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Meet the Member Pat Stouffer
story by Siri Stevens
“I don’t know what I’d do without it (rodeo),” said CPRA secretary, Pat Stouffer. “I look forward to it.” Pat has been recognized as secretary of the year multiple times during her 23 years with the association. “Math has always been my favorite subject,” said the Nebraska farm girl. “I have an accounting degree and have worked in accounts receivable for Miller International (CINCH, Cruel, Miller Ranch Clothing) since 1995.” Pat started her career in the Miller Stockman Store in Wheatridge as an Assistant Manager. While there, she started playing the part of Sheriff Stockman. “I had a big head that was built around a hockey helmet and I could switch the hats from felt to straw.” After six months, she transferred to the main store into accounts receivable.
Pat grew up in eastern Nebraska. Her family had cattle, hogs, sheep and one horse. She never rodeoed; but she begged her mom and dad to take her whenever one was around. After college, she went to the country bar in Omaha and met some roughies and went with them to rodeos on the weekends. She had a big camera with a VHS tape in it. She would make copies and try to sell them to the cowboys. That’s when she became interested in becoming a secretary. When she moved to Colorado in 1992, she went to a PRCA secretary school. She joined the CPRA in 1996. “They gave me my first start in rodeo,” she said. “I branched out working with the PRCA, WRA and NSPRA, but I spend most of my weekends with the CPRA rodeos.” She travels to at least 10 rodeos a year, and also secretaries the National Senior Pro Finals – this is her fifth year in that role.
“They call it a secretary, but it’s really bookkeeping,” says Pat of her role at the rodeo. “I have to have things balance – so sometimes that is a challenge. I start with a bank bag, and it’s got to balance at the end of the rodeo. It’s keeping my brain sharp and my family close. I love that part. I’ve got parents and grandparents thanking me when I post the results on Facebook. When I can help somebody that makes me feel good. After all, that’s what we are put on earth for – to help other people.”
When Pat isn’t working or on the rodeo trail, she can be found at a Broncos game, making quilts, reading a Western, or walking a 5K, which she tries to do once a month. “I wish the Broncos were doing better. I’m still going to stick with them.” She has had her Broncos tickets for more than five years, and won’t give up on them.
She never misses an opportunity to secretary a CPRA rodeo. “It’s because they are my family – I look forward to seeing them – over the years they were young and now they are having kids and they are coming and I’m still part of their lives. I celebrate their marriages, their losses, and I feel like I’m part of their family.” She is fondly referred to as the secretary with the candy. “I’ve learned from some of the great secretaries and I hope to pass that along to the younger ones,” she said. Pat has no intention of slowing down. At 59, she is looking forward to retiring from Miller International someday and traveling more as a rodeo secretary. She started with Miller before CINCH – 24 years ago – she’s been with them from the get go with the CINCH brand. “The ownership has great vision and every year different things change and it’s exciting to see the merger with PRCA and rodeo in general.”
She is forever grateful to the CPRA. “Thanks for taking a chance with me all those years ago.”
“Pat is an amazing secretary and a great advocate for the contract labor personnel title that she has held in the past. She is always there to lend a helping hand where needed and is more than a secretary to the contestants and the stock contractors, Pat is their friend. The CPRA is a better association thanks to Pat and her love of rodeo.” – Heidi Geesen, CPRA secretary