Laramie Main Street Alliance
What personal accomplishment are you most proud of?
2016 has been a great year, both professionally and personally. In the spring, I accepted an Innovation award on behalf of Laramie Main Street and the Laramie Mural Project from the National Main Street Center. Then, from the Wyoming Association of Municipalities, I accepted their Community Hero award for Main Street's collaborative work with private businesses and the City of Laramie. And finally, as a volunteer board member of the Laramie Public Art Coalition, I helped raised enough funds to hire our first public art coordinator!
What is your primary personal development goal/business goal for the next 5 years?
I'd love to run for public office! I'm drawn to community service, building partnerships, creative problem solving and being a voice for the people. I'd love to put my skill set to work on a larger scale and make a difference, not only for Laramie, but all of Wyoming.
What is your biggest philanthropic achievement?
I believe this is still yet to come. However, I am honored to be part of a pilot project for Wyoming's very own crowdfunding platform, "The Local Crowd". This community driven fundraising resource will give local businesses and non profits access to untapped capitol for start up, growth and expansion opportunities. As a "crowdfunding coach" I'll be able to help entities set up campaigns that bring resources to causes that are beneficial for all of Laramie.
What action/event that you've been a part of, that you believe has made the biggest difference in Laramie?Or are you most proud of?
I'm very proud of the Laramie Mural Project. It has garnered national attention and put a spotlight on Laramie as Wyoming's "Creative Capital". The murals have breathed new life into downtown, built a foundation for a creative economy and fostered a stronger "town and gown" connection between downtown and the university. The UW Art Museum has been amazing to work with and the local artist who are reflecting Laramie's culture assets are extremely talented and care deeply about the community. It has been an honor to work collaboratively with the museum director, artists and property owners to build a framework for public art that celebrates the reasons we love Laramie.
What excites you most about the future of Laramie?
That, despite our lack of financial resources, as a community we are "scrappy". This makes us more open to collaborations and creative problem solving. Resource sharing among non-profits, educational institutions, the City and private businesses will continue to make Laramie a desirable place to live as creative partnerships spark new ideas and innovative solutions to our current and future challenges.
What do you think has helped make you successful in your endeavors?
My enthusiastic passion and unwavering optimism! My family told me from a very young age that I could do anything I put my mind to. I work hard and don't take no for an answer. I'm always looking for outside of the box solutions, opportunities for collaboration and love building partnerships. I feel most rewarded when the community benefits from my successes.
What advice would you give to other young professionals in Laramie?
Don't be afraid to jump in and get involved! Your voice is important and needs to be heard. Find a cause or organization you are passionate about and volunteer your time. We all have the power to make a difference.