Joe O'Connor

Joe O’Connor, President

I have been with PRVFF since the fall of 2015.  Introduced to fly tying in the seventh grade, the sport of fly fishing has been my passion more than thirty five years.  I have always enjoyed passing along my knowledge and experience to those who want to experience catching a fish on a fly they tied themselves.

A graduate of Fort Lewis College, father of four, grandfather of three and married to a fly fishing lady for thirty years, I still find it essential that I reserve time to help our men and women of service to experience what I have been free to do for so long.  I am committed to ensuring that our participants have the best chance at a world class experience, detailed instruction and all at no cost to them.   As a revenue cycle manager for Salud Family Health Centers, fifteen years in health care and a previous business owner, I will continue to share my business acumen for the growth and stability of the PRVFF organization.

Larry Neasloney, Treasurer

Larry has served as a fly-fishing mentor, trip lead, and fly-tying instructor for the Platte Rivers Veterans Fly Fishing since 2012. In January of 2017 he became the PRVFF Board Treasurer, managing the programs budget and assuming the role of Scrooge when necessary.

Larry is a former United States Marine and was stationed in the Philippines in the mid 1970s. He worked as a Geographic Information Specialist for the Bureau of Land Management in 2013 for over 30 years, and retired in 2013.

He is an avid year-round mountain biker and enjoys traveling with his wife Esther. Together they have one son, Tyler, who resides in New York City.

Larry has fished his entire life and takes as much enjoyment in helping others catch fish as he does catching fish himself. He does have to remind himself to “dial it back” when fishing with Colorado based board members.

Victor Terruso, Secretary

I am Victor J. Terruso. I am a 26- year veteran of the United States Air Force, as a Surgical Technologist. I retired as a Master Sergeant (E-7) in January, 2010 out of Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, Germany. Since retiring, I earned a National Certification in Surgical Technology in April 2010. I received an A.S. Degree in Applied Science-Surgical Services Technology, Community College of the Air Force, 1992. I received an A.S. Degree in Arts, Suffolk County Community College, New York, 1983. I received my High School Diploma, Islip High School, New York, 1980.

I have been married to my beautiful wife, Patty, for over 33 years. We have two awesome adult children. Our son is married and in the Navy. He and his wife have our two super grandsons. Our daughter is a well- established Computerized-Tomography Technologist.

My wife and I built a home here in Cheyenne, Wyoming in 2010. I have been working as a Nationally Certified Surgical Technologist at the local V.A. Medical Center for nine years. I feel a sense of pride in continuing to give surgical assistance to our veteran brothers and sisters who have given this nation so much of themselves over the years.

I was introduced to this amazing Fly Fishing organization in the summer of 2010 by my great friend and neighbor, Dale Blakely. I have learned a lot about fly tying and rod building through his awesome mentorship, as well as through other knowledgeable members of this group. I have been the Executive Assistant to the President of this organization since 2015.

Ken McCoy, Vice President
I first got involved with Platte Rivers when Dean Miller put out a call for submissions for short fly fishing stories. That project later turned into the book The Water Holds No Scars: Fly Fishing Stories of Rivers and Rejuvenation.

My dad taught me to fly fish on a small city pond in Greeley when I was 11 years old. I’ve loved fly fishing ever since that day but over the last several years have made it a true obsession. I’ve guided on the Big Thompson River and throughout Rocky Mountain National Park and have articles published in Fly Fisherman magazine and American Angler. As a patriot, it’s my honor to watch the healing powers of fly fishing positively impact the lives of veterans in Northern Colorado and Southern Wyoming.

Dale Blakely, Trustee
I attended college in 1969 before getting drafted in 1970. I majored in whiskey, women and song. After being drafted in the Army, I was stationed in Germany. I was one of four fortunate men not sent to Vietnam. I was the driver for the colonel of the base in Wursburg.

Fishing has always been a part of my life. Family vacations to Yellowstone and fly fishing were times I always looked forward to. I didn’t realize until I was a teenager that not everyone did this.

I worked as a surface mechanic at OCI, a trona mine, for 38 years. During this time, I served as junior or senior warden at Church of Holy Communion.

I’ve been fly fishing since I can remember, but got serious about it in my 30’s. I started tying and selling flies when they weren’t cheap to buy anymore. I started building rods for the same reason, since the late 1980’s.

After retiring in 2010, my wife Retha and I moved to Cheyenne to be closer to our kids and grand kids. At that time, Roger Thims asked me to help him and Duane Cook teach some local vets to tie flies and build rods. Our group has been growing strong ever since. It has been my pleasure to serve on the board of directors for the past eight years. During that time, I’ve been vice president, rod building instructor, assistant lead, and donation coordinator ticket seller extraordinaire.

Being a part of Platte River Veteran’s Fly Fishing has meant I am able to help others that I’ve been unable to help before. Knowing we make a difference is all I need.

Lou NagelLou Nagel, Trustee
I became involved with the program in January 2011 and have been on the
BOD since 2016.

I am a 25-year Veteran of the Air Force.  I was a Loadmaster assigned to C124s and then to the C130s. I have been stationed in Japan, Okinawa, and Korea. I also served 30 months in Viet Nam. My last 5 years was at the AF Academy as an Instructor and First Sergeant of the Cadet Wing.

I initially started with this program just to refresh my fly tying skills but after several weeks I could see it was so much more. The comradery is outstanding.  I have met people with similar experiences with whom I can talk that understand the stressors that most soldiers face. I have come to understand that there is so much more to this program than tying flies, building rods and fly fishing. Now I realize that it was not always the fish that I was after.

Greg McCoy, Trustee
I joined Platte Rivers when my brother, Ken asked me to bring my experience in fundraising to the organization. This was a no brainer because of my love for fishing and a feeling that any way I can help support our veterans is something I want to be part of.

I grew up in Northern Colorado and some of my greatest memories are the weekends spent with my dad, Steve and my brother up on the river fishing. That is where my passion for all things outdoors developed. Today my wife Michelle and I live in Greeley with our 3 children, Katelyn, Madison and Colton. I work as an Account Executive for Shamrock Food Service consulting in the Northern Colorado area. When we have time to get away we are typically in the mountains camping and spending time as a family. No greater joy can be found than watching your children learn to love the things you love.

Ron Van Voast, Trustee
I have been involved with the PRVFF program for two years and enjoy working with both veterans and knowledgeable volunteers to keep this important mission active and financially sustainable. The mission of the Chapter to teach veterans to fly fish with gear they personally make provides a great deal of satisfaction and mental health to all of us involved in the program.

I grew up on a cattle ranch in Montana and graduated from Montana State University in 1972 where I received an Army ROTC commission. I served two years on active duty in Germany and eight years in the Army Reserve in Montana.

I have been a banker for the past 42 years in Montana, Western Nebraska and Wyoming and have been the President of Security First Bank in Cheyenne for the past 15 years. I am planning to retire in 2019 so I can spend more time with family and on the ”water that holds no scars”!