Our welcoming and experienced team is happy to help you find the resources, expertise, and connections you need to thrive in the Upstate Colorado community.

Richard Werner | President & CEO

Rich has 11 years of experience in all facets of economic development having most recently worked as Vice President of Pueblo Economic Development Corporation, where he was responsible for all attraction, retention, and expansion activities. Rich has previously served as the Associate Director for the State of Colorado Small Business Development Centers for Former Governors Bill Owens and Bill Ritter. Prior to his appointment by the state, he acted as the Director of Marketing for the Boulder Technology Incubator (CTEK).

A New York native, he has Bachelor of Arts degrees in Political Science and Communications from The American University in Washington DC. Rich enjoys spending time with his bride of ten years and three young children.

Cathy Schulte, CEcD | Senior Vice President

Cathy is a twenty-year employee of Upstate Colorado. She is intimately involved with each of Upstate’s program efforts. She also serves as Administrator of the Greeley/Weld Enterprise Zone.

A native and life-long resident of Colorado, Cathy is a graduate of the University of Northern Colorado, where she earned a degree in journalism. She is a Certified Economic Developer (CEcD) and is a graduate of the Economic Development Institute.

Ray Knapp | Vice President, Finance

Ray is the Vice President of Finance for Upstate, serving as the organization’s CFO and administrator for the Weld/Larimer Business Loan Fund and the Greeley Community Development Fund. A native of Southern California and a transplant from South Dakota, Ray has also lived in New Mexico and Great Britain, and he has been in Greeley since 1991. He has strong family ties to Colorado as his father’s family homesteaded in the Twin Bridges area near Milliken in the mid-1800s but left the area for California during the depression.

After 4 years in the United States Air Force, he attended Antelope Valley Junior College in Lancaster, California. He started his banking career in South Dakota while finishing his degree in business administration from Mount Marty College in Yankton, South Dakota. He worked 38 years in the community banking industry, recently retiring after 22 years of service at First National Bank Greeley, formerly known as Union Colony Bank, specializing in small business financing. He was an active member of the Board of Directors for Longs Peak Council of the Boy Scouts of America, Habitat for Humanity, and Colorado Center for Financial Training. He also served on corporate United Way campaigns and the Development Committee of Weld Food Bank. One of his greatest pleasures over the years was coaching little league baseball in South Dakota and Greeley.

Ray and his wife Judy live in Greeley. His son Paul and his family are also Greeley residents, and his daughter Jynette lives with her family in Frederick, CO. Both his children are UNC graduates, which strengthens the family’s ties to Greeley and Weld County.

Stephanie Moehlenpah | Grant Coordinator

 Stephanie is the Grant Coordinator for Upstate Colorado.  A native Coloradan, Stephanie is a graduate of the University of Colorado-Boulder with a degree in Economics.  Her previous experience includes 9 years in the mortgage business and Account Representative for a mortgage document company.  Stephanie has been with Upstate for a year and a half and enjoys helping the small businesses affected by the floods and wildfires with disaster relief.

Stephanie and her husband, Troy, are active with their twin boys and like spending as much time as possible outdoors.

Rachel Carnes | Community Support Coordinator

Rachel is the Community Support Coordinator, responsible for daily operations, marketing, event support, and investor and program administration. Rachel is a recent graduate from the University of Northern Colorado where she earned both a Bachelors of Arts in Economics and Bachelors of Science in Business Finance.


Nathaniel Liffick  | Spring 2017 Intern

Nathaniel is the Spring intern for Upstate. He is a senior at the University of Northern Colorado, where he is majoring in Economics and a minoring  in Geography/GIS. Nate is originally from Englewood Colorado but grew up in Littleton. Nate not only plays baseball for the club team at the University but he is also the treasurer for the club.