2022 Northwest Rural Philanthropy Days Workshops and Speakers

Tuesday, September 13

Community Resource Center will have a registration and help desk set up at the Hayden Community Center for the entirety of the day.

Networking Breakfast | 7:45 AM – 8:45 AM

Get your time in Hayden started off right with a delightful selection of breakfast items from a local restaurant out Craig, Colorado.  This Networking Breakfast will be held at the Hayden Community Center.

Currents of Change: The Story of a River and Two Communities in Transition Tour | 8:30 AM – 12:30 PM

Session Description 

The communities of Hayden and Craig are experiencing major change. Community leaders are rallying to address the challenges posed by the energy transition including impacts upon the local tax base, heritage, industry, and culture with very creative solutions.

Join us for this bus tour as we visit some key community locations and hear from local leaders leading this change in their community

To understand the top challenges facing these communities as well as the most promising solutions underway, we turn to the Yampa River as our through line to better understand these communities, the challenges they face, and the bright future.

Many leaders are turning to the Yampa River as a way through these changing waters. The river connects us all – together we’ll explore the intersections with the energy transition, agriculture, conservation, outdoor recreation, education, and more.

Facilitated by: Kirstie McPhearson, Community and Economic Development Manager, Colorado Office of Just Transition

Capacity Building Sessions | 9:00 AM – 10:30 AM

Session Description 

This interactive session will focus on how non-profits and other community leaders can develop strategies and messages for different types of advocacy. Participants will learn how to focus their goals into language that will resonate with their target audience.

Presenter: Robin Schepper, Wayfinder Strategies

Robin Schepper is a passionate and experienced leader dedicated to serving her community and empowering the next generation of female leaders. She is recognized for her ability to provide high level strategy as well as understand the tasks necessary to reach common goals. Her expertise in organizational development, strategic planning and communications provides the foundation for her consulting business called Wayfinder Strategies. Her career has included working on numerous Democratic presidential campaigns and in the Clinton and Obama Administrations; co-founding a public affairs firm in Seattle; serving as staff director for the U.S. Senate Communications Committee; working as a communications consultant to the Athens 2004 Olympic Games; serving as the first Executive Director of Michelle Obama’s health initiative, Let’s Move! and contributing to the Bipartisan Policy Center’s reports on combatting obesity in the United States. Robin worked for Routt County on COVID-19 response and serving as the County’s public information officer. She continues to work for Routt County as a consultant as well as providing strategic planning services for local non-profits including Yampa Valley Sustainability Council, Steamboat Symphony Orchestra, Steamboat Dance Theatre and Routt County Riders. Her civic interests include served on the Colorado Legislative Redistricting Commission, being on the boards of United Way and Integrated Community and leading the Steamboat Springs High School Parent Information Committee as chair. While she is dedicated to serving her community, Robin also finds time to enjoy all Steamboat Springs has to offer including hiking, skiing, paddle boarding, and spending time with her husband Eric, sons Marat and Shokhan, and rescue dogs, Rocky and Molly.

Session Description 

Many nonprofits do not have a dedicated human resources person on staff and these duties often fall to the executive director. New executive directors need a firm foundation in HR best practices to attract and retain employees to fulfill the organization’s mission. This session will cover best practices in recruiting, hiring, training, managing performance, and discharging employees, when necessary.

Presenter: Tina Harkness, Employers Council, Inc.

Tina Harkness, Esq., SPHR, SHRM-CP
Tina is an employment law attorney and General Counsel for Employers Council, Inc. Tina is a frequent speaker on topics including legal issues in managing employees, harassment prevention, civil rights, managing employee medical issues, diversity, and other subjects.

Session Description 

The skill of effectively coaching employees is essential to a leader’s ability to help people develop to their fullest potential and contribute at their highest level.
This practical, interactive session is designed to give leaders hands-on experience using coaching techniques in their work. Leaders will learn how to get into the coaching mindset, and techniques for building a strong coaching relationship and engaging in effective dialogue. Leaders will learn to master coaching conversations using a five-step coaching model, assess the strengths and opportunities of their team and determine what coaching conversations should be taking place with each team member.

