Contract Personnel • Class of 2020
*Class of 2020 inductions cancelled due to COVID-19. Class will be inducted in 2021.
Sunni Deb Backstrom grew up with a stopwatch in her hand. No doubt encouraged by her mother Ellen, a three-time National Finals Rodeo Secretary and first woman to sit on the PRCA Board of Directors. At age 13, Backstrom made her debut as a rodeo secretary in Augusta, Montana. Since she did not have an RCA card, she had to receive special permission from RCA President Bob Ragsdale to work the event.
Backstrom joined the RCA in 1968 as a timer while she was still in high school. After graduation in 1971, she was issued a secretary, timer, and contract act card. Backstrom quickly rose to become one of the best in the business. She has worked for many rodeo companies over the years including Flying U; Kesler, Ltd.; Rafter G; Jim Shoulders Rodeo Company; Bad Company; Linger Company; and B Bar J Rodeo. She joined the Cervi Championship Rodeo Company fulltime in 1979. In the course of a year, Backstrom works about 120 performances across the country at some of the most prestigious rodeos including Denver, San Antonio, Houston, Nampa, and Waco.
Backstrom is the most decorated rodeo secretary in ProRodeo history. She has won PRCA Secretary of the Year 10 times and WPRA Secretary of the Year twice. She has also worked the National Finals Rodeo 17 years as secretary, three years as timer, and one year as the office manager. She has also worked four PRCA Tour Finales.
Backstrom has dedicated her life to the betterment of the sport of rodeo.
PRCA Secretary of the Year
1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1998, 2003, 2005, 2020
Born: May 11, 1953 in Butte, Montana
Joined the PRCA: 1968