We are in the show-and-tell season. The Bighorn Mountain Trail Run, after 25 years, was again a huge draw and an excellent challenge.
Two things are notable. First, the draw of athletes is international and secondly, many are repeat performers; hats off to the organization and volunteers. With more than 1,000 participants from ages 9 to 90, the continuing draw is the ultimate marker for any athletic venture. To stand the test of time it has to be well run, challenging and serve as a networking opportunity for those in the sport. This event sets a high standard.
Next up is the Sheridan WYO Rodeo. This professional rodeo is the community showcase of the summer in many ways. From the world class rodeo performers to the Indian Relay to the powwows at the Historic Sheridan Inn, each day has enough activity to captivate locals as well as bring folks from miles around. This is the event where we, Forward Sheridan and the Sheridan County Chamber of Commerce, get to interact with many former Sheridan residents via class reunions and family events.
The North Main Street interchange project, construction at the college and hospital and new housing areas on the south edge of Sheridan all will generate conversation as growth and change is evident. A community that invests in itself is on track to remain viable into the future. We can recruit new business interest by keeping a welcome mat available.
Forward Sheridan convened a focus board meeting in early June. The purpose was to review our objectives and begin to strategize funding alongside mission priorities. One of our missions is to expand business markets. We are starting to collect and mobilize businesses that are providing goods and services to the wind industry. Forward Sheridan and six other regional businesses convened a strategy session in early June in Casper to identify and begin to pursue wind opportunities. What was interesting to us at Forward Sheridan was the number and diversity of services/goods provided by Sheridan businesses.
Ranging from sophisticated tower modeling engineering for placement to manufacturing replacement parts to new methods for optimizing blade construction, there is a lot to get done. Wyoming, as a state, is perched on about $8.5 billion in wind infrastructure investment to occur over the next 3-5 years – most of the construction will occur south of Casper. The clear opportunity is for Wyoming manufacturers and service companies to gear up for the construction effort.
The Montana Innovation Summit, scheduled to take place in Billings July 11-13, is a collection of emerging businesses showcased throughout Montana from technology to design. What is really unique is that Bethany Yellowtail, a Tongue River High School graduate, will be the keynote speaker July 12. Forward Sheridan representatives will attend to seek recruitment opportunities — our tax structure for privately held businesses is a key item along with comparable work ethics and expectations.
Sometimes we miss unique and remarkable venues as they sit right in front of our noses.
One venue we all should be in tune with is the Bighorn Equestrian Center Clubhouse and meeting area. Forward Sheridan held its meeting at the Big Horn Equestrian Center club house. Some of our members were unaware of this facility. It’s hard to find a nicer afternoon setting to enjoy some fellowship, a vista and a setting that is somewhat isolated from day-to-day office business, enabling clear conversation.
And now polo is in full swing, so depending upon the day you may be able to watch world class polo while you work.
Jay Stender is the executive director of Forward Sheridan.