Presenter: Emem Washington, ModaVida

Emem Washington, J.D., LL.M, is a Leadership Consultant and Success Strategist. She is also an author, two-time TEDx speaker, and the founder of ModaVida, a personal and professional development firm. An unapologetic optimist, her favorite things include “blue-sky-days”, extra fine-tipped pens of any color and anything she can write on (napkins included). She is mom to two miracle sons. Get to know her further at www.ememwashington.com.

Session Description 

As a result of the federal American Rescue Plan, Colorado has received $3.8B to support COVID recovery efforts. Referred to as the State and Local Fiscal Recovery Fund (SLFRF), Colorado’s plan includes allocations for COVID response, affordable housing, mental health, workforce development, economic recovery, transportation and infrastructure, and parks and agriculture. In state fiscal year 2021, $2.3B of these funds were appropriated, and $1.5B is being appropriated in 2022. Though many government grant opportunities exist at this time they can often be hard to find, apply for, and manage, specifically for small, rural nonprofits. This 90-minute interactive session will provide an overview of local, state, and federal government grant making, will highlight some of the new SLFRF funding opportunities available to Colorado nonprofits, and will share some of the resources CRC has developed to support nonprofits with grant seeking, development, and management. Additionally, representatives from several government agencies will be available for Q&A.

Presenter: Katy Pepinsky, Director of GrantCorps, Community Resource Center

Katy Pepinsky (she/her/ella), Director of GrantCorps, works to build the capacity of Colorado nonprofits to access and manage public and private grant funds. Katy started with CRC in June 2022. Prior to her current position, Katy worked as the Executive Director of a youth services organization in La Plata County. For over twenty years, she has worked with a diverse array of non-profit and service organizations to help build more resilient communities including La Plata Youth Services, Cooking Matters Colorado, Growing Partners of SW Colorado, Mercy Hospital, Peace Corps, and Colorado State University Extension. A native of Bloomington, Indiana, Katy holds a master’s degree in Extension Education from Colorado State University and a Professional Non-Profit Management Certificate, from Fort Lewis College. Katy lives in Durango and enjoys reading, gardening, practicing yoga, and exploring the rural rivers and trails of the Southwest with her two kids, husband, and dog. Katy is also fluent in Spanish!

Session Description 

The purpose of this session is to educate our communities on the importance of bringing Language Justice to every space, especially philanthropy. At the same time, respecting every individual’s fundamental language right so all community members can communicate in the language in which they prefer and feel most articulate and powerful.

Presenters: 

  • Axel Rios, Translation and Interpretation Coordinator, Integrated Community
    • Born and raised in Chihuahua, Mexico. Axel moved to Steamboat Springs at the age of 14 where he went to Middle school for a few months and was able to complete 8th grade. He then graduated from Steamboat Springs High School in 2020. At that time he decided to take a GAP year, after which he joined the Steamboat Springs School District, where he held the position of Secretary of Strawberry Park Elementary School.Axel soon realized helping others is something he truly enjoys. Especially helping those he could relate to; kids trying to develop a stronger ability to adapt, become comfortable in a new country, new language and around new people. Axel’s family is formed by his mother and his 3 brothers. They all speak Spanish at home because their mother does not speak English. This serves as a great way for them to always remember and be proud of their roots and where they came from. Axel loves to spend time with his friends and family; including his cousins, aunts and uncles who live in Steamboat and with whom he is very close to.
  • Janette Najera, Language Justice Manager, Integrated Community
    • Janette joined Integrated Community’s team in 2021, taking over the position of interpretation & translation coordinator and soon transitioning into the Language Justice manager. As the community and surrounding towns are growing, the need for interpretation and translation services is in high demand. Providing our non-English speaking members of the community with a team of certified interpreters has allowed communication barriers to be broken and to start seeing more of the integration our community strives for. Janette strongly believes in Nelson Mandela’s words, “It is in our hands to make the world a better place”, and Integrated Community is a great place to share that change.

Capacity Building Sessions | 10:45 AM – 12:15 PM

Session Description 

Your employee handbook sets the stage for employees’ experience with your organization. What items are essential to include? In what depth? Are there recommended policies that are unique to nonprofit sector? These and other questions will be answered in this session along with sample language.

