Colleen was born in Minnesota, moving to Rural Central Montana with her family when she was 8 years old. She graduated high school from the tiny town of Judith Gap, Montana, and went on to attend Montana State University. She received her Bachelor of Science in Agronomy with a Soil Science minor in 1990 and currently holds a professional soil science certification in the state of Wyoming. While at Montana State, she was a member of SPURS (Sophomore Women’s Honor Society with emphasis on community service and scholarship), Mortar Board (American National Honor Society for college seniors), and a member of the Alpha Gamma Delta Sorority. After graduation, she worked for the Natural Resource and Conservation Service as a soil scientist and conservationist. She married her husband Elgin in 1990 and resided at the family ranch in central Montana, where she was later involved full time in production agriculture (cattle, sheep, hay and crops).
Colleen and her family moved to Campbell County in 2004, when Elgin obtained a youth pastor position at a Gillette Cowboy Church. They continued their ranching operation, and Colleen obtained a job in the oil and gas industry with a focus on environmental and regulatory management. She remained in that role for 15 years, taking early retirement in December of 2019. While serving in the oil and gas industry, she became the oil and gas representative on the North East Wyoming Sage Grouse Working Group, Petroleum Association of Wyoming’s Reclamation Committee Chairman along with many speaking engagements at statewide events including the Western Governor’s Association Biosecurity Working Lands Roundtable, Wyoming Mining Natural Resource Foundation Invasive Plant Workshop and the University of Wyoming’s Reclamation Symposium. She participated in the American Petroleum Institute’s 2018 State of American Energy Luncheon in Washington, D.C., as well as their ad campaign for the industry. She is a 2018 Wyoming Women of Influence nominee in the Energy and Utility category.
Colleen and her husband Elgin have two grown children and one precious grand-daughter, all residing in Wyoming.