PRCA names Glause as CEO
Colorado Springs, Colo. – On Oct. 8, the Professional Rodeo Cowboy Association (PRCA) named Tom Glause the new chief executive officer (CEO).
A Nebraska native, Glause grew up in the Sandhills and graduated from high school in Oshkosh, Neb. After graduating as a high school state champion bronc rider, Glause followed his brother and sister to Casper College in 1980.
“Dale Stiles had a really strong rodeo program there at Casper College,” he explained. “I went to Casper, got my associate degree in business and never left Wyoming.”
After transferring to the University of Wyoming (UW) on a rodeo scholarship, Glause finished his bachelor’s degree in accounting and went straight into law school at UW. In 1987, he graduated with a Juris Doctor – an education completed while rodeoing throughout college and law school.
The newly appointed CEO has rich ties to the rodeo industry. He shares, “I’ve been active with rodeo my whole life.”
Post-graduation, Glause took his first position in the prosecuting office in Newcastle as a deputy county and prosecuting attorney. After his son, Seth, was born, the Glause family moved to Rock Springs where Glause eventually started his private practice in 1990.
“I had my own practice, and for over six years, was the municipal court judge in Rock Springs,” Glause said.
In 2011, Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead appointed Glause to the State Board of Equalization.
“During his second term, Gov. Mead appointed me as the Insurance Commissioner and Gov. Mark Gordon re-appointed me as insurance commissioner when he was elected,” Glause shared. “I served as insurance commissioner until May of 2019 when I then went to work for the PRCA as the director of rodeo administration and the chief operating officer.”
In addition to being heavily involved with law, Glause continued to be involved with rodeo. While in Rock Springs, Glause worked with several groups to put on roping jackpots and took his son Seth to many junior and high school rodeos throughout Wyoming.
“I was the Mountain States Circuit president for six years, from 2009-2014, and served on the Cheyenne Frontier Days Board for five years,” Glause said.
In addition, Glause’s son, Seth, qualified for the National Finals Rodeo four times – 2008 and 2010-12.
Glause shared he wouldn’t have these accomplishments under his belt without an amazing support system. He credits his mother, Marilyn, for pushing him to follow his dreams of becoming a lawyer.
“My mother was a big influence on me,” Glause said. “She was an educator and taught school for over 40 years. At a pretty early age, I told her I thought I wanted to be a lawyer.”
He continued, “She was supportive of me and of rodeoing, but ultimately always encouraged me to keep focused on my education and my goals. I give my mother a lot of credit for encouraging and supporting me.”
Glause mentioned juggling school and rodeo was not always easy.
“It was tough – trying to rodeo, be gone on the weekends, and be ready for class at eight o’clock Monday morning,” Glause said. “They didn’t necessarily go hand-in-hand. It was a big commitment to do both.”
Throughout his life, even after law school, Glause continued to rodeo until both schedules became overwhelming and difficult to try to maintain both disciplines. Today, his focus is solely on bettering the sport of rodeo.
When Glause discusses the difference between his former and current roles, he shared he’s still wearing both hats.
One of Glause’s first priorities will be naming a director of rodeo administration.
Glause shared, “The director of rodeo administration serves as the secretary of the association and handles all things that happen in the arena.”
He explained the position is involved in approvals, assigning judges, drawing stock, publishing the rodeos, taking entries for the rodeo, and placing contestants, all the way through to paying out the rodeo. Additionally, the role focuses on membership requirements and servicing the membership.
Focus within CEO position
“My focus will be on customer service,” Glause said. “This is not only for our members, but for the rodeo industry as a whole.”
“There will be challenges, Glause noted. “We want to serve all of our stakeholders,” he said.
Some of his focus will be on friendly customer service with adequate, trained, and experienced personnel. Glause also noted the right tools will be essential in getting the job done.
“We’ll be looking at our information technology systems to see how we can improve to make our job more efficient and ultimately serve our stakeholders better,” said Glause.
There are several things that excite Glause about the position serving as the newly appointed CEO.
“I am excited for the relationships and getting to know and meet the people who are involved with rodeo and the rodeo industry,” Glause shared. “I believe rodeo and the industry have the best people in the world.”
He continued, “The contestants are the salt of the earth, the volunteers and committees that put on the rodeos dedicate their lives to these events, and the sponsors are really critical to allow us to do what we love. If I’m excited the most for one thing, it’s building relationships with all the people in the industry that make the wheels go round so we can have rodeos throughout the country.”
Looking forward to the future
“Set your goals high and always keep your eye on those goals, dream big,” said Glause when asked for advice for the next generation of rodeo. He concluded by discussing the upcoming Wrangler National Finals Rodeo.
“We’re excited to be back in Las Vegas,” Glause said. Overall, the PRCA was able to sanction and hold over 600 rodeo events throughout the country in 2021.
Glause continued, “Moving past COVID-19, we’re excited to figure out what the new normal will be and to move past this as a whole country. Rodeo has always been resilient throughout its history.”
The PRCA came out better from the pandemic than most other sporting organizations, according to Glause.
“The story line of 2021 was the record-breaking crowds that showed up to watch from the Canadian border to Texas, from the West Coast to the East and everywhere in between,” he said.
Glause thanked the relationship with The Cowboy Channel and Patrick Gottsch.
“Our media deal and relationship with Patrick and The Cowboy Channel have really opened up a new frontier and increased our visibility and will continue to pay dividends, enhance the sport and grow the sport through television. The Cowboy Channel and Patrick have been great partners,” Glause shared.
Brittany Gunn is the editor at the Wyoming Livestock Roundup. Send comments on this article to firstname.lastname@example.org.