Presenter: Tina Harkness, Employers Council, Inc.

Tina Harkness, Esq., SPHR, SHRM-CP Tina is an employment law attorney and General Counsel for Employers Council, Inc. Tina is a frequent speaker on topics including legal issues in managing employees, harassment prevention, civil rights, managing employee medical issues, diversity, and other subjects.

Session Description 

Housing, childcare, health care, education, workforce development. All of these issues are vital to our communities and to our organizations. Each issue is also shaped by laws or government regulations. As community-based networks, nonprofits are well positioned to influence elected officials and government. We just need to act. And yet, nonprofits are often reluctant to do so. Why? This session will demystify public policy advocacy, answer the most common nonprofit concerns and give you practical tips for successful (and fun!) nonprofit advocacy.

Presenter: Renny Fagan, Nonprofit Consultant, Nostos Consulting LLC

Renny Fagan was the President & CEO of Colorado Nonprofit Association for almost 12 years. With 1,400 nonprofit member organizations statewide, the Association provides knowledge resources and advocates for the entire nonprofit sector. During his tenure, the Association initiated legislation to increase charitable giving, including a 2018 law that enables Coloradans to donate their state income tax refund to any eligible nonprofit of their choice.

Renny is a former state legislator, director Colorado Department of Revenue, deputy attorney general, and state director for U.S. Senator Ken Salazar. He serves on the boards of the Colorado Channel Authority and Colorado Education Initiative. He was formerly board member and chair of the National
Council of Nonprofits. Renny now consults with nonprofits and government entities about strategic direction, board governance, stakeholder facilitation and public policy advocacy.

Session Description 

This session focus on use of reflection to provide a future- and growth-oriented focus to annual reviews and/or one-on-one meetings. Incorporating these techniques can improve employee satisfaction, productivity, and intrinsic motivation. Those without staff who report to them can use reflection to advocate for their own career development and growth. The session would be a mix of presentation and discussion, with time to practice a few of the techniques.

Presenter: Sue Samaniego, Executive Director of Advancement at Colorado Northwestern Community College

Sue Samaniego is Executive Director of Advancement at Colorado Northwestern Community College. She brings ten years of fundraising and communications experience, over twenty years of work in communication sciences and disorders, and thirty years of supervisory experience in a variety of settings to her work.

Sue believes that continual self-reflection is the job of both supervisors and employees and that this process is what leads to a more productive, engaged staff and more functional teams.

Sue is a Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) with certificates in Non-Profit Management from the University of Illinois at Chicago and High-Performance Leadership from Cornell University. She holds both a Bachelor of Science and Master of Arts degree in Special Education for the Speech and Language Impaired/Speech-Language Pathology from Eastern Michigan University.

Outside of her job, Sue is an avid outdoorsperson, artist, and writer. She also facilitates retreats related to non-profit board development, team building, and authentic living and leadership.

Session Description 

Donor stewardship is the foundation of effective fundraising. In this session, you will gain strategies to honor donors and facilitate meaningful relationships. You will learn tips and tricks to creating, nurturing, and maintaining meaningful donor relationships. We will also help you find the people who care deeply about your organization and are prime to join your legacy society. Secret – you probably already know them.

Presenter: Traci Hiatt, Donor Engagement Manager, Yampa Valley Community Foundation

After growing up in California, Traci made the move to Colorado in 1996, eventually finding her way “home” to Steamboat in 2003. Traci is passionate about the Yampa Valley and being of service to this community and its people. She is energized through cultivating meaningful connection with others. Serving as Donor Engagement Manager at the Yampa Valley Community Foundation since 2019, Traci takes pride in helping those who want become more connected to the community find inspiring, meaningful ways to do so, which resonate with their personal values and interests. Philanthropy is uniquely personal, and effective donor engagement is rooted in building relationships. Through her work, she supports the nonprofit organizations serving the Yampa Valley and serves as a resource to donors, in an effort to build a thriving community where our shared values are preserved and celebrated.

