(Riverton, Wyo.) – Phil Christopherson, Riverton’s Economic Development Director (EDD) for the last ten years, is resigning to take a similar post in Gillette. Christopherson has been serving as both the Manufacturing-Works field engineer and as the city’s EDD under IDEA, Inc.’s contract with Manufacturing works.
Christopherson is also the owner of Riverton’s Daylight Donuts and Yellowstone Ice Cream shop in the 600 block of East Main. He said he will sell that business.
“I have been very blessed to be associated with all of you and to have been able to help Riverton and Fremont County be a better place to live. I am very grateful for your friendship and association over the years,” he said in an email to friends and colleagues. “I will treasure my time in Fremont County with fond memories and a good feeling of successful projects completed. The help I’ve been able to provide over the years to the businesses, cities, people and others has been very fulfilling and it is very hard to leave that behind.”
Christopherson will be the new Executive Director of the Campbell County Economic Development Corporation, a 501 c 6 organization funded by private investors and managed by a board of directors, according to the organization’s web site.
In making the announcement, D.G. Reardon, President of the CCEDC, is quoted as saying, “The CCEDC Board of Directors feels Phil will be a great asset to Campbell County. He has a good understanding of the State of Wyoming and a strong economic development background. We’re excited to get Phil on staff to support CCEDC’s economic, community and workforce development goals supporting growth in Campbell County, the City of Gillette and Wright.”
Christopherson said his last day in his present positions would be May 23rd and that he will start his new duties in Gillette in June.
IDEA Inc. President Alan Moore said the process to replace Christopherson is up in the air at this moment.
“Phil was paid by Manufacturing Works to be their field engineer in this area and we contracted with them for Phil’s services. Since they are involved with writing grant applications, they needed funds from other sources which we generated,” Moore said. “We would write them the check and they would task Phil to work on our projects. It was a good collaboration.”
Moore said he would now have to have a discussion with Manufacturing Works to see what their plans are to replace Christopherson. “If they want to continue with that arrangement, that’s fine, but if they do not we will start a job search on our own,” he said.
Looking back, Christopherson said he was most proud of getting the old ALCO building on West Main into use again to build up that neighborhood. “The parking lot is now in such good shape and it’s helped Smith’s upgrade their lot as well. We we brought in Legacy Molding and Beall’s Department Store to that space, and Maurice’s moved into new space next door. It’s been great for that neighborhood,” he said. Christopherson also said the projects to help Brunton and get the BTI Rail Car facility in Shoshoni along with the Smart Start Child Care Center were other accomplishments.
“Most rewarding was to work with the IDEA, Inc. Board of Directors who are all invested in helping grow the community,” Christopherson said, many times at their own sacrifice. “As a result the whole community is better.”