C.H. Brown - February 2022

Take a look at our February newsletter!


307-322-2545 • CHBEF.COM

What We Can Learn This February LESSONS FROM THE GROUNDHOG

Groundhog Day is a fun tradition: We ask a groundhog to determine if there will be six more weeks of winter or if we can expect an early spring. It has deep roots in European history, but strangely enough, the weather- predicting element isn’t what has made the holiday so memorable in recent decades. In fact, when you do a Google search for Groundhog Day, the first thing that pops up is the 1993 Bill Murray comedy film “Groundhog Day.” In the movie, weatherman Phil Connors is stuck in a perpetual loop of living the same day over and over again, and that day just so happens to be Groundhog Day in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. Through his antics, Connors evolves and learns how to be a better person and ultimately a better community member, which is when the “spell” is finally broken.

Besides the hilarity that ensues, “Groundhog Day” offers a powerful lesson. If your days seem too repetitive, you may believe something in your life needs to change, but a rut can also be incredibly valuable. After all, it forced Phil Connors to become a better human being. I saw a chart the other day that had some bearing on this. It showed how to be on track with your goals, which is a good way to stay self-aware. If your life is on track, then you may not need to change. If it feels off- course, then it’s probably time to examine how you can climb out of the rut. It’s all about perspective and understanding your own situation. All sorts of scenarios apply, including your personal and professional life, but once you start seeing life for the values it encompasses, you may come to understand the rut you’ve been in.

Think about it this way: When the groundhog sees its shadow, that means we will have six more weeks of wintry weather. Some believe this is a bad sign, but if your livelihood depends on greater moisture in the soil, six more weeks of snow may not be a bad thing. It may have a greater impact on your future. Perspective — like the above example — is a powerful tool for any leader. We cannot control every aspect of our days or what happens to us or the people we serve. But we can control our reactions to what has occurred. For instance, when we fall or trip on something, we may get angry or embarrassed. But in the future, when we walk past that same area, we can be careful to avoid the thing that made us trip up in the first place. The same can be said when we metaphorically “fall down.” We have to look at these moments as an opportunity to learn. This can change the way we view the event that caused us to learn this lesson — much like how we can change the way we react to a groundhog’s shadow — and ultimately we will become better for it. When you can take your experiences, both good and bad, and mold them into strategies that help you and your team become better, you will become unstoppable. You’ve already experienced the adversity; now it’s time to grow from it.






Make Cuts Try Something New


Back Up

–Kit West



We all have our favorite ways to organize, but there may be one thing you’re organizing completely incorrectly: your refrigerator. It’s not just about aesthetics! A properly organized fridge can prevent food from spoiling, help you find items faster, and allow you to store more. Try these tips for fridge success. Store produce properly. There are a lot of myths surrounding what you should or shouldn’t do to properly store your produce, but there are a few basics you can abide by. For starters, store your fruits and vegetables separately. Fruits emit a gas that can cause vegetables to spoil faster. Furthermore, store these products near the front of your fridge or in a place where you will regularly notice them. This will encourage you to use the products faster — and prevent you from forgetting about them. Remove products from packaging. Individually wrapped products make packing lunches easy, but they can be a hassle to store in the fridge when kept inside bulky boxes. Instead, line up your yogurts, string cheese, hummus, juice boxes, sodas, and other individually wrapped products along the shelves of your fridge or in refrigerator bins. This will eliminate the clutter of the packaging from your fridge and provide more space. To Bring Peace to Your Kitchen 3 FRIDGE HACKS

Pro Tip: For a more eco-friendly option, stop buying individually packaged items! Opt for bulk or larger products instead and measure out serving sizes into small glass or reusable containers. Arrange these like you would the other products! Invest in refrigerator bins. Storage bins for your fridge are all the rage right now, and there might be a reason for that. Refrigerator bins are clear and rigid in shape, which means items store and organize easier in your fridge. You can fill one with yogurt, another with eggs, and a third with fruit without worrying how the shapes of these products will fit into your fridge space. This allows you to have more control over your refrigerator.

If you want to get more out of your fridge, check out the manual! It will include proper ways to utilize your refrigerator storage and settings.

From ‘Car Girl’ to CEO of GM Meet Mary Barra

According to an interview with Stanford Magazine, Mary Barra is a self-proclaimed red convertible “car girl.” Her eyes gleamed as she talked about the day she first saw her cousin’s Chevy Camaro convertible, a late ‘60s vintage model. At that moment Barra knew she’d love cars forever, so she worked on cars as soon as she could. In fact, she was only 18 years old when she started working for General Motors (GM). She worked her way up while earning a couple of college degrees, and she held multiple engineering and administrative positions at GM, including managing the massive Detroit/ Hamtramck assembly plant. By 2014, Barra became the CEO of GM and was the first female head of a “Big Three” automaker in the United States. It was a dream come true — her appointment even earned her a spot on Time’s 100 Most Influential People in the World of 2014.

However, during her first year as CEO, GM faced one of the worst scandals in the U.S. auto industry: the GM ignition switch scandal. Faulty switches resulted in 124 deaths and 275 injuries, which prompted the Senate to conduct an investigation. Barra’s court appearances led to a public outcry against GM, forcing the company to recall nearly 30

for failing to respond quickly to

the defective ignition switches. Additionally, she initiated GM’s shift toward electric- powered cars, including the Chevrolet Bolt

EV, which became the first electric car with a range of 200 miles priced under $40,000, a milestone that warranted significant coverage.