Panelists:

  • Susan Petersen, Development Director, Steamboat Adaptive Recreational Sports
    • Susan is a Colorado native who grew up in Fort Collins before attending college at the University of California, San Diego and then moving to Steamboat for “one ski season” over 30 years ago. After a season of ski bumming, she settled into a long career with the Steamboat Parks & Recreation Department overseeing recreation programs and events. She then joined the Yampa Valley Community Foundation where she worked with donors to find their passion and support the many nonprofits in the valley. She is currently the Development Director for Steamboat Adaptive Recreational Sports (STARS) where she works to cultivate relationships with donors, oversee fundraising events and seek grant funding to support the mission of STARS.
  • Kelly Landers, Development Director, Boys & Girls Club of Northwest Colorado

Session Description 

Nonprofit Resources for Northwest Colorado – Accessible through the Bud Werner Memorial Library

The Bud Werner Memorial Library supports nonprofits by offering a variety of physical and digital collections. Resources are curated to help create organizations, form missions, conduct programs, and identify funding sources. Grant research tools available through the BWML such as The Foundation Directory Online will be emphasized. Additionally, CRC staff will present about the Colorado Grants Guide and their new program, GrantCorps. Attendees are encouraged to bring their own devices and follow along with the tutorial.

Presenters: 

  • John Major, Digital Services Librarian, Bud Werner Memorial Library
    • John Major is the Digital Services Librarian in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. He has a background in Archives/Special Collections, and currently manages the digital resources available through the Bud Werner Memorial Library. He has a passion for preserving and ensuring access to information for all humans.
  • Katy Pepinsky, Director of GrantCorps, Community Resource Center
    • Katy Pepinsky (she/her/ella), Director of GrantCorps, works to build the capacity of Colorado nonprofits to access and manage public and private grant funds. Katy started with CRC in June 2022. Prior to her current position, Katy worked as the Executive Director of a youth services organization in La Plata County. For over twenty years, she has worked with a diverse array of non-profit and service organizations to help build more resilient communities including La Plata Youth Services, Cooking Matters Colorado, Growing Partners of SW Colorado, Mercy Hospital, Peace Corps, and Colorado State University Extension. A native of Bloomington, Indiana, Katy holds a master’s degree in Extension Education from Colorado State University and a Professional Non-Profit Management Certificate, from Fort Lewis College. Katy lives in Durango and enjoys reading, gardening, practicing yoga, and exploring the rural rivers and trails of the Southwest with her two kids, husband, and dog. Katy is also fluent in Spanish!

Welcome Lunch and State of the Region Panel | 12:25 PM – 1:25 PM

Come and enjoy a lunch with some of the best casual food that the region has to offer from a local restaurant in Craig, Colorado.

What is the State of our Region? Join us for this discussion with regional leaders to learn about shared and diverging community priorities, and the ties that bind us together as a Northwest region. These regional leaders will reflect upon what they love about their communities as well as what they worry about for the present and future of their communities. Panelists will discuss the real and perceived economic, political, and social divides across our region, talk about what has gotten in the way of us understanding each other – and determine our shared regional values. Shared regional values may be key to addressing our region’s most pressing challenges, together. The session will close with how we can build the trust needed to lead to meaningful regional collaboration.

Facilitator: Tim Wohlgenant, Executive Director, Yampa Valley Community Foundation.

Tim’s career has centered around building trusting partnerships with others – whether with community partners or teams within organizations – to articulate vision and develop strategy to achieve those visions. Tim has worked in the private and public arenas, the for-profit and non-profit sectors, in partnership with government agencies, and by developing strategic collaborations. Tim has played a leadership role in successful efforts to start several non-profit organizations including the Colorado Cattlemen’s Agricultural Land Trust, the Bluff Lake Nature Center, and the South Dakota Agricultural Land Trust. Most recently, Tim was Coalition Director of For the Love of Colorado, a collaboration of water stakeholders from across the state seeking to address the funding gap standing in the way of full implementation of Colorado’s Water Plan.

