus on our state’s economy and how to keep it glowing and growing.
Given the economic challenges confronting our nation – a high jobless rate among them, I wanted to establish an economic forum during my first year in office. I wanted to make sure that in Wyoming we do all we can to move our economy, not letting it slide backwards or remain at a standstill, but pushing it forward.  Strong states, like Wyoming, will help our country out of economic doldrums.  I believe the upcoming forum will provide ideas and impetus for making our state even better in the years ahead.  I have been energized while planning this forum and I am looking forward to participating.
This year I am fortunate to partner with the Wyoming Business Alliance/Wyoming Heritage Foundation (WBA/WHF) for this forum.  For 28 years, the WBA/WHF has held a Wyoming business forum. The public event has proven to be a networking mecca for Wyoming business, political, government, education, and nonprofit leaders.  The list of national speakers who have come to Wyoming is inspiring.  Erskine Bowles and Al Simpson, co-chairs of the National Debt Commission, were among last year’s headliners.  Others in the past have included Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volker, Governors from North Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, Colorado, Nevada, and New Jersey, and CEOs from banking, coal, oil and gas, mining, tourism, healthcare, non-profit, and environmental sectors. 
More importantly, these forums have yielded positive results pinpointing issues that needed to be addressed. The synergy that comes from bringing business, community and government leaders together to focus on the subject of economic growth and development opportunities often produces concrete results.  Having joined forces with the WBA/WHF this year, I expect the forum to pack a double punch. 
Personally, I hope to take away ideas for increasing entrepreneurship in our state.  I also want to find out from our business and community leaders what they need to thrive in the future and what the State of Wyoming can do to facilitate economic growth and development here.
I invite and encourage you to attend.  The six featured presentations will, I believe, be both penetrating and pragmatic.  The Wyoming business success stories, alone and in combination, should be inspiring and instructive. These entrepreneurs and their companies offer building blocks for the future.  They come from every corner of the state – from Cody to Cheyenne, from Hulett to Green River, and from places in between. These Wyoming businesses, showcased at this year’s forum, are as diverse as they are successful.  Wyoming resorts and ranchers, hospitals and hoteliers, energy, construction, product and service providers, and others will tell about their achievements, incubated and nurtured in our state.

What about some fine Wyoming wool?  At the forum, you will hear about the company from Buffalo, Wyoming that makes it and you will hear from twenty other great Wyoming enterprises, too.  The lineup for this forum would be a top draw anywhere in the country, and it says a lot about Wyoming’s existing economy and our potential that such a tremendous group of people are gathering here to share ideas.
Whether you are in business, in a profession, in government or another walk of life, the November 15-16 Governor’s Business Forum in Cheyenne will give you the opportunity to discover Wyoming through different prisms—prisms of wisdom from outstanding national  business leaders, and prisms of wisdom from on-the-ground, successful and experienced Wyoming business owners.
My opening address will be simple and direct. Wyoming’s goal should be to lead; we should be second to none. We should not settle for running in the middle of the pack.  We want to lead in terms of quality education, jobs for our youth, economic opportunities for all, solid infrastructure, new technology, good healthcare managed from within, and a pristine environment.  To achieve this end will require strategies, focus, and hard work by all of us.
To make progress, share perspectives with me, get new ideas, and forge productive networks, you should attend Wyoming’s first Governor Matthew H. Mead’s Business Forum.  This event is not to be missed, and I hope to see you there.

This forum takes place at Little America in Cheyenne. To register, please go to