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Leadership Wyoming Class to Hold Orientation Session at UW

July 14, 2016

Forty-six residents representing 14 Wyoming communities are members of the 17th Leadership Wyoming class.

An orientation session for new class members is scheduled Aug. 4-5 at the University of Wyoming. Since 2001, 668 class members from throughout the state have graduated from the program, including Gov. Matt Mead; former first lady and federal judge Nancy Freudenthal; U.S. Sen. John Barrasso; Adjutant General Luke Reiner; and nearly 20 state legislators.

A Wyoming Heritage Foundation and UW program, Leadership Wyoming provides opportunities for a diverse group of approximately 40 Wyoming citizens to participate in a challenging and thought-provoking nine-month educational experience. Beginning in early August and ending in May 2017, the group will participate in eight sessions.

Class members will attend other programs throughout the year: a retreat in Jackson Sept. 23-25; a “Natural Resources and the Environment” program in Gillette Oct. 20-22; the Nov. 30-Dec. 2 “Education, Technology and Change” session is in Evanston; Worland will host the “Entrepreneurship and the Economy” program Jan. 5-7; “Government and Politics” is the theme for the Feb. 16-18 session in Cheyenne; Sheridan is the site for the March 30-April 1 session focusing on “Healthcare, Social Services and Quality of Life”; and graduation weekend is May 5-6 in Casper.

Training sessions provide a practical, nonpartisan, hands-on understanding of a broad spectrum of public policy issues, and participants develop an appreciation for trusteeship, with lasting commitments to civic involvement at the state and local levels.

Leadership Wyoming gives participants an opportunity to better understand general public policy issues, economic and social diversity, and the challenges facing the state. The experience prepares them, through shared mutual interests and the leadership skills developed, to be active in building a better Wyoming, says Bill Schilling, Wyoming Business Alliance/Wyoming Heritage Foundation president and Leadership Wyoming executive director.

For more information about the program, call (307) 577-8000 or visit the website at

Members of this year’s Leadership Wyoming class, listed by hometowns and the companies they represent, are:

Big Horn -- Anne Pendergast, retired.

Carpenter -- Matt Thomas, Mechanical Systems Inc.

Casper -- Brandon Daigle, River Valley Builders Inc.; Dave Elmer, Wyoming Financial Insurance; Kyle Henriksen, Murphy Henriksen Wealth Management Group of Stifel; Tanya Lewis, Sinclair Casper Refining Company; Chris Murray, Spectra Energy; Jessica Oden, First Interstate Bank; Shane Porter, WLC Engineering, Surveying and Planning; Thea True-Wells, Top of the Class Rentals LLC; Craig Valdez, Hilltop National Bank; and Steve Whiting, Black Hills Bentonite LLC.

Cheyenne -- Kyle Cowan, Bureau of Land Management; Camellia El-Antably, Clay Paper Scissors Gallery and Studio; Ed Ernste, The Monument Management Group; Luke Esch, Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality; Scott Fox, Cheyenne Regional Medical Center Foundation; Madoka Grenvik, First Interstate Bank; Dave Herder, Wyoming Military Department; Marguerite Herman, self-employed; John Kennedy, Wyoming Game and Fish Department; Shelley Macy, Macy Engineering PC; Donna Nelson, CLIMB Wyoming; Tara Nethercott, Woodhouse Roden Nethercott LLC; and Amber Nuse, McGee, Hearne and Paiz LLP.

Fort Washakie -- Leslie Shakespeare, Office of the Governor.

Gillette -- Mary Melaragno, Energy Capital Economic Development.

Green River -- Joe Vasco, Tronox Alkali Corp.

Jackson -- Emy diGrappa, Wyoming Humanities; and Tom Segerstrom, Teton Conservation District.

Lander -- Leslie Calkins, State Farm Insurance; Mandy Fabel, Wyoming Community Foundation; Joe Quiroz, Goodroots Consulting; and Travis Welch, National Outdoor Leadership School.

Laramie -- Nicole Hauser, Cathedral Home for Children; Paddington Hodza, Wyoming Geographic Information Science Center assistant director, and Renee Laegreid, history associate professor, both from UW; Preston Nelson, Haselden Wyoming Constructors; Sarah Reese, City of Laramie; and Jeff Suloff, Mountain West Bureau Mutual Insurance.

Riverton -- Kevin Kershisnik, Pertech Industries Inc.

Rock Springs -- Nish Goicolea, Western Wyoming Community College; and Travis McNiven, U.S. Sen. John Barrasso’s office.

Sheridan -- Doug Hockett, Morgan Stanley; and Ken Thorpe, Powder River Heating and Air Conditioning Inc.

Torrington -- Michelle Landa, Eastern Wyoming College.

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