Wyoming Business Council names Shawn Reese as new CEO

(Laramie, Wyo.) – The 15-member Wyoming Business Council Board of Directors today chose Shawn Reese, Gov. Matt Mead’s policy director, as the agency’s next chief executive officer.

Board Co-Chairman Rex Lewis said terms of Reese’s employment have yet to be negotiated. The position will pay between $120,000 and $150,000.

“I am extremely excited to continue the great work the Business Council has already laid out,” Reese said following the announcement at the close of the board’s two-day, quarterly meeting at the Hilton Garden Inn in Laramie. “We have a great opportunity to continue to diversify Wyoming’s economy.”

Reese worked for the Business Council from 2003-11. There he developed the Business Ready Community Program and oversaw the operations of the Investment Ready Communities division.

In the governor’s office, he oversees a staff of advisors and analysts serving Governor Mead on a range of issues from energy to economic development to health care. He was the lead architect of the Governor’s energy strategy, “Leading the Charge.”

“Congratulations to Shawn. I will miss his presence on my staff but look forward to his work as head of the Business Council, which plays such an important role in Wyoming’s growing economy. Shawn is a strong manager who can bring diverse interests to the table to find solutions for complex problems,” Governor Mead said. “In this past legislative session Shawn played a significant role on economic issues that will create opportunities for Wyoming. He will be a valuable addition to my Cabinet.”

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

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

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

“We went through several generations of evaluations and in the end we hit a home run,” Lewis said of the CEO selection process. “Shawn will do an excellent job.”

The two other publicly named finalists for the position included:
– Joan Evans, Wyoming Department of Workforce Services Director.
– Hal Herron, a private businessman from Riverton.

Lewis previously said the five-member selection committee received 38 applications for the job. The committee held three rounds of meetings prior to naming the finalists.

The three finalists met with and answered questions from Business Council staff on Tuesday in Cheyenne, then were publicly interviewed by the full board on Wednesday in Laramie.

The selection committee included Lewis, former board Co-Chairman Nathan Bekke of Casper and current board members Mike Wandler of Gillette, Lynne Michelena of Buffalo and Jim Espy of Savery. Former Business Council CEO Bob Jensen served as an advisor to the committee.

Jensen resigned on March 28 and is now working in private business.

Business Council Chief Operating Officer Mark Willis has served as interim CEO since March 31.

“I’d like to thank all of the candidates, they were impressive,” Lewis said. “And I want to thank the subcommittee and thank our chief financial officer, Diane Joyce, for her excellent work during this process. We couldn’t have done it without her.”

–Provided by the Wyoming Business Council