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Development Summit

Gas is skyrocketing; stocks are all over the place; people aren't spending anymore. These are all messages heard every day in the news.

But what don't always make the headlines are the success stories.

The Detroit Lakes Regional Chamber of Commerce is holding its 4th annual Economic Development Summit to combat this fear of the economy and give community members some inspiration to go for their dreams.

"I think everybody has that little bit of entrepreneurial thought in their head," says Chamber President Carrie Johnston.

One speaker slated to hand out inspiration at this year's event includes Detroit Lakes graduate and entrepreneur Brent Stromme.

Stromme is the visionary behind Webcast America, a webcasting service that connects high school and college organizations and many others. Visit to find out more.

Stromme said that while some get paralyzed by the economy, he gets energized.

"I believe every community across this nation needs and longs for a few entrepreneurs to pave the way for optimism and leadership," he said. "What do you want to be known for? Someone who is mired in the doom and gloom, or someone who helps turn the tide of the local economy?"

The local economy in Detroit Lakes and the surrounding area is, of course, known for its tourism industry, but Stromme said Detroit Lakes has so much more than that to offer a business owner.

"It has a strong sense of community and pride that causes people to put their roots down deep for many years, or perhaps a lifetime."

Stromme added that he gets the sense that the area is ripe for a few, fresh ideas that will allow for a small town feel, yet a large city experience.

The idea behind the summit is to help cultivate those fresh ideas so they can become reality.

Author, Pamela Slim, who wrote "Escape from Cubicle Nation: From Corporate Prisoner to Thriving Entrepreneur," is slated to speak about her path to entrepreneurial success.

Slim is quoted as saying, "Entrepreneurship at its heart is aligning your purpose for being on earth with a business idea so compelling that you simply must do it, despite the fears that hold you back."

Two more summit speakers are Beth Schupp, general manager of Fair Hills Resort in Detroit Lakes, and Hans Gilsdort (a.k.a., Gilly), local artist and creator of "Gilly Art."

"We've got such great stories to tell locally, so it should be great," Johnston said.

The Economic Development Summit is Thursday, March 24, from 8 a.m. to noon in the M State Conference Center in Detroit Lakes.

Tickets are $15, and pre-registration is required.

To find out more, call the Chamber of Commerce at 218-847-9202 or log on to