Meet the VIPs of the 2022 Old West Invitational Turkey Hunt.
Mark Gordon was elected Wyoming’s 33rd Governor on November 6, 2018. He was sworn into office on January 7, 2019.
Growing up on the family ranch in Johnson County, Governor Gordon learned the values of hard work and integrity and the importance of working together. As governor, he prings those values to the table in pursuring his commitment that Wyoming continues to be a place where its citizens can pursue their dreams while retaining its unique character. He is a strong believer in Wyoming’s ability to chart its own course and a staunch defender of its interests to do so.
Governor Gordon is working on efforts to set Wyoming on a sustainable fiscal path and making government more accessible, productive, and efficient. As part of those efforts, Gordon seeks to refocus government to better assist local communities with the tools and resources needed to thrive and set their own direction. He is also dedicated to ensuring that citizens have access to quality education, including safer schools, advanced degrees, and career and technical education opportunities.
Governor Gordon served as Wyoming State Treasurer from October 2012 until January 2019 when he was sworn in as Governor. As State Treasurer, he led a transformation of the office resulting in improved teturns on state investments, better protection of state savings, and increased transparency and access to state financial data for the public. His efforts to improve transpareancy surrounding the state’s financial portfolio resulted in Wyoming being ranked number one in the United States for transparency and the third in the world among all sovereign funds.
Governor Gordon and his wife Jennie have four grown children, Aaron with wife Megan, Bea with husband Austen, Anne with partner Bracewell, and Spencer with wife Sarah and their sone Everett.
Former Governor of Wyoming
Dave graduated in 1973 from Amherst College in Amherst, Massachusetts with a bachelor’s degree in economics. After graduating he joined the Department of Economic Planning and Development as an economist and later became the state planning director for Governor Ed Herschler.
Freudenthal entered the University of Wyoming College of Law receiving his law degree in 1980 and went into private practice. In 1994, he was appointed U.S. Attorney upon the recommendation of then-Governor Mike Sullivan and left the post of U.S. Attorney in May 2001.
Dave became the 31st Governor of the Sate of Wyoming in January 2003 serving two terms until January 2011.
Matthew H. Mead
Former Governor of Wyoming
Governor Matthew H. Mead was sworn in as Wyoming’s 32nd governor on January 3, 2011 and served until 2019. Born in Jackson, Wyoming, Governor Mead was raised on the family ranch in Teton County. He has a BA degree from Trinity University in San Antonio and a law degree from the University of Wyoming.
After law school, the Governor served as a county and federal prosecutor, practiced in a private firm in Cheyenne with now-Attorney General Greg Phillips, and served as U.S. Attorney.
Matt and his wife Carol, the First Lady, returned full time to operating their farming and ranching business in southeast Wyoming. Since taking office, Governor Mead has continued to travel to communities around the state to hear from residents in the places where they live and work. He maintains an open door policy in his office at the Capitol Building.
Representing the interests of the tate, the Governor also serves in regional and national leadership roles. He serves on the Council of Governors, a group of 10 governors chosen by the President to advise top federal officials on matters related to the National Guard and civil support missions.
In the National Governors Association, he serves as co-chair of the special Committee on Honmeland Security and Public Safety and his a member of the Natural Resources Committee. He is co-chair of the State and Federal Sage Grouse Task Force, which brings together federal officials and representatives of 11 western states for a regional conservation effort.
Matt and Carol have been married 23 years with Cheyenne as their home. They have two children, Mary and Pete, who attend Cheyenne public schools.
Mary O’Neill Phillips is an Australian entertainer and outdoorswoman who has worked across a range of dramatic, radio, and lifestyle programs.
Splitting her time between Nashville, Springfield, Missouri, and Australia, Mary has built a strong reputation in the world of country music through her digital platform Honeyon the Railroad. She has worked on many of the industry’s biggest events as a blogger, red carpet host, and on-air personality on several major television networks. Her faith, good humor, and hard work ethic have been crucial to her perseverance in the entertainment industry for the better part of 12 years, and have seen her work on productions in Australia and the United States. Hailing from New South Wales, Australia, Mary’s Australian accent and indomitable spirit are her trademarks.
