Cattlemen's Days Parade Marshals
2022 Parade Marshals
Linda Gazzoli, Matt Robbins, and Steve Williams
2022 Cattlemen’s Days Parade Marshal
Linda Gazzoli grew up in the Gunnison Valley. She was active in 4-H and was a high school cheerleader. After high school, she received her teaching degree in history from Colorado State University and was a junior high social studies teacher in Alamosa,
Linda met the Alsbaugh family of Alamosa at Cattlemen’s Days where they provided stock. Linda later married Art Alsbaugh and the adventure began. Linda spent many hours on the road with Art and her two daughters, Lee Ann and Kerri, traveling the rodeo trail during the summer months. In the winter the
Alsbaugh rodeo crew moved its base of operations to Arizona, where they produced rodeos during the colder months.
Linda stayed in Alamosa during the winter months to make sure her girls received their education and she oversaw the care of the rodeo stock breeding program animals and ranching operations.
“You do what you have to do”, she said, and this was just how it had to be with a family-owned rodeo company in the early days.
The unwritten rule of the rodeo world is “the stock is always taken care of before anything is done.” Linda started her rodeo career by cooling off pickup horses and would get to time occasionally when the rodeos overlapped. Linda later went to work as a rodeo secretary and timer full time. After the sale of the family rodeo company in 1994 she and Art went to work for various other stock contractors, and, she is still working as a rodeo secretary and timer to this day. Rodeo has allowed her to see much of the U.S. while traveling from one rodeo to the next, and she has many fond memories of her rodeo life.
“The best part of rodeo is the people who are like a forever family,” she said. Linda still works as secretary and timer today. She has been involved with the evolution of the rodeo secretary, which began with the use of a direct contact entry system with the rodeo secretary taking entries on committee-provided telephones; to the current system that allows the cowboys to enter via an app on their cell phone or by using a computer to access ProCom, the PRCA central
ProCom processes the rodeo entries, and the secretary downloads the information to their rodeo computer in the field. There they are responsible for the data entry of results and the payment of entry fees, as well as other necessary duties like assisting the judges in drawing cattle for the timed events and notifying stock contractors of turnouts that she received from Procom.
After the completion of the rodeo, the secretary then balances the rodeo and uploads the results back to the PRCA offi ce where it is audited, and the winning contestants are paid through Rodeo Pay.
Some of the prestigious positions Linda has filled over the years include:
- NFR Timer 1984,1986,1989
- NFR Secretary 1999
- Dodge National Circuit Finals Secretary 2008
- Steer Roping National Finals Secretary 2006,2007,2008
- Turquoise Circuit Finals several years
- 2012 Art and Linda received the prestigious Donita Barnes Lifetime Achievement Award from the PRCA
The Cattlemen’s Days committee and cowboys have been lucky to have her as part of the rodeos for over 40 years.
2022 Cattlemen’s Days Parade Marshal
Matt was born into Cattlemen’s Days, watching his father auction racehorses and working the 4-H livestock sale. He officially came on the committee in 1983-1984 and began to phase out moving to the advisory board in 2008.
He followed in his father’s footsteps auctioneering for the horse races and watershed roping for twenty-plus years and the 4-H livestock auctions for about 10 years. He also sat on the Livestock Committee for about four years. Matt announced for the Cattlemen’s Days Parade for a few years and auctioned for nonprofit Tough Enough to Wear Pink in the early years of fundraising for them.
Matt remembers when the Cattlemen’s Days Committee came to a cross-road in the early 1980s. The committee recognized that they needed to adopt a new way of thinking about rodeo to adhere to PRCA purse requirements. This forced them to put on performances on the local and national levels or alternatively, move back to being a local rodeo. Matt recognized where the sport was heading and brought an energy to the board unrecognizable to some and embraced by others. Most followed his lead. His wife, Denai, designed and sold t-shirts to raise money, the committee got out into the community to enlist support and Matt concentrated on relationships with regional and national sponsors. With forward-thinking, they began to achieve the purse money necessary to bring in the cowboys and continue building the legacy of the Cattlemen’s Days Rodeo.
In the early 90s, Matt was a driving force in a new multi-purpose building for the community’s use. Working with the Gunnison County Commissioners and soliciting advice from surrounding communities with similar infrastructure, he was able to create projections and a budget for a multi-purpose building. Another forward-thinking idea that was overlooked by some, but has played a significant role in our community. Tough Enough to Wear Pink was adopted by the committee during Matt’s membership and has since become the #1 TETWP fundraiser in the country.
The single largest contribution Matt gave to the Cattlemen’s Days rodeo was energy.
He plugged in his optimism, and it caught. He used to say to his auction crews, “We’re selling energy, so keep the tempo and enthusiasm up and we’ll blow the doors off .” His presence was contagious and perhaps why he is considered, by many, one of the best committeemen. As an auctioneer, Matt and his crews pulled in roughly $45,000,000 through over 500 auctions for non-profits.
Matt is quick to acknowledge so many on the committee that helped make the best out of a generational change. His energy was not always received but he welcomes the challenge of keeping “the West alive”.
2022 Cattlemen’s Days Parade Marshal
Steve Williams lives in the same house his father Robert was raised in, built in 1924 for his grandfather Ned on Main Street. His great-grandfather was a civil engineer who worked on the Alpine Tunnel that was bored in 1880-1882 with high aspirations for the Denver South Park and Pacific railroad. The geology
there was certainly not the best and the railroad ceased operations in 1910. Steve’s great-grandfather came off the job at 11,500 feet and settled in Pitkin for forty-plus years before passing in 1922.
Steve’s father was a beloved member of the community and Vice President of Gunnison’s First National Bank. Steve learned banking and community from his father and earned a degree in Business Administration before climbing the ranks at Gunnison Savings and Loan. Before retiring in 2018, Steve was President for 27 years and to this day, you will find him strolling Main Street just to get the economic pulse of the valley and chat with old friends.
Community has been a value of Steve’s for his entire life. He served 50 years as a firefighter and on the fire board before retiring in 2020. In 1973, he started volunteering on the Cattlemen’s Days Committee, working the ticket booths and overseeing ticket sales. Eventually taking over the treasurer position, Steve served for 20 years, actively involved with the committee’s transition from putting on a local rodeo to the beginning of Cattlemen’s Days being a national PRCA event, attracting cowboys from all over the U.S.
In meetings, Steve would sit in the back of the room so he could not only see everyone and follow the conversation- but to feel the pulse. Today, Steve serves his 50th year on the committee and is supported by his wife Debbie and their three kids, Bob, Steve and Madeline and his grandkids Ben, Alex, and Sidney.
Steve has high praise for all who came before and after him. He is especially proud of the effort made by the committee, county, and past president, Kevin Coblentz, for having the vision and the will to put on a nationally televised rodeo in the middle of a pandemic.
It was a gutsy move, but cowboys came in record numbers. If it wasn’t true before, Gunnison, Colorado and Cattlemen’s Days are on the map because of it.
Steve will be the first to tell you, that he’s worked with the finest of people through the Cattlemen’s Committee, they will give you their all, twenty-four hours a day if they need to. They give what they have and do what has to be done.