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

Richard Werner | President & CEO

Rich has 13 years of experience in all facets of economic development having most recently joined Upstate in 2015 as President & CEO. Prior to Upstate Rich worked as VP at the 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 Governor 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 trying to ski and golf but his favorite activities center around spending time with his bride of 12 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.

Heather Ekre | Operation Manager

Heather is responsible managing day-to-day activities, overseeing marketing, event coordinator, investor relations support, and program administration. Her previous experience includes 5 1/2 years of fundraising and development in the non-profit sector. Heather is a certified Service Excellence Advisor, giving extra time to training and developing fellow staff members in customer service excellence.

Heather, her husband Bronson, and their two children have lived in Colorado since August of 2017. She balances her professional career and family by engaging in local activities, hiking, and getting outdoors. When not working she enjoys building home décor pieces, spending time with her family, trying to local restaurants, and Netflix. Heather’s core values are based on religious beliefs, hard work, cooperation, and respect. Her beliefs are deeply rooted in family values and loyalty. She enjoys helping wherever needed, both at work and the community.


Cameron Morford  |

Cameron is a senior at the University of Northern Colorado, where he is majoring in Business Economics and a minor in Geography/GIS. Cameron is originally from Longmont, Colorado.