Jim Ogsbury, born and raised in Arizona, has extensive experience with the issues that are important to the region. Prior to joining WGA in 2012, Jim served as legislative director for the League of Arizona Cities and Towns. A graduate of Harvard College and Arizona State University College of Law, Jim also has served as the clerk and staff director for the U.S. House Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development.
Deputy Executive Director, Policy Director
Holly Propst has served in senior staff positions in the U.S. Congress, as a Colorado State Land Board Commissioner, Manager of Public Policy for Xcel Energy, and executive director and general counsel of the Western Business Roundtable. The Colorado native, who joined WGA in 2013, earned a B.A. degree from the University of Denver and a law degree from Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, D.C.
Director of Development
Sarah Olsen oversees WGA's Sponsor Program with a major role in event management. Prior to becoming Director of Development in the fall of 2015, Sarah had been WGA's meeting planner and consultant for over a decade. She has directed business development and client services in the private sector and, more recently, ran her own event consulting firm. Sarah earned a B.S. Degree from Kansas State University.
Joe Rassenfoss, a 25-year veteran of newspapers (Kansas City Star, Rocky Mountain News) and web publishing (Microsoft), moved into media relations in 2009 when he opened R&R Media, a public relations company that specialized in social media. Clients included Andre Agassi and Swany Performance Gloves. The Chicago native, who joined WGA in 2013, is a graduate of the Journalism School at the University of Missouri.
Director of Strategic Initiatives
Troy Timmons manages a portfolio that includes forestry and wildfire, high-level nuclear waste and health care issues. The Colorado native joined WGA in 2015. After graduating with a B.A. in Political Science from Wheaton College in Illinois, Troy has worked with a State Senator in Colorado, as a Professional Staff Member with the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, and a Senior Policy Advisor to the U.S. Secretary of Energy.
Zach Bodhane manages the “Species Conservation and Endangered Species Act Initiative” of Gov. Matt Mead and works on wildlife policy, including the Endangered Species Act. Zach joined the policy team full-time in 2015 after a year as a WGA Policy Intern, during which time he worked on the “Western Governors' Drought Forum.” The Colorado native holds a B.S. in Natural Resources Management from Colorado State University.
Ward Scott focuses on water and agriculture policy. The Illinois native, who joined WGA in 2016, earned his J.D. and LL.M. in Natural Resources and Environmental Law and Policy from the University of Denver Sturm College of Law. Ward has worked in the private energy sector and on natural resource and land use issues for private law firms. When he's not working on policy, Ward manages the Fiddler Creek Ranch in Fishtail, Mont.
Britta Beckstead manages a portfolio focused on energy and air issues. Prior to joining WGA in 2017, Britta was an Assistant Attorney General with the Colorado Department of Law and represented and advised the Colorado Oil & Gas Conservation Commission. Britta has a B.A. in Environment, Economics, and Politics from Scripps College and a law degree from University of Colorado Law School.
Lauren DeNinno joined the policy team in 2016 after a year as a Policy Fellow, when she worked on the “Western Governors' Drought Forum” and the “Species Conservation and Endangered Species Act Initiative.” The Pittsburgh native earned a B.S. in Foreign Service from Georgetown University. Lauren provides team support for the ongoing work of the initiatives; her policy portfolio includes land exchanges, mining and tourism.
Bill Whitacre joined the policy team in 2016 after a year as a Policy Fellow, and provides support for the "Forest and Rangeland Management Initiative." The Denver native’s portfolio includes grazing, invasive species, Payments in Lieu of Taxes, and the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act. Bill earned a B.A. from Fort Lewis College and an M.S. in Environmental Policy and Management from the University of Denver.
Alex Kaney provides communications support for WGA through social media management, email newsletters, blog posts, webinars and media outreach. Prior to joining WGA, the Minnesota native spent more than six years executing strategic communications and marketing efforts at LiveWell Colorado, iQu Strategies and Big City Mountaineers. Alex holds a B.A. in communication studies from the University of Kansas.
Deb Kinsley is a South Dakota native, and has been with the Western Governors' Association for 25 years. She manages meeting logistics and assists with event planning for the Western Governors’ Annual and Winter meetings, the Chairman’s Initiative meetings as well as Sponsor and other WGA events throughout the year. She also coordinates travel arrangements for WGA staff.
Office Manager, Executive Assistant
Toni Vigil has been with WGA since its inception in 1984. In addition to supporting the work of the Executive Director, the Colorado native coordinates and schedules appointments for the Policy Director and internal staff, maintains efficiency of the office, analyzes and monitors internal processes and oversees a variety of external projects, from Governors' meetings to Sponsor events.
Dan Baer has worked with not-for-profit corporations in the fields of public and private education, as well as the entertainment industry. At WGA Dan manages financial operations, compliance, Federal grant reporting, benefits administration, and oversees the annual audit. The New Jersey native received his bachelor’s degree in accounting from Johnson & Wales University in 2007 and obtained his CPA license in 2014.
Angie Byrnes brings more than 20 years of administrative experience, including five years of executive-level support, to WGA. Prior to joining WGA in 2017, the Salt Lake City native worked with the Utah Schools for the Deaf and Blind. In her current role, she supports the Office Manager and Logistics Manager, and coordinates meetings and travel. Angie also holds a B.S. in Management.