Board of Directors
The Board of Directors includes a representative appointed by the Town of Wheatland, a member of the Platte County Commissioners, corporate members and those elected by the general membership of PCED. Individually and collectively, they oversee and support our efforts. Our mission is to promote quality growth by mobilizing human, physical, natural and capital resources to produce marketable goods and services in a way that makes Platte County a desirable place to live. We are the primary resource in our region for business information and for those wishing to start, expand or relocate a business in the Platte County area.
Over the years, we have had the opportunity to develop strong partnerships locally and statewide. The board and staff continue to work cooperatively with the Wyoming Business Council, Wyoming Rural Development Council, Small Business Development Center, Wyoming Workforce Development Center, Manufacturing Works, Wyoming Economic Development Association, Wyoming Community Development Authority, and the Platte County Chamber of Commerce. In addition we have a working relationship with the University of Wyoming, Eastern Wyoming Community College, and Laramie County Community College.
Don Smith - Chairman
Don came to Wheatland in 2014 as the General Manager of Wheatland Rural Electric Association (REA). Wheatland REA is an electric cooperative providing electric power to rural areas of Platte County as well as portions of Laramie, Albany and Goshen counties. Don has over 20 years of electric utility experience that has taken him to Oregon and Alaska as well as spending most of his career in Gillette, Wyoming. Don is a licensed professional engineer and has a Bachelor of Science in Electronic Engineering Technology from Metropolitan State College of Denver. For nearly 20 years Don has been an active leader in the Boy Scouts of America in various capacities including District Chairman.
Keith Geis - Vice-Chairman
Platte Valley Bank
Keith Geis is the President of Platte Valley Bank in Wheatland, a position he has held since 2002. He is a Wyoming native and spent his early years in the Wheatland area, graduating from Laramie High School in 1970. Keith graduated from the University of Wyoming in 1975 with a degree in Ag. Economics. Keith worked with the USDA in Torrington after graduation before spending two years in Alabama with the USDA. He returned to Wyoming where he worked with the Federal Land Bank before moving to Iowa for two years to further his career with Farm Credit Services, returning to Wyoming as Vice President of Marketing for Farm Credit Services of America. In 2002 Keith was selected as President of Platte Valley Bank Wheatland where he works today. Keith serves on numerous committees and boards, including many associated with the banking industry. He is also active with the University of Wyoming, numerous agricultural committees, and many community boards and committees. However, one of the most rewarding of Keith and Marie’s endeavors was providing a safe haven for foster children for eight years; “one of the greatest legacies one can leave.”
Chuck Ruwart – Treasurer
Laramie Peak Motors
Chuck and Lori Ruwart moved to Wheatland in April 1994 to take over ownership of Laramie Peak Motors. They have five children ranging in age from 19 to 12. Chuck was on the board of directors for the Platte County Chamber of Commerce for nine years, and served as president in 1998-1999. He has served on the Platte County School District #1 School Board since 2004, and is currently on the board of directors for the Wyoming Auto Dealers Association. He also serves on the State of Wyoming Insurance Examiners Board. Locally, Chuck is president of the board of directors for the American Legion Post 10, Wheatland Lobos, and is a member of the Knights of Columbus in Wheatland and a high school catechism teacher. Chuck feels that economic development for Wheatland is very important if it is to sustain itself into the future. In their spare time Chuck and Lori enjoy attending the unending activities and sports that their kids participate in.
Bob Ruwart - Secretary
Bob Ruwart Motors
Bob Ruwart came to Wheatland in February of 1990 to pursue a career in the Automobile industry, and purchased a GM-Chrysler dealership, Bob Ruwart Motors. During the twenty years he has been in Wheatland, he has served on the Platte County Chamber of Commerce Board and the Platte County Economic Development Board. Bob was very active in the Wheatland Jaycees for 15 years. He served on the Wyoming Automobile Dealers Board of Directors for eight years, becoming President in 2004. He currently serves as a WYDOT Commissioner representing district 1. In his spare time, he enjoys going to his cabin in the Snowy Mountains, snowmobiling, and spending time sitting around the campfire with family and friends.
Thane Ashenhurst is a lifelong Platte County native. Thane grew up working on his father’s and grandfather’s farms and ranches in and around Platte County. Thane graduated from Wheatland High School in 1983 and graduated with degrees in business and political science from Oral Roberts University in 1988. Keri was talked into marrying Thane in 1989 and the two of them farmed for a year before taking over Drube Manufacturing. Thane and Keri grew the welding and machine business into a regional manufacturing business that produced equipment for the prison industry. The manufacturing business was sold in 2001 and Thane and Keri started a hardware store in Wheatland in 2001 which they currently operate. Thane and Keri have three children: 18, 15, and 13. They enjoy keeping up with the children’s activities which include barrel racing, basketball, and lots of music.