Zach Phillips is an outdoor video producer who has worked in the hunting industry for 10 years. He has worked with some of the top talent in this space and is extremely talented at his craft. He grew up in Georgia and is an avid turkey hunter and outdoorsman. He will be co-hosting these films as well as filming photography and editing.
Country Outdoors is a brand that brings together the worlds of country music and the great outdoors. What started as a podcast has grown into a new brand with a world-class lifestuyle website, seasonal outdoor adventure tours, a live concert series on the Outdoor Channel, and monthly at the Listening Room Café in Nashville. The Country Outdoors Podcast provides interviews with country music’s biggest names about their music and outdoor passions.
Country Music Artist
Solo artist. Front man. Behind-the-scenes songwriter. For more than a decade, Adam Hood has left his mark both onstage and in the writing room, carving out a southern sound that mixes equal parts country, soul, and American roots music.
As a blue-collar songwriter, Hood shines a light on everyday experiences from family and friends to the thrill of Friday nights partly because he’s stuck to his roots. The native Alabaman still lives in the Yellowhammer State and celebrates America’s rural pockets with songs like “Keeping Me Here” and “Real Small Town”, two songs filled with images of Main Street, open landscapes, hard times, and good people.
“It’s southern music,” he says, grouping “Somewhere in Between’s” wide range of music under an appropriate banner. “That’s what it represents: the soulful side of southern music, the country side of southern music, the genuineness of southern culture, and the way I grew up. One of the t-shirts I sell at every show simply says ‘Southern Songs’, and it’s a good summary of what I do. It’s what I’ve always done.”
Country Music Artist
Like many country singers, Ray Fulcher started his career as a professional songwriter. After he racked up hits for Luke Combs in 2016, he concentrated on his career as a singer releasing the EP “Somebody Like Me” in 2019. As a performer, Fulcher is brighter and sweeter than Combs with just a slight pop bent that is kept in check by the singer/songwriter’s debt to the lean, funky sound of Eric Church.
A native of East Georgia who was raised in the small town of Harlem, Ray Fulcher was initially drawn to the hard country of George Strait, Johnny Cash, Alan Jackson, and Keith Whitley. While he was attending the University of Georgia as an Education major, he fell for modern country acts including Eric Church, Luke Bryan, and the Zac Brown Band.
Colonel Mark Wilkins
Colonel Mark A. “Tex” Wilkins, USAF (Ret.) currently serves as the Senior Aviation Safety Analyst for the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel & Readiness/Force Safety & Occupational Health. He advises senior DoD officials on all aspects of military aviation, with a focus on emerging aviation safety technologies. As a leader in the field of automatic collision avoidance technologies, Colonel Wilkins was recently honored with providing the acceptance remarks for the 2018 Robert J. Collier Trophy, awarded to the Automatic Ground Collision Avoidance System Team. The trophy is awarded annually for the greatest achievement in aeronautics or astronautics in America with respect to improving the performance, efficiency, and safety of air or space vehicles.
Colonel Wilkins earned his wings at Euro-NATO Joint Jet Pilot Training at Sheppard AFT, Texas, and remained there as a T-37 Instructor Pilot and later Flight Examiner. in 1989, Colonel Wilkins transitioned to the F-15 and was assigned to the 525th Tactical Fighter Squadron at Bitburg, AB, Germany. In the numerous F-15 assignments to follow, culminating in squadron command, Colonel Wilkins served as an Instructor Pilot, Flight Examiner, and Mission Commander where he flew 99 combat missions over Iraq. His military decorations include the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Distinguished Flying Cross, and he was awarded the Air Medal six times. He also holds an Airline Transport Pilot license with the FAA.