Prior to his work with For the Love of Colorado, Tim was the State Director for the Trust for Public Land’s Colorado office and was later named Chief Operating Officer for the national organization. Under his leadership the Colorado office raised over $92 million to protect some of the state’s most precious and threatened lands for public enjoyment and to design and build parks and natural areas where they are needed most in the Denver metro area.
Earlier in his career, Tim devoted ten years as a principal with Western Land Group, Inc., a private consulting firm specializing in public land exchange facilitation. During that time, he worked with the Emerald Mountain Partnership to put together the federal and state land exchange which resulted in the BLM’s acquisition of Emerald Mountain in Steamboat Springs. Before returning to settle in his home state of Colorado, Tim spent several years at the World Wildlife Fund’s RESOLVE Center for Environmental Dispute Resolution in Washington, D.C., where he implemented international training projects and facilitated domestic consensus-based mediations.
Tim spends his weekends skiing, whitewater rafting and hiking with his wife, their two dogs, and as much as possible with his 22 and 25-year old daughters. He holds an M.S. from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies and a B.A. in Biology from Brown University.

Northwest Regional Town Hall | 1:35 PM – 2:45 PM

Session Description: 

This interactive session will bring together all conference participants to reflect on and enrich the discussion about the State of the Northwest Region. Facilitated small and full-group engagement will bring nonprofits, community leaders, and funders together for meaningful discussions on opportunities to partner. Participants will leave feeling motivated, inspired, and set the table for collaboration.

Facilitator: Rebecca Gorrell, Chief Program Officer, Community Resource Center

Rebecca brings 20 years of experience in nonprofit management, leadership development, adult education and advocacy to CRC. Rebecca has spent the majority of her career working to bring people together to do their good work better. She is passionate about the role of nonprofits in civil society, and is a fierce advocate for community-driven change. Prior to joining Community Resource Center in 2015, Rebecca served as Executive Director of the Colorado Participation Project, a nonprofit building advocacy capacity within human service organizations to engage their communities in elections and civic life, bringing the organization to CRC’s portfolio in 2016. Rebecca has held fundraising, business development, and program roles with Seniors’ Resource Center and Regis University. She is a contributor to the Colorado Nonprofit Association’s Principles & Practices for Nonprofit Excellence and was recognized by the Denver Business Journal as a Who’s Who in Impact Investing. Rebecca holds a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Science in Nonprofit Management from Regis University.

Meet the RAN Funders Round 1 | 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM

These sessions provide a platform for grantmakers who fund the Rural Action Network (RAN) to engage in dialogue with participating nonprofits on their grantmaking priorities and funding opportunities. These sessions create a valuable space to connect with and educate potential funders in a structured and stress free environment. Nonprofits gain valuable insight on potential partnerships with each funder and the opportunity for open dialogue and questions directly with foundation staff.

These sessions are 60 minutes long each and offered twice, held back-to-back. There will be two funders paired in each room, each grantmaker will facilitate a 30-minute conversation with a group of local participants sitting in a circle. The grantmakers will switch halfway through, so all participants hear from both funders. There will be one group of state agencies participating in a traditional panel style session.

Participating grantmakers include:

Meet the RAN Funders Round 2 | 4:15 PM – 5:15 PM

These sessions provide a platform for grantmakers who fund the Rural Action Network (RAN) to engage in dialogue with participating nonprofits on their grantmaking priorities and funding opportunities. These sessions create a valuable space to connect with and educate potential funders in a structured and stress free environment. Nonprofits gain valuable insight on potential partnerships with each funder and the opportunity for open dialogue and questions directly with foundation staff.

These sessions are 60 minutes long each and offered twice, held back-to-back. There will be two funders paired in each room, each grantmaker will facilitate a 30-minute conversation with a group of local participants sitting in a circle. The grantmakers will switch halfway through, so all participants hear from both funders. There will be one group of state agencies participating in a traditional panel style session.

Participating grantmakers include:

Block Party Welcome Reception | 5:30 PM – 7:00 PM

Join us in Hayden on for our welcome reception! This block party is not to be missed, there will be dancing in the street, local food trucks and beverages for all. This block party will take place on East Lincoln Avenue, between Yampa Valley Brewing Co. and The Granary.

Wednesday, September 14

Community Resource Center will have a registration and help desk set up at the Steamboat Christian Center – Family Life Center for the entirety of the day.

Board Track | 7:45 AM – 7:00 PM

Board members are encouraged to attend the conference with specialized programming for board members happening on Wednesday, September 14th. Below are the sessions recommended for board members to attend.

Arrive early and enjoy a full hour of networking with fellow participants and funders. Or take more time to enjoy a full list of breakfast goodies from a local Steamboat restaurant! This Networking Breakfast will be held at the Steamboat Christian Center – Family Life Center.

Change is what happens to you. Transformation is what you do with it. The 8 most important tools you need right now to meet the moment. Futurist Chet W. Sisk has been predicting the events of late for the last 15 years. He lays out the tools and skills we need now to turn this moment in time into opportunity and possibility.

Presented by Chet Sisk, Futurist & Author, Universal Basic Resources.

Session Description 

This session is organized for our nonprofit board member track.

A high performing board is essential to a successful nonprofit. What is “high performing?” How do board members fulfill their role without being either micromanagers or members in name only? How do good boards get to be the best? How do boards and executive directors form mutually supportive relationships that propel the organization? This session is for executive directors and board members who want strategies, roadmaps and lessons learned anecdotes to address these common issues.

Presenter: Renny Fagan, Nonprofit Consultant, Nostos Consulting LLC.

Renny Fagan was the President & CEO of Colorado Nonprofit Association for almost 12 years. With 1,400 nonprofit member organizations statewide, the Association provides knowledge resources and advocates for the entire nonprofit sector. During his tenure, the Association initiated legislation to increase charitable giving, including a 2018 law that enables Coloradans to donate their state income tax refund to any eligible nonprofit of their choice.

Renny is a former state legislator, director Colorado Department of Revenue, deputy attorney general, and state director for U.S. Senator Ken Salazar. He serves on the boards of the Colorado Channel Authority and Colorado Education Initiative. He was formerly board member and chair of the National
Council of Nonprofits. Renny now consults with nonprofits and government entities about strategic direction, board governance, stakeholder facilitation and public policy advocacy.

Enjoy lunch from a local Steamboat restaurant including a variety of specialty sandwiches, hoagies and chips. The Community Agriculture Alliance is providing local greens for salads. The office hours will provide grantseekers an opportunity to connect one-on-one with foundation staff to discuss any project or application specific questions, pre-registration is not required and funders will self-facilitate these conversations.

Session Description: 

Non-profit boards are too often challenged by a lack of engagement, sporadic commitment and support, obligatory and boring meetings and sometimes even a lessening of passion and purpose. In contrast, boards that truly understand and embrace their strategic leadership, guided by a compelling vision, are impacting their communities in extraordinary ways. Attendees will learn the practical ways to build strategic leadership and explore the reasons why and how a focused vision can guide the non-profit to its desired and impactful future.

Presenters: 

  • Ellen Kendall, Colorado Institute for Excellence.
    • As a Founding Partner of the Colorado Institute for Excellence, Ellen Kendall brings her more than 35 years of experience in organizational improvement. She has worked with hundreds of organizations, including major corporations, small businesses, government, hospitals, and non-profits, with varying levels of involvement, from conducting seminars, facilitating retreats to contractual long-term consulting arrangements. She is uniquely qualified to deliver consulting services and training to executives, managers and employees at any level.For 30 years, she has been a Senior Associate with Conway Management, Inc., founded by Bill Conway, who was the first American CEO to work with Dr. Deming.

      For four years, in partnership with Professional Growth Systems of Anchorage, Alaska, she had the experience of working with a consortium of three organizations in Northwest Alaska: The Manillaq Association (including the hospital), NANA (a Native-American owned company), and the Northwest Arctic Borough.

      Ellen holds a B.S., Honors College, from Michigan State University and a M.S. from the University of Tennessee.

      She currently lives in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. She is very involved in community organizations and is a member and Past President of the Rotary Club of Steamboat Springs. She enjoys spending time with her two grown children and three grandchildren and traveling internationally, especially through the HomeExchange program, as she did recently with her month in Melbourne, Australia.

