2016 Special Guests

Governor Matt Mead
Wyoming Governor

  Matthew H. Mead was sworn in as Wyoming's 32nd Governor on January 3, 2011, re-elected on November 4, 2014, and inaugurated for his second term on January 5, 2015.  Born in Jackson, Wyoming, Matt was raised on the family ranch in Teton County.  He has a law degree from the University of Wyoming and a BA degree from Trinity University in San Antonio.  After law school, he served as a county and federal prosecutor, practiced in a private firm, served as United States Attorney for Wyoming, and maintained a farm and ranch business in southeast Wyoming with his wife Carol.

Since taking office, Governor Mead has put a focus on economic growth, a state energy strategy, consolidation of government services, supporting local government and enhancing infrastructure, and creating additional access to high-speed broadband.  He has also developed a state water strategy, published in January 2015.

Representing the interests of the state, Governor Mead serves in regional and national leadership roles.  He is Chairman of the Western Governors’ Association.  He serves on the Council of Governors and as Chair of the Natural Resources Committee of the National Governors Association.  He also serves as co-chair of the State and Federal Sage Grouse Task Force, which brings together federal officials and representatives in 11 western states for a regional conservation effort. 

Matt and Carol have been married 24 years. They have two teenage children.

Dave Freudenthal
Former Wyoming Governor
  Dave graduated in 1973 from Amherst College in Amherst, Massachusetts, with a bachelor's degree in economics. After graduating he joined the Department of Economic Planning and Development as an economist and later became the state planning director for Governor Ed Herschler. Freudenthal entered the University of Wyoming College of Law, receiving his law degree in 1980, and went into private practice. In 1994, he was appointed U.S. Attorney upon the recommendation of then-Governor Mike Sullivan and left the post of U.S. Attorney in May 2001. Dave became the 31st Governor of the State of Wyoming in January 2003 serving two terms, until January 2011.

Scott Talbot
Wyoming Game and Fish
  Scott was appointed by Governor Matt Mead as the Director of the Wyoming Game and Fish Department. Scott began his career with the Department in 1985, became a Game Warden in 1989 and in 2003 promoted to Assistant Chief of the Wildlife Division. Scott hunts and fishes with his two sons, Payden and Luke, enjoys training horses, backpacking in the remote mountains of Wyoming and remains actively involved in the family's ranching operation near Laramie.

Michael J. Sullivan
Former Governor of Wyoming

  Former Ambassador Michael Sullivan focuses his law practice in the areas of business counseling, public policy, litigation mediation, arbitration, and international business development with an emphasis on Ireland and Western Europe.

As an accomplished trial lawyer, Mr. Sullivan has practiced before Wyoming district courts, the Wyoming Supreme Court, Federal District Court, and the U.S. Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Mr. Sullivan, who practices out of the firm's Casper and Denver offices, has a rich and varied background of public service. Mr. Sullivan was elected governor of Wyoming in 1986 and reelected in 1990 and recently served as U.S. Ambassador to Ireland under the Clinton and Bush administrations. In 1995, after completing his second term as governor, he held a fellowship at the Institute of Politics, the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University.

Dell Kirby

  Hunting and fishing has always been apart of my life as far back as I can remember. Growing up in Newport News VA., I loved to be in the outdoors. After high school I made a decision to move to Georgia and began a career in the cable television industry and after 25 years I'm still at it as a self employed Fiber Optic restoration specialist.

As much as I love to deer hunt,turkey hunting by far is my passion. Something about the cool spring mornings and hearing the birds gobble and being able to outwit these birds just burns a fire in me that no matter how many times I'm successful I just want to hunt them again and again!

For the past 5 years I have been a field producer for the Midwest Whitetail Southeast Show and the Cabelas Spring Thunder series and have also had the oppertunity to do some free lance videography for Cabelas.One of the things I enjoy about being part of the Midwest Whitetail family is the chance to not only show case my hunts but to possibly teach someone who may be new to hunting things that I have learned along the way.
Gen. John Sattler
  LtGen Sattler served as the Director of Strategic Plans and Policy (J5) the Joint Staff from September 2006 until his retirement in August 2008. Prior to joining the Joint Staff, he was the Commanding General of the First Marine Expeditionary Force and Commander, Marine Corps Forces Central Command from September 2004 to August 2006. During this period, he commanded all forces in Al Anbar Provence in Iraq from September 2004 through March 2005. Prior to Commanding I MEF, he was the Director of Operations (J3) for Central Command from August 2003 to July 2004. In November 2002, he stood up and commanded the initial Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa and established the Headquarters in the Country of Djibouti. He commanded the Second Marine Division, Camp Lejeune, NC prior to sailing to the Horn of Africa.

Since his retirement in 2008, LtGen Sattler has spent over 200 days each year as a senior mentor with both the Marine Corps and Joint Forces Command. In this capacity he taught and coached Commanders, their staffs and students across the USA and around the world; he left the mentoring program in November 2010. In October 2011 LtGen Sattler was selected to serve as the Naval Academy’s 4th Distinguished Chair of Leadership where he will work with the Stockdale Center for Ethical Leadership-teaching and mentoring midshipmen, staff and faculty, as well as representing the Naval Academy and Stockdale Center at prestigious national and international leadership conferences and events.

