Welcome New Board Members, Hap & David!

January 1, 1970

Hap Ridgway was born and raised in Cody. He graduated from Cody High School and went on to Dartmouth College, followed by a two-year tour in the Army before completing a Masters in International Affairs at Columbia University.

His parents purchased a homestead in Sunlight Valley and in 1957 started Elk Creek Ranch, a ranch and wilderness program for teenagers. Hap started out as the “kitchen boy” and worked his way up to manage the operation in the 1970’s. He paired his summer ranch work with a career in schools–teaching, serving as the assistant headmaster at Kimball Union Academy in New Hampshire, and finishing his career as the headmaster of Berwick Academy in Maine.

His spouse Susan was equally passionate about ranch and school life and about working with teenagers. They ran Elk Creek together for two decades and then supported their nieces and later their four children as they took over the reins at the ranch handling the ranch correspondence and accounting and feeding horses during the winter. Hap now continues at the ranch enjoying the work with teenagers in the summer and the mountain country of Northwest Wyoming.

David Beckett has over 25 years of legal experience – 15 years in private practice and 10 years as general counsel of both public and private companies. In addition, David has 10 years of investment banking/finance experience.

“I grew up in Fort Myers, Florida – then just a small town in southwest Florida – in a house next to my grandparents. While my father ran one of the businesses established by my grandfather, my grandfather had the time to instill in me the love of the outdoors and a passion for sports. He introduced me to the game of golf when I was 10 years old, and I continued to play golf competitively through college.

In 2009, I moved to Cody to be with my wife, Laura Bell, three Australian Shepherds, and five horses.  I embrace the notion of life-long learning and reading, birding, growing hay, and riding horses.