News and Events

Ucross Appoints Two New Board Members Steve Farris and Deborah Koehler

Ucross, Wyoming – (February 11, 2019) – Ucross is pleased to announce the addition of two new members to its Board of Trustees: Steve Farris of Ucross, Wyoming and Houston, Texas, and Deborah Koehler, also of Houston, Texas.

Farris and Koehler bring to Ucross a breadth of talent and expertise at the national level, as well as a long-time involvement with the organization.

“We are extremely honored to have Steve and Deborah join our board,” said Ucross President Sharon Dynak.“Their work and their appreciation for Wyoming reflect an important connection to our history. Both worked closely with our late founder, Raymond Plank, and their commitment to Ucross underscores the board’s goal to continue developing his vision into the future.”  

Farris served as chairman and chief executive officer of Apache Corporation, an oil and natural gas exploration and production company with operations in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom sector of the North Sea, Egypt, and Australia. He joined Apache in 1988 as vice president of domestic exploration and production, and served in various positions before being named chairman in 2009 upon the retirement of Raymond Plank, Apache’s founder. Prior to joining Apache, Farris worked in numerous executive roles at Terra Resources and Robert W. Berry, Inc., and with Deloitte, Haskins & Sells as a Certified Public Accountant. He is a board member of Harbour Energy Ltd., Chrysaor Energy, Sabine Oil and Gas Corporation, serves on the Development Committee of the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center Board of Visitors, and is a former board member of the Fund for Teachers. He holds bachelor’s degrees in history and accounting from Oklahoma State University. He has had a home in Ucross for many years.

Koehler has been involved with Ucross since 2006. She is responsible for continuing the philanthropic vision and direction of Raymond Plank, for whom she served as principal executive after his retirement from Apache Corporation. In addition to numerous other charitable activities and responsibilities, Koehler is executive director of the Raymond N. Plank Foundation, overseeing portfolio management and grant allocation. The Foundation’s most recent support of Ucross has included major grants for the inaugural Ucross Gala in New York City, and funding of the 2018 Community Christmas Celebration in the Park at Ucross.  Koehler lives in Houston, spends significant time in Santa Fe, New Mexico and Ucross, and has traveled the world extensively. Prior to joining Mr. Plank at Apache in 2006, Koehler had a successful twenty-year career in healthcare management in the Houston area.

The Ucross board of trustees also includes Jim Nelson, Chair (Big Horn, WY), Charles Alsdorf (New York City), Kim Cannon (Big Horn, WY), Bill Gilbert (Albuquerque, NM), Michael Hammer (Jackson, WY), Charlie Hart (Big Horn, WY), Lisa Hatchadoorian (Ft. Collins, CO), Steve Jimenez (Santa Fe, NM), Dorie McCullough Lawson (Sheridan, WY), Jesse Marion (Houston, TX), Susan Miller (Sheridan, WY), Teri Rueb (Boulder, CO), and Kate Schutt (New York, NY).

About Ucross

Located in northeast Wyoming in the foothills of the Bighorn Mountains, Ucross fosters the creative spirit of deeply committed artists and groups by providing uninterrupted time, studio space, living accommodations, and the experience of the majestic High Plains, while serving as a responsible steward of its 20,000-acre ranch. Residencies are awarded to nearly one hundred artists each year. Ten artists are in residence at one time, typically a mix of four visual artists, four writers and two composers.

Since its establishment in 1981, Ucross has provided over 2,000 residencies to writers, visual artists, and composers, including such distinguished fellows as Annie Proulx, Terry Tempest Williams, Colson Whitehead, Elizabeth Gilbert, Ann Patchett, Ricky Ian Gordon, Bill Morrison, Theaster Gates, Anthony Hernandez, Academy Award and Tony winners Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, and recent National Book Award winner Sigrid Nunez. National partners of Ucross include the Sundance Institute Theatre Program, the Herb Alpert Award in the Arts, the Whiting Foundation, the Alliance of Artist Communities, and the PEN/Hemingway Award for Debut Novel.  The Ucross Foundation Art Gallery is a significant cultural resource for surrounding communities and beyond. For further information, visit

Ucross Foundation
Carly Fraysier | | 307.737.2291
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