June 28, 1943 -
First attended a gay rodeo in 1985
Ron Trusley is the next to youngest of nine children. Ron was born on June 28, 1943 in Hanna, Oklahoma, which had a population of about 100. His family soon moved to Eufaula, Oklahoma where Ron attended grade school. He was truly raised a "small town boy," as Eufaula was not much bigger than Hanna. In the 1950's its population was probably less than 1,500. In 1957 Ron's family moved to Arizona; about half way between Phoenix and Tucson. This was truly a "shock" to Ron - moving from a small town to a farming area, and seeing the desert and cotton fields for the very first time. He continued his education in Stanfield, and later in Casa Grande, Arizona, where he graduated high school.
Ron was never athletic, had no interest in participating in any sports activity, and was very shy. He was not an out-going person, and even today, is still shy and for the most part a very reserved person. Ron says: "As I was growing up, I thought I wanted to become a surgeon. It just seemed that it would be an interesting and very rewarding occupation." But somewhere along the way, all of that changed, and Ron really had no idea what he wanted to do.
In high school, Ron was the first male student to take the shorthand class, and he also had the fastest speed of all the students at about 160 words per minute. This skill proved very beneficial throughout his professional career as well as his personal life. Shortly after high school graduation, Ron attended Southwestern Bible College in Oklahoma City for about one year.
Ron then spent two years in the United States Marine Corps and has never regretted the experience. Ron says: "A lot of people were very surprised that I was a Marine because my vision was quite bad and I only weighed about 125 pounds at the time." This was a challenging, but a very rewarding experience for Ron, and one that will never be forgotten.
After leaving the Marine Corps, Ron attended Central Arizona College, where he was consistently on the Dean's list and maintained a 3.70 Grade Point Average. In 1975 he was named to "Who's Who Among Students In American Vocational and Technical Schools". His focus was on Business Management.
On July 27, 1964, Ron was the first male stenographer ever hired by the State of Arizona Employment Service. During his tenure in state service, he worked in numerous positions and locations, including clerical work, interviewer, testing administrator, trainer, policy development, and manager. He officially retired September 29, 1995, but continued working until January 2005. But that was not the end of his involvement in employment and training programs. At the time of his induction into this Hall of Fame Ron continues working as the Executive Director for the Nineteen Tribal Nations Workforce Investment Board that is comprised of various Indian Tribes in Arizona.
So, what about rodeo? Ron was a founding member of the Desert Valley Squares - a square dance group in Phoenix. When the Arizona Gay Rodeo Association (AGRA) was started, the "Midnite Ramblers" was a square dance group within the rodeo association. Of course, one had to be an AGRA member to be in the dance group, so in September 1985 Ron joined AGRA so he could audition to become a "Midnite Rambler". He was voted in as a member of this square dance group and quickly became "hooked" on rodeo. Ron has maintained continuous membership in AGRA since then.
Up to that time, Ron had never been to a rodeo, knew nothing about rodeo, and had never had an interest in rodeo. Shortly after joining AGRA, the Board invited Ron into their meeting to serve as Parliamentarian. That was just the beginning of his rodeo involvement for which he is very thankful.
The IGRA Certified Officials Program began in 1987. The IGRA Trustees grandfathered in several people as Rodeo Secretary and Rodeo Scorekeeper. Ron was one of those individuals, and he has been recertified every year since 1987. Throughout his years as an AGRA member, Ron has served as Secretary, Vice-President, President, and Trustee. He is currently serving in his third 3-year term as AGRA's Trustee on the IGRA Board. He was the Rodeo Director for eight Road Runner Regional Rodeos.
When the IGRA Secretary position became vacant, the IGRA Board of Directors appointed Ron to fill the position until the next convention. Then at the 1991 IGRA Convention, he was elected to the position.
Throughout the years of his involvement in IGRA, Ron has served in several positions including:
Ron has also received:
It is truly amazing to think about and to see the many changes that have taken place since the beginning of IGRA. There have been challenges, but they have been far outweighed by the successes and rewards. Ron never dreamed that he would be involved in rodeo or in any of the related activities, but he is very happy he was given that opportunity, and plans to continue in some aspect as long as he can.