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Joannides joins WAIC

by Wyoming Livestock Roundup

Born and raised in Cheyenne, spending 10 years working in higher education and intercollegiate athletics around the country, Andrew Joannides is now back in Cheyenne and joined the Wyoming Agriculture in the Classroom (WAIC) team as their executive director on Oct. 17. 

Founded in 1985, the nonprofit WAIC has worked tirelessly to develop curriculum to increase students’ understanding of Wyoming’s vast resources so they become informed citizens capable of serving as stewards for Wyoming’s future. Through the Wyoming Stewardship Project, Bookmark & Beyond, Educator of the Year and educator workshops and courses, WAIC is helping build a future in which the interdependence of Wyoming’s people, agriculture, natural resources and outdoor recreation and tourism is acknowledged and valued for the benefit of all communities.

“I am fired up to get back home and to have the special opportunity to join and lead the WAIC team. I have been chomping at the bit to get back to my roots, and it has been a dream of mine to help serve the young people of the great state of Wyoming. This organization plays a major role in the future of our state, and I am grateful for the board of directors’ faith in hiring me and the team welcoming me with open arms,” says Joannides.

Prior to joining the WAIC team, Joannides served as the executive director of Annual Giving at Tarleton State University where he was a department head within Institutional Advancement (IA) and was responsible for all aspects of the annual fund, including annual fundraising for the College of Agriculture & Natural Resources and the 37x National Champion Tarleton Rodeo program. 

In Fiscal Year 2022, the IA team raised a record of $17.3 million in overall giving while successfully completing a $100 million fundraising campaign. Joannides also served on multiple leadership teams.    

Prior to Tarleton, Joannides completed 4.5 years of service with the Huskie Athletic Fund at Northern Illinois University where he was a department head and assistant athletic director. Joannides also had prior stops at Arizona State University, University of Tennessee at Martin, University of Nevada Las Vegas and the University of Wyoming. 

WAIC Board President Joe Evers says, “The board of directors is incredibly appreciative of Jessie Dafoe’s tremendous service and leadership at WAIC. What she has accomplished for the organization is nothing short of amazing. Jessie left big boots to fill, and we are excited to bring Andrew back to Wyoming to fill them. Andrew’s deep Wyoming roots and his professional background make him uniquely situated to take the reins. Andrew’s vision, passion and energy will help WAIC write the next chapters.”

To learn more about WAIC, visit or follow WAIC on Facebook. 

This article is provided by Wyoming Agriculture in the Classroom Marketing Director Shaylee Hancock. Send comments on this article to

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