SHERIDAN — Gov. Matt Mead has made appointments to the ENDOW (Economically Needed Diversity Options for Wyoming) Executive Council. The panel is composed of accomplished business and community leaders from across Wyoming. It will focus on developing a strategy to build a sustainable, diversified and value-added economy in Wyoming by 2038.
“These individuals are among Wyoming’s best and brightest, and they have agreed to contribute their time and expertise to help Wyoming,” Mead said. “Their insights will be invaluable as we work to encourage the expansion and diversification of Wyoming’s economy. I am interested in an approach that contains defined targets with flexibility to be implemented in any area of the state.”
Mead announced the ENDOW initiative in November 2016. The Legislature endorsed the initiative and appropriated $2.5 million to advance and promote economic diversification.
The governor has asked the ENDOW Executive Council to look at education, workforce training, research, business development, entrepreneurship, innovation and private sector businesses coming together to create jobs, products and companies.
The Executive Council is scheduled to meet for the first time May 11-12 in Cheyenne. Its members are:
• Jesus Rios of Sheridan — COO of Ptolemy Data Systems
• Rosie Berger of Big Horn — former legislator
• Karen Hostetler of Buffalo — founder and president of Mountain Meadow Wool
• Mark Christensen of Gillette — president of The MC Family of Companies
• Jerad Stack of Casper — entrepreneur and founding member of Breakthrough 307
• Bill Schilling of Casper — president of Wyoming Business Alliance
• Wally Wolski of Yoder — Goshen County Economic Development Corporation
• Matt Kaufman of Cheyenne — co-founder of Array School of Technology and Design
• Ray Fleming Dinneen of Cheyenne — founder of CLIMB Wyoming
• Mary Ellbogen Garland of Laramie — president of John P. Ellbogen Foundation
• John Temte of Laramie — founder of Temte Capital
• Steven Moldt of Riverton — president of Inberg-Miller Engineers
• Cy Lee of Fort Washakie — executive director of the Wind River Development Fund
• Ike Eastman of Powell — president of Eastmans’ Publishing
• Bob Viola of Jackson — founder of Square One Systems Design
• Barbara Hoeft of Jackson — managing partner of Willow Street Group
• Barbara Sessions of Afton — vice president and CFO for Silver Star Communications
• Cindy Johnson of Green River — president of the Para-Transit Division of Syncromatics
• Bret Pizzato of Rock Springs — plant manager for J.R. Simplot
• Steve Russell of Rock Springs — former CEO of Carbon Fiber Technology
• Sen. Eli Bebout of Riverton — president of the Senate
• Rep. Steve Harshman or Casper — Speaker of the House of Representatives
• Sen. Michael Von Flatern of Gillette — Vice President of the Senate and Chairman of the Senate Minerals, Business and Economic Development Committee
Rep. Mike Greear of Worland — Ccairman of the House Minerals, Business and Economic Development Committee
• Greg Hill of Wilson — president and COO of Hess Corporation, a global independent energy company engaged in the exploration and production of crude oil and natural gas. Hill will serve as the governor’s designee on the ENDOW Executive Council and as co-chair of the ENDOW Executive Council. The Council will also select a co-chair from among its members.
“The opportunity to examine ways to diversify the economy of Wyoming is an exciting challenge,” Hill said. “The state has so much to offer, and has the time and the expertise to chart an exciting course for the future.”
The Executive Council’s first report is due to Mead and the Wyoming Legislature by Aug. 30. Its preliminary findings and recommendations are due by Dec. 31. By Aug. 1, 2018, a 20-year comprehensive economic diversification strategy is due to Mead.
In addition to the ENDOW Executive Council, Mead plans to establish a Rural Council to serve as a champion for rural economic diversification and to inform the Executive Council’s work. The ENDOW Rural Council will be co-chaired by Wally Wolski and Jim Espy of Savery. Full membership will be announced at a later date.