MEET THE TEAM
Debbie Gorski is a small business expert with over twenty years of experience working directly with Wyoming entrepreneurs. She is also an accomplished grant writer, team builder, business owner, and artist. Debbie was selected unanimously by the WWBC Board of Directors to lead the organization on October 1, 2014. Under Debbie’s leadership, WWBC has expanded the Artist Development Program to include a new location for Works of Wyoming and the launch of a Laramie art gallery, ArtConnect. She has grown the micro-finance department through increased loan approvals and secured grant funding to add a staff member as well as several contract employees. Debbie worked directly with the WWBC board of Directors to launch the first, large-scale fundraising event for WWBC in June 2019. The ArtConnect Summer Gala had over 230 people in attendance and raised over $12,000 to contribute to WWBC programs.
Prior to joining WWBC, Debbie was the Associate State Director of the Wyoming Small Business Development Center. She has also held positions with the University of Wyoming Cooperative Extension Service and the Cent$ible Nutrition program in Campbell County. Debbie has a MS in Family & Consumer Science from the University of Wyoming.
Phone: (307) 460-3944
Cell: (307) 399-4245
OWBO Program Director & Business Counselor
Jonathan Howdeshell is a Laramie, Wyoming native with diverse entrepreneurial experience. He is a full-service business counselor and trainer specializing in a broad range of topics including business planning, strategy, brand marketing, sales, and finance. Jonathan’s skills in assessing the needs of his clients has been instrumental in the development and achievements of the OWBO department. His clients consistently benefit from his supportive and motivational nature. Jonathan is known for his responsiveness and timely answers to client questions.
Prior to joining WWBC, Jonathan worked to help grow a technology start-up company in Laramie dedicated to building computers for financial day traders. Additionally, he grew two entrepreneurial ventures of his own in both the food and financial services sectors. His experience and Business Administration degree from University of Wyoming make Jonathan a valuable resource for WWBC clients.
Phone: (307) 460-3949
Cell: (307) 399-7116
COVID-19 Program Director & Business Counselor
Christine Langley is a sales and marketing expert with a 15+ year track record of achievement and demonstrated success driving sales growth in highly competitive markets. In addition to her corporate experience in General Management, Sales Management, and Human Resources, she is a serial small-business entrepreneur in both product and service businesses. Christine truly understands the joys and challenges associated with business ownership and her clients often praise her for the detailed and specialized assistance she provides.
Most recently, Christine was the Chief Operating Officer for the University of Wyoming Technology Business Center. Through her work with business incubators across the state, she brings a deep knowledge of the Wyoming start-up climate. She has been professionally trained in life and executive coaching from the Coach Training Institute and has been providing business advising and executive coaching to clients for over ten years. With a degree in communications and a special emphasis in interpersonal communication, she is excited to work with WWBC clients on business and personal development, business expansion, and day-to-day operational improvements.
Phone: (307) 760-0704
Works of Wyoming Retail & Store Manager
Lorena Patzer began her entrepreneurial path while in high school in Nebraska. Realizing a 9 year dream of learning hot glass lamp-working, she began selling decorative pieces at a local jewelry store and a mall store while in college.
After moving to Wyoming in 1988, she began selling lamp-work gifts at regional Holiday Shows over the next decade. Then in 1993, she took a basket weaving class and was hooked. Creating freeform baskets using mule deer antlers became a passion, and her biggest accomplishment was being accepted as one of 20 (out of 200 entries) Wyoming exhibitors, with her antler baskets, to be included in QVC's “Quest for America’s Best” when it aired in Wyoming in 1997.
In 2000, e-commerce caught her attention and she began selling on multiple venues, including Amazon and Ebay. In 2011, she was invited to join a highly trained team coaching e-commerce entrepreneurs for 3 years.
She moved to Laramie in 2013 and was hired by the WWBC in 2015 to assist Wyoming Artists in growing their business and selling their works in a downtown retail store, Works of Wyoming, which is now adding an online store (coming Winter 2019).
Lorena and her team are passionate about promoting and selling the works of incredibly talented Wyoming Artists. Customers from all over the United States (and several international countries) find beautiful and unique home decor and gifts to enjoy or share.
Phone: (307) 460-3304
Cell: (307) 321-3507
ArtConnect Gallery Manager
Kathleen Clymer is an accomplished artist, experienced business owner, and art director. In addition to her responsibilities at ArtConnect Gallery, she teaches one day per week at the Laramie Montessori School and volunteers as an instructor and studio advisor for the Laramie Plains Civic Center Ceramics Studio (7th Street Studio). Kathleen finds time to intermittently work with the “Unexpected Company” senior theatre group. She also volunteers as a foster home for LAWS (Laramie Animal Welfare Society) kittens and is a 4-H leader.
As a 5th generation Wyoming native, Kathleen graduated from University of Wyoming with B.S. degrees in Art, Theatre, and Education, with a minor in Speech. She taught art, theater, and speech for 32 years before retiring from teaching to return to her grandfather’s Wyoming homestead land in 2010.
Always active in the art community, Kathleen’s involvement as a Student Life Specialist at UW included the directorship of Art Gallery 234 and a Co-Director position for the UW Elizabethan Faire. She was past president of both the Wyoming Secondary Art Educators (W.S.A.E.) and the Wyoming Educators of Secondary Theatre (W.E.S.T.). Additionally, Kathleen owned a cottage industry for 5 years called “Bountiful Baskets” and worked in Laramie Downtown retail for 6 years. She has served on Grants Selection Committees for the Wyoming Arts Council and was a Board Member for the Wyoming Education Association. She also served on the initial Wyoming Educational Standards Committee for both Art and Theatre. In a younger part of her life she was a Wyoming state finalist for NASA Teacher in Space!
WWBC is thrilled to welcome Kathleen as the ArtConnect Gallery Manager. As a working artist herself, she uses many different medias to create her personal artwork. Her latest endeavor has been creating fused art glass.
Training & Communications Coordinator,
& WWBC Consultant
Teresa Arens has been working in the business marketing and writing and design field for 20+ years, with experience in sectors including aviation, newspaper, technology, and non-profit projects, among many others. After years of working in the corporate world, she traded pant suits for jeans and has worked as a branding and design consultant for 10 years. We welcome Teresa’s expertise as a consultant to WWBC.
Prior to relocating to Laramie, Wyoming she worked as a Marketing Specialist for Duncan Aviation in Lincoln, NE, designed and coordinated promotional material and special publications for the Missoulian in Missoula, MT, and then was named Director of Marketing for Pyron Technologies.
Teresa earned BAs in Business Marketing and Mass Communications from Briar Cliff University, and an MBA from the University of Montana. She has won numerous awards for her design work, is a Laramie Boomerang Our Town photography contributor, and a Laramie Public Art Coalition Advisory Committee member.
She loves to travel and ski with her husband and two kids, and always has an idea book on her bed stand, paint brushes nearby, and hiking shoes ready.
Phone: (307) 460-3943
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Cindy Garretson-Weibel, President
Talisha Mottinger, Treasurer
Debbie Gorski, Executive Director
Connie Lindmier, Vice-President
Jessica Brauer, Secretary