Monthly Archives: June 2017


I am a big fan of Donald Trump’s campaign slogan ‘Make America Great Again’.  Not because America ever ceased to be great, but because it recognizes a divided county and moreover recognizes that with unified Americans working together we can certainly become greater.  The thing to realize is that if we put in the daily effort, each of us can learn, grow, and become greater.  Asking what else can I do; how can I improve myself and my community will take you to places beyond what you imagined.

One real tangible way to accomplish this is through the Chamber’s Leadership Williston Program.  I briefly mentioned it in my last column but it’s long history is noteworthy enough to warrant more explanation.  For over 20 years, it has shaped not only those who joined the program, but our community and region as well.  Over 170 individuals have been affected by this program and in turn affected countless others.   In a historically ag driven economy, Williston knows how to plan, nurture, and harvest a crop.  The Leadership program proves we can do this with more than wheat.  Most alumni of the program now hold leadership positions in their jobs and in the community.  Many are active on important boards.  They are doing their part to shape our influential part of the world.  Leadership graduates understand when you help others, you better yourself.

There is nothing worth achieving without sacrifice and the Leadership Williston program requires a significant commitment from not only themselves but their employers as well.  The really good news is that Williston employers have consistently shown they understand the bottom line value to dealership development.  The program, open to all, consists of 13 sessions from October through April, as participants learn the ins and outs of our community in a hands-on way.  Each participant is required to complete a service project.  Past projects such as Downtown Beautification, Frisbee Golf course and Dog park at Spring Lake Park, and Marketplace for Kids are still being utilized today!  It’s like the pay it forward concept.  It can’t help but breed progress.  It’s a fantastic program – I encourage you to consider it or if you are an alumnus of the program – encourage someone around you to apply.  Don’t just take my word for it – it’s fairly easy to find a graduate of the program to ask them how they were impacted.  You can always contact the Chamber with any questions.  Applications for the program will be available next month.  My only regret is that we cannot allow more people in each year.

“Good Leadership consists of showing average people how to do the work of superior people.”  John D. Rockefeller

Our community is what we make of it.  Let’s make our community not just great – but superior.


Evolving Community, Regional Front-Runner

The perception of Western North Dakota from outsiders is vastly different from reality.  Even from our ND neighbors in the East.  I wrote about this before how people don’t really understand this until you are here.  The inaccurate national news media frenzy of the boom fueled this misunderstanding.  Once you are here, however, you meet the people who have made this their home.  They are hardworking, caring, and survivors.  Harsh winters and summer mosquitoes are not easy to live with, yet, we are stronger for it.

The activity level is on the rise.  The change is palpable.  Not just structurally with all the infrastructure projects around the area but with the anticipation of the future.  This past Wednesday the city hosted the second public meeting regarding the new airport project and the Sloulin Field redevelopment.  Both of these projects are crucially significant to our regional economy moving forward.

The new airport will be a not just be a nice convenience for travel – able to offer the region closer and easier options to people visiting here and for visit others.  It will open up a wide variety of economic options that up until now, have not even been imagined.   The Sloulin Field site offers prime space in town that will be available to provide amenities, services, commerce to meet the growing demand.

Thanks to the leadership at the city, county, and state level all working hard on our behalf, this is now a reality…coming to fruition within a few years.  At the same time, it is a model for a growing community for the next several generations.  The engagement of our youth and different leaders now is critical to help ensure the community continues to grow and thrive.

To this end, the Chamber’s Leadership and Education committee provides opportunities for both youth and people in this community intended to form leaders in our community.  You may not be involved directly with the Lemonade Day program, Leadership Williston, and others but in your own small way you can be:

  • Come out around town on June 17th and visit some lemonade stands to support our budding entrepreneurs.
  • Learn about all the great work being done around this community at our non-profit expo in July. Perhaps your or your business wants to give back or support them with your time as a volunteer.
  • Think twice before you order something online and see if you can get it here at a local business. Support those businesses that support our economy and our community.
  • Consider your friend, neighbor, kids or grandkids that have the potential and drive to become our next group of leaders. Maybe they could benefit from either Lemonade Day or Leadership Williston and encourage them to get involved to shape our future.

I know I’ve said it before, but it’s still true:  This is an exciting time to be living and working in the Williston Area.  This is a fantastic community and I am grateful to be involved!


%d bloggers like this: