PEP Board Discusses Business Boot Camp



The Prowers Economic Prosperity Board of Directors weighed some pros and cons for sponsoring a speaker who specializes in teaching businesses and sometimes communities on ideas to turn themselves into Consumer Destinations.

Angie Cue, Lamar’s Community Development Director and Cheryl Sanchez, Small Business Development Center Advisor, gave an overview of the program held by business speaker, Jon Schallert who is based in Longmont, CO. Cue said she will have an opportunity to learn more about his program next week while attending a statewide business meeting.

Options for his service includes a one day seminar, first to an interested group of business owners and later, a one on one discussion which helps profile the needs of an owner to help turn their business into a Consumer Destination. A fee-based boot camp is held for groups wishing to attend a more in-depth session lasting several days.  There is also a cost involved for the initial seminar in a community.

Sanchez said his visit would offer an opportunity to introduce local owners to a Leading Edge program she offers at Lamar Community College. Cue said Schallert’s approach is similar to the discussion held by Christy Hopkins, Economic Development Director for Tribune, Kansas during PEP’s annual meeting this past March.  Because of the cost of his speaking fee, there would be a minimum charge for local business owners or entrepreneurs to participate and more details as to whether to secure his services will be discussed at future board meetings.  Cue said his approach stresses ways to think outside the box allowing a business to focus on a means to attract regional customers and become a venture to which customers will make a primary visit.  Cue added that Schallert could assist them in potential grant funding opportunities.

Eric Depperschmidt, PEP Executive Director, suggested a day trip to meet with Dodge City, Kansas officials regarding steps they employed to address their housing needs, similar to ones being faced in Prowers County. “We could carpool interested board members for a Friday trip where we’d meet with Ford County representatives and learn about the issues they faced and how they plan to find funding to start a housing development for Dodge City,” he explained.

The format for the PEP annual meeting was reviewed with mostly positive comments regarding an outreach effort to bring new members into the organization. President Aaron Leiker suggested that can fall within the Sustainability portion of PEP’s new goals for BEAR, Business Expansion, Attraction and Retention.  “A new member would not necessarily be expected to the same cost of membership for a full board position, but it would contribute to expenses and add new voices and ideas to the organization.”  He noted that returning board members contributed $13,305 recently, coupled with the City of Lamar’s donation of $12,500.

The election of officers for the New Year was held with a decision and vote to continue with the current executive officers as presented on the meeting ballot. Aaron Leiker will remain as President, Anne-Marie Crampton as VP, Rick Robbins as Secretary, Brenda May as Treasurer and Joe Spitz as member-at-large.  Ron Cook will represent the County and Angie Cue will continue as Lamar liaison.  The next meeting is set for Tuesday, April 2.

By Russ Baldwin

Filed Under: City of GranadaCity of HollyCity of LamarCity of WileyConsumer IssuesCountyEconomyFeatured


About the Author: