It’s been said that when one door closes, another one opens. This is true in life, in love, and in career paths. Williams, Porter, Day, and Neville are proud to announce that their partner, Kyle Ridgeway, has accepted a position with Wyoming Financial Group (WERCS) as the company’s Chief Operating Officer (COO). While the WPDN family will miss Kyle and all of the talent, drive, and client care that he brought to the table, they could not be prouder of him. Nobody is more deserving of this opportunity than he is.
Kyle’s relationship with Wyoming Financial Group goes back several years, as they have been clients of his during his time at WPDN.
“I’ve represented Wyoming Financial Group for a number of years,” Ridgeway stated. “They were looking at succession planning and Bob Moberly asked me to come in to be his successor and work with him for a couple of years. With my background in doing all of their corporate work, and with my background in merger and acquisition work, it made a lot of sense on my part to work with them. They’re a Wyoming proud private equity group and they work to keep Wyoming businesses Wyoming owned, and they do lots of transactions to try and diversify Wyoming’s economy and reinvest money locally. They saw a role for me in that and I was incredibly honored.”
Ridgeway said that the offer was completely unexpected.
“I don’t quite know how I feel yet, to be honest,” Ridgeway laughed. “I haven’t gotten outside of the forest to think about the trees too much. There’s a mix of emotions. It’s exciting, it’s overwhelming, it’s scary, it’s cool and kind of unbelievable, all at the same time. It means a lot to me that they would trust me and feel confident that I have the skill sets to do the job.”
Ridgeway might be surprised that Wyoming Financial Group thought he was the right man for the job, but the news didn’t shock any of his clients, nor co-workers. From the moment he walked through the doors of WPDN seven years ago, he has been one of the firm’s most reliable, client-focused attorneys the firm has had the privilege of working with. From corporate and business planning to transactions and litigation, Ridgeway has more than proven himself as a force to be reckoned with in the world of corporate law, which makes him the perfect fit for Wyoming Financial Group.
“They have a couple of different subsidiary companies that are wholly owned. Part of what they have established is what I’ve been calling the ‘307 First Fund.’ It’s a pool of money that’s supposed to help small business owners with legacy capital. So if we have a business that’s important to Casper or to Wyoming and the owners are getting to retirement age and they don’t have anybody to buy them out, or if the kids are involved in the business but don’t have the money…when you get to the point that all of your net worth is in a business, and you want to retire, how do you get that out? We’re able to do things that banks can’t do, by stepping in with our corporate structure to merge with them or help them finance the transition so we can protect these companies from getting vultured by out-of-state entities who come in and gut everybody and move them to Denver, Salt Lake, or elsewhere.” Ridgeway explained that it also has a non-profit arm he will be involved in called “307 First” which promotes and highlights local businesses and how to increase Wyoming’s economic base by encouraging more local business activity (https://www.307first.com).
He continued, stating that, “That’s the mission. And it’s really exciting for me, to grow up here, to do this kind of work in my hometown and use my skillsets as an attorney, as well as my business background. It’s a pretty cool opportunity.”
It’s an opportunity that is well deserved. Ridgeway’s last day with WPDN will be June 30th. Before he leaves the firm completely, he wanted to make sure that each and every one of his clients knew of his plans and were transitioned to other extremely capable attorneys at WPDN, all of whom are excited to maintain the standard of excellence his clients have grown accustomed to.
Ridgeway’s areas of practice include corporate and business planning, transactions and litigation, employment law and compliance, insurance defense and coverage, and trusts and estates. Clients who are still involved with active cases have been notified by Ridgeway and he has transitioned those clients to attorney’s within the firm whom he felt would best be able to serve them. Those clients, like his colleagues, are happy for Ridgeway as he begins this new journey and they know they are in good hands. Ridgeway made sure of it himself.
“I worked for WPDN for seven years,” he said. “There’s a reason for that. I respect every single person in that place. I think it is a fantastic group of lawyers. They care about their clients. They’re fair in how they bill, they know the community, I’ve made many great relationships with the attorneys there and I have full confidence that the firm can continue to service my clients at the utmost level of excellence that an attorney/client relationship can have.”
Ridgeway has spent many years trying to better his community. He is the President of the Healthy Birth and Infant Brains Foundation, whose mission is to improve birth outcomes for pregnant women in Wyoming. He is also on the Board of Directors of the Mercer Family Resource Center, which provides education, counseling, and prevention services for youth and families. He has done extraordinary Pro Bono work and this newest career path combines his expertise, experience, knowledge, and skillset with his heart. And that, for Ridgeway, is the literal dream job.
“I feel very honored and very lucky to have this opportunity,” Ridgeway stated. “I want to take full advantage of it because I care about my community. I care about the state where I grew up and I want to do good things and work with good people to do some things that I wouldn’t have been able to do as an attorney.”
WPDN will miss Kyle but they are so proud to see where this journey takes him, and they wish him nothing but the best. WPDN has known for seven years what an asset Kyle is, and they are excited for Wyoming Financial Group to find out that very same thing.
Because when one door opens…