Celebrating Shay Howlin

Twenty-five years ago, Shay joined WEST as a statistician at the same time we opened the second ever brick-and-mortar office in Laramie, Wyoming. Joining the WEST team of four statisticians and six biologists was the perfect fit, combining her two chosen disciplines of statistics and wildlife ecology. Today WEST employs more than 40 statisticians, analysts and data scientists, along with more than 500 biologists and other professionals and continues to emphasize analytical and data driven methods when developing solutions to the natural resource challenges of our clients.  

Shay’s contribution to this growth focused on the internal teams and strategies that make WEST a high performing company. Implementing a continuous improvement mindset for the services teams and spearheading the first training and quality programs. Shay help craft the current standards WEST uses to ensure high quality deliverables for our clients. Her longevity helps leverage knowledge of project lifecycles and relationships with our leaders to ensure internal processes are appropriately keeping pace with growth.  

Shay became a Board member in 2015 and has since become the first President of the Board to succeed our founders, Lyman McDonald and Dale Strickland. As President, Shay continues to focus on structural and policy level adaptations needed to embrace the modern workforce and sustain company growth. “I really see my value to WEST as my collaborative spirit and drive to find the balance between WEST’s past and our future.”. She has been a strong advocate for inclusive leadership and ensuring WEST’s culture helps create a sense of belonging for all employees.  

The simple answer Shay gives when asked why she has stayed with WEST for 25 years?    

“The people at WEST and their contributions to science”.