Discussing Wyoming's future economy

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CHEYENNE, Wyo.- The 2017 Governor's Business Forum is taking place November 7-9 and includes several business leaders coming together to discuss business and the economy in the state of Wyoming.

President of the Wyoming Business Alliance and the Wyoming Heritage Foundation, Cindy DeLancey, says the annual event has brought more than 650 people in attendance and says all events have been sold out. More than 30 speakers are sharing their ideas to start a conversation and build collaboration to help better the state.

DeLancey says Wyoming citizens have been through some tough times in connection to the economy, but says the state's outlook looks good. She said, "Thankfully, our economy is moving in the right direction. Some of our state revenue projections are above anticipation." DeLancey added, "Bringing the business community together state-wide to have those conversations is really going to be a benefit."

Those in attendance are coming from all backgrounds and are not only networking, but focusing on innovation and entrepreneurship to overcome a changing economy.

With this year's theme, "The Dynamics of Change," DeLancey said, "Change is occurring all around us and one of the main takeaways for me, for people to leave with, is how can Wyoming embrace this change and really lead and position us for the future." DeLancey says some of those aspects include not only focusing on entrepreneurship and innovation, but also creating connections and partnerships to help the business community move forward and keep Wyoming's economy strong.

Governor Matt Mead helped kick off events Wednesday morning. The Governor recapped some of the work of the ENDOW initiative that he introduced during last year's forum and the steps toward more diversification. He said, "ENDOW is an attempt not just to address revenue needs, it's a chance to address much broader. How do we keep young people in the State of Wyoming? How can we say that we are firmly convinced that we can create our own destiny?"

Also during his opening address, Governor Mead said, "I think about what a difference a year makes. What an incredible difference we've seen in the last year. Last year, as we were at this forum, we were in the very hard times of that year that affected so many of our businesses and industries across the State of Wyoming." The Governor later added, "A difference a year makes is incredible. And I'm confident when I say that Wyoming has weathered the storm. We were at bottom and we're coming back."

Governor Mead says not only has the state's rainy day fun doubled in size, but oil, gas and power companies plan to invest in upcoming years. He said he not only has confidence that Wyoming can control its destiny and ability to diverse the economy, but added, "Wyoming will not sit by and say our future is to wait for oil prices to come back or coal to come back. Our future in Wyoming is ours to build."

The Wyoming Business Alliance and Wyoming Heritage Foundation have hosted this forum for the past 35 years.