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WLS is comprised of a 400+ workforce, scattered throughout the nation, with diverse experience, knowledge, and skillsets. Amidst the diversity, they share a common client-centric attitude, with a natural emphasis on responsiveness, professionalism, and attention to client specific needs. Having a large pool to draw from, we strategically allocate the right people, the appropriate resources, and the necessary experience to each and every project to deliver our best in class promise. Each team member is trained to implement cost effective strategies in relation to the parameters you set forth. Our team realizes that their success can only come from your success – you can rely on them to perform to the utmost potential for successful project completion.

Meet some of the people who work to bring Land, Energy, and People together on a daily basis for WLS:

Steve Zmek


Accomplished Project Director and Landman, Steve joined WLS in January 2022. He has over 18 years of comprehensive experience in title, curative, due diligence, acquisitions, divestitures, mergers, ROW, and project management in the oil and gas and renewable sectors of the energy industry. Steve began his career at Chesapeake Energy Corporation (CHK), a publicly traded energy company headquartered in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, where he worked as a Business Development & Exploration landman for 16.5 years. He has a wealth of transaction and title experience having worked in nearly every major oil and gas basin across the country and being directly involved in over $13 Billion of acquisitions, divestitures, and merger transactions. In his early tenure at WLS, Steve has been responsible for establishing an environmental regulatory compliance service and identifying new business opportunities for our clients.



Grant joined WLS in 2011. Since then, he has carried out a variety of land work, including large and small leasing projects in basins from Appalachia to Alaska, as well as ROW acquisition for several large FERC regulated pipeline projects. Grant is recognized for his strong work ethic, keen ability to produce results, and tenacity to see a job through. When not working, Grant enjoys photography, flannel shirts, and spending time with his three young daughters!

Brant Gossett


Brant joined WLS in 2022 as the GIS manager. He graduated from Texas State University with a bachelor’s degree in Geographic Information Science. He has over 10 years’ experience in the oil and gas service industry, implementing GIS technologies. Brant began his career at Dawson Geophysical Company, as a GIS Analyst, and eventually moved his way up to Geomatics Manager, where he oversaw the GIS team and Survey Crews. He has a strong passion for GIS and enjoys finding new ways to show the value of a map. He is responsible for leading the GIS team, mentoring, and engaging anywhere GIS support is needed. Outside of work, Brant enjoys being outdoors and spending time with his wife and 3 kids!

marissa granger


Marissa started with WLS in 2013 and received her bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University. Marissa’s expertise includes title, abstracting, curative, heirship, and due diligence nationwide. Now a Title Project Manager, she is helping fuel the growth of Western’s Northern Central Region presence. Marissa enjoys ice fishing, road trips, concerts, and spending time with her fiancé, children, family, and friends.

josh gately


Josh has been in the land business since 2010. Over the course of his career, Josh has performed extensive mineral and WI title throughout Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas. He has also managed and participated in multiple due diligence and leasing projects. Currently, Josh heads up Western Land’s OCC efforts, maintaining strong relationships with the OCC and various law firms in the area. To date, he has provided expert testimony on over 1300 cases at the Oklahoma Corporation Commission. Free time is enjoyed by spending time with his wife and three boys!



Renee joined WLS in 2014 and has over 15 years of experience examining title. Her continued growth within WLS has allowed her to serve as Title Examiner, Team Lead and Mentor on Oil and Gas, Right of Way, and Commercial Real Estate Projects. She is currently the Project Manager for Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, and all New England for WLS Eastern Division of Commercial Real Estate. Outside of work Renee enjoys spending time with her family and friends, hiking, yoga and reading.



Sarah started with WLS in 2011 and has gained diversified experience through various positions in the GIS, Lease Processing, BPO and Commitment Departments. In March of 2022 she took on her current role as Supervisor of the Commitment Department. Sarah has a strong work ethic and strives for quality excellence in meeting our clients’ title commitment needs. Prior to joining our team, Sarah received a bachelor’s degree from Ohio University and lived and worked in Mexico for 5 years. Outside of work, Sarah loves spending time with her husband and two sons. When northern Michigan weather allows, she enjoys hiking, camping, and relaxing at the beach.



Brian began his career in the land industry in 2011. Over the course of his career, Brian has worked the STACK, SCOOP, and Bakken plays, performing a myriad of tasks including mineral, WI & HBP title, leasing, curative, due diligence, and project management. Brian joined WLS in 2021, and currently serves as a Commercial Real Estate and Renewables Project Manager with experience in the Southeast and Western U.S. divisions. In his spare time, he enjoys traveling, hiking, cooking, and spending time with his family and friends.



Andrew has been with WLS since 2021. With over 15 years of industry experience across numerous oil and gas basins, he brings a wide knowledge base to be able to WLS. He has been a Certified Professional Landman designation since 2016. Outside of work, Andrew enjoys playing golf and spending time with his wife and 4 kids.



Sean joined the WLS team in July 2014 after receiving a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Ferris State University and serving in the United States Navy. While working for WLS Sean has held a variety of positions in the Title and Abstracting department including Reviewer, Field Examiner, Project Coordinator and Project Manager. In this time Sean has expanded his experience working throughout the Appalachia region and Eastern United States, working in 70+ counties and 10+ states. Sean has performed extensive title work for Oil and Gas, Solar, Hydro, Commercial Real Estate, Coal, and Timber. Outside of work Sean is an avid sports fan, enjoys the outdoors, spending time with his dog, his friends, and his family!



Clayton joined WLS in 2022. Bringing over a decade of experience in all aspects of land, he is well versed in complex mineral title, commercial title, curative, and due diligence. He currently plays a role in WLS’s further development of the Commercial Real Estate space in the Western region of the United States. Mr. Cook graduated from the University of Nevada – Las Vegas with a Bachelor’s in Communication, he is a Registered Professional Landman with the AAPL and is a certified FAA UAS Part 107 remote pilot. In his spare time he enjoys spending time with his wife and two dogs, usually telling bad jokes and enjoying the outdoors.



Lindsey joined the Western Team in August 2011. She specializes in administrative technology, enforces best practices and processes across our national title operations, and manages the Title Administration Team responsible for client communications and project coordination across the Commercial Real Estate Division. Lindsey has a very well-rounded understanding of the title, real estate, and energy industries, having worked in a wide range of capacities for over 17+ years: Title Examiner, Title Reviewer, Document Processor, Team Lead, Agency Manager. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Ferris State University in 2005, currently resides in Ludington, MI, and in her free time, enjoys spending time with her family, being outdoors, baking, crafting, and shopping.



Julia began her career with WLS in 2013 in the Appalachia region. In her tenure with WLS as a Title Examiner, Team Lead, and Project Manager, she has obtained extensive knowledge of the title industry and performed complex title work for oil, gas, and coal (Appalachian region), renewables including solar and wind, commercial, timber, and right of way. In 2020, she took the leap into WLS’s newly emerging Commercial Real Estate division as a Project Manager and oversaw the Eastern Region’s exponential growth over the succeeding years. She currently serves as the Project Director of the Eastern Region, leading a team of Project Managers and Title Examiners that performs a variety of title projects for WLS’s clients in the Renewable and Commercial spaces. She possesses a Bachelor of Arts degree in History from the University of Pittsburgh, a Master of Arts in Art History from Ohio University, and a Master of Library and Information Science from the University of Pittsburgh. In her free time, Julia enjoys spending time and traveling with her husband, cooking, reading, and biking.



Kyle began his career at WLS in 2021 in the Commercial Real Estate division as a Title Examiner, quickly transitioning into a Project Coordinator role. He is now helping develop and manage Westerns Special Projects – Timber division. Kyle has 11+ years of experience in the land industry in Oklahoma and the surrounding states. He now manages timber acquisition projects across the continental U.S. In his personal life, Kyle is a husband and father to two sons. In his spare time, he enjoys cooking and snowboarding.



Victoria joined Western Land Services in 2021. She has over 23 years of experience spanning nationwide abstract, curative examination, lease negotiation and surface acquisition. She began her career working in Dallas Texas directly with Underwriters to keep transactions within risk tolerances and later focused on determining exposure of various Underwriters for processed claims. She spent 12 years in the Oil Exploration and the Right of Way Field traveling the Nation and was found working in various areas of design, acquisition and finally construction stages of a project. She is an active member of the St. Louis IRWA Chapter. Victoria currently serves as Project Manager of the Central and Southeast Region in the Commercial Real Estate Division of WLS. She leads a team of who perform both surface and subsurface title projects for Renewable and Commercial Companies across 11 States. During her spare time, you can find Victoria reading a book, deep sea fishing, visiting her home State of Texas or relaxing with her husband and daughters.



Becca Tsai joined the Western team in 2014, rising in the ranks from title reviewer to project manager in both the oil and gas and commercial real estate divisions. She was integral in the expansion of Western’s CRE team from its inception, growing the eastern division in PA, NY, and NJ during 2019-2022 and expanding into title management for solar developments and wind farms. She currently works out of our Canonsburg office, managing simultaneous oil and gas projects for multiple clients. Prior to joining Western, she worked as an attorney in Michigan practicing title insurance defense and estate planning and as a legal analyst for the Lansing Board of Water and Light.



Jesse Ryan attended college at Southern Nazarene University in Oklahoma City and graduated with a Master’s Degree in Business. Over the past 25 years, he has worked in the Oil and Gas Industry, Real Estate, Abstracting, Law and recently in renewables. Jesse began his career in Oil and Gas working as a landman in the early 1990’s. Soon after, he received his real estate license working for Century 21. Subsequently, Jesse worked in the Litigation Department at the Oklahoma Attorney General’s office as a litigation support specialist for seven years. He then received his abstractor’s license and worked for First American Title as an abstractor. Jesse continued working in Oil and Gas until 2017. In 2017 he worked for the Cleveland County Clerk in various capacities from Project Manager, to Payroll and bookkeeping. In April 2022, Jesse joined Western Land Services as a Project Manager overseeing Solar and Battery storage projects.



Emily Whitfield joined WLS in 2022 in the Renewables Division, and brings both her experience and her legal background to benefit the projects she runs for the company. Prior to her work as PM with WLS, Emily worked for ten years in the oil and gas industry, writing title opinions, performing curative work, title and acquisition. Emily passed the bar exam in 2012. When not at work, Emily enjoys her two amazing children, and loves to bake and decorate baked goods.



Matt joined Western Land Services in 2022 as a member of the Commercial Real Estate division working in the Western Region. He brings over 10 years of due diligence, curative and leasing experience across the energy and right of way sectors. Matt is a proud graduate of the University of Oklahoma where he received his bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Film. Outside of work he enjoys watching movies and spending time with his friends, family and dogs, Leonidas & Arya Bark.



Tre’ joined WLS in 2018 as a member of the Title Division. He has over 15 years of experience in the land industry, working on projects in Oklahoma, Texas, Kansas, Arkansas, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. Since 2020, Tre’ has helped develop and oversee the Commercial Real Estate division’s ALTA Survey and Title Commitment quality control and review, working closely with Clients that range from solar/wind companies to gas stations and convenience stores. Outside of work, Tre’ enjoys music and spending time with his wife and son.



Chalo Mendez has worked at WLS since August 2011, starting in GIS, in almost every role in the BPO department, and training many processors along the way. Chalo brings that background to the benefit of the team, and company, as he manages the BPO department and projects. Chalo has been able to use his wide experience and education to develop and implement strategic processes for his team and create efficiencies for his projects. In his downtime, Chalo enjoys time with his wife Sarah, and sons, Patrick and Abram; coaches soccer for his kids’ team; devotes time to community involvement; and spends quality time around the bonfire with family and friends.



Dan joined WLS in April of 2021 as a Project Manager. Dan had previously been contracted to Western on various oil and gas title and abstracting projects throughout PA, OH, and WV. He went to undergrad at Penn State University and stayed for law school, graduating from Penn State University Dickinson School of Law in 2011 and is an active member of the Pennsylvania Bar Association. He has over 12 years of experience in the oil and gas industry running title, leasing, due diligence, curative, heirship, and project management. Dan currently manages oil and gas projects in Ohio. He is a member of the AAPL. When not working, Dan enjoys spending time with his wife and two kids and playing and watching sports- especially the Philadelphia based teams where he grew up.

Sam jennings


Sam Jennings is a Certified Professional Landman with over 15 years of experience in title abstracting and land management. He has been recognized by the Oklahoma Corporation Commission as an expert in petroleum land management. He has proposed and managed land objectives for dozens of wells in Oklahoma and has extensive title, leasehold acquisition, and regulatory experience. Before joining Western Land Services in 2023, he worked as a Landman at Journey Oil and Gas, as a Consulting Landman at Energen Resources Corporation and as Land Manager for Drovers’ Trail Land Company. He specializes in drill schedule land management and uncovering challenging acquisition targets to facilitate strategic operating positions. Sam graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from the University of Central Oklahoma and is a Certified Professional Landman through the American Association of Professional Landmen. In his free time, he loves spending time with his wife and two boys, enjoys a game of chess, working on steel projects and cars.



Stephen has enjoyed an extensive career as a Field, In-House, A&D, Legal and E&P Landman. His time with Chesapeake Energy is most significant for the volume and caliber of the work he performed and managed during that 14-year period. He continues his career managing Land and Environmental projects requiring his expertise and the resources only available from a national company such as Western. He favors the Mid-Continent, but has managed projects in various parts of the Mid and Southern US. For leisure, Stephen enjoys family time, golf and travel whenever possible.



Lauren joined the Western team in 2021, bringing 15 years of O&G land, title, due diligence, and A&D experience to Western’s Oil & Gas Division. She has since moved to the Renewables Curative team, where she has successfully transitioned her skills to numerous land curative projects for wind and solar development companies across the country. Lauren strives to understand each client’s unique needs, fostering effective communication while delivering accurate and timely results to our clients. Outside of work, Lauren enjoys traveling, outdoor activities and fun with family and friends.



