Kerri Rempp

Northwest Nebraska Tourism

Director

Chadron, Crawford and Harrison Neb.

Graduate of University of South Dakota, Liberal Arts College, Mass Communications Department

2020 Experience

Focus: Tourism, PreK-12 Education and Mental Health Awareness, Indigenous Population Inclusion

The student fellows will work to complete SHAPE planning and implementation through data collection and analysis of pre-K-12 youth, with a priority support for the Native American population. Students will focus on methods to reduce stigma of mental health through awareness campaigns, as well as work with Educational Service Unit 13 to create a school-based mental health services needs assessment and a behavioral mental health dashboard for the department’s ongoing use. Students will also assist Dawes County Joint Planning and Discover Northwest Nebraska in the development of programs and marketing campaigns designed to enhance the tourism industry in Northwest Nebraska. The recent COVID-19 pandemic has already and will continue to disrupt the 2020 tourism season for the region. Having interns available for the summer will allow focus on promoting local and regional tourism through staycations and complete several planning projects for 2021.

Team:
Students: Tyra Ann ReardonSawyer Smith
Peers: Katie CarrizalesTerri HaynesSandy Montague-Roes

Sponsored By: Chadron Public Schools, Advancing Wellness and Resilience in Education (AWARE) Grant staff, Educational Service Unit 13, Dawes County Joint Planning, Northwest Nebraska Tourism

Kerri’s Nebraska Story

My family moved to the Cody-Kilgore area in 1989 from western South Dakota. I graduated from Cody-Kilgore High School in 1995 and returned to South Dakota for college. After earning my bachelor’s degree, I moved back to Broken Bow, Nebraska, where I worked at the local newspaper for seven years. My family relocated to Northwest Nebraska in 2007, and I spent 12 years working at the local newspaper in Chadron before taking the position as director of Discover Northwest Nebraska in 2019.

What do you hope to gain?

I hope to expand my leadership skills and learn new ways to inspire employees, co-workers and volunteers as we work together to improve our business and community.

Why do you think it important community leaders have this type of experience in terms of inclusive leadership development?

It’s important the leaders we choose to head our businesses and organizations know the best ways to communicate with and motivate those who are working with them or under them. Doing so effectively makes a huge difference in the success of any project and helps inspire loyalty from employees and volunteers.

Why is this contribution of students from University of Nebraska significant to you and/or your community?

The RFI interns’ work with Discover Northwest Nebraska will help our organization promote the region as a tourist destination. Tourism is our number two economic industry in the area, and serves an important function in our region. As the only employee of Discover Northwest Nebraska, there is only so much I can get done at any one time. Working with the RFI interns will allow us to accomplish several projects to enhance tourism and promote the region.

Why is rural important?

Living in a rural area is often viewed as a disadvantage, but it offers a unique lifestyle with many advantages for those who call rural areas our home. Keeping rural economies vibrant make it possible for families to enjoy those lifestyle choices while still supporting their families economically. Rural America helps feed the world through agriculture, and finding ways to expand economic opportunities also will help our family farmers continue their important role in the world.

Why does now provide tremendous opportunity to move rural communities forward?

Technologically, we are more advanced now than we have ever been. That provides us with a chance to connect small businesses in rural communities with the larger world. From a tourism standpoint, rural Northwest Nebraska offers a variety of outdoor recreational opportunities to attract young families/couples/individuals who are looking for ways to hike, bike or hunt unique areas without the crowds found in other places. Those outdoor opportunities are set against significant historical, cultural and geological backgrounds, making the region even more attractive to tourists. Continuing to grow the tourism industry in Northwest Nebraska brings added value to local businesses by putting them in front of new customers.