Wyoming Business Council CEO Thinking Bigger for Our Future
Written by Andrew-Rossi on April 20, 2021
A year into his tenure as CEO, Josh Dorrell encourages Wyoming residents to “see the future” and think about how our choices today build the state’s tomorrow.
Dorrell was the speaker for the Cody Chamber of Commerce’s Cody Club Lunch on Monday, April 19. For him, this visit was a reminder of how much has changed in Wyoming since he took the helm of the Business Council.
After his appointment to CEO last year, Dorrell’s first visit was to the Bighorn Basin. It was his only trip before the nation went into lockdown due to the pandemic.
He says he was and continues to be impressed by the communities in the Bighorn Basin, recognizing tourism and agriculture as the region’s economic pillars.
He even ventured the opinion – cautiously – that our communities know tourism better than any other in Wyoming.
Rather than the usual PowerPoint of slides and data, Dorrell spoke freely on his optimistic view of the future – for the Bighorn Basin and Wyoming.
A year ago, the Wyoming Business Council risked losing its funding in the Wyoming Legislature. A year later, the Council has proven to be a lifeline for countless businesses and industries during an unprecedented crisis.
Dorrell admitted that Wyoming is in a challenging spot, as the state deals with pandemic recovery and budget reconciliation. He characterized the state’s current position as “hope for the future while trying to survive for the moment.”
But rather than “getting tripped up on the micro things,” Dorrell sees this as the prime opportunity. This is the best time for our region to grow for the better.
“Change is difficult when you’re comfortable,” Dorrell says. ” We are in an uncomfortable place now. This is the most important and easiest time to change.”
Dorrell’s goal is shared by the Business Council – to ensure our state prospers, regardless of the booms and busts of its industries.
Vision is the key to Wyoming’s future. Dorrell broke things down simply, identifying the two aspects of any vision: hindsight and foresight.
Wyoming, in Dorrell’s opinion, is already good at hindsight. What needs to be improved is the state’s foresight – to “think big and be unafraid.”
That vision will continue to be utilized as the Wyoming Business Council continues distributing federal funding, The state received over a billion dollars thru the American Rescue Plan.
And the resources to actualize bigger thinking? Dorrell says resources can always be found with the right vision. In spite of a lack of money, “we’re still here to think big.”
Dorrell says short-term successes always matter, but economic development is a long-term game. It’s the game Dorrell and the Wyoming Business Council are already playing, for today and tomorrow.
“We need to create a Wyoming our children can be proud of and thrive in. You can’t think big enough for that,” he says.