MEET THE WYOMING WOMEN'S BUSINESS CENTER TEAM
WENDY FANNING (she/her)
I am excited to join the Wyoming Women’s Business Center team! Since moving to Wyoming many years ago, I have always been amazed by the strength of Wyoming women. Throughout our history, Wyoming women have led the way, broken through barriers, and played such a critical role in making Wyoming what it is today.
Joining the WWBC has been a dream come true for me as I get to focus on two things I think are vitally important: helping women achieve their dreams, and giving back to my Wyoming community.
As we begin a new year, we are excited for what lies ahead. We will be here to support our clients and budding entrepreneurs as they navigate through these unprecedented times, to ensure that they are achieving their dreams. And we will be here to help build Wyoming’s economy. To that end, we want to acknowledge others who believe in and give to these values. I encourage you to become a member of the Wyoming Women’s Business Center’s Alliance of Exceptional Women. Join us in supporting these dreamers and doers, and in turn the Wyoming economy. Together, we can!
Business Education Director
CHRISTINE LANGLEY (she/her)
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.
Microloan Director & Technical Assistance Business Counselor
ALEXANDRIA SMITH (she/her)
As the Microloan Director, Alex Smith provides development, implantation, and oversight for the microloan program in direct support of small business owners. Alex’s years of experience in the financial industry in both banking and non-profits have been invaluable in building her understanding of the lending needs of small businesses. This understanding allows her to tailor lending options that are as unique as the businesses and owners themselves. In addition, Alex has experience in small business management and entrepreneurship herself. She understands the unique challenges and opportunities of small businesses, especially female-owned small businesses. She truly believes empowered female business owners are the key to a healthy and prosperous Wyoming economy.
In her most recent role with the Small Business Administration, Alex was directly supporting business owners through COVID financial relief offered by the Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program. Her ability to foster relationships with business owners allowed her to create effective solutions for a countless number of small businesses. On a personal note, Alex is a proud military spouse of over ten years with a certain knack for navigating obstacles and resilience to change. Alex’s family is originally from South Dakota, and she has spent quite a bit of time enjoying all Wyoming has to offer.
Marketing/Office of Women's Business Ownership (OWBO) Program Director
JESSICA BRAUER (she/her)
Jessica Brauer is a communications consultant, community cheerleader, marketer and writer. She is passionate about capturing the authentic stories of people and their places; dedicated to celebrating humanity through her work, forever exploring, learning, and sharing.
Her work has allowed her to champion for local neighborhoods with economic development agencies, non-profits, and small businesses since starting her first business in 2011. She ardently believes in the power of play, a shared narrative, a heart-centered approach, and a small-town dive.
Jessica previously worked with community organizations, non-profits, and small businesses throughout the country on strategic marketing and digital outreach as a freelance marketer. She joined WWBC as an Outreach Counselor for the COVID-19 Support Program in the Spring of 2020, where she was able to offer one-on-one support to over 150 women-owned businesses within the year.
Currently, Jessica manages the marketing efforts of the WWBC’s programs, directs the Office of Women's Business Ownership (OWBO) Program, and creates educational content for the, always free, webinar series for entrepreneurs and artists. She holds a degree in Communications and Journalism, an unshakeable entrepreneurial spirit, and love for the West.
Business Education Instructor
LUCY BEATO (she/her)
Lucy graduated with a Bachelor's degree in Hispanic Literature and a Master's in Multicultural Education. She has taught young minority women and adults for over a decade. Moreover, she is an entrepreneur who has successfully managed her own business for the last fourteen years.
As a certified life coach, she has been training and coaching women one-on-one and through seminars. Her mission is to help women tap into their full potential, find direction and achieve their goals.
With her extensive experience as an educator and entrepreneur, Lucy is excited to work with WWBC clients and share her knowledge, inspiring and guiding minority women entrepreneurs in achieving their professional goals.
RACHEL TRUETT (she/her)
Rachel has worked for over 10 years in customer service-related employment ranging from telecommunications sales to professional photography. She has a heart for service and understands the challenges faced by female entrepreneurs and, more importantly, how they can be overcome. She is excited to develop relationships with WWBC clients and assist them in accessing resources and programs to make a real difference in their respective professions.
Rachel is originally from rural, eastern Kentucky where she met her husband, an active duty service member, at college in 2006. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, with a concentration in Accounting from the University of the Cumberlands. Her education and experiences in small business management and entrepreneurship have manifested in various locales such as Alaska, Texas, South Korea, as well as others granting her a unique perspective benefiting WWBC clients.
Rachel is currently seeking a master’s degree in counseling so that she may serve others on a deeper level to broaden personal empowerment in all aspects of life.
SHANNON MARSHALL (she/her)
Shannon is a positive, detail-oriented individual who is passionate about crafting messages to speak to, connect with, and motivate people through the world of marketing. She comes to the WWBC with experience marketing for small businesses, as well as non-profit organizations, understanding how important, and how far, the art of good marketing can take a business. Her degree in Cinema Production from Point Park University brings a unique approach to her marketing skills and work style, as she approaches everything as a story-telling process.
In her most recent role as the Director of Marketing & Programming for a non-profit organization in Ohio, Shannon used her expertise to establish and maintain several social media channels, her design knowledge to create brand specific graphics, and her personable nature to establish and maintain good working relationships with her coworkers and surrounding individuals.
She looks forward to sharing these skills and growing plenty more while learning from the outstanding professionals at the WWBC. Shannon is over the moon excited to be a part of this team, helping to make dreams come true across the state of Wyoming!
SHANNON YOUNG (she/her)
Shannon joined the Wyoming Women’s Business Center at the beginning of 2022 in the search of a position that would be more involved in the Wyoming culture. As an Executive Assistant to Wendy Fanning, she can put her knowledge of organization and heart of service to work. Serving an energetic and strong advocate for women entrepreneurs and aiding in the prosperity of Wyoming is such an amazing opportunity.
Shannon is not a Wyoming native, but after moving here less than a year ago, she has embraced all that the state has to offer. The amazing landscapes, the mild summers, and even the frequent and unpredictable winters are all things to love about Wyoming.
After working as a Montessori Teacher in Texas for 6 years and two years in the education administration department, Shannon was ready for a career change and a new environment altogether. Falling quickly in love with the Wyoming weather and people, she was eager to explore and get involved with the community of Laramie. At the Wyoming Women’s Business Center, Shannon assists with client enrollment and explains all the benefits that the WWBC has to offer. This non-profit organization has afforded Shannon to work with a team of women that all have a wide array of expertise in everything from counseling to microloans.
MEET THE WORKS OF WYOMING TEAM
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.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Victoria Curtis (she/her)
Keren Meister Emerich (she/her)
Ryan Claxton (he/him)
Aubree Judge (she/her)