Colonel Wilkins is an avid hunter and outdoorsman with a passion for spring turkey. He completed his World Turkey Slam in 2018 with a beautiful Gould’s Turkey in Old Mexico. A dedicated conservationist, he supports many wildlife organizations including NWTF, RMEF, DU, AND QDMA. Colonel Wilkins currently lives in Virginia where he practices wildlife management on his farm and enjoys hunting deer, bear, and turkey and introducing new hunters to the sport.
US Army, ret.
Jace joined the Army in June 2005 as an infantryman. He was depoloyed to Ramadi, Iraq with Operation Iraqui Freedom with 1st ID, 18th Infantry Regiment in the summer of 2006.
Jace sustained serious injuries when his vehicle was hit by an improvided explosive device (IED) on November 11, 2006. He lost his left leg and sustained severe injuries to the right leg as a result of the blast and was Medevac’ed to Walter Reid in Washington, DC where he spent three years recovering. Jace stayed active duty and was reclassified to Intelligence, deploying for Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation New Dawn.
Now medically retired, he loves doing adventurous activites with his daughters and Stephanie. Jace likes hunting, fishing, SCUBA diving, and exercising.
Country Music Artist
Jared Mullins was much of a chameleon growing up. Originally from Maryland, the sinter/songwriter has a history of being a baseball player, a Sony Records artist, a FEMA manager, bartender, blender salesman, and now he is a successful songwriter working at Big Deal Music.
In his two short years as a songwriter, he’s already had multiple songs recorded by artists such as Jake Owens, Justine Moore, Parmalee, Dylan Scott, and more. Additionally, he has garnerd over 50 holds including Chris Young, Thomas Rett, Darius Rucker, Lee Brice, Michael Ray, and many others. Some of his singles like “Good Company” by Jake Owen or “Roots” by Parmalee can be heard on the radio.
Robert enlisted in the USMC in 2002 and went to Recruit Training in San Diego, California. After completing training as an Infantry Rifleman. He was assigned to the 2nd Battalion 7th Marines in 29 Palms, California and deployed to Okinawa.
After returning to the U.S., he began training to deploy in support of Iraqi Freedom. Robert deployed twice with the 2/7, once to the western Al Anbar province and then Fallujah. He was then assigned to the 3rd Battalion 9th Marines and was deployed to the western Al Anbar province and then to Marjah, Afghanistan. He was then assigned to 9th Marine Corps Recruiting Command and was a USMC Recruiter out of Joplin, Missouri.
US Army, ret.
Joshua enlisted in the Army in May of 2000 as a Cavalry Scout. He served in seven different duty assignments including Germany and South Korea, and was deployed to Afghanistan as a Senior Scout in a Reconnaissance Platoon for Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation New Dawn.
Joshua served as a US Army Recruiter as well as an instructor at the US Army Recruiting and Retention College. He retired as a Senior Noncommissioned officer in June of 2020.
Named as “one of Music Row’s hottest young songwriters” (American Songwriter), breakout Country music artist Adam Sanders has earned his reputation as an artist to watch with the release of his single “What If I’m Right.” After writing #1 hit songs for Dustin Lynch and Cole Swindell, and songs for Luke Bryan, Dierks Bentley and Blake Shelton, the highly sought-after songwriter’s high-energy anthem “What If I’m Right,” has the successful songwriter betting the odds on a career as an artist, and notably so, with an independent rise that has earned him over 100 million streams, over 70,000 singles sold and landed him on Billboard’s Top 40 Country Albums chart with his previously released self-titled debut EP.
Signed to a co-publishing deal with Round Hill Music Nashville, the Lake City, Florida native’s single “What If I’m Right” follows the release of Adam Sanders (Live), his “infectious tune (Billboard),” “Ruled The World,” “the mid-tempo, retro-cool song (Taste of Country),” “Make Em Wanna Change,” and the “catchiest of them all (Pop Culture),” “Drink Drank Drunk.” With overwhelming support from the artist and songwriter community, Sanders’ music video for “Ruled The World” featured seven singer-songwriters and a music video starring Tracy Lawrence, Aaron Tippin, Marty Raybon and Mike McGuire.