New Year, New You: Prominent Wyomingites Share their Resolutions for 2023

It’s the new year. Time again to look ahead and set goals!

Come January 1st, people vow to break bad habits and establish new ones. With that in mind, we asked prominent Wyomingites from across the state to share their resolutions–personal, professional or both—for 2023.

From all of us at the Wyoming Truth, here’s to a healthy and happy new year!

Cynthia Hanson, Editor, the Wyoming Truth  

Pictured above is John Ramer, executive director of Kindness Ranch Animal Sanctuary. In 2023, he hopes to travel more for recreation than work. (Courtesy photo from John Ramer)

John Ramer, executive director, Kindness Ranch Animal Sanctuary:

“I head into 2023 with the excitement of getting married on New Year’s Day! It is with this in mind that I look forward to hopefully finding a small piece of recreational land to call our own, traveling more for recreation than for work and enjoying as much live music as possible.”

Pictured above is University of Wyoming President Ed Seidel with his partner, Gabrielle Allen, director of the School of Computing. (Courtesy photo from Ed Seidel)

Ed Seidel, president of the University of Wyoming:

“I am looking forward to great things in 2023! Inspired by our students, staff and faculty, whose perseverance and dedication to UW and Wyoming has kept us moving forward in the face of multiple difficulties, one of my goals is to run a half marathon in 2023. It will require the kind of focus, discipline and passion that our community has for making UW the best it can be, and I love getting outdoors and being in shape!”


Renee Nelson, who hosts the podcast “Unsolved Wyoming: Cold Cases & Haunted Places,” will work on reducing stress in the coming year. (Courtesy photo from Renee Nelson)

Renee Nelson, host of the podcast “Unsolved Wyoming: Cold Cases & Haunted Places”:

“My personal resolution is to be at peace with what I can’t control. I’m pretty type A, and it can be really hard to not feel in control of all aspects of my life. I cause myself a lot of anguish when things don’t go the way I plan. It’s getting easier as I get older, but I want to actively work on reducing my own stress.” 

In the new year, Tate Mullen, the government relations director for the Wyoming Education Association, plans to take vacations in the U.S. and overseas. (Courtesy photo from Tate Mullen) 

Tate Mullen, government relations director for the Wyoming Education Association:

“My New Year’s Resolution is to take at least two trips to states I have never been [to] and one international vacation. I love exploring new cities and all that comes with that adventure. Experiencing different cultures, art, music, cuisine, and just exploring the outdoors is something that I love to do but have neglected until here recently. I’m looking forward to those adventures and all the new year has in store.”

Rep.-elect Harriet Hageman, R-Wyo., arrives to meet with fellow Republicans behind closed doors as Republicans hold their leadership candidate forum, where everyone running for a post must make their case to the membership, at the Capitol in Washington, Monday, Nov. 14, 2022. Hageman was endorsed by former President Donald Trump to unseat Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., during the primary race in August. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Congresswoman-elect Harriet Hageman:

“My New Year’s resolution is to represent Wyoming with integrity and honor; to work every day to return our country to its constitutional foundation; and to fight for individual freedom and liberty.” 

Greg Day is the founder of the Dawn & Jeff: I Won’t Be Silent Foundation. (Courtesy photo from Greg Day). 

Greg Day, member of the Eastern Shoshone Tribe and founder of the Dawn & Jeff: I won’t be Silent Foundation:

“[My resolution] is to fight for the daughters and sons that were taken from us so viciously and violently! To fight for justice for them all! We are waiting for word from [President Biden] and the [Department of Justice]; we’re asking for an outside judge and a prosecutor. Once we receive contact from these two entities, we will be able to push forward.”

Cody Mayor Matt Hall wants to help bring more civility to the political process in 2023. (Courtesy photo from the City of Cody)

Cody Mayor Matt Hall:

“[Being more vocal is] one of the things that I might try and do … to try and help bring a little bit more civility back to our political process. … I do feel like the civility resolution is kind of like the weight loss resolution: It’s good for a couple of weeks, and then it, unfortunately, gets forgotten pretty easily. But I’d like to do that.”

In 2023, former U.S. Sen. Al Simpson of Cody intends to tidy up his den and stop listening to those who claim the 2020 election was stolen. (Courtesy photo from Alan Simpson)

Former U.S. Sen. Alan Simpson:

“I asked [my wife] Ann what would she have in mind. She said, ‘Well, clean your den.’ That’s not my resolution. ‘No,’ she said, ‘It’s mine.’ … So I’m going to do that, clean up my den. Then I’ve vowed that I would not listen to, at least block it from my mind, anyone who is still ready to talk about the election of Trump [being stolen in 2020]. And my advice — and I’ve expunged it from my mind — is ‘Stop the Squeal.’ … Go find someone more receptive to that one, because I think that is the most bizarre.”

