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Applying for Leadership Wyoming Class of 2022

In applying for the Leadership Wyoming class of 2022, I was asked to provide a one-page resume and answer a number of questions. I am really proud of my accomplishments in the last decade, so I wanted to share them and make this document accessible for anyone investigating my work. I hope that publishing my responses will help hold me accountable to them!


How long have you lived in Wyoming?

Seasonally 2012-2014 (early spring-late fall), I became an official resident in February of 2015.

Please list your hobbies & interests.

Horseback riding, hiking, painting, drawing, plein air sketching, fly-fishing, bird hunting, XC skiing, gardening, pilates, reading, writing, being around animals, listening to podcasts & audiobooks, mountain recreation, (so many more things!)


Describe your current community involvement.

SAGE Community Arts Board Director since Jan 2019 (Marketing Cmtte, Classes & Workshops Cmtte, lead weekly Virtual program, etc.) Fehir Charitable Foundation Board Officer & Secretary since formation in July 2020 (Supports local & regional public lands conservation, medical & cultural arts)

Studio partnership w/ WYO Candle Co. Limited Edition Artisan candle label Cloud Peak Toastmasters Club Member since Jan 2021 Dedicated Steward of the Bighorn National Forest & the Cloud Peak Wilderness


Please describe a community or state issue that you are interested in and or are working to change in Wyoming. If nothing comes to mind, you are also welcome to write about an area you want to learn more about.


Privileged w/ access to private land, I grew up in love w/ the solitude, privacy, & primitiveness of undeveloped landscapes in NY, MD, & VA. About 7y ago, I experienced a loss of access to a major property that was an intrinsic part of my life. I have grieved & sought healing from the mountain access I have now. WY's approach to conservation has been my introduction to mindful stewardship of OUR beloved landscape. I'm dedicated to safeguarding our public lands, as they are why I chose WY.

In what ways would you like to become more involved in your community and state in the future?

I intend to increase my involvement specifically with the Sheridan Community Land Trust & the Wyoming Wilderness Association. Helping to advance Sheridan's nearby trail systems alongside the SCLT will grant more people opportunities to connect & fall in love with our public lands, enrich our community, and help people to better understand land access limitations. I believe strongly in the WWA mission to preserve our precious wilderness areas from development of roads, structures, fences, etc If you had to describe yourself in one word, what would it be? Diplomatic

Optional Context

We must be encouraged to look at the big picture & make decisions that continually keep the long-term in mind. We must "beat the algorithms," apply effort to connect with people we don't agree with, accept negotiations & compromises as is necessary.

Tell us more about your approach to leadership and how you add value to a team or system.


In a leadership role, it is important to protect & acknowledge individual contributions to a group effort. It is also necessary to encourage novel &/or critical perspectives, as well as accept the experiences of others. Collaborative involvement ensures creativity & formation of new ideas. The value I add to a team lies in the effort I put into connecting, including, & engaging knowledgable people, building confidence in others, and creating awareness of organizations, missions, and projects.


What is your greatest personal challenge as a leader?

Complacency. I am inspired by and enthusiastic about improving processes & systems but feel discouraged & helpless working with/for people who are resistant to change, or who are devoted to comfortable habits that have been identified & acknowledged as ineffective. I am exceptionally patient, but I am disheartened by apathetic redundancy. I prefer opportunities that allow for growth and taper inefficiency and impracticality. I subscribe to a "fail fast" method of resilience and try.


What do you hope to learn or gain from participating in Leadership Wyoming?


I am thrilled by the opportunity to travel throughout the state to see the rest of WY outside of Sheridan & Johnson Counties, which I haven't yet encountered! I am excited by the prospect of forging new friendships & making connections with folks I may not otherwise meet. I am hopeful to gather mentorship, grow my network, learn about the work, projects, & organizations that make WY so beloved to me. I plan to make time to stop during my commutes to paint from life in the outdoors!


Are there any experiences or perspectives that you bring that you have not had the chance to mention in this application?


The people I have met & places I have explored while living in WY have enriched my life, allowing me to foster my independence & embrace my spirit of creativity. I knew I was home from the moment I hit the dirt road heading to my first WY job at Eatons' Ranch. I feel devoted to those who have continually provided unwavering support of my pursuit of a life here. I am dedicated to applying my LWY experiences in ways that will benefit & enrich this beloved state that has accepted me so wholly.


2021 RESUME POLLY BURGE
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