WLS is comprised of a 250+ 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
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.
PM: Special Projects
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!
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!
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!
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.
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: 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!
Ryan started with WLS in 2011. Starting in our GIS department, Ryan worked on a variety of prominent pipeline projects across Appalachia coordinating efforts between land agents, clients, project managers, and survey/construction crews. Ryan has since branched out to managing multiple solar and electric transmission projects for our renewable’s team. Ryan’s success has been attributed to having an all-encompassing skillset which includes combining spatial analysis with managing client expectations and goals. In his free time, Ryan enjoys fishing, an occasional cigar, cooking, spending time with friends and family, and reading.
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 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!
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.
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.