July 19-28, 2024


General Committee

The General Committee is comprised of a General Chairman and 9 committee chairmen who oversee the operation of the individual committees. The chairmen are selected from the volunteer force based on their merit and dedication to their particular committee, and in most cases, serve a three-year term. The General Chairman is chosen from a pool of past committee chairmen. Each committee is responsible for carrying out specific functions of Cheyenne Frontier Days™ and incorporates the motivation and talents of willing volunteers proportionate in number to the tasks of the committee.

General Chairman John Contos


John is a 40-year volunteer. He oversees the 9 committees that work in unison to produce the “Daddy of ‘em All®”. “From the first year volunteer to the eldest HEEL volunteer, we are proud in our success of our three-legged mission: support the community by promoting western heritage and lifestyle, encouraging economic success, and providing educational opportunities. We all strive to give our consumer the best experience imaginable and plan year round to ensure the best product. I am proud of all of our volunteers and staff, and our exuberant pride is shown in our entertainment product.”

Family: Significant Other – Connie Garrett; Children – Tyler (Alexis), Grandchildren – Jackson & Genevieve

Employment: Retired Laramie County School District #1 Administrator of Health, Physical Education, and Safe & Drug Free Schools & Communities

Years of CFD Service: 40 years

Hobbies & Interests: Hunting, Fishing, Shooting, Cycling and Outdoor Activities

Email the General Chairman

Concessions Chairman Woody Acord


The Concessions Committee oversees all activities pertaining to the carnival midway and the food and beverage concessions, exhibits and free entertainment “The Garden” area at Frontier Park. The committee, through hard work and diligence, has secured an outstanding working relationship with the City and County officials to ensure compliance with all safety and health standards for the Carnival and Food vendors. The Committee takes pride in monitoring and ensuring the integrity of the midway’s carnival gaming and safety of the carnival rides for the public. They also contract with and coordinate the exhibit areas, to include the old west township “Frontier Town.” All done to standard Western Theme so visitors can enjoy their shopping/browsing experience. Woody and the great volunteers of the Concessions Committee are anticipating a banner year. They welcome all visitors to Cheyenne Frontier Days™ (CFD) and know that all will enjoy taking part in the state of the art carnival, food concessions, exhibit, and entertainment areas. They would like to extend the opportunity to take a step back in time at the Frontier Town and by all means “live the legend” of Cheyenne’s Western Celebration.

Family: Wife – Sharon; Son – Brycen Sullivan

Employment: Senior IT Analyst / Veterans Affairs

Years of CFD Service: 24 years

Hobbies & Interests: Hunting, Outdoor Activities, and Baseball

Email the Concessions Chairman

Contract Acts Chairman Scott Lewis


The Contract Acts Committee produces the Frontier Nights® entertainment. Some of Contract Acts’ responsibilities include contracting with the artists, stage set up, sound, lights, video, artist security, concert security, and artist merchandise. Contract Acts also operates the Buckin’ A Saloon. Scott and all of the great volunteers of the Contract Acts Committee are looking forward to a spectacular year of world class entertainment. They are proud to present concert experiences that are equal to any venue in the Rocky Mountain West.

Family: Wife – Cathi; Children – Casi and Maggie

Employment: Alpine Air Express

Years of CFD Service: 25 years

Hobbies and Interests: Spending time with family at the cabin. Hunting, snowmobiling, ATVing and fixing things.

Email the Contract Acts Chairman

Grounds Chairman Doug Finch


The Grounds Committee takes care of maintenance, repair and small construction projects on Frontier Park. They also take care of the electrical, plumbing, restroom, and park clean-up activities. The Grounds Committee coordinates the workdays and work nights for 2,500+ volunteers. The Grounds volunteer doctors and medics take care of the First Aid Stations and are also arena doctors. Doug has been a HEEL since 2017 and this is his first year as Grounds Committee Chairman. Doug is a very proud volunteer and enjoys working with the many dedicated volunteers to produce the number one rodeo in the world.

Family: Wife – Valarie; Children – Jackie and Samantha

Employment: CEO of Finch Enterprises, Inc.

Years of CFD Service: 17 years

Hobbies & Interests: Boating, Snow Machining and Travel

Email the Grounds Chairman

Indians Chairman Mariah Johnson


The Indian Committee volunteers negotiate contracts for dancers, entertainers, and vendors for the Indian Village, as well as maintain the village grounds at Frontier Park. The group also facilitates the activities of Miss Frontier and her Lady-in-Waiting, and produces the three free pancake breakfasts during Cheyenne Frontier Days™ in partnership with Cheyenne Kiwanis Club members and city personnel. Mariah is honored to be serving as a third-year chairman, and she encourages everyone to experience the hospitality and free entertainment at the Indian Village and Pancake Breakfasts. The 2024 show promises something for everyone—Native American dancing, singing, storytelling and flute playing; kids crafts; numerous vendors; Indian Tacos and more. Mariah and the Indian Committee hope to see you there.

