WOI Speakers

Tickets are still available for the Wyoming Business Report’s Sixth Annual Women of Influence awards and conference, which will be taking place at Little America on August 16th.

“We have an incredible group of speakers lined up, from, our opening speaker Dr. Noël Bakhtian; Associate Director of the Center for Advanced Energy Studies at the Idaho National Laboratory, to keynoter Selina Hoffman who will help you get your career unstuck,” explained Wyoming Business Report Editor MJ Clark.

Also planning to speak at the event is an all-star group of notable Wyoming women including Affie Ellis, Wyoming state senator and attorney at Holland & Hart LLP (as well as last year’s Woman of Influence honoree for Government, Military and Law);  Phyllis Sherard, VP of Population Health and Chief Strategy Officer for Cheyenne Regional Medical Center (the 2015 Woman of Influence honoree for Health Care); Rita Meyer, Vice President of Wyoming at Rocky Mountain Power Inc.; and Despina Costopoulos Emerson, Director of Community Engagement & Partnerships for Scholarship America. Keeping everyone on track will be our regular emcee, Sharon Fain, Sr. Vice President, WYBrand Strategies.

The Women of Influence Awards will wrap up the day with a dinner banquet where all of the nominees from all over the state (see below) will be introduced, and then the finalists will be announced. The honorees are a well-kept secret before the event, which makes it all the more exciting when they are at last revealed.

Tickets for the event may be purchased here, and can be had for the conference only, the awards dinner only, or for the entire day.

The 2018 Women of Influence nominees are:

For Lifetime Achievement

  • Hazel Blow Suedes, CNA, Shepherd of the Valley Healthcare Community by Welcov Healthcare
  • Cathy Carson, Senior Vice President, Hilltop National Bank
  • Harriet Hageman, Managing Partner, Hageman Law P.C.
  • Marilyn Kite, Attorney of Counsel, Holland & Hart
  • Susan McMurry Samuelson, Owner, Warren Livestock Ranch
  • Laura Morrow, Owner, Laura M. Gallery
  • Carol Nicholls, Retired Program Coordinator, Weston County Conservation District and Weston County Wildfire Protection Program

Banking and Finance

  • Betty Andrikopoulos, Principal, Willow Street Group
  • Anna Bailey, Investment Specialist, First Interstate Bank
  • Michele DeHoff, Assistant Vice President, Jonah Bank of Wyoming
  • Randi Downham, Retail Manager II, First Interstate Bank, Laramie
  • Amber Hestla-Barnhart, Owner and Chief Options Strategist, Hestla Research
  • Shannon Moody, Chief Financial Officer, Central Bank & Trust
  • Ruby Ogden, Senior Vice President Operations, Bank of Commerce
  • Judy Osborne, Home Mortgage Consultant, Wells Fargo Home Mortgage
  • Jessica Uresk, Assistant Vice President, Pinnacle Bank
  • Karen Woodul, Senior Vice President, Meridian Trust Federal Credit Union

Business and Business Services

  • Cindy Delancey, CEO, Wyoming Business Alliance
  • Sara Flitner, President, Flitner Strategies
  • Deby Forry, CFO, Trihydro Engineering
  • Melissa Gelwicks, Applications Chemist and Marketing Specialist, Metrohm Raman
  • Renee Jelinek, Owner, The Paramount Cafe, Lincoln Theatre and other businesses
  • Christine Langley, Business Counselor, Wyoming Women’s Business Center
  • Ashlee Lundvall, Owner, Ashlee Lundvall LLC
  • Brandy Marrou, Partner, MHP LLP
  • Laura Morrow, Owner, Laura M Gallery
  • Sandy Newsome, Executive Board Member, Forward Cody; Owner, Newsome Investments
  • Cynthia (Cindy) Porter, Executive Director, The Enterprise of Douglas
  • Sandy Schultz Hesseler, Instructor Start Up Intensive, Central Community College of Wyoming


  • Jillian Balow, State Superintendent, State of Wyoming Dept. of Education
  • Mary Margaret Legler, Principal, Holy Name Catholic School
  • Hilarie Schalger, 3rd Grade Teacher, Carbon County School District
  • Wendy Smith, Assistant VP of Strategic Communications and Public Relations, Northwestern Community College
  • Marcia Young, Lead Teacher, Child Development Center

Energy and Utilities

  • Michelle Butler, Manager Public Affairs and Community Relations, Cloud Peak Energy
  • Colleen Faber, EHS Supervisor, Anadarko Petroleum
  • Deby Forry, Senior VP of Risk Management, CFO Trihydro Corp.
  • Christi Haswell, Director of Sheridan Office, SWCA Environmental Consultants
  • Rachel Meeker, Rate Analyst, Wyoming Public Service Commission
  • Esther Wagner, Vice President, Petroleum Association of Wyoming

