2021 Safety & Workforce Summit to prep workers to be ‘Agents of Change’

Michelle Rozen, one of America’s top experts on leading change, will deliver the keynote address at the 2021 Wyoming Safety and Workforce Summit on Oct. 20.

The theme of this year’s summit is “Agents of Change,” and the summit will be presented virtually. There is no cost to attend this year’s summit.

Rozen’s strategies for leading change have transformed the lives, performance and success of leading brands in all industries. These science-based, easy-to-apply strategies have given leaders the actionable solutions and confidence to lead their teams through change, all the way to off-the-charts results. This is an insights-packed experience, full of humor and audience engagement, that will not only motivate you to lead change with confidence, but will also show you, in the most practical way, exactly how.

“We’re thrilled to have Dr. Michelle delivering the keynote address at this year’s summit,” said Robin Sessions Cooley, director of the Wyoming Department of Workforce Services. “As we emerge from the challenges of the past year and a half, we have the opportunity to thrive, rather than simply survive. Dr. Michelle will provide additional inspiration to help us innovate and succeed.”

In addition to Dr. Rozen’s energizing keynote, a wide variety of breakout sessions will be offered. Visit the 2021 Safety & Workforce Summit web page, http://wyomingworkforce.org/summit/2021/, to register or for more information. Attendance to this virtual summit is free.

Cheyenne Regional Health System recognized for Electronic Medical Record System

The Cheyenne Regional Health System has been awarded an Epic Gold Stars Level 7 for the use and functionality of its electronic medical record (EMR) system.

Level 7 means that Cheyenne Regional has successfully adopted more than 70% of Epic’s Gold Stars features and places the health system in the top 19% of Epic EMR customers worldwide.

“A high-functioning electronic medical record is a critical strategy for providing high-quality care to our patients while also improving employee and provider workflow,” said Dr. Jeffrey Chapman, Cheyenne Regional’s chief medical officer. “The EMR features we deliver create efficiencies, reduce costs, provide best practice tools and help us improve the patient experience.”

The Gold Stars program measures health-care organizations in several key areas, including patient access and experience, clinical quality and safety, population health management, physician productivity, nursing productivity, interoperability, mobile device use, patient flow and value from data. The program also provides a roadmap for improving clinical and financial outcomes.

NextCare continues growth in Wyoming by acquiring HealthReach

NextCare Urgent Care – the nation’s leading privately held provider of urgent care medicine and occupational health services – is expanding once again and adding another Wyoming location to its roster.

In July, the organization officially acquired HealthReach in Cheyenne, which will bring the total number of NextCare urgent care clinics in the state to two and its total number of clinics nationally to 149.

HealthReach has been a staple of the Cheyenne community for 35 years and is the longest-operating urgent care in the state of Wyoming. Over the last 35 years, HealthReach has provided on-demand patient care in Laramie County and built a strong foundation of patients and a brilliant roster of health-care providers. With the acquisition, NextCare hopes to build on the legacy of great patient care HealthReach is known for and continue to provide the same great care the community has come to know from our other clinic.

“I am pleased to turn over HealthReach to NextCare. After the passing of my husband and the founder of HealthReach, Dr. Don Kougl in 2011, I made the decision to continue to serve the residents of Laramie County, always knowing that this day would arrive,” said Maureen “Mo” Kougl, owner of HealthReach, in a news release. “Our decision in choosing NextCare was made with the residents of this community as our top priority. HealthReach has always focused on quality patient-centered care for our urgent care and occupational health customers. I have every confidence in NextCare’s ability to continue to provide the same level of care we have always provided to our community. The time has come for the Kougl family, after 46 years of services to this community in both emergency medicine and urgent care, to pass the baton.”

The clinic is located at 2030 Blue Grass Circle, and will be open Monday-Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., and weekends from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

First Western Financial, Teton Financial Services merge

First Western Financial, Inc., parent company of First Western Trust Bank, and Teton Financial Services, parent company of Rocky Mountain Bank, recently announced the signing of a definitive merger agreement where Teton Financial Services merges with and into First Western.

Teton Financial Services has three branches in the state of Wyoming, assets of $420.7 million, total deposits of $374.6 million, and total loans of $267.9 million as of June 30, 2021. Teton Financial Services also offers trust and wealth management services and had $394.1 million in assets under management as of June 30.

Laramie company one of more than 167 small businesses to get Walmart nod

A Laramie company, HIVIZ LLC, was one of more than 167 small businesses that received a “yes” after pitching to Walmart merchants recently. Its Birdbuster will move forward in Walmart’s Open Call process.

HIVIZ was founded in 1996 in Colorado and moved to Wyoming in 2014. It became the No. 1 shotgun site in the U.S. globally not long afterward.

“We are a family-owned business and do a lot for the local community,” said HIVIZ Director of Commercial Sales, Lanny Barnes. “It’s a big deal that we’re growing. We’re looking forward to providing our customers with our best-selling products in Walmart.”

Open Call supports Walmart’s overall commitment to U.S. manufacturing and small businesses. In March, Walmart announced an additional spend of $350 billion on items made, grown or assembled in the U.S. over the next 10 years.

More than 900 small businesses from across the country met with Walmart merchants in one-on-one meetings on June 30 as part of the company’s eighth annual Open Call. Companies that received a “yes” advance to the next stage in the process to land on store shelves or on Walmart.com.

Grant targets assistance to energy sector small businesses, displaced workers

The Wyoming Small Business Development Center Network recently received a Portable Assistance Grant from the U.S. Small Business Administration to provide technical and advising assistance to Wyoming small businesses affected by the economic downturn in the energy industry.

