Leslie Perkins is the community and government relations coordinator for the Campbell County Office of Commissioners. Born and raised in Newcastle, Wyoming, Perkins went to school and worked in various parts of the country for several years before moving back to Wyoming. She currently resides in Gillette.
What is your role and area of focus?
I took the community and government relations coordinator position with the Campbell County Office of Commissioners in January 2022. My responsibilities are to handle internal and external communications. I was given the lead for the C-Valley initiative when I first came on nearly a year ago. I coordinate efforts between the city and the county, economic development and the PR company. I then determine the best next steps for all involved.
How does your work benefit the C-Valley region in Campbell County and Gillette?
It’s really a partnership. The role of the county has been supporting initiatives and promoting the county overall. We look for ways to see how we can support our local businesses, specifically economic development, that utilize the vast reserves of coal and minerals that we have in our region and also help diversify the economy of Campbell County and Gillette.
How do you believe the work coming out of the C-Valley will benefit the nation as a whole?
One of the things I appreciate about the clean carbon initiative happening within C-Valley is its mission to find a better way to power the world with cleaner, alternative uses for coal and other fossil fuels. I’m especially optimistic about the work at the Wyoming Innovation Center, which is looking for alternative uses to the byproducts of coal mined locally and how to mine rare earth elements and process them locally to keep the mining industry viable in our area.
Where do you see C-Valley 10 years from now?
If the momentum keeps going, which it looks like it will, I see this area growing substantially in the carbon capture and the development of different carbon products to create that diversification in the economy, not only for Campbell County but for the state and greater region.
What do you do during your free time?
Outside of my work with Campbell County, I am focused on completing my master’s degree in organizational leadership and spending time with my family. Outside of that, horses are my favorite pastime. I’ve shown and trained horses since I was a child. At one point in my life, I trained horses full-time and had seven of my own. These days, I own two horses and enjoy spending time with them.
What is your favorite part about living and working in Wyoming and Gillette/Campbell County specifically?
I love the wide-open spaces Wyoming offers and the solitude that comes with that. At the same time, it’s a place where the community rallies behind its people, so you never feel alone. We had a mine shut down unexpectedly a few years ago, and the community support was overwhelming in the best of ways.