WLS is comprised of a 300+ 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:
LAND MANAGER, ROCKIES DIVISION
Before joining WLS in 2010, Justin worked in the Title Insurance & Escrow business for ten years researching title, writing title commitments/policies, and conducting closings for residential, commercial & agricultural properties. Now managing all operations in the Rockies and surrounding basins, Justin oversees projects involving: Oil & Gas leasing, ROW & SUA acquisitions, title examination, curative, due diligence, and more. Justin is an active member of AAPL, WAPL, DAPL and The Denver Petroleum Club.
APPALACHIAN REGIONAL MANAGER
Ben joined WLS in 2007, performing lease acquisition work in Appalachia. He quickly worked his way up in the organization, becoming Land Records Manager. After four years of managing that department, Ben took on a leadership role in Curative and Due Diligence for continued development. Well versed in Appalachian title and land, he is now area manager for the Canonsburg, PA office. Ben enjoys spending time with family, rooting for his beloved Wisconsin sports teams (Packers, Badgers, Brewers & Bucks), and listening to Reggae music!
MIDWEST REGIONAL MANAGER & PM
Chris joined WLS in 2008. His expertise includes: lease acquisition, title & abstract research, due diligence, curative & operations. He is a Certified Professional Landman with the American Association of Professional Landmen, board member of the Michigan Association of Professional Landman and active member of the Michigan Oil & Gas Association and International Right-of-Way Association. A Taurus, Chris enjoys craft beer, mountain biking, & spending time with family at the beach!
PM: APPALACHIA GIS
Kendra joined WLS in 2011, and over the course of her career has been exposed to all facets of the Land Business as it relates to GIS, Title, Land coordination, ROW, Leasing, Curative, Heirship, and more. Today, she supervises many areas within our GIS Department, providing client support, coaching team members, and building long-term relationships to help understand and respond to changing client needs. Kendra enjoys hiking, SUPing, the beach, Yoga, cooking and drinking wine!
Joe has been with WLS since 2008. He brought 20 years’ experience in negotiating hardwood timber products sales to his first position at WLS which was purchasing leases, and then became an expert in mineral and surface title, working projects in four states. Since then he has successfully managed many right-of-way and leasing projects of all sizes in Pennsylvania. As a senior project manager, his management and negotiating skills expertise has greatly enhanced WLS’ reputation in the industry. Joe enjoys spending time with his wife, family and friends; fishing, hunting, boating, making wine and being Grandpa!
Jonathan joined WLS in 2012 working title abstract for a leasing project in Western Pennsylvania. He has since progressed to managing title teams and has taken leadership roles in many WLS projects. Currently a Project Manager of a major right-of-way project in PA, Jonathan continues to strive for excellence for himself and his team for WLS and for the oil and gas industry. He is certified for Environmental Review and Compliance for Natural Gas Facilities by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. As an avid fisherman and sports fanatic, Jonathan can be found near streams or lakes while proudly wearing one of his Pittsburgh Steelers, Pittsburgh Penguins, or Syracuse Orange hats.
Born and raised in Oklahoma, Colton started his career in the oil and gas industry in 2013. Before joining WLS in 2018, Colton had worked for Barton Land for nearly 4 years, gaining exposure to all facets of the land service industry, including: Title Examination, Seismic Operations, Land Acquisitions, Damage Settlements, Curative, Due Diligence, and more. When Colton is not working, he enjoys spending time with his wife and 2 boys. He also enjoys being outdoors, golfing, fishing and hunting!
PM: SPECIAL PROJECTS
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 wife and three young daughters!
PM: APPALACHIA GIS
Based out of Grand Rapids, MI, Steven joined WLS in 2015 after graduating from Calvin College with a degree in Geography. Steven’s project focus has been in GIS/Mapping support for greenfield leasing, surface operations, pipeline/ROW, and due diligence. Today, he handles many projects within our GIS department including providing client support, webmap development, and cartographic design. With experience in Appalachia, the Rockies, Mid-Con, and Texas, Steven brings a variety of expertise to whatever he does. When not working, Steven enjoys spending time with his wife and young daughter, fishing, traveling, University of Michigan sports, and craft beer. He is an active member of IMAGIN.
PM: CURATIVE & DD
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 for projects nationwide. Now a Curative & Due Diligence team lead, she is helping fuel the growth of Western’s MidCon presence. She is a member of the American Association of Professional Landmen. Marissa enjoys ice fishing, road trips, concerts, and spending time with family & friends!
PM: APPALACHIA GIS
Ryan started with WLS in 2011. Today, Ryan performs GIS work on various prominent pipeline projects across Appalachia and coordinates efforts between land agents, clients, project managers, in-house staff, and survey/construction crews. Ryan’s mapping and project management skillset is all encompassing, supporting large scale pipeline projects from acquiring survey permission to laying pipe in the ground. Ryan enjoys fishing, spending time with friends and family, an occasional cigar, three fingers of bourbon, and reading!
PM: EASTERN US
Dan has been with WLS since 2005. His experience includes lease & ROW acquisition, title, curative, operations, and on the ground leadership. A high level PM, Dan embraces the task of understanding project needs and implementing strategies for a desired result. He is an active member of the American Association of Professional Landmen, and has worked in nine states. He enjoys meeting new people and developing lasting relationships in an ever-changing industry. An avid golfer, Dan rarely travels without his clubs… just in case.
PM: LAND RECORDS
Carol started with WLS in 2008. A veteran processor, Carol has supported projects in various basins, including Appalachia, Michigan, Texas, Rockies, and Pacific Coast. She played a key role with the integration of Western’s billing system and title database. Her responsibilities include acquisition reports, preparing and recording documents, ordering and reviewing title, “processing” packets, creating draft invoices, mailing payments, and curative. Carol enjoys spending time with her children and grandchildren, sewing, reading, snowshoeing, riding motorcycle, and shopping!
Based in OKC, Rick joined WLS in 2018. A University of Oklahoma graduate and a U.S. Army veteran, Rick was previously Land Manager for Rex Energy in the Illinois and Appalachian Basins. He initially oversaw operations for a secondary recovery unit in Illinois, then moved to Pittsburgh, PA in 2013 to manage the development of 200,000 acres in Butler County. A team builder, Rick is dedicated to professionalism, and carries enthusiasm wherever he goes. Rick is a CPL and a member of AAPL, OCAPL, and the Michael Late Benedum Chapter of AAPL. Rick enjoys being active and spending time with his wife and three children!
Based out of Duncan, OK, 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!
James joined WLS through the Barton Land acquisition and began his career in the industry in 2006. Over the years, James has worked the STACK, SCOOP, Marcellus, Utica, Permian, and Antrim, plays, performing open mineral & HBP title, mineral & surface leasing, site acquisition, curative, due diligence, damage negotiations, and project management. He is a member of OCAPL and AAPL. James enjoys spending time with his wife and 5 children (running from one sporting event to another), and is a life-long St. Louis Cardinals and Notre Dame fan!
PM: EASTERN APPALACHIA
Kyle joined WLS in 2011, and started his oil & gas career in 2004. A family trade for 30+ years, Kyle’s parents and brothers are all in the energy business. Kyle has worked in 8 basins across the US and possesses a versatile skillset from acquisition to reclamation and due diligence. He is also fluent with FERC projects. Kyle enjoys spending time with his wife & family. He is also a musician & car enthusiast, spending free time writing, recording and producing music, as well as attending car shows and wrenching on vehicles!
PM: LAND RECORDS
Kristen joined WLS in 2011 and was recently promoted to Land Records Supervisor. She works closely with project managers and clients to ensure data integrity and maximize in-house efficiencies for all projects. Kristen’s background as a team lead on leasing and ROW acquisition projects has helped her master WLS processes, effectively mentor WLS employees, and guide WLS land techs in all aspects of their work. Kristen is always up for an adventure and loves spending time with her friends and family. Outside of work, she enjoys spending time outdoors with her son and her dog, running, and quilting.
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.
Based out of Oklahoma City, OK, Stacy has been in the land business and with WLS since 2008. He has worked primarily on full development surface operations, ROW, renewable energy and integrity projects in the Fayetteville, Appalachia, and Mid-Con regions. When work is over, Stacy enjoys fishing and spending time with his wife, kids and three grandsons on their family farm.
PM: ROCKIES DIVISION
Growing up in the Powder River Basin, Duke has experience in multiple sectors of the energy field covering oil, natural gas, uranium and coal. Duke was introduced to the industry in 1999, through an internship with K/N Energy, that later developed into a position at Kinder Morgan. Over the years, Duke has worked across WY, CO, UT and MT, managing leasing, surface operations, title, and due diligence projects. With strong BLM and State Land experience, Duke has a proven track record of effective well site location development on government properties. Client and landowner relations is his specialty, and as a result, he has acquired an impressive amount of acreage over the course of his career. Duke is a family man, a landscape painter and an avid fisherman currently based out of Denver, CO.
Emily Koch has been with WLS since 2010. Emily quickly worked her way up in the organization’s Appalachia title department. After spending five years as title/abstract team lead followed by Project Management, where she worked directly with clients and managed teams performing due diligence, lease title, abstracting, leasing, surface operations, take-offs and curative simultaneously. Emily currently finds herself, based in our Canonsburg office, where she oversees all Appalachia title projects for WLS since 2015. Emily brings to this role a wealth of experience and knowledge working with various clients while overseeing projects throughout Appalachia. Emily has a B.A. degree from Michigan State University and is an active member of AAPL and NALA.