Featured Speakers

Governor Matt Mead • Featured Speaker
Governor of the State of Wyoming

Matt Mead, Wyoming’s 32nd Governor, took office in January 2011 and is serving his second term. He was born and raised in Jackson. After earning a law degree from the University of Wyoming, he served as a prosecutor, practiced in a private firm and served as U.S. Attorney. He maintains a farm and ranch business with his wife Carol in southeast Wyoming.

Governor Mead initiated a comprehensive state energy strategy released in 2013 and updated in 2016. He initiated an innovative state water strategy released in 2015. He moved the entire state to a 100 gigabit broadband network. His rules initiative has resulted in fewer regulations and improved public access to rules. His focus on increasing state competitiveness, for example, through technology, innovation and expansion of business opportunities in numerous economic sectors, has brought national recognition.

Wyoming’s accolades include: most business friendly tax climate, third best for new business startup activity, best state to start a business, first in Mountain Region workforce development, best state to make a living, second highest rate of confidence in state government, first in nation in terms of state funding for higher education and many more.

Governor Mead is currently Chair, and has also served as Vice Chair, of the Natural Resources Committee of the National Governors Association. He serves as Co-chair of the State and Federal Sage Grouse Task Force. He is past Chairman (2015-2016) of the Western Governors’ Association where his Chairman’s Initiative, a continuing one, was Species Conservation and the Endangered Species Act.

Robert Bryce • Featured Speaker
Professional Journalist and Author

Robert Bryce has been a professional journalist for three decades. He has published more than 1,000 articles which have appeared in a wide variety of publications including the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, National Review, Field & StreamMother Jones, and Austin Chronicle. His first book, Pipe Dreams: Greed, Ego, and the Death of Enron, received rave reviews and was named one of the best non-fiction books of 2002 by Publishers Weekly. His second book, Cronies: Oil, the Bushes, and the Rise of Texas, America’s Superstate, was published in 2004. His third book, Gusher of Lies: The Dangerous Delusions of “Energy Independence,” published in March 2008, was favorably reviewed by more than 20 media outlets.

In 2010, Bryce published Power Hungry: The Myths of “Green” Energy, and the Real Fuels of the FutureSmaller Faster Lighter Denser Cheaper: How Innovation Keeps Proving the Catastrophists Wrong was published in 2014.

Bryce has been writing about the energy business since 1989. He spent 12 years writing for the Austin Chronicle. From 2006 to September 2010, he worked as the managing editor of the Houston-based online publication, Energy Tribune. In April 2010, he joined the Manhattan Institute as a senior fellow in the think tank’s Center for Energy Policy and the Environment.

Bryce has appeared on dozens of TV and radio shows that have aired on variety of outlets including NPR, BBC, MSNBC, Fox, Fox Business, Al Jazeera, CNN, and PBS. He lives in Austin, Texas with his wife, Lorin, and their three children, Mary, Michael, and Jacob.

Nick Cheney • Featured Speaker
Visiting Professor, Computer Science, University of Wyoming

Nick Cheney is a Visiting Assistant Professor of Computer Science at the University of Wyoming. He holds a Ph.D. in Computational Biology from Cornell University and a B.S. in Applied Mathematics from the University of Vermont. Nick has also held visiting and affiliated research positions at Columbia University, the Santa Fe Institute, and NASA Ames Research Center. His work uses Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning to study emergent behaviors in Complex Adaptive Systems, with a particular interest in autonomous robots and vehicles. Nick’s research has been popular in both scientific and public venues, winning numerous awards at academic conferences, and also featured by venues such as NBC, Popular Science, Discover, and TEDx.

Christopher Matranga • Featured Speaker
Staff Scientist, National Energy Technology Lab

Christopher Matranga is a staff scientist in the Materials Engineering and Manufacturing Division at the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL).  Christopher’s research focuses on using the unique properties of nanostructured materials to improve the efficiency and costs of energy production; coal, hydrocarbon, and gas processing; and chemical separations.  His research has investigated the use of carbon nanotubes, metal organic frameworks, and other unique microporous materials for CO2 capture, H2 storage, and gas separation applications. His work also focuses on the development and characterization of catalysts for processing CO2, syn-gas, and natural gas feedstocks into industrial chemicals and fuels. Current efforts in his laboratory are also developing chemical and physical processing methods to utilize domestic coal for manufacturing high performance carbons such as graphene, carbon fiber, and carbon additives for composite applications.

Christopher started his career at NETL in 2002 on a post-doctoral fellowship from the National Academy of Sciences and transitioned to the research staff in 2003. During his tenure at NETL, he has served in a broad range of research, team lead, senior technical management, and laboratory management positions.  Dr. Matranga earned his M.S. (1999) and Ph.D. (2002) from the University of Chicago in Physical Chemistry, his B.S. from the University of Houston-Downtown in Industrial Chemistry and Applied Mathematics (1997), and an M.B.A. from the University of Pittsburgh (2009).

Anastacia Dialynas • Featured Speaker
Senior Natural Gas Analyst, Bloomberg New Energy Finance

Anastacia Dialynas is a Senior Natural Gas Analyst at Bloomberg New Energy Finance. Her focus is North American gas infrastructure, particularly pipelines and LNG. She specializes in modeling pipeline flows, exports, and gas storage activity. Prior to joining BNEF, Anastacia worked at the Federal Reserve Board in Washington, DC, where she conducted research on international energy markets and trade. She holds a Master in Public Affairs from Princeton University and a Bachelor of Economics from Pomona College in California.

Dennis Ellis • Featured Speaker
Microsoft TechSpark Wyoming Manager, Microsoft

Dennis recently joined the Microsoft TechSpark initiative as the Cheyenne, WY Community Engagement Manager. He came to Microsoft from a public relations firm he founded, Ellis Public Affairs, where he consulted for clients such as Wal-Mart, Google, Denver Children’s Hospital, Johnson & Johnson and Anadarko.

Prior to his return to Wyoming, Dennis served as Deputy Attorney General for External Affairs in the Colorado Attorney General’s Office and in Governor Bill Owens’ cabinet as Executive Director of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, the organization tasked with protecting the environment and public health of Colorado. Ellis also served as Legislative Director and Counsel for United States Representative Barbara Cubin (R-WY).

Ellis is a Wyoming native, where his family has owned a sheep and cattle ranch for more than 110 years. He is married to Wyoming State Senator Affie Ellis, and is the father of Marlo (10), Archer (8) and Linden (4). He holds undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Wyoming. Ellis serves on the Steering Committee of the Wyoming Business Alliance, is past President of Wyoming Ag in the Classroom, past Vice President of the Petroleum Association of Wyoming and currently serves on Wyoming’s Mixed Martial Art Commission.