WBC set to hire new CEO after national search

CASPER — The Wyoming Business Council is in the final steps of hiring a new CEO, and both finalists for the state economic development agency are based in Laramie.

Josh Dorrell, senior vice president at Trihydro Corporation, and Steve Farkas, assistant dean for the University of Wyoming College of Business, met with Gov. Mark Gordon Monday and Wyoming Business Council staff Tuesday.

They’re scheduled to participate in a special public board meeting at 1 p.m. today at Laramie County Community College. They’ll each take part in a 75-minute interview, which will be available to watch live via the council’s Facebook page.

“We’re excited about these interviews with the candidates and the transparency of the process, all the way to the final interviews,” said Ron Gullberg, strategic partnerships director for the council.

Dorrell leads the Technology Services and Solutions unit at Trihydro, a Laramie-based engineering and environmental firm that employs almost 500 people in 20 offices around the country.

Dorrell, who graduated from UW with a degree in mechanical engineering in 1998, is also an assistant lecturer in the UW College of Business and was named Professor of the Year in 2015. He has spent his career in technical sales and leadership positions.

Farkas, who has an MBA from UW, leads the College of Business’s corporate engagement efforts, MBA programs and career/professional development programs.

He has worked in senior positions for several private equity portfolio companies, offers strategic advice to numerous businesses and works to promote local and statewide economic development.

A national search for the CEO started last fall, led by a hiring committee that includes members from state agencies and private industry.

“The committee has broad-based representation that reflects the strategic plan and mission of the WBC,” Gullberg said.

The search garnered about 160 applicants, and Megan Goetz, a Laramie attorney who co-chairs the WBC’s board of directors, said either finalist would be an exciting leader.

“The talent within our state is evident,” she said. “I am so excited for the future of the Wyoming Business Council with either of these two leaders at the helm.”

Gullberg said the hiring committee is looking for a leader who can further develop the priorities outlined in the council’s strategic plan, which was revamped last year. Big-picture, those priorities include activating new economic sectors and adding value to core industries.

“Going forward, how do you take that to the next level with the next CEO, with a balanced business approach while being a government agency,” he said.

The Wyoming Business Council is the state’s economic develop arm, working with businesses, state agencies, local government, nonprofit organizations and others to grow and diversify the state economy.

Gullberg said an announcement about the new CEO could come as early as next week.