Stefan Johansson, director of the Wyoming Department of Health:

“In the next year, professionally, I hope to spend more time visiting my dedicated and talented staff who work in our healthcare facilities and field offices around the state. On a personal note, I would love to also take advantage of my travels to spend more time enjoying Wyoming’s great outdoors.”

Breanna Ball, the statewide information specialist for the Wyoming Game and Fish Department, plans to complete the Wyoming cutt-slam in the summer. (Courtesy photo from Breanna Ball) 


Breanna Ball, statewide information specialist for the Wyoming Game and Fish Department:

“You could probably guess that as a Wyoming Game and Fish Department employee my New Year’s resolution has to do with fishing! I hope to hit the road in the summer and complete the Wyoming cutt-slam! Anglers are tasked with catching all four cutthroat subspecies in their native range.”


Mark Jones, national director of hunter outreach, Gun Owners of America, will focus on creating experiences with his family in 2023. (Courtesy photo from Mark Jones)

Mark Jones, national director of hunter outreach, Gun Owners of America:

“In 2023, I plan to spend more time focusing on my family and creating experiences with them in the wonderful Wyoming outdoors.” 


Pictured above is Denton Knapp, administrative director for the Campbell County Office of Commissioners. In the coming year, he plans to encourage young people to serve in the U.S. military to help meet recruitment needs. (Courtesy photo from Denton Knapp)

Denton Knapp, former congressional candidate and administrative director for the Campbell County Office of Commissioners: 

“The military services are extremely short in this year’s recruiting efforts to keep our current military at its required strength. With the help of other veterans, [my resolution is to] prepare our next generation of American warriors by visiting with our youth about serving our country in the military profession.”

Terri Markham is the executive director of Uprising. (Courtesy photo from Terri Markham) 

Terri Markham, executive director of Uprising:

“Speaking on behalf of Uprising, our New Year’s resolution is to learn more. As a leading anti-trafficking organization, it is vital that we continue to learn more as the field grows. One way we plan to accomplish this is by starting a staff reading challenge. Each month we will select a book relating to the work we do, or a survivor memoir, to read together and discuss. By continuing to grow and learn ourselves, we hope to be able to continue to serve the Rocky Mountain region with the most up-to-date training and prevention tactics.” 


Daniel Shannon is the director of the Wyoming Department of Corrections (Courtesy photo from Daniel Shannon) 

Daniel Shannon, director of the Wyoming Department of Corrections:

“I am going to seek to create a better balance between my work and personal life.”

In the coming year, state Rep. Scott Heiner is resolving to look for the good in everything. (Courtesy photo from the Wyoming Legislature)

State Rep. Scott Heiner (R-Green River):

“With the situation that we find ourselves in with government, we see a lot of things to be discouraged about; things are getting progressively worse. So one of my resolutions is to try to look for the good in everybody and everything, including government. … Because government is there to serve. It has a role. It sometimes gets outside of those boundaries, but we need to also focus on the good things to come from our government, because I sometimes get caught up in the bad.”


In 2023, Michael Lange, the executive director of Wyoming Arts Council, plans to be “more present in both personal and professional settings.” (Courtesy photo from the Wyoming Arts Council). 

Michael Lange, executive director of the Wyoming Arts Council:

“My largest new year’s resolution is to be more present, in both personal and professional settings. I want to be able to engage with constituents, family, and friends with more empathy, understanding and value.”


Keith Kelley is the radio play-by play announcer for Wyoming football and men’s basketball. (Courtesy photo from Keith Kelley)

Keith Kelley, radio play-by-play announcer for Wyoming football and men’s basketball:

“Last year I got an electric guitar from my wife for Christmas, and my New Year’s resolution was to be able to play a Metallica song for Kevin McKinney as the intro song coming on my show live in studio. I had a dream of being a rock and roll star, either a singer or lead guitar player, so I think it’d be cool to actually play that in front of people. ‘Seek and Destroy’ and I’ve done ‘Enter Sandman,’ I can do a little of the beginning, so I think it will be one of those two songs.”

Pictured above is Paul Martin, administrator of support services for the Wyoming Department of Corrections (Courtesy photo from Paul Martin) 

Paul Martin, administrator of support services for the Wyoming Department of Corrections: “Laugh more, work less, appreciate the people around me more and enjoy Wyoming.”


CJ Baker, Kaycee Clark-Mellott, Ellen Fike, Jacob Gardenswartz, Jennifer Kocher and Shen Wu Tan contributed to this story.

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