Robert Dahill Graduates Leadership Wyoming
In August, 2015, McGee, Hearne & Paiz, LLP (MHP) Partner, Robert Dahill, began his journey through the Leadership Wyoming program. Robert has kindly shared with us his thoughts and experiences from Leadership Wyoming:
On May 7th, I graduated as a member of the 16th class of Leadership Wyoming (the "Best Class Ever"). Leadership Wyoming is an interactive nine-month program that provides leadership training, as well as five program sessions dealing with a variety of issues facing the State, with the ultimate goal to build a better Wyoming. It is a wonderful program that I highly encourage everyone to consider.
The five program sessions were:
Natural Resources and the Economy – Gillette
Education, Technology and Change – Rock Springs
Entrepreneurship and the Environment – Lander/Riverton
Government and Politics – Cheyenne
Healthcare, Social Services and Quality of Life – Casper
It is difficult to pick out any one session as the best because they all were so well done and thought provoking. The sessions gave me insight into what my leadership strengths and weaknesses are, but it also gave me a greater appreciation for our State and its challenges and opportunities.
An additional part of the program, which I would have to say was my favorite, was our class project. During the orientation session in Laramie, the class presented issues/ideas that the State is facing. The suggestions were then narrowed down to five and teams were assigned address one of the chosen issues. At the graduation session in Sheridan, each of the teams presented the results of its work. The team to which I was assigned had to deal with the issue of Wyoming's suicide epidemic. Consider the following:
- We lose someone to suicide in Wyoming every three days.
- Suicide costs Wyoming $175 million per year.
- Wyoming's suicide rate is DOUBLE the national rate.
- Wyoming is ranked fourth highest in suicide rates per capita in the United States.
- Wyoming does not have a statewide data collection and review process, nor a centralized method to dissect causal factors related to suicide.
Based on our team's work, we are collaborating with former Leadership Wyoming graduates who are in the State Legislature to introduce legislation during the 2017 Session to create a Suicide Review Team. The Suicide Review Team will be comprised of various personnel from around the State who will investigate all suicides in the State, gather data, and provide an annual report to the Governor with the results and suggestions for moving forward. To think that I will have a hand in passing legislation that will, hopefully, have an effect on reducing suicides in our State is very rewarding.
I am also happy to announce that one of my fellow MHP Partners, Amber Nuse, will be a member of the 17th class of Leadership Wyoming. Congratulations, Amber!