The 12th Annual Raising Kane Business Summit kicked off at 8:00 a.m. at the Kanab Center on January 13, 2023. The theme this year was “What’s Next?” and the morning and afternoon sessions were filled with a variety of subject matter experts eager to engage the attendees.
The Raising Kane Business Summit is a joint effort between the Center for Business, Education, and the Arts (CEBA) and the Kane County Office of Tourism, with support from sponsors including Kane County, the City of Kanab, and the Kanab Area Chamber of Commerce. Breakfast this year was provided by Parry Lodge, lunch by Sego Restaurant, and desserts by Brown Box Bakeshop.
About 200 attendees filled the ballroom at Kanab Center. County Commission Chairman Wade Heaton opened the event, speaking eloquently about the wonders of rural Kane County, and the need for all of us to work together with civility and goodwill to nurture our heritage and potential. Update videos from Alton, Big Water, Bullfrog, Duck Creek Village, Glendale, and Orderville were a new feature for the event, and enthusiastically received.
Camille Johnson spoke about tourism in the county, specifically regarding the impact of “value visitors” versus “volume visitors.” Pat Guerrero, President of the Kanab Area Chamber of Commerce, provided a chamber update for 2022.
“We at the Chamber were so glad to participate in this event,” Guerrero said afterward, adding, “The community came together to network, become informed about all of the positive things happening within Kane County, and leave inspired about business and community development.”
Just before lunch, a series of videos featuring local businesses Brown Box Bakeshop, the Ranch at Wild Rose, Baird’s Buzzy Bees, Bullfrog Marina, and Best Friends Animal Society were greeted with applause from the crowd.
New in 2023 was the Entrepreneur Challenge, sponsored by CEBA, Kane County Office of Tourism, and the Governor’s Office of Economic Opportunity. Prizes up to $2,000 were awarded to Kaylee Brinkerhoff’s of Lynn’s Sewing; Elisa Lyman, Megan Curley, and Ali Riordan of Branded Custom Screen Printing; and Tyree Baird of Baird’s Busy Bees Childcare.
Afternoon topics included highlights from the film commission, regional growth strategic planning, reimagining affordable housing, how much water do we have, and rural development programs, with keynote speaker Dr. Richard Gardner presenting on thoughtful growth in rural communities.
The day ended with three one-hour sessions on Human Centric Design Thinking, a business marketing panel, and Capturing Business While They’re in Town.
“This year’s event was the best I’ve seen in years,” said Matt Claflin, Kanab Area Chamber of Commerce treasurer, adding “The crowd was large and cheerful, Kanab Center looked amazing, and the sessions and topics were timely and professional.”
Information from the summit will be made available on the Kanab Area Chamber of Commerce website at kanabchamber.org/resources.