  • Heather Martyn, Colorado Institute for Excellence
    • Heather Martyn is a Founding Partner of the Colorado Institute for Excellence. Her 20 years of diverse experience, in both the private and public sector, and her exceptional business and communication skills makes her uniquely suited to the mission of CIE: helping organizations achieve excellence.Hailing from Wyoming, Heather brings her “cowboy spirit” to all she does – with a fearless attitude towards finding solutions. Consequently, entrepreneurship comes naturally to her. She has started and operated several businesses, including owning and managing a local campground franchise, with over 25 employees serving thousands of guests each year. She knows first-hand the challenges of employee retention, training and motivation, and how to bring out the best in her staff. She always seeks to help others improve and reach their full potential.

      She also brings her passion for problem solving to her local community, as was clearly displayed in 2009. She discovered a very pressing need for parents to have safe and productive after-school care for their children. In response, she was instrumental in the founding of a local chapter of the Boys and Girls Club of America in Steamboat Springs. Heather’s drive, experience and commitment overcame many obstacles, resulting in a club that now enrolls more than half the community’s children.

      She continued her commitment to the community as the Collaborative Management Program Coordinator for Routt County, where she facilitated youth serving organizations to reduce duplication of services and to address fragmented collaboration. This sparked her interest in taking those same process and waste reduction challenges to the business sector.

      Through her work in both non-profits and government, coupled with her background in professional coaching and positive psychology, she has gained a reputation as a skilled facilitator and change agent. She is able to “cut through the noise” to identify the real issues confronting individuals and groups and to move towards solutions and positive results.

      Heather enjoys the outdoor lifestyle and all that comes with living in Colorado. She recently embarked on a journey with her family where they sold everything and lived on a sailboat for a year. If she isn’t working, you might find her on a mountain with her husband, Ren, their three boys, Andrew, Ryan, Lander and her dog Routty.

Come spend the final night of the conference listening to local performers, enjoying food from a Steamboat food truck, and taking in the beautiful views of the Yampa River Botanic Park.

Steamboat Welcome Breakfast | 7:45 AM – 8:45 AM

Arrive early and enjoy a full hour of networking with fellow participants and funders. Or take more time to enjoy a full list of breakfast goodies from a local Steamboat restaurant! This Networking Breakfast will be held at the Steamboat Christian Center – Family Life Center. 

Keynote Presentation: The Possibilities and Opportunities Of Change and Transformation | 9:00 AM – 10:20 AM

Change is what happens to you. Transformation is what you do with it. The 8 most important tools you need right now to meet the moment. Futurist Chet W. Sisk has been predicting the events of late for the last 15 years. He lays out the tools and skills we need now to turn this moment in time into opportunity and possibility.

Presented by Chet Sisk, Futurist & Author, Universal Basic Resources.

Capacity Building Sessions | 10:50 AM – 12:20 PM

Session Description 

This interactive session will present best practices and tips for success in seeking and writing grants. Participants will leave understanding the essential elements included in a grant proposal, key-terminology, funding research, and grant management tools. We will discuss strategies to overcome challenges that many rural nonprofits face in grantwriting. This crash-course in grantwriting is also full of tips for how to make your grants even more competitive.

Presenter: Nellie Stagg, Senior Program Director, Community Resource Center

Nellie Stagg is the Senior Program Director at Community Resource Center, working with hundreds of rural nonprofit leaders across the state to strengthen their organizations and communities. Nellie has a background in rural programmatic management, nonprofit capacity building, and data informed decision making. A proud AmeriCorps NCCC alumni, Nellie understands the value of national service and the impact it can have on individuals, organizations, and communities. As a former Program Officer with Serve Colorado – the Governor’s Commission on Community Service, Nellie brings the unique perspective of having been a grant maker overseeing a portfolio of rural and developing programs across the state. When not driving across Colorado, she can be found at the library, in a makerspace, or in the garden.

Session Description 

This session will focus on the inclusion of community in nonprofit organizational planning, programs, and development. Participants will understand the role community-centered programming can play in meeting their missions, developing more inclusive and equitable engagement processes, and creating sustainable change. Participants will explore tools and tactics for participatory community engagement and identify tangible next steps for engaging diverse stakeholders and centering community in decision making processes.

