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© 2017 by Wyoming Council for Women's Issues.

District 1

(Laramie County)

Katie Emmons,
Cheyenne

Katie was raised in Cheyenne and wouldn't have it any other way. She travel just over the hill to Laramie for college and after getting her Bachelors in Marketing, decided to come back to the capital city. A true Wyoming girl through and through, she loves a constant breeze, lots of sky and a small town vibe. Over the last several years Katie has worked at and volunteered with several non-profit organizations including the Cheyenne Animal Shelter, Boys and Girls Club of Cheyenne, and United Way of Laramie County. Event planning is one of Katie's true passions and spreadsheets are her first language. Katie is excited to start work with the Wyoming Council for Women, hoping to bring new ideas, a lot of energy and some real change for the women of the Equality State. 

District 2 
(Albany & Carbon Counties)

Tara Muir, Laramie
Tara is the Public Policy Director with the Wyoming Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault. Since 2000, she has been involved with ending violence which often intersects with poverty, housing, healthcare, as well as child and vulnerable adult abuse. She has worked extensively with people experiencing homelessness, substance abuse and mental health disorders. Tara received a degree in Journalism in Nebraska and her juris doctorate from Creighton University. She has served in many volunteer leadership positions. She loves the Wyoming mountains and spends her free time riding horses, downhill skiing and keeping house for her two cats: Nancy & Ruth. Her husband Ed is on the verge of retirement and looks to join her in Wyoming soon.

District 3 
(Lincoln, Sweetwater & Uinta Counties)

Jan Torres, Rock Springs

Entrepreneur Task Force Chair

WCW Treasurer

Named Professor Emeritus at Western Wyoming College following a 43-career, Jan also serves as Vice-President for Sweetwater County Hospice and as a member of the Actors’ Mission Executive Producers.  She volunteers as a community educator for the Wyoming Alzheimer’s Association and recently completed two certificate programs on Alzheimers  from the University of Wyoming.  A Licensed Professional Counselor in Wyoming,  Jan also is a Nationally Certified Counselor.  She previously served on the Wyoming State Board of Education, the Southwest Counseling Board of Directors and the Sweetwater County Library Board.  She considers her crowning achievement a 50+ marriage to spouse Jerry. 

District 4

(Johnson and Sheridan Counties)

Mary Ann (Belus) Cummins, Buffalo

Mary Anne was born and raised in Buffalo, Wyoming on a ranch northeast of town as the eldest of five children. She works as a Parish Administrator in Buffalo and is involved with the Council of Catholic Women at all levels – parish, deanery, state and national. Mary Ann taught 5 years at Holy Name Catholic School in Sheridan, WY in the 8th grade and has been a substitute teacher in Buffalo schools, coached volleyball, basketball and track. She retired from coaching in 2018.

Mary Ann holds an MS degree from the University of Wyoming in Exercise and Sport Pedagogy. She has a BA in Sociology from Gonzaga University.

She is married to Carey Cummins, a retired pharmacist. Their son was killed in a car accident in 2010 at the age of 21. She likes to read, walk with our dog or friends, run, go to our cabin in the Big Horns, and generally be outdoors.

District 5

(Big Horn, Hot Springs, Park, Washakie Counties)

Belenda Willson, BA, BS, MST, Thermopolis

received her Bachelor’s degree in Combined Sciences from the University of Tennessee. She also holds a Bachelors of Science Degree in Chemistry and a Master of Science in Teaching from Florida Atlantic University. She was recently a Senior Quality Consultant for S. Big Horn County Hospital. Her previous experience includes: Chief Operations Officer for Hot Springs County Memorial Hospital, a science and physics teacher at Hot Springs County High School, Analytical Chemist, Pharmaceutical sales and has owned her art gallery for 17 years. Belenda is a past member of the Hot Springs County School Board, HSCMH Foundation Board (and President), Thermopolis Rotary Club, and the Hospital Foundation.  She is a past president of Wyoming Medical Society Alliance. Belenda recently served on the Wyoming State Board of Education for the past 6 years and as a member of the Wyoming Coalition on Aging.  She and her husband Dr. Howard Willson have six children and 5 graduates of the University of Wyoming.

District 6 
(Campbell, Crook, & Weston Counties)

Laurel Vicklund, Gillette

Laurel Vicklund works as a Sr. Environmental Scientist for Peabody Energy in the Powder River Basin of Wyoming.  She has worked on reclaiming mined lands, permitting, and regulatory affairs for over 28 years. 

 

Laurel is an active board member of Advisory Committee of the Wyoming Natural Diversity Database.  She also is Vice chairperson of Thunder Basin Grasslands Prairie Ecosystem Association and a board member of the Northeast Wyoming Sage-grouse Working Group where she works to help develop and facilitate conservation plans to benefit Greater sage-grouse.  

 

When she is not working, Laurel enjoys wood working, hunting and assisting her husband, Olin Oedekoven, with their businesses; Peregrine Leadership Institute and Peregrine Academic Services

District 7 
(Natrona County)

Ashley Mikels, Casper

WCW Secretary

Ashley was born and raised in Casper, Wyoming. She is employed as a clinical supervisor for the Youth Crisis Center in Casper, Wyoming, providing crisis intervention and therapeutic services to youth and families. Ashley received her master's degree in social work (MSW) from the University of Wyoming. She is a proud alumna of Leadership Institute at Casper College, having also worked and attended college there. As a volunteer for Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA), she advocates for youth in the court system who have been abused or neglected. Ashley has a special interest in empowering others and enjoys books, puzzles, and traveling.