According to GM executives, a major reason for Barra’s corporate

million cars due to their defective ignition switches. Although no federal charges were pressed against Barra or the GM executives, the company paid $120 million in settlement claims and offered $595 million to victims and families affected by the scandal.

and entrepreneurial success is not only her passion for cars, but also her skill to listen and communicate well with others. Her “consensus approach” involves conducting town hall meetings to seek input from the majority of people, not just top management. This allows every employee to be heard, and that inclusive environment remains a crucial part of GM’s ability to thrive far beyond its darkest days.

Barra’s subsequent actions became key. She fired 15 employees, including eight executives,




Cherry Cordial Cake Balls

Inspired by TasteofHome.com

For a nonalcoholic version of these cake balls, swap the brandy for fruit juice.


• 1 package fudge marble cake mix • 1 1/4 cups and 3 tbsp brewed coffee, divided • 1/4 cup canola oil • 3 eggs • 10 oz maraschino cherries, stemmed, drained, and chopped • 1/3 cup brandy • 1/4 cup cherry preserves • 1 cup chocolate frosting • 1 lb chocolate candy coating, chopped

1. In a large bowl, combine cake mix, 1 1/4 cups coffee, canola oil, and eggs. Beat on low for 30 seconds, then on high for 2 minutes. 2. Preheat the oven to 350 F. 3. Pour batter into a greased, floured 9-by-13- inch baking pan. Bake for 30–35 minutes and let cool. 4. In a small bowl, combine cherries, brandy, cherry preserves, and remaining coffee. 5. Crumble cake. Add frosting and cherry mixture. Combine and shape into 1-inch balls. 6. Melt chocolate coating, following package directions. 7. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Dip balls into coating. Let them stand on the paper for 20 minutes, then serve!

Business leaders are passionate and strong-willed. It’s what makes them great at what they do. You have to be committed to your business in order for it to grow and prosper, but that often comes at the expense of something else. For some, the sacrifice is made with their social lives; others miss time with family and friends now to have freedom later. However, there’s one area of your life you cannot neglect if you want to be the best business leader you can be: your health. As we recognize American Heart Month this February, our team at CHB implores you to take a look at the ways in which you can be healthier, starting with this list. Sleep more, sleep better. Catching some z’s is one of the most important things you can do for your body. While you’re in dreamland, your body is cataloging memories, repairing your muscles, regulating your hormones, and doing many other actions to repair from the day you spent living. But it’s not just about getting enough sleep; you also need quality sleep. By doing so, you will have more energy and stay more focused, and you will make healthier choices for yourself and your business. Get moving.

CHB is looking forward to joining hundreds of other professionals at the National Equipment Finance Association (NEFA) 2022 Finance Summit on March 23–25. We always enjoy meeting and collaborating with fellow experts to gain new insights and learn more about We’re Going to NEFA in March!

Between meetings, family obligations, and simply finding time to rest, it’s hard to incorporate movement into your daily routine. So, change your routine! Instead of sitting for your morning huddle, go for a walk with your team. Or, schedule a weekly family hike on the weekends, or ride a stationary bike a few miles while catching up on email. Make a conscious effort to incorporate movement into your daily routine, and you’ll notice some changes. Seek emotional support. One study found that 72% of entrepreneurs struggle with mental health issues. While you may not be an entrepreneur, any position of

leadership in business can put you in this same vulnerable place, and when you don’t address it, you risk further hurting yourself and your business. It’s vital that those who are struggling mentally and emotionally seek professional, personal, or group support for their own happiness and business success.

the ways in which we can better serve our clients.

If you need help improving your health, please talk to your doctor or a mental health professional.




C.H. Brown Co., LLC A PLATTE VALLEY COMPANY 20 W. Frontage Rd. • Wheatland, WY 82201 307-322-2545 • chbef.com


1 Groundhog Day Lessons for Every Business Leader 2 Properly Organize Your Fridge 2 How Mary Barra Helped GM 3 Cherry Cordial Cake Balls 3 We’re Going to NEFA! 3 Why Your Business Depends on Your Health 4 Celebrate a Local Anniversary With Us!

Happy Anniversary, Platte County! CELEBRATE WITH THESE FUN FACTS

On Feb. 21, 1911, Wyoming established Platte County as a recognized county in the state, naming Wheatland as the county seat. CHB is proud to call Wheatland home, and we are avid supporters of the schools, businesses, and organizations that make up this vibrant community with us. This February, celebrate 110 years of Platte County with us by learning more about what makes Platte County a great place to live.

It has a deep Native American culture. Prior to its establishment as Platte County, this region was home to many Native American tribes. According to WyoHistory.org, the Shoshone people and early descendants of the Cheyenne lived in this region. Later, its inhabitants would include the Comanche, Arapaho, Crow, and the Lakota Sioux. It’s home to diverse industries. Some of the earliest white settlers in the region were fur trappers, who traveled through Platte County to trap and distribute their loot. In fact, it was the fur trappers who gave the river its name — “platte” means “shallow” in French.

Miners would also use Platte County as a thoroughfare when traveling to California during the Gold Rush, and the mid-1800s saw ranchers utilizing the wide expanse of Platte County for sheep and cattle ranches. Copper miners and railway workers also posted up in Platte County. Today, ranching, farming, electrical production, and North Platte River management are major industries. It’s a strong military community. In northern Platte County, the Wyoming National Guard training camp at Guernsey was established in 1939. It is 77,000 acres, and around 1,500 soldiers are stationed there at

Guernsey Lake State Park

any given time. During conflict in the Middle East, the camp was an ideal training ground for soldiers who were preparing for deployments. We’re proud to host these brave men and women as they train to protect our country, and at CHB, we are appreciative of the service and sacrifice of every service member who calls Platte County home for any period of time.

Happy birthday, Platte County! You can learn more about our home at WyoHistory.org.



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