GUERNSEY--“You can’t teach passion.” And that’s what outgoing Economic Development and Tourism Coordinator Bruce Heimbuck had to say about the appointment of Sarah Cowan to take over his duties following his retirement effective this past week.
He couldn’t be more right.
Sarah Cowan is passionate about her community and wants to continue to make improvements and promote a place she believes in.
Sarah had her husband Levi, along with their sons, five-year old Milo and three-year old Finn have made themselves very much a part of Guernsey.
Sarah grew up in the eastern United States and fell in love with Wyoming after visiting the state while on vacation. It was a place to which she hoped to return and she very much has.
After graduating with a bachelors degree in New York and a masters degree in Philadelphia, she took her first teaching job in Torrington, WY. She continued to teach first grade and was a reading specialist in Torrington and Wheatland. After her sons were born, she traded her teaching days for some time at home with to be with them early on.
Her desire to improve her community first became apparent as she was the driving force behind the organization of the summer Farmer’s Markets in 2015. “I just thought we needed a better option for our community to access fresh food,” said Sarah. The farmer’s markets have proved to be a highly successful addition to Guernsey’s summer activities and attendance has increased each successive year.
When the opening for the Economic Development Coordinator’s position came open this year, Sarah knew it was something well within her wheelhouse, she applied and was hired to begin in early October.
After spending a month training with Bruce, Sarah was excited to step into the work. In addition to her passion, she is by nature a people person, a perfect asset that will make it much easier. Just a few days into the job, that skill was put to use as Sarah spoke with Cheyenne’s Channel 5 News about Guernsey’s selection for a grant approval by the State Lands and Investment Board. The piece, which was aired that evening, featured Sarah speaking about some upcoming projects in Guernsey and the grant which will fund a study to provide the addition of trails that link some of the area’s historical sites.
Additional projects on the horizon for the community include work on a concrete walkway that will connect the main gate for the National Guard Camp on U.S. Highway 26 and the east side of town. This will allow soldiers to walk into town with less risk along the busy roadway. It also includes a project to construct a pedestrian underpass to allow walkers a way to cross under U.S. 26 on the west edge of Guernsey rather than crossing through traffic. The pathway will come off the bridge’s sidewalk on the north side and take pedestrians down and around the base of the bridge and come back up on the south side of the highway and connect with the Lucindy Rollins trail.
Sarah knows she has big shoes to fill and says the support and help she’s received from Bruce has been invaluable in getting her started on the right path. “I really appreciate all he has done for me and for the community. He set a wonderful precedent in this position and we will definitely miss him.”
Sarah is available at the Economic Development and Tourism office Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and can be reached by phone at 307-836-2689.
And although she is still learning about the area, Sarah says she has gained a lot already and is anxious to promote and focus more on Guernsey’s historical value and what it can do economically for the community, especially relative to the tourism factor. “We have so much here we can share with people who visit. I want to take that further if we can.”
It is Sarah’s passion that will make that happen. And that cannot be taught.
M-F 9-2 pm or by appt.
1. Work on trail from main gate to town for the guard 10 foot wide 6” deep
2. ongoing work at the Culver Hotel
3. trails implementation with Ed Waddell, trails connecting the historic sites in the Guernsey area