Aaron Barnes came to join WLS in 2021. He grew up in an Oil & Gas family and then acquired 21 years of experience in pretty much every aspect of the business, with his last 2 years at WLS being spent in the Southeastern and now Western region of the Commercial Real Estate & Renewables divisions. He has experience in complex HBP title, leasing, curative, due diligence, regulatory commission work and project management in either Oil & Gas and/or CRE in over 20 different states. Aaron looks forward to any opportunity he gets to go snow skiing and his other hobbies include bikepacking and playing his guitar, saxophone and piano.

james thompson


James Thompson started his career as a landman in 2006 in the Anadarko basin. During his career, he gained experience in all facets of land work, including extensive surface, subsurface title and due diligence as well as negotiating leases & agreements in the O&G and Renewable sectors. James joined WLS in 2018 as a Project Manager in our Oil & Gas division. In 2020, James joined our Renewable Division as a Project Manager and was quickly promoted to Project Director. Today, James is a Project Director in our Commercial Real Estate Division. James specializes in utilizing his skills to develop Project Managers and effectively manage all aspects of our clients’ projects. When he is not working, you will usually find him at an E-sports match, baseball/softball field, or volleyball court coaching or cheering on his five children with his wife.

tim dekorte


Tim started with WLS in 2017 and received his Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies & Sustainability from Northern Michigan University. Since then, his work experience has included a variety of land work involving title, GIS, ROW acquisition, Oil & Gas land acquisition, spanning from Oklahoma to eastern Appalachia. 

Tim has transitioned his passion for land work into the renewable energy sector where he has leased land for utility scale solar projects and battery storage. Outside of work, he enjoys spending time with friends and family, going skiing, and watching Red Wings hockey!


wayne gill


Wayne started his interest with oil and gas back in the early 1970’s doing shallow well production in Southern Kentucky with his Father. After a long successful career in sales that interest never left. He started with WLS in January of 2012.  As a result of the passion felt,  Wayne has successfully procured thousands of leases for our clients. This has ranged from Oil & Gas land acquisition to securing right of way for pipelines. Including but not limited to gas, oil, water, and transmission lines. Many of these being projects that were either under the guidelines of FERC or working within the constraints of gas storage fields. As our Industry transitioned to adjust for renewable opportunities so did he. He has gained  site control for solar, wind and battery storage within PJM ,MISO, SPP and ISIO-NE consisting of over 3.5 million MW in the past three years. Having Coached High School Athletics for over 25 years, watching his Grandchildren compete is extremely special. He Loves collector cars, hunting and family time.


Jake Mcneil


Jake joined WLS in 2018. He received his bachelor’s degree from Texas A&M University and has over 9 years of comprehensive experience in title, curative, due diligence, leasing, and project management in the oil and gas and renewable sectors of the energy industry. Jake is now working in the Commercial Real Estate division of the company and is responsible for overseeing all commercial title services projects in the Western region of the U.S. Jake is an avid Texas A&M football fan and enjoys playing golf with his friends or family.


Brian West


Brian joined WLS in 2021 managing Title projects in the Commercial Real Estate and Renewable Energy divisions of the company. Brian has 11+ years of experience in the land industry with over 8 years of that time being spent in a management role working on a variety of title, leasing and due diligence projects. Coming in with experience in Oklahoma and its surrounding states, along with multiple Appalachian states, Brian now oversees projects covering the majority of the Western U. S. In his spare time, Brian is an avid musician and outdoorsman who enjoys having cookouts and spending time with his friends and family.



A native Oklahoman and graduate of the University of Oklahoma, Jaime has over 10 years of experience in the oil and gas industry, and joined WLS in 2021. While Jaime started his career in Appalachia, he has since gained extensive knowledge in almost every major basin, with a focus on the Permian and Anadarko. He has managed numerous title, leasing, HBP, and curative projects, including due diligence for transactions valued between $4 million and $3.5 billion. His well-rounded understanding of the industry and breadth of experience allows him to determine the most efficient approach to projects and deliver timely, accurate results to his clients. Jaime is a Certified Professional Landman, as well as a member of the AAPL and OCAPL.

mat dailey


Residing in NE Pennsylvania, Mat brings 11+ years of industry experience to the WLS team. An experienced project manager, he has spanned the country from Texas, to Wyoming, to Appalachia, leading acquisition, title, and due diligence projects, among others. Getting his start in Texas as a turboCAD mapper, Mat has developed into a versatile project manager, ready to tackle any project. He is an active member of AAPL. Mat enjoys the outdoors —hunting and fishing with his kids, coaching little league baseball, running, and golfing.