Family: Husband – Adam Kvanli

Employment: WYDOT

Years of CFD Service: 12 years

Hobbies & Interests: Reading, spending time outdoors, travel, cooking

Email the Indians Chairman

Military Chairman Col. John Hundley


This is John’s second year as the Military Chairman. Military personnel from F. E. Warren Air Force Base have been an integral part of Frontier Days since they helped kick off the very first rodeo with a historic cannon blast in 1897. Today, over 300 active duty, National Guard, civilian, and retired Military Committee volunteers support Frontier Days in countless ways, to include the planning and execution of the Coronation Ball (where Miss Frontier is crowned), Military Appreciation Day, the Fort D.A. Russell Days open house,  and the annual United States Air Force Thunderbirds Air Show. The Military Committee also integrates a number of military demonstration teams into Frontier Days events, such as the Wyoming Air National Guard, the Wyoming National Guard, the United States Army’s Artillery Half-Section, the United States Army’s Fort Carson Cavalry, the United States Navy’s Leapfrogs, and a number of military bands from across the different Services. The Military Committee also provides the Cowboy Medics during rodeo events, a highly trained and professional team of medical personnel who aid injured cowboys in the arena.

Family: Wife – Mary; Children – Ethan

Employment: USAF

Years of CFD Service: 2 year

Hobbies & Interests: Family Travel, Hiking & Skiing

Email the Military Chairman

Operations Chairman Byron Mathews


As a first year chairman to the Operations Committee, Byron Mathews, and his group of volunteers are responsible for several aspects of our guest’s experience at Cheyenne Frontier Days™ (CFD). The Operations Committee handles all CFD ticket sales, including rodeo, night show, and gate admission to Frontier Park. They provide assistance to patrons with disabilities; handle all issues that arise with tickets and provide ground transportation for patrons on the park. The Operations Committee has volunteers on the park from the beginning of slack early in the morning until all patrons are safely out of the stands at the conclusion of our night shows. They manage the overall safety and security of Frontier Park. During Cheyenne Frontier Days™ (CFD) they provide for gate access and crowd control and handle all traffic and parking on and off the park, including the shuttle site. Their duties include contracting uniformed security and coordinating shuttle bus services for Park and Ride. We are very proud of the hard work, dedication, and energy given by the Operations Committee family of volunteers.

Family: Wife – Mary; children – Kylie, Connor and Paige

Employment: Wyoming State Fire Marshall

Years of CFD Service: 20 years

Hobbies & Interests: Being Outdoors and Woodworking

Email the Operations Chairman

Parades Chairman Jim VanCise


Jim is a second-year Parades chairman, who oversees Cheyenne Frontier Days™ largest volunteer committee. The Parades Committee produces four Grand Parades, the rodeo’s grand entry, and the Chuckwagon Cook-off. The Parades Committee partners with the Pancake Breakfast security, the W-HEELS organization, the CFD Old West Museum, visiting rodeo royalty, and the CFD ambassadors riding group—The Dandies.

Family: Wife – Nancy; Child – April

Employment: Laramie County Library

Years of CFD Service: 26 years

Hobbies & Interests: Horseback riding and training, Training children in horsemanship

Email the Parades Chairman

Public Relations Chairman Shellie Hardsocg


This is Shellie’s first year as Public Relations (PR) Chairman. The PR Committee provides information to the general public, facilitates media events, and serves as hosts for sponsors, visiting rodeo royalty, and other special guests. Public Relations volunteers help to produce and distribute publications such as the official Cheyenne Frontier Days™ (CFD) Souvenir Program, Schedule of Events, and Media Guide. The PR volunteers also represent CFD at promotional shows and other events throughout the year.  These volunteers also provide photography services to other CFD committees and coordinate social media and other promotions. Public Relations also produce the Behind the Chute Tours during the Celebration. The CFD Western Invitational Art Show is also an arm of the PR Committee.

Family: Husband – Marty; children – Jordan, Seth and Kelsey

Employment: Laramie County School District #1

Years of CFD Service: 30 years

Hobbies & Interests: Baking, Reading, Fishing, Spending time outdoors with family

Email the Public Relations Chairman

Rodeo Chairman Jason Bain


This is Jason’s second year as Rodeo Chairman, his committee oversees all aspects of the nine rodeo performances and slack events. Production activities range from actual rodeo duties done to bring the show to the viewing public; to behind the scenes activities such as contracting with the stock contractors, announcers, bullfighters, clowns, and specialty acts. He works year round with the governing bodies of Rodeo, the PRCA, and WPRA. Other behind the scenes activities include checking in and accounting of the approximately 1,600 contestants, keeping the official results, calculating payoffs, and issuing winnings to contestants. Other areas of responsibility for the committee are the Cowboy Hospitality area, coordinating the annual cattle drive to kick off Frontier days, the finals Calcutta, Night of Champions Award ceremony, working with veterinarians to ensure the care and responsible treatment of all livestock.

Family: Wife – Sheila; Son – Corey Pounds; Grandchildren – Paisley and Melody

Employment: Owner at KLC Automotive Equipment

Years of CFD Service: 16 years

Hobbies and interests: Waterfowl Hunting, Golf, Fishing, Softball and Camping

Email the Rodeo Chairman