Ellie Dana Raymer- Chair
Ellie Dana Raymer had been in the Valley since 1996 as a summer resident, and a full-time resident since 2017. She is a retired technology executive that has had leadership responsibilities in information technology for Fortune 500 companies, as well as key roles in start-ups. She began her career at Reader’s Digest reading mail from customers, had the good fortune to attend Harvard Business School, and enjoyed a time working in the high-tech arena in Silicon Valley. Through her career she had continued opportunities to recruit and train staff as they emerged from their formal education.
From her experiences, has become a strong advocate for early and continuing education and support for all children. She lives in the Valley with her husband, Randy, 2 dogs and 1 horse (actually the horse lives at a stable, not at her house).
Ellie has been a volunteer in numerous enterprises, some examples: Greenfield Hill Residential (teenage mental health), Rape Crisis Center, Braille for computer programs ( adult- teacher), Business Information Processing Education for the Disabled (BIPED- middle and high school- teacher), Chamber Board Richardson Texas, Information Technology advisor University of Texas at Dallas, Docent Dallas Zoo (gorillas), riding instructor, Airport Board, Squadron Leader - Commemorative Air Force WASP Squadron, real estate and architectural Committees.
Schelby Merrill- Secretary
Schelby Merrill started her hospitality career in 2004 serving in various positions at several different properties only to find herself placed in the middle of the Great American West at Brush Creek Ranch. Little did she know how rooted she was. She was aware that her mother grew up less than 45 minutes away but never realized the additional connections she had. Her Great Great Great Aunt Pearl came to the nearby town of Encampment to find her brother who was working in the Copper Mines in the early 1900’s. Later, Aunt Pearl settled and established a small Inn on the South side of Encampment.
After settling down in Wyoming and purchasing her husband’s family ranch - her innate calling to help people grow and become successful transitioned into becoming a consultant for hospitality and project management. Schelby, her husband and two young children live in Encampment.
Schelby is a founding member of Valley Village Childcare.
Schelby’s community activities have been included several organizations, associations, chambers and boards in Wyoming. She has served on the local Saratoga/Platte Valley Chamber of Commerce and is currently serving as Secretary on the Valley Village Childcare Board, VSO Board and Upper Platte River Solid Waste Disposal District and Good Times Valley Recreation Steering Committee.
Daney Tanner- Treasurer
Daney was raised in Casper Wyoming, attending Kelly Walsh High School, Casper College and the University of Wyoming.
She holds a B.S. in business education and a B.A. in English. She has taught high school business as well as English. She designed and facilitated a high school recovery program for ten years at Roosevelt High School (alternative) in Casper. She has taught high school business as well as English.
She has contributed her time to the Boys and Girls Club of Wyoming, the Wyoming Assessment Development Committee, the Children’s Education Program at St. Marks Episcopal Church. Further she has been a Board member for the Central Wyoming Counseling Center, where she was a member of the board for the Crisis Stabilization Unit to support interventions and the creation of a statewide Suicide Prevention Hotline.
Married for forty-three years, they share four children (all raised in Casper) and five grandchildren. The electrical engineering firm they founded, now led by one son. Now retired, they visit Casper regularly but spend the majority of their time in Saratoga.
Ryta Sondergard- Director
Ryta is a native of Michigan attending the University of Michigan with degrees in Economics, Business and Marketing. She is an accomplished and high energy leader with a gift of cultivating community and business relationships. She is a creative thinker with expertise in fundraising, public relations, marketing, volunteer management and event coordination.
Her interests lie in reading, gardening, travel and theatre. She is a motivational speaker on the topics of development and business strategies, organizational management, internal communications, fundraising and donor cultivation. She devotes her volunteer hours to organizations that focus on the education and well-being of youth.
Ryta moved to the Valley in 2020. She served as Community Relations Coordinator for Sinclair Wyoming Refinery Company for eight years. She currently sits on the board for Valley Village Childcare, Carbon County Boys and Girls Club, Rawlins’ Downtown Development Association.
Jacquie Hall - Director
After completing her sociology degree at the University of Colorado, Jacquie has been fortunate to serve the nonprofit community as a fund raiser. She is currently the Senior Director of Principal and Planned Gifts for Craig Hospital Foundation, that serves 2,000 spinal cord and brain injured patients each year. She is responsible for giving current and new friends the opportunity to become involved in supporting world-class care.
Prior to Craig, at the University of Denver, Jacquie's focus was to raise funds to match Bill Daniel's $22 million challenge to create the ethics focused MBA program and to build the Daniels College of Business.
As Vice President at Mile High United Way, Jacquie raised funds for foster care, transformational housing for low-income families, after-school programs and quality childcare. It was at United Way that she became passionate about and learned the importance of early childhood education. Research has shown that 90% of brain growth happens before kindergarten. Quality childcare provides the foundation for future learning, health and life success.
In 2021 Jacquie was awarded the National Philanthropy Day Outstanding Professional Fundraiser Award, having raised over $200 million during her long career. Jacquie is the Past Chair of United Way's Worldwide Major Gifts Council and has served as an instructor and consultant for United Way and Up With People, training professionals internationally. She is currently a volunteer at Clayton Early Learning in Denver.
Clark Bolser introduced Jacquie to Saratoga ten years ago and they enjoy hiking, fishing and golfing in this beautiful community. Jacquie also enjoys spending time with her young grandson, Edison, and with her dog, Gracie.
Amber Waldron - Director
Amber Waldron is a native of the Platte Valley. Born and raised in Saratoga, she graduated from Saratoga High School in 2004. After moving away for college, she obtained her degree in nursing. She returned to Carbon County to begin her career as a Registered Nurse at Memorial Hospital of Carbon County in Rawlins. While living and working in Rawlins, Amber met and married her husband, Joe.
After ten years of living in Rawlins and working in the hospital setting, Amber and Joe started their family by welcoming their oldest daughter, Reagan. Shortly after, Amber accepted a position as the Health Services Administrator RN with the Carbon County Sheriff’s Office to spend more time with family. Their family’s dream of returning to Saratoga came true in 2020 when they moved into their new home.
After 7 years with the CCSO, Amber began her new role as Clinic Supervisor RN for Memorial Hospital of Carbon County’s Health Center Platte Valley Clinic in Saratoga. Amber and Joe welcomed their infant son, Kooper, in 2022 and he is enrolled full-time at VVCC.
Amber’s hobbies include fishing, camping, traveling, interior decorating, and any activity spent with her family. She is proud to serve on the VVCC Board of Directors as well as the Town of Saratoga’s Recreation Board where she enjoys being part of the many community activities the Platte Valley has to offer.
Darrin Jennings - Director
Darrin was born and raised in Carbon County, Wyoming. He attended the University of Wyoming graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in Elementary Education and a minor in Science. He received a Master of Science degree from Chaldron State College in Chaldron, Nebraska.
Darrin is currently the superintendent of Schools for Carbon County School District #2. A position he has held since 2022. Prior to that, he has held various administration positions in School Districts #1 and #2. He started his career in education in 1995 teaching 4th grade and 7th grade.
Darrin and his wife Val have two daughters and two sons and one amazing grandson. He and his family have lived in the North Platte Valley community for the past 7 years. He and his family enjoy spending time at the family cabin, watching Wyoming Cowboy sports and riding their horses.