Portable Assistance Grants are provided by the SBA to target negative economic events in specific business segments or geographical areas. If your small business has been negatively affected by economic factors in the energy industry, or you are a displaced energy worker interested in learning about small business ownership, contact the Wyoming SBDC Network at wyomingsbdc.org to learn about business advising and training opportunities.

“Although the grant is modest and does not provide direct financial assistance to small businesses, it does allow us to increase training and advising opportunities for businesses and workers affected by the downturn in the energy industry,” Wyoming SBDC Network State Director Jill Kline said. “The focus of our grant activities is to help negatively affected businesses strengthen their operations or pivot into other areas. We would also love to work with displaced workers interested in applying their skills as small business owners. The ultimate goal is to contribute to a stronger, more diversified Wyoming economy.”

All advising and training opportunities presented through grant activities are no cost, and all one-on-one advising is completely confidential – as are all interactions with the Wyoming SBDC Network.

New kind of internet, Bluepeak, plans to enter the Cheyenne market

Bluepeak, a “revolutionary” internet provider, according to their news release, is coming to Cheyenne.

“We are thrilled to be partnering with the city of Cheyenne to build a future-proof fiber-optic network. Bluepeak is a different kind of provider with faster, more reliable speeds. Our network will provide internet with symmetrical speeds up to 5-gigabit for residential customers and speeds up to 10-gigabit for businesses. It will better connect more than 25,000 homes, businesses and organizations across Cheyenne,” said Rich Fish, CEO of Bluepeak.

“Connecting to the internet has never been more important than it is today,” said Cheyenne Mayor Patrick Collins. “The pandemic has shown we can’t take connectivity for granted. I am excited when a company chooses to invest in our community. Welcome, Bluepeak.”

Bluepeak is starting construction this summer and will deliver a fiber-rich internet connection to the doorsteps of their first hundred homes later this year.

DWS seeks nominations for workforce development awards

The Wyoming Department of Workforce Services and its partners are accepting nominations for workforce development awards.

The awards will be presented during the 2021 Wyoming Safety and Workforce Summit on Oct. 20. The 2021 Safety and Workforce Summit will be virtual, and there is no charge for attendance.

"The Workforce Summit Awards are a chance to recognize those businesses in Wyoming who demonstrate a strong commitment to their employees and their communities," said Robin Sessions Cooley, director of the Wyoming Department of Workforce Services. "Our businesses are the backbone of our economy, and we want to recognize those who go above and beyond."

The Wyoming Workforce Development Council will present four workforce development awards this year: Veteran-Friendly Employer of the Year, Youth-Friendly Employer of the Year, Large Employer of the Year and Small Employer of the Year. These awards will honor Wyoming employers for their commitment to developing Wyoming's workforce.

To nominate a business for these Workforce Development Council awards, visit https://tinyurl.com/dvxbhwc6.

The nomination period closes Oct. 1. Winners will be notified by Oct. 11.

For more information on the 2021 Safety & Workforce Summit, visit http://wyomingworkforce.org/summit/2021/.


The High West Energy board of directors has selected Jared Routh to lead the co-op as Chief Executive Officer and General Manager. Prior to accepting the CEO position, Routh served as Senior Vice President of Finance and Cooperative Services at Shelby Energy Cooperative in Shelbyville, Kentucky; and in a variety of capacities at Jackson County REMC, an Indiana co-op with more than 20,000 members. Throughout his career, Routh has developed expertise in engineering, operations, construction, cost-of-service billing, finance, information technology, demand-side management and energy efficiency. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Building Construction Management from Purdue University, and a Master of Business Administration from Indiana University Southeast.

A new director of the Wyoming Agricultural Experiment Station, Eric Webster, joined the University of Wyoming July 6 in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources. Webster previously served as director of the Louisiana State University’s Iberia Research Station and assistant regional director of the LSU AgCenter’s southwest region. Research at the station includes cattle grazing and herd management studies and row crop research including wheat, soybeans, sugar cane and rice. Webster’s research has focused on weed control in conventional rice and herbicide-resistant rice and has become highly visible across the U.S. and internationally, according to LSU. He received his Ph.D. in weed science from Mississippi State University, and his master’s in weed science and his bachelor’s degree in agronomy and soils, both from Auburn University.

A new CEO, Thomas Smoll, has been named to the federally qualified health center system that collaborates with the University of Wyoming’s Family Medicine Residency Programs in Cheyenne and Casper and the Albany Community Health Clinic in Laramie. The Educational Health Center of Wyoming board of directors selected Smoll to serve in the executive leadership role. Smoll began his duties Aug. 9, replacing David Jones, the dean of UW’s College of Health Sciences. Smoll has more than 15 years of health-care administration experience with FQHC facilities in rural communities. He recently served as executive director of Physician Services and Clinic Operations for St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center in Russellville, Arkansas.

Lunavi, a leading provider of digital transformation consulting and managed IT services, in July announced the appointment of Sam E. Galeotos as Chief Executive Officer. He will assume day-to-day leadership of the company, in addition to his role as board chairman. Founder and former CEO Shawn Mills will remain on the Lunavi executive team in his role as president, with a focus on strategic client acquisition and retention. Galeotos brings a wealth of experience guiding successful enterprises, serving in numerous executive positions throughout his career including president and CEO of Galileo International; CEO of strategic distribution and travel services at Cendant Corp; president, CEO and COO of Cheap Tickets Inc.; xo-CEO of Worldspan Travel Information Systems; and leadership positions at Delta Air Lines and DatasLink Business Systems, a subsidiary of Delta.

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