ABOUT THE WYOMING SEAT BELT COALITION
Created by Governor Matt Mead, The Wyoming Seat Belt Coalition’s mission is to increase seatbelt usage in Wyoming to prevent fatalities and decrease the number and severity of injuries in traffic crashes. By working together to increase seat belt usage, we can drive our state toward zero traffic deaths.
Wyoming Seat Belt Coalition Appointed Members:
Kendall is a graduate of The University of Wyoming, where she received her B.S. in Agriculture Business and her M.S. in Agriculture Economics.
Kendall currently serves as the Southeastern Youth Board Member to the Wyoming Board of Agriculture, Research Assistant to the University of Wyoming, and the President of the Young Producers Assembly with Wyoming Stock Growers Association. She serves as the Wyoming Seat Belt Coalition Chair and grassroots representative to encourage seat belt safety and save lives in traffic crashes, statewide.
Cody Beers, of Riverton, is currently in his 12th year as a member of the Wyoming Seat Belt Coalition, and he is in his 8th year, by appointment of Gov. Matt Mead, on the Governor’s Council on Impaired Driving.
The Wyoming native is a 1983 Cody High School graduate, a 1985 graduate of Eastern Wyoming College, and a 1988 graduate of the University of Wyoming, with a bachelor’s degree in journalism.
Beers joined the Wyoming Department of Transportation as a public relations specialist in 2004. He has coordinated public relations efforts on a number of high-profile construction projects for WYDOT, including the $140-plus million Togwotee Trail to Yellowstone Project. For his efforts on the Togwotee project, The Wyoming Office of Tourism presented Beers with the 2013 “Reach” Award for being state tourism’s “Industry Partner of the Year.”
He also works as a WYDOT liaison with the Eastern Shoshone and Northern Arapaho Tribes on the Wind River Reservation, and for the past 9 years, has worked with tribal leaders, tribal members and other partners to improve traffic safety, enhance occupant protection, and end impaired driving on Wind River Reservation highways. For his efforts on the Wind River Reservation, former Gov. Dave Freudenthal presented Beers with a 2010 award for his Outstanding Efforts to Prevent Impaired Driving.
Matthew Carlson is the State Highway Safety Engineer and serves as the Governor’s Representative for Highway Safety within the Highway Safety Behavioral Grant Program at the Wyoming Department of Transportation.
Sgt. Elazizi was born and raised in Cairo, Egypt. He moved from Egypt to chase his dream of becoming a United States citizen in 2011. Before joining the Patrol, Sgt. Elazizi worked with the Wyoming Department of Corrections (D.O.C.) as a Correctional Officer. He worked his way up to the rank of sergeant at D.O.C. before joining the Wyoming Highway Patrol in 2015. As a member of the Patrol, Sgt. Elazizi worked primarily in the Cheyenne area as a trooper before being promoted to Sergeant on February 1st, 2018.
Sheila D. Foertsch has been with the Wyoming Trucking Association, Inc. for 41 years, serving as their Managing Director and lobbyist for the past 24 years. The Wyoming Trucking Association, Inc. represents 400 members, including all types of motor carrier operations from the owner operator to international carriers, as well as allied members who serve the trucking industry.
She has served as the Chairman of the Western Trucking Association Executive Council, the Chairman of the national Trucking Association Executive Council and is a past member of the Research Advisory Committee of the American Transportation Research Institute. She serves on the Board of HELP, Inc. (Heavy-vehicle Electronic License Plate), currently serving on HELP, Inc.’s Safety Committee and Operations Oversight Committee and is a past member of that group’s Executive Committee.
Karson James is the Manager of the Highway Safety Behavioral Grants Program at the Wyoming Department of Transportation. The Program’s goal is to reduce traffic crashes, deaths, injuries and the associated economic losses in Wyoming through the coordinated efforts of state, local agencies and other safety partners. The Highway Safety Program provides project funding to help achieve stated program goals and objectives which address identified highway safety problems. Priorities of safety effort and location are based on projects with the greatest likelihood to impact crash and injury reduction.
For the past twenty years Rich has worked as a private consultant assisting nonprofit organizations, public agencies, and private corporations in developing strategies to accomplish projects, initiatives, policy change and missions. He also serves as a policy consultant to the Council of State Governments – WEST in the areas of energy, health, economic development, and state and federal relations. Rich was a technical assistance consultant for tobacco, underage and adult binge drinking, suicide, and prescription drug abuse prevention community programs for the Wyoming Department of Health substance abuse division for nine years.
Lindsay Martin is the Program Manager for the Wyoming Injury and Violence Prevention Program at the Wyoming Department of Health. She has over 10 years of experience in the field of public health, monitoring and evaluation, and program development and management, with many of those years being dedicated to injury and violence prevention in various capacities.
Her experience spans the topics of infectious disease, suicide prevention, sexual assault, intimate partner violence, older adult falls prevention, and motor vehicle crash prevention. In her current position, she serves to study and report data on major injuries and fatalities occurring in Wyoming. These data are used to identify health and safety priorities, inform policymakers, and develop prevention strategies and activities throughout the state with a variety of stakeholders.
Ms. Martin holds a Master’s in Public Health from the University of Glasgow and is a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer (Zambia 13-16). She is an active participant in several national and regional committees, including the Safe States Alliance where she serves on the Membership Committee and the American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children.
Troy McLees is a retired Captain from the Wyoming Highway Patrol. He served 25 years with the Wyoming Highway Patrol, in Laramie County.
Troy’s career started in the Cheyenne division and his first duty station was in Pine Bluffs, WY. As a trooper, he served 9 years in the Cheyenne division before moving into the Safety and Training division. Troy served in the Safety and Training division for 13 years before promoting to Captain of Communications in 2013 before retiring.
He brings a wealth of experience and knowledge on traffic safety, crash investigations, and communication strategies.
Byron Oedekoven is the Executive Director of the Wyoming Association of Sheriffs and Chiefs of Police (WASCOP). He previously served as Campbell County Sheriff from 1987 to 2004.
As a policy advisor to the Governor’s office, Michelle provides subject matter expertise in the areas of healthcare (clinical/mental health), Medicaid, workforce/OSHA, gaming/gambling, government efficiency, and homelessness. Appointed as the Opioid Grants Coordinator responsible for tracking all opioid funding coming into the state to various state agencies.
James M. (Mike) Reed, although born in Kansas has lived in Wyoming for over 38 years and considers it home.
Having started his career in the private sector Mike quickly became involved locally serving as Chairman of the Carbon County Child Development Center, Carbon County Counseling Center and finally as the Chairman of the Carbon County Memorial Hospital.
Mike currently holds the position of Wyoming State Fire Marshal and is proud to continue his service with Wyoming s great Firefighters.
Meredith Towle is the State Occupational Epidemiologist at the Wyoming Department of Workforce Services. She has over 15 years of experience in public health research, surveillance, and program management, with most of those years being dedicated to worker health and safety in various capacities.
Ms. Towle holds a Masters in Public Health from the University of Colorado and is a member of Delta Omega, the Honorary Society in Public Health. She is an active participant in several national and regional committees, including the NIOSH National Occupational Research Agenda Oil & Gas Extraction Council and the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists Occupational Health Leadership Committee.