Government, Military & Law

  • Lynn Budd, Chief Security Division, Wyoming Office of Homeland Security
  • Lisa Fresquez, Civil Rights Program Manager, Wyoming Dept. of Transportation
  • Andrea Hixon, State Veteran Coordinator for the Veterans Employment & Training Services,
  • Teresa Moore, Community Recreation & Events Director, City of Cheyenne
  • Marian Orr, Mayor, City of Cheyenne
  • Mary “Dee” Pridgen, Carl M. Williams Professor of Law & Social Responsibility, University of Wyoming
  • Kristi Racines, CFO and Human Resources Director, Wyoming Supreme Court/
  • Wyoming Department of Workforce Services
  • Lindsay Stoffers, Secretary, Albany County Democrats
  • Mary Throne, Partner, Throne Law Office

Health Care

  • Sharla Allen, MSPH, Manager Office of Rural Health and Deputy Administrator for the Rural and Frontier Health Division, Wyoming Dept. of Health
  • Tracy Garcia, Chief Nursing Officer, Cheyenne Regional Medical Center
  • Kenyne Humphrey, Administrator/City Council Member, Mountain Plaza Assisted Living
  • Kelly Milam, Office Manager/Spine and Injury Clinic of Laramie/Co-owner Altitude Fitness
  • Shelby Olind, CEO Banner Wyoming South, Platte County Memorial Hospital
  • Dawn Scott, Wyoming Grassroots Manager, American Cancer Society
  • Gloria Stoddard, Nurse Practitioner, Stone Meadow Health and Wellness
  • Kim Westbrook, Physician, Ivinson Memorial Hospital/Laramie Physicians for Women
  • Tess Williams, Physical Therapist, Gottsche
  • Kelly Wolfe, Practice Manager, Grand Ave. Urgent Care
  • Nichol Zimmermann, Head of Forensic Nursing Department, Cheyenne Regional Medical Center


  • Lisa Anselmi-Dalton, Owner, Holiday Inn of Rock Springs
  • Connie Kemmerer, Co-Owner, Jackson Hole Mountain Resort
  • Renee Penton-Jones, General Manager, Ramkota Hotel


  • Michelle Connell, President/CEO, High Tech Bed Systems Inc.
  • Georgia Gayle, COO, Analogic Engineering Inc.
  • Kelli Jones, CEO, Noso Patches
  • Tracy Kubatsi, VP Operations, Green House Data
  • Ruth Martin, QA/QC Director, Black Tooth Brewing Co.
  • Diane McGinley, Director of Operations, McGinley Orthopedics
  • Erin Moore, CEO/Partner, Gannett Peak Technical Services
  • Barbara Sessions, VP and COO, Silver Star Communications


  • Rhianna Brand, Director of Operations, Grace for 2 Brothers
  • Brittany Gray, Sweetwater Area Program Director, Climb Wyoming
  • Laura Griffith, Executive Director, Recovery Wyoming
  • Lindsay Linton Buk, CEO, Linton Productions - Women in Wyoming
  • Stacie McDonald, Gillette Program Director, CLIMB Wyoming
  • Kathleen Peterson, Retired, Dept. of Family Services/Dept. of Health
  • Jackie Pickinpaugh, Women’s Program Director, Wyoming Rescue Mission
  • Donn Sheen, Director, Wyoming Childrens’ Law Center
  • Jennifer Zenor, Executive Director, Wyoming Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault

Best Company to Work For

  • Hirst Applegate LLP
  • Language I/O
  • Wyoming Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault
  • Wyoming Community Foundation (note: WCF was last year’s honoree)

Best Mentor (Male or Female)

  • Janet Marschner, Founder, Shoot and Cast
  • Marjorie Bedessem, Senior Engineer, Trihydro Corporation
  • Becky Triscori, General Manager, Hat Six Travel Center
  • Janell Mellish, Owner, Pink Gloves Boxing
  • Beth Whitman, Branch Manager, US Bank, Rock Springs
  • Catherine Harris, Executive Business Officer, University of Wyoming, Agriculture Dept.
  • Jill Judd, Owner, Roca Jewelry

The next step is for our previous honorees in every category, assisted by the Wyoming Business Report staff, to determine this year’s honorees.

The finalists and honorees will be announced during the Women of Influence awards dinner at Little America Hotel and Resort on August 16. Tickets are available here:  https://purchase.growtix.com/e/women_of_influence_2018

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