District 8
(Converse, Goshen, Niobrara, Platte Counties Counties)

Jenelle Garber, Douglas

Jenelle is a Foster Care Coordinator for the Department of Family Services (DFS). Before working for DFS Jenelle worked as an oil and gas title consultant. She has served on the Youth Development Services board in Converse County. After graduating from the University of Wyoming with a degree in Philosophy and Psychology, Jenelle studied at the University in Canterbury in Christchurch, New Zealand. There she earned her M.A. in International Law and Politics through the Political Science department. Jenelle enjoys traveling and has lived in Scotland in addition to New Zealand. Away from the office Jenelle helps her husband, Clay Moore, on the ranch. She loves riding horses along with spending time with family and her dogs. Jenelle was raised in Douglas and feels proud to call Wyoming home.

District 9
(Fremont, Sublette & Teton Counties)

Jen Simon, Jackson

Vice Chair 

Data Collection Committee Chair

Jen Simon is Owner/Principle of JMSimon Strategic Communications focused on distilling messaging, improving multi-platform storytelling, amplifying impact, developing innovative programs, and guiding organizational change. While VP at St John’s Hospital Foundation, The American Hospital Association recognized her with the Grassroots Champion Award for her work advocating for community hospitals and their patients while educating elected officials on how key legislative issues affect the hospital’s vital role in the community. Jen is a co-founder and Emeritus Board Member of Womentum, a Wyoming-based mentoring program created to empower women and a 2005 graduate of Leadership Wyoming. She holds a Master’s of Theological Studies from Vanderbilt Divinity School and a B.A. in Art History from Colorado College. 

At Large

Natalia Duncan Macker, Jackson

Natalia D. Macker is Chairwoman of the Teton County Board of County Commissioners and a cofounder of the Wyoming Women's Action Network. She captained the Wyoming chapter of Courage To Run in 2018 and 2019 and is regularly involved in recruiting women to run for public office and mentoring women as they run and enter public office. 

She is the youngest member and only woman on the Board of County Commissioners and serves as statewide chair of the Health, Safety, and Social services committee for the Wyoming County Commissioners Association, where she mentors new commissioners and represents Wyoming on National Association of Counties committees. She currently serves on the Land Quality Advisory Board (DEQ) and is the Wyoming delegate to Vision2020.

Natalia is a member St. John’s Episcopal Church and Rotary Club of Jackson Hole. She lives in Teton County with her husband and their two sons.

At Large

Jennifer Wilmetti,
Rock Springs

WCW Chair

Jennifer is a government and psychology teacher at Rock Springs High School.  She has served in various leadership positions for Sweetwater County School District Number One, including social studies department chair.  She earned her bachelor’s and master’s degree from the University of Wyoming.  Jennifer is a lifetime member of the University of Wyoming Alumni Association, having served as a former member of the board of directors.  She also is a member of the Wyoming Education Association, American Psychological Association and Teachers of Psychology in Secondary Schools.  Jennifer was named 2014 Teacher of the Year for Rock Springs High School, is a 2016 Founders Fellow for the Bill of Rights Institute, and is 2017-2018 Sweetwater Education Association vice president. She is a member of the Leadership Wyoming 2019 class.

At Large

Kristin Walker, Jackson

Communications Chair

Kristin Walker is the Principal of Three Elephant Public Relations. Prior to founding the firm, she spent six years working in Washington, DC as a Communications Director for Members of Congress and four years working in public affairs in Wyoming. She’s worked with local, state and national media to maximize earned media opportunities for clients, while leveraging multi-pronged public advocacy campaigns to achieve winning results. Kristin has designed, implemented and administered successful public relations strategies that include social media, digital outreach and advertising and website development. She spearheaded a winning senatorial campaign that garnered national attention and has directed public relations campaigns for a wide-variety of clients and projects including government agencies, businesses, non-profits, restaurants, start-up companies and many more.

Raised in Jackson, Wyoming, Walker has a B.A. in Government from the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia.

Ex-Officio Member

Shawn Reese, Cheyenne

Shawn Reese rejoined the Wyoming Business Council as chief executive officer in June 2014.

He previously worked at the Business Council from 2003-11. He developed the Business Ready Community program and oversaw operations of the Investment Ready Communities Division.

Prior to returning to the Business Council, Reese oversaw a staff of advisers and analysts serving Gov. Matt Mead on a range of energy and natural resource issues. He was the lead architect of Mead’s energy strategy, “Leading the Charge.”

Reese helped develop energy plans and policies with the Western Governors Association and the Republican Governors Public Policy Committee. He served on the staff advisory council of the Western Governors Association. He also was the staff chairman of the multistate Greater Sage-grouse Task Force.

Reese received a bachelor of science degree and performed master’s coursework in planning at the University of Wyoming.

Reese is a Cheyenne native. He and his wife Amiee have two children: Clara and Owen.

Business Council Liason

Chava Case, Cheyenne

Chava Case has been a Human Resource professional for more than 10 years and is responsible for leading talent development for the Wyoming Business Council. Case's previous experience includes management support in a small family-owned business and providing management, human resource consulting and support in an organizational development firm.

Case has a passion for her profession and and its focus on people. To further develop the profession for others and herself, she has devoted time volunteering in many different capacities for the Society for Human Resource Management. Such roles included Diversity Director, Legislative Director and Chapter President.

Originally from Cheyenne and a graduate of the University of Wyoming, Case spends her free time with her husband and daughter enjoying the outdoors.

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