Wendy Gauntner | Chairperson
I am an adoptive mother, educator, and certified life coach. I hold a Bachelor of Arts in Education and a Master of Science in Adult Learning and Technology. I am trained in End of Life Doula, yoga instructor, community educator for Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), and presenter for ACE Interface in Neuroscience, Epigenetics, ACEs, and Resilience (N.E.A.R.©). I graduated from the Gillette Area Leadership Institute (GALI) in 2004. In my past, I was a National Teacher Policy Institute (NTPI) fellow, a special educator at Hillcrest Elementary in Gillette, and currently a passionate community advocate. Along with serving the CCS, I volunteer as Associate Chaplain at the hospital, provide hospice patient support, and co-lead the Abiders, a group that ensures no one in our community dies alone. I also serve on two other community boards focused on low-income health and the arts. I enjoy learning about people, reading, traveling, outdoor activities, most sports and playing the piano. I live with my husband, son, and rescue dog.
Jack Laakso | Vice-Chairperson
I have been with CCS as a Board Member since 2016. I served as Operations Manager for Peabody Energy for thirty years, but I am now retired. Additionally, I have my Bachelor of Science in mining engineering. Gillette is a city tied to the mining community, so it was an honor to have spent thirty years in mining supervising and managing engineering and operations crews and entire departments. My major responsibilities were overseeing the safety and production of a 5-person production crew to a 20-person engineering group to a 900-person operation department as my career grew. I was also tasked with managing departmental and entire mine budgets and EBITDA of several hundreds of millions of dollars.
In my retirement, I spend time taking leisure by: reading, walking my dogs, working out, golfing, hunting and fishing. Most importantly, I love to attend several activities with my wife’s and my grandchildren. I still wished to find ways to spend my time being actively involved in this community. I am passionate about helping others, speaking in support of coal mining and mining in general, and finding ways to help this community prosper. Seeing that CCS shares some of those passions, it was easy to choose this organization when a fellow board member suggested it. I hope to do CCS justice.
Lana Randen-Gaskins | Secretary
I have served as the Secretary of the board of directors since 2016. I work for Peregrine Academics as Director Client Services. I handle 500 clients around the world, providing whatever resource I can within the confines my job will allow. After work, I spend my time being a mom. I run my kids to their soccer games and swimming meets, plus all of the practices. I volunteer on volunteer on the Gillette Swim Team board and am active in my church.
Furthermore, I have twenty plus years of experience in Human Resources in the public sector and many years being an active volunteer to various boards and causes. This experience allowed me to first become involved with CCS. I advised and drafted up HR policies and procedures for employees, which allowed me to transition into an active Board Member. I am grateful to be apart of this organization because I thrive in situations where people receive opportunities to receive benefits and education that’ll help improve their personal position and gaining the means to take a step-up. CCS strives to do that all of their beneficiaries and will never turn-a-way those seek their resources.
Scott Wiley | Treasurer
I have been apart of the Board for CCS since 2018 and I function as the Treasurer. I work for Cyclone Drilling, Inc and manage the daily accounting/finance function. I am a licensed CPA in the state of Wyoming. Previously I served two terms on the Campbell County Children’s Developmental Services Board. I enjoy following/supporting University of Wyoming athletics. With my background and experience, I strive to serve CCS as best as I can.
I am one of the newest Board Members to join the CCS team. I have my Master of Science in project management and operations, as well as a background in language, history, and economics. I have spent time working in Canada, Argentina, and France before returning to Gillette in 2008. I spend my time utilizing these skills and experience in my position at Peregrine Academic Services as the Project Manager. In this role, I provide project management for my team’s development of new online academic tools: standardized exams for higher education, academic writing courses, soft skill evaluations. In the spring and fall, I travel from the Gillette office to academic conferences throughout the U.S., Europe, and Latin America to consult with clients and market Peregrine Academic Services’ services.
I attended CCS’s annual fundraiser, Empty Bowl, the past three years which gave me an initial interest to the goals and work CCS does. The fundraiser made me curious about what else the organization does for the community. I am already active with the visitation and advocacy center, our public libraries, local agencies such as AVA that provide cultural outlets, and youth sports; making me passionate about ending the cycle for children who grow up in poverty or have experienced it in their lives. So, with my passion and peaked interest, with the encouragement from a neighbor and another board member, I realized CCS would be a wonderful fit and joined the team.
I served CCS as a Board Member from 1996 to 2010 and started back up in 2017. I have been the Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson for the organization for many years in the past. I am the founder of the law firm, the R.T. Cox Law Firm, and practice law as an attorney there; spending up to six hours a day in office. I have been practicing law in Wyoming since 1981, and I was admitted to the United States Supreme Court of Wyoming in 1987. Additionally, I was admitted to Montana’s Supreme Court in 1990 and North Dakota’s in 2012. I practice state and federal law in these three states. My areas of focus are representing injured individuals, local businesses, families, ranches, and service companies in personal and business planning, and in court when their rights need to be protected.
As an administrative law judge for 13 years, I have mediated disputes between other attorneys and clients from all walks of life. I am passionate about efficient provisions of services to families who fall into difficult circumstances. Since CCS works closely with DCF to provide such aid, I joined the board and offered legal counsel whenever the organization needs it. CCS provides assistance to a wide range of clients, so I hope my strong legal background can help in whatever way possible.
I first became interested in the council’s programs when I toured the facilities with my Gillette Area Leadership Institute class. The tour was very informative and opened my eyes to the needs of the hungry and homeless in our community. I had recently begun looking for a new volunteer role and felt the Council of Community Services would be a great cause to offer my time to. I thus accepted the position of CCS Board Member in 2018 after being appointed by the City of Gillette.
I work for First National Bank of Gillette as the Vice President/Customer Relations Manager. I oversee the management of the Customer Service, Teller Line, and Bookkeeping departments. My primary responsibility is to ensure a high level of friendly, skilled professionalism is provided to each customer of the bank. I have experience in banking; deposit accounts, lending, staff supervision, accounts payable and payroll, and an education from both Graduate School of Banking at Colorado, and Gillette Area Leadership Institute.
I have served CCS as a Board Member since 1998, having once been the Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson for the organization. I am retired but worked for Peabody Energy as Vice President for the majority of my career. Utilizing my Bachelor of Science in mining engineering, I ensured continuous improvement for all the U.S. operations – Wyoming, Illinois, Colorado, New Mexico, and Arizona. Additionally, I was Vice President for Rio Tinto/Kennecott Energy. This role included responsibilities of operations support for Wyoming mines, engineering, geologic, environmental, geotechnical, and safety. Managing global projects for U.S and Australia operations as well. Along with these positions I worked with several other mining companies, such as Arch Coal – Hanna, WY, and Denver, CO, Public Service Company of New Mexico – Farmington, NM, Carbon Coal Company, Gallup, NM.
With my career greatly wrapped up in mining, I knew I needed to support Gillette and this community however I could in my retirement. I have served as a board member for Gillette College Advisory Board Member, University of Missouri Science and Technology Mining Department Advisory Board, Energy Capital Economic Development Board (Past Chair), Campbell County Chamber of Commerce. When a peer suggested CCS, I investigated the organization’s efforts to assist the community. Finding it does many things, and all of the things well, I added CCS to the boards I would serve and began driving my passions into it.
I have been with CCS as a member of the board since 2014. I believe that this organization is combating a worth-while cause. The resources it provides are a great step in the right direction. Participating as a Board Member I am proud to do; even with my husband and myself being very busy raising our three teenagers.
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