DIXON, Calif. — The Far West Equipment Dealers Assn. brings Joani Woelfel onboard as president and CEO to lead the organization deeply rooted in its commitment to support and advocate for equipment dealers across the western states.  

"Our many stakeholders comprise the backbone of the American economy and our goal is to support and highlight the critical role they play," Woelfel says. "We're building on a solid foundation established by FWEDA leadership and staff to demonstrate value to our members and those who benefit from their services. We strive to be responsive to their needs and assist them in growing their businesses."

Woelfel replaces Steven Kost, who's retiring after more than two decades at the helm of FWEDA, a nonprofit association representing agricultural, industrial, material handling, outdoor power and rental equipment dealers in Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Nevada, Utah and Wyoming, and hardware and lumber dealers in Colorado, Wyoming and Utah. 

"I have some very big shoes to fill," says Woelfel, a Texas native who grew up riding horses amid pecan orchards and chili, corn and cotton crops in the Rio Grande Valley along the Texas-New Mexico border. "And anyone who knows me knows I love cool, stylish shoes, but most of the time you'll find me in cowboy boots." An extended family background in construction and agriculture along with a diverse career path in media and communications, nonprofits, building materials, sales, marketing and management led Woelfel to FWEDA.

"I look forward to being part of an organization with such a rich history and so much to offer its membership," she says.

Woelfel has worked in media and communications in Arizona, Colorado, California, Washington and Germany. She served in PR and communications roles in education and hospitality, and held positions in sales and marketing for the architectural, engineering and construction industry. Woelfel also led a nonprofit trade association in the San Francisco Bay Area, and has served on nonprofit boards including the Girl Scouts of Colorado and the Bay Area's Tyler's Grace Foundation. She has a bachelor's degree in journalism with a minor in English from Arizona State University, and was recently accepted into a project management certification and organizational leadership program through the University of Arizona.