First State Bank
Jeff Brown is the Chief Credit Officer of First State Bank in Wheatland, WY where he has been employed since moving to Wheatland 18 years ago. He also serves on the bank’s board of directors. Jeff has been in the banking business in Wyoming for 23 years. He has served on the Platte County Chamber of Commerce board as well as the Wheatland Jaycees. He is a member of Kiwanis and the Covenant Lutheran Church. Jeff is married and has two children. He enjoys golf, camping and spending time with his family.
Wildcat Feeders Inc.
Gorman Funeral Home
Tiffany was born in Wheatland, and was raised in Douglas, Wyoming. She graduated in 2001 from Douglas High School and attended the University of South Dakota in Vermillion, South Dakota. She was involved with Pi Beta Phil Sorority. She graduated from USD in 2005 with a finance degree. For the next five years she worked various place before deciding to go to mortuary school in 2010. Tiffany graduated from Worsham Mortuary School in September of 2011 and moved to Wheatland to begin her career as Funeral Director working with her parents. Tiffany is involved with the Selected Independent Funeral Homes Leadership Academy and a Study Group. She was just elected as a board member of the Platte County Chamber of Commerce, a member of the Saint Patrick's Catholic Church, and also teaches first Grade CCD classes. Tiffany and her husband Cameron reside in Wheatland and together they have a son Brody.
Town of Wheatland
Joe Fabian is in his first term as Mayor of Wheatland, having been elected in November, 2014. He retired from Laramie River Station after working there 31 years. He is very active and involved in the community, and currently serves on numerous boards and commissions, including the Wyoming Main Street Advisory Council. He and his wife, Linda, live “upstairs downtown” in a renovated building, and they also own Dance Wyoming.
Platte County School District #1
Dennis Fischer is Superintendent of Schools for the Platte County School District #1, which serves the communities of Wheatland, Glendo, and Chugwater. Dennis joined the district in 2012 after 22 years in education in Minnesota and Wisconsin. He and his wife, Patty, have three boys. Dennis has bachelor’s degrees in Finance and Education, as well as a Master’s in Educational Administration/School Business Management from the University of Wisconsin and an Educational Specialist degree from St. Mary’s University. His hobbies include hunting, fishing, golfing and spending time with family.
Platte County Record Times
Amanda is the Editor at the Platte County Record-Times Newspaper. Prior to her relocation to Wheatland in July of 2015, she worked at the Parks and Recreation Division for the City of Cheyenne. She loves working in a setting where she can constantly meet new people, and serve as a voice for the community. When she is not working, Amanda enjoys travelling, volunteering, being outdoors, and going to sports events. Amanda is excited to serve with PCED and be a part of the continued economic growth for the area.
Premier Title Company
Alan Madsen and his wife Stephani opened Premier Title Company (firstname.lastname@example.org) in Wheatland, in 2003. Alan is a Councilman for the Town of Wheatland and is active with youth activities including coaching little league and basketball. He also enjoys hunting and fishing. Alan and his wife have three children. Staying active in the community for youth and for business growth has and will always be a goal for them.
Platte County Memorial Hospital
Shelby Nelson joined Platte County Memorial Hospital as CEO in August of 2011. Nelson came to Wheatland from Fairbanks, Alaska, where she most recently served as an associate administrator for Fairbanks Memorial Hospital and Denali Center (FMH/DC). Shelby had been with FMH/DC since 1992 and served as a senior leader there for the past 10 years. She began her career in the early 1980’s as a ward clerk at McKee Medical Center in Loveland, CO. Shelby holds a bachelor of Science degree in Psychology (minor, Business Administration) from the University of Fairbanks in Alaska. In addition, she holds certifications as a FEMA crisis communications expert and Myers Briggs trainer. Nelson is also a member of the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE), Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), and the Society for Healthcare Strategy and Market Development (SHSMD).
Mona Sherard has been a Realtor for over thirty years and still loves her job. The majority of her real estate career was in Cheyenne WY., just 70 miles south of Wheatland. After she and her husband were married, she relocated to this beautiful part of the state and opened Sherard Realty, Inc. Being close to the Mountains, lakes and streams is the ideal location for them as they enjoy hiking, fishing and being in the Great outdoors in their spare time.
Missouri Basin Power Project
Wheatland is KC's hometown, where he lives with his wife Brook and children Aislyn and Kristopher. KC started Capstone Industries as a sprinkler/landscaping business but it has morphed into a full construction company over the past few years, and is still expanding. KC is just getting started and has many fulfilling years to come in Platte County.