Mark Branch
  In his eight seasons, UW head man Mark Branch has raised the expectations of Cowboy Wrestling to new heights. He’s upped the profile of Wyoming Wrestling and brought the program notoriety and name recognition with levels of success rarely seen in the program’s history. With 80 dual wins and an 83-percent win rate within the conference ranks, Branch has established the Cowboys as the team to beat year in and year out. Branch has compiled a 38-8 mark against conference record foes with four regular-season dual titles.

Branch has coached 24 conference champions in his time at UW and has sent 40 wrestlers to the NCAA Championship. He has also coached nine Cowboys to All-America honors during his tenure. This past season was a banner year for Branch. A two-time NCAA Champion and four-time finalist at 167 for his Alma Mater Oklahoma State, Branch mentored his first NCAA Finalist in sophomore Bryce Meredith. The Pokes’ recorded their best finish at the NCAA Championship under Branch with UW finishing 18th with 24.5 points. It was the third top-25 finish for the Pokes under Branch and the best finish for UW at the Championships since 1996.

Branch earned his bachelor of science degree in secondary education from Oklahoma State in 1997 and earned his master of science degree in athletic administration from OSU in 2000. A native of Newkirk, Okla., he and his wife Susan have a daughter, Maggie Belle, and a son, Mason Layne.

Brian Scott
K2 Radio Host
  Brian Scott is a Wyoming guy. He moved with his family in 1970 to a ranch outside of Medicine Bow then off to Saratoga and landing in Casper in the mid 70's. Elementary school, junior high and high school as well as some time at Casper College, molded the man you know today. After getting started in radio at KTRS in the early 80's Brian had a chance to go to work for CBS records in Chicago. Stints with Polygram And Geffen followed before family and the call of Casper brought him home. Brian took over the K2 Radio morning show almost 20 years ago and remains one of the top rated morning shows in the state. Brian has also had some fun getting close to the music with his midday show on MyCountry 95.5. In the year 2000 Brian was awarded the prestigious Marconi Award for Personality of the Year. Brian has been married almost 25 years, has 3 boys and 3 granddaughters that are the apples of his eye.
Russ Francis
  The World Champion San Francisco 49ers in the 1980s epitomized team work, high performance, and accomplishing goals against strong odds. Russ Francis was the 49er’s starting tight end on what is often considered the best offensive football team to ever play the game. Russ was coached by the best: Bill Walsh, head coach of the 49ers. “Working with a master at motivation and strategy was a privilege. I got a lot more out of playing football than a superbowl ring,” says Russ. He played with the New England Patriots for 8 years and won Rookie of the Year honors his first year in the NFL. Russ was selected to play in the Pro Bowl 4 times.

After football, friend and mentor Howard Cosell encouraged Russ to be a sports broadcaster. It was Howard that first used the phrase “All World” while describing Russ’ play as a rookie with the Patriots. Russ joined Howard at ABC Sports to work with Keith Jackson, Bob Beattie and Al Michaels broadcasting college football and a variety of other sports all over the world. Russ has handled broadcasting assignments for ESPN X Games, Fox Sports and produced sports television programs and radio shows. Russ currently is the host of Forever West Outdoors, an outdoor radio show, Monday-Friday throughout the Big Horn Basin from 4-6 pm on KODI 1400 AM, and is also the General Manager of historic Monster Lake Ranch, just south of Cody, Wyoming.

Russ grew up around a legendary cast of characters. His father was a world-class wrestling promoter. “I actually had Andre the Giant as a baby-sitter when I was a kid. Russ held the U.S. National High School & World Record for his age group in the javelin throw at age 17 and was selected to the Olympic Training Team for the javelin event in 1971. He was drafted by the Kansas City Royals baseball team as a pitcher while attending the University of Oregon. Russ was a member of the U.S. National Championship Skydiving Team and has over 3500 jumps. Russ is a commercial airplane and helicopter pilot, has been a test pilot, and has performed in air shows all over the U.S

General James T. Conway

  General James T. Conway retired from active duty in 2010 after serving our nation for 40 years. Since then, he has joined and consulted for numerous corporate and non-profit boards, including Textron Inc., Colt Defense and General Dynamics. He also co-chairs the Energy Security Leadership Council (Securing America's Future Energy), a non-partisan energy policy think tank.
Prior to his retirement, General Conway served as the 34th Commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps for four years. As Commandant, he served as the senior uniformed Marine responsible for the organization, training, and equipping of over 250,000 active duty, reserve, and civilian Marines throughout the United States and overseas, as well as the management of the $30-$40 billion annual Marine Corps budget.

As a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Conway functioned as a military advisor to the Secretary of Defense, the National Security Council, and the President.

Among his numerous leadership positions, General Conway served as Commanding General of 1st Marine Division, and he was the commander of I Marine Expeditionary Force during two combat tours in Iraq. He initially led the invasion of Iraq in 2003 with 90,000 troops under his command, including Marines, soldiers, sailors, and British forces.
General Conway is married to the former Annette Drury of Ste Genevieve, MO. They have three children and seven grandchildren.