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Watford City Receives Praise At 2016 Annual Chamber Meeting


Ron Ness spoke at this year's annual chamber meeting, stating that the community of Watford City should only take advantage of the upcoming hardships.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016 was Watford City's Annual Chamber Meeting, where fellow business owners and politicians gathered together for good food, great drinks, and celebrated the highlights of the 2015 year.

Caterers at the event were plentiful and included the newest members to Watford City, JL Beers and Door 204. Teddy Residential Suites brought a beautiful dessert bar and a full service bar. Wineries and distilleries at the chamber meeting were Dakota Sun Gardens and Winery, Wolf Creek Winery, Meadowlark Brewery, and Maple River Distillery. Outlaws Bar & Grill, Jack & Jill Grocery, Tokyo Japanese Steak House, Meadowlark Public House, Smiling Moose Deli, and Cash Wise Grocery provided food for the event.

This year at the Chamber meeting, Farmers Union Oil Company received the award for Platinum Member for showing outstanding service to the community of Watford City. Josh Norby received the award on behalf of the company, and is also on the Chamber Board of Directors.

Doug Burgum, an entrepreneur and philanthropist, was a speaker at the meeting and announced that he was running for Governor of the state of North Dakota. He will be a Republican candidate and had many great things to say about the Watford City Area. "Watford City is a community of progress, and they are making a goal to be a city that people want to live in and they are doing a great job of doing that." Burgum also gave a shout out to the fairly new Young Professionals of Watford City association for the good work and professionalism they have brought to the community.

Gene Veeder, Director of Economic Development, MCd the event and had good things to say about the accomplishments of the Chamber and Watford. "Watford City has become a marvelous place to live and work in, and has been doing a great job of bring people and businesses to the community." He also announced that Roosevelt Park was now one of the Top 5 Destinations to see in America. The good works and connections by Young Professionals of Watford City were also mentioned again.

Ron Ness, president of North Dakota Petroleum Council, was a high-lighted speaker at the event, and had praises all around and even discussed the current oil field down turn. "Currently, we are going through constant change and it's hard. Let's not sugar coat where we are at; we are at an all out war with what we've done in North Dakota. We have received negative impact on being able to produce our own oil and its tough, and its only going to get tougher." Ness went on to say that even though this is going on, we have built a world-class resource and the Bakken will still be the place to produce and provide oil. The Bakken is always getting better and is a $40 billion a year industry. "We are going to see bankruptcies and failures, but we can recover by finding people, playing ahead and not behind, and keeping up with the new normal." Ron Ness said that now is the time to be more efficient and more effective with the lower price of oil; think long and be ready, think bullish and think big. He finished his speech by making 9 points to remember through this down turn. "High-grade your workforce and use this time to play out your community, focus your economic value. Figure out where trucks should go and figure out your industrial, keep building up your infrastructure. Maintain roads and of course economic development. Use this time to think regional and find local money, do not rely on just outside sources. And lastly, keep a positive image even though its rough."

Final speaker of the event was economist Robert Bach, who spoke both a national and international message on the oil field. Bach said that the U.S. is currently in a global war with oil. "The U.S. has done 6 ½ years of recovery since the last recession, but our economy is still good. Global economy however, is not good. The flip-side of the oil issue is that it gives citizens a break." Robert Bach ended his discussion by praising Watford City, "Being here tonight in a community facing turmoil, it is amazing to see that Watford City has discussed only solutions and progress instead of problems."


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