BOWMAN—While Teran Doerr may not have been born and raised in Bowman, N.D., she has a great passion for serving the people of Bowman County through its development corporation.
Doerr has been involved in the Bowman County Development Corporation for 10 years, with the last five years as the economic director.
"Our job is different every single day and it's definitely different from community to community," Doerr said.
The BCDC office encompasses many different areas, including the chamber of commerce, tourism and a small business development center. The BCDC supports the county and its cities, Bowman, Scranton and Rhame.
"It kind of helps with some shared resources," Doerr said. "People come into the office it can be pretty seamless with the services that they're looking for we can kind of provide all of that."
The BCDC can help clients with a range of topics, including small business owners who made need help starting up all the way to working with businesses that are expanding.
There are four people who work in the BCDC, two of whom are part-time and the other two are full-time, Doerr said. She said they are a very collaborative group and work well together.
"We've got a really dynamic and passionate office," she said.
The BCDC also supports the local fairgrounds, the all-seasons arena and the housing authority as well. Additionally they have a mobile app and a website that is run out of the BCDC office as well. They also produce table tents that pop up throughout Bowman County, Doerr said.
An industrial park is also in the works after the old Bowman airport was closed a couple of years ago. Doerr said the Bowman County Development Corporation decided to look into the area for a possible industrial park. The idea was proposed to the county and city and is still moving forward, Doerr said. She said they are almost done with the zoning portion of the project and will then move forward into infrastructure development and hopefully market and promotion later this year.
The project will hopefully invite more businesses into the Bowman community and serve to boost its overall commerce.
Lyn James, president of the Bowman City Commission, serves on the BCDC's board as a liaison for the city and works directly with the BCDC on a regular basis. James said the city commission doesn't work with the BCDC directly often, but when they do it's a very positive experience.
"That's something I have really worked hard on (in her time as mayor) is making sure the leadership boards are blended and making sure we have a good relationship," she said. "We all need to work together. I think you see a better end result that way."
The city has been heavily involved with the industrial park as well, James said.
In addition to the work on the industrial park, Doerr said they are looking forward to putting on another FUSION Conference this year. The BCDC started the FUSION Conference last year with the goal of providing high caliber speakers with practical and inspirational messages based around personal, community and professional growth. As well as enabling people from all walks of life to gain professional and personal development opportunities in a region that isn't often easily afforded the opportunity. The conference was also designed to provide people the opportunity to network and bring energy and enthusiasm to support area businesses. Last year's keynote speakers included Kenyon Salo and Greg Tehven.
Doerr said the idea started in their office and quickly grew into a full fledged two-day conference.
"It was a way to bring community and professional development and personal development right here," she said. "We got to talking about it (in the office) and we said that we get the chance to go to all of these conferences and see all these speakers and we felt that the people in this region needed a spark in that direction so we took that on. It was an idea that started from the ground up out of here and we put that together and turned out pretty awesome."
Last year's conference drew about 150 people and received great reviews. Doerr said they plan on making the conference an annual event.
Doerr got involved with the BCDC about 11 years ago when she moved to Bowman. During her past 10 years with the BCDC, Doerr has also served in the corporation's Small Business Development Center, which she said is a valuable center in the BCDC.
Doerr is originally from Bison, S.D. She started school at North Dakota State University and graduated from the University of Mary in Bismarck online with a business degree. Doerr said she had no clue what she wanted to do before going to college and ended up changing her mind a couple of times before deciding on business.
"It's a pretty similar area and I'm pretty close to family so that's nice," she said. "I wasn't overly familiar with Bowman when I first got her but when you come in from the outside you see how amazing this community is."
Offices like the BCDC and others provide a great service to their communities, Doerr said.
"Offices like this truly provide a champion for the community," she said. "We're a catalyst between a number of organizations. On a state level we represent our communities and we talk about our communities are doing. I also think it's our job to show visitors to our community what we have to offer."
Doerr said highlighting quality of life is also important to their office.
"When you're looking at attracting a business it's no different than attracting a visitor so it's our job to really highlight the qualities in our community," she said. "It's also our job to make sure that quality of life is there for the existing residents. One major thing that we do here is we run Empowering Leaders which is similar to a young leadership group but we've broadened that to anybody who wants to be involved in leadership or expand their professional or personal growth."
The group meets once a month over a noon hour and helps people with networking and growing leadership.
There has been a lot of change in the economic environment over the last 10 years, Doerr said.
"When I first came in here it was very high-paced, high-speed. It was really cool all of the people walking in here and wanting to be a part of the community," she said. "That kind of steadied out and we had to redefine our role."
Doerr said they are constantly examining their jobs and their role in the community throughout the year, in order to ensure they're doing everything they can for the community.
"It changes every year," she said. "FUSION was not in our work plan last year, but it was something that came up and we felt would have value so we took that on. Health care last year was something that we needed to concentrate and put our efforts behind, so that became one of our major focuses last year. ... We love what we do and you can feel that when you talk to (the team.)"
Doerr said she loves seeing the ideas that are being created in Bowman County and watching them grow.
"This county could not be a more awesome community to represent," she said. "It's got not only so many assets but the people here are great and they take care of their community and they take care of each other, which is really awesome. Supporting localism is very valued here and it's something that I learned early when I came here and it's just a sign of how they support each other and how they support this community. I love being a part of that. I love getting to champion that."