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The Wyoming Academy Wraps Up First Cohort, Announces 2024 Class Roster

Group of people standing in front of abstract wall art at The Wyoming Academy inaugural class graduation.
Cheyenne, Wyo.  – The inaugural class of The Wyoming Academy wrapped up last week in Casper, Wyoming, and while organizers celebrate the growth and connections of the first cohort, they also are looking ahead to the next set of leaders to join the program this June.
The Academy, as it is commonly known, is a joint venture of the Wyoming Business Council (WBC) and Leadership Wyoming. The goal of the program is to develop leadership skills, introduce people to the world of economic development, and create strong support for economic developers in their communities.
“The vision for the Wyoming Academy was to gather local leaders, encourage them to think big, and give them the frameworks to solve economic challenges at a local level,” shared Josh Dorrell, CEO of the Business Council. “With this amazing class, we found 30 people who are Team Wyoming through and through, who have a deep appreciation for the similarities and differences in our communities, and who have developed relationships for life. This is a special group. Wyoming is stronger because of their commitment and leadership.”
Last year, the program included four in-person sessions in both large and small communities across the state from June 2023 to April 2024. This year’s course is being restructured slightly to focus on three sessions in a shorter period from June to October 2024. Program components will remain largely the same, focusing on business tours and community networking, technical learning, peer learning groups, executive coaching, and a commitment to action.
“The Academy is the perfect mix of executive MBA, Wyoming immersion, and professional networking,” explained Mandy Fabel, Executive Director of Leadership Wyoming. “During each session, we spend one day in a smaller community and another 1.5 days in a larger community which allows participants the chance to have a variety of conversations and see diverse solutions that will work in each of their own communities.”
Throughout the program, participants can expect personal and professional development opportunities to assist them in moving the ball forward on an idea or project back home. Both the WBC and Leadership Wyoming plus the University of Wyoming College of Business play a significant role in executing and facilitating the program.
“Every session is carefully planned and thoughtfully organized, with relevant lessons and integrated topics,” said Rocco O’Neill, Director of Community and Economic Development for the City of Evanston. O’Neill was a member of the first Academy class as well as a member of the Leadership Wyoming class of 2023.
He continued: “The Academy takes the strengths of the Leadership Wyoming program and enhances it with valuable lessons in community and economic development. This line of work demands a slightly different set of tools, and through this experience, I’ve come to appreciate the talent and passion present across our state. It has instilled in me a real sense of optimism and gratitude for the impactful work accomplished and being undertaken by individuals in the past and today.”
“It is gratifying to see the inaugural cohort of The Academy graduate,” added Amy Grenfell, WBC Chief Operating Officer. “The vision for the program was met with great enthusiasm and brought to life by our Leadership Wyoming and UW fellow facilitators. While inaugural cohort members may have capped off their formal Academy experience, their community journeys using the knowledge and relationships gained are just beginning. The Business Council values our community member relationships and helping Wyoming communities flourish and grow is paramount to the state’s economic resilience.”
The first session of the 2024 Academy will be held in Cody and Powell on June 19 to 21, 2024. For more information, visit

The 2024 Wyoming Academy Roster
Please join us in congratulating and welcoming these dedicated leaders from across Wyoming.
  • Eric Barlow – Senator/Rancher/Veterinarian, Wyoming Legislature/Barlow Ranch, Gillette
  • Kari Brown-Herbst – Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs, LCCC, Cheyenne
  • Meri Ann Dorman – CEO, Thermopolis-Hot Springs Chamber of Commerce, Thermopolis
  • Baylie Evans – Managing Director, gener8tor, Cheyenne
  • Josh Fuller – CEO, Jorgensen Associates, Inc., Jackson
  • Jim Geesey – CEO, Mountain West Farm Bureau, Laramie
  • Cecilia Good – City Clerk/Strategy Director, City of Sheridan, Sheridan
  • Paul Guschewsky – Entrepreneur and Business Owner, Lander
  • Dustin Havel – Assistant Airport Director-Operations, Jackson Hole Airport Board, Jackson
  • Kevin Hawley – Executive Director, Casper Downtown Development Authority, Casper
  • Katie Hogarty – CEO, Climb Wyoming, Laramie
  • Michael Holliday – Director of Finance/CFO, Wyoming Community Development Authority, Casper
  • Brett Kahler – Executive Director, Wyoming Economic Development Association, Cheyenne
  • Sena Krula – Outreach and Engagement Coordinator, UW College of Business, Laramie
  • Greg Luhman – Owner, Sheridan Fire Equipment & Service Professionals, Sheridan
  • Renny MacKay – President, Wyoming Business Alliance, Cheyenne
  • Corte McGuffey – CEO, BTI, Riverton
  • Tyler Miller – Owner, Earth Work Solution, Gillette
  • Dana Miller – Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Coordinator, Gillette College-Office of Economic Transformation, Gillette
  • Jennifer Power – Communications Coordinator, Laramie Main Street Alliance, Laramie
  • Penny Robbins – Clerk/Treasurer, Town of Mountain View, Mountain View
  • Sam Rowley – Area Manager, Big Horn Co-op, Powell
  • Violet Sanderson – Town Administrator, Town of Afton, Afton
  • David Sarette – Rocky Mountain Division Manager, Holloman Corporation, Casper
  • Korin Schmidt – Director, Department of Family Services, Cheyenne
  • Lisa Scroggins – Executive Director, Natrona County Library, Casper
  • Cody Sinclair – Chief Development Officer, Sheridan Memorial Hospital, Sheridan
  • Chloe Stine – Events Manager, Washakie Museum & Cultural Center, Worland
  • Crista Valentino – Executive Director, Jackson Hole Travel and Tourism Board, Jackson
  • Erika Yarber – Director of Business Development, Wind River Development Fund, Riverton
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