Presenter: Alex McHenry, Director of Civic Engagement, Community Resource Center

Alex brings over ten years of experience in the fields of education, leadership, and community engagement. As the Program Director – Civic Engagement, Alex oversees CRC’s civic engagement programs including the Participation Project and The Root Causes Network helping nonprofits to build and strengthen their advocacy efforts. While born and raised in Denver, Alex has spent the majority of her adult life moving around the US and abroad, including living in Kenya and Malaysia, and she is happy to once more be settled in the sunny state of Colorado. Alex has a masters’ degree in conservation social science and is passionate about working at a systems level to tackle complex social issues. In her free time, Alex can be found hiking, playing volleyball, or exploring one of Denver’s many thrift stores.

Session Description 

This session is organized for our nonprofit board member track.

A high performing board is essential to a successful nonprofit. What is “high performing?” How do board members fulfill their role without being either micromanagers or members in name only? How do good boards get to be the best? How do boards and executive directors form mutually supportive relationships that propel the organization? This session is for executive directors and board members who want strategies, roadmaps and lessons learned anecdotes to address these common issues.

Presenter: Renny Fagan, Nonprofit Consultant, Nostos Consulting LLC.

Renny Fagan was the President & CEO of Colorado Nonprofit Association for almost 12 years. With 1,400 nonprofit member organizations statewide, the Association provides knowledge resources and advocates for the entire nonprofit sector. During his tenure, the Association initiated legislation to increase charitable giving, including a 2018 law that enables Coloradans to donate their state income tax refund to any eligible nonprofit of their choice.

Renny is a former state legislator, director Colorado Department of Revenue, deputy attorney general, and state director for U.S. Senator Ken Salazar. He serves on the boards of the Colorado Channel Authority and Colorado Education Initiative. He was formerly board member and chair of the National
Council of Nonprofits. Renny now consults with nonprofits and government entities about strategic direction, board governance, stakeholder facilitation and public policy advocacy.

Session Description 

The traditional use of performance appraisals is often stressful, time consuming for employers and employees and can be unintentionally harmful. Yet, everyone deserves and can benefit from feedback on their performance. This session will break down why the performance appraisal system is fundamentally flawed and provide some proven alternatives to the traditional performance appraisal.

Presenters: 

  • Ellen Kendall, Colorado Institute for Excellence.
    • As a Founding Partner of the Colorado Institute for Excellence, Ellen Kendall brings her more than 35 years of experience in organizational improvement. She has worked with hundreds of organizations, including major corporations, small businesses, government, hospitals, and non-profits, with varying levels of involvement, from conducting seminars, facilitating retreats to contractual long-term consulting arrangements. She is uniquely qualified to deliver consulting services and training to executives, managers and employees at any level.

      For 30 years, she has been a Senior Associate with Conway Management, Inc., founded by Bill Conway, who was the first American CEO to work with Dr. Deming.

      For four years, in partnership with Professional Growth Systems of Anchorage, Alaska, she had the experience of working with a consortium of three organizations in Northwest Alaska: The Manillaq Association (including the hospital), NANA (a Native-American owned company), and the Northwest Arctic Borough.

      Ellen holds a B.S., Honors College, from Michigan State University and a M.S. from the University of Tennessee.

      She currently lives in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. She is very involved in community organizations and is a member and Past President of the Rotary Club of Steamboat Springs. She enjoys spending time with her two grown children and three grandchildren and traveling internationally, especially through the HomeExchange program, as she did recently with her month in Melbourne, Australia.

  • Heather Martyn, Colorado Institute for Excellence
    • Heather Martyn is a Founding Partner of the Colorado Institute for Excellence. Her 20 years of diverse experience, in both the private and public sector, and her exceptional business and communication skills makes her uniquely suited to the mission of CIE: helping organizations achieve excellence.

      Hailing from Wyoming, Heather brings her “cowboy spirit” to all she does – with a fearless attitude towards finding solutions. Consequently, entrepreneurship comes naturally to her. She has started and operated several businesses, including owning and managing a local campground franchise, with over 25 employees serving thousands of guests each year. She knows first-hand the challenges of employee retention, training and motivation, and how to bring out the best in her staff. She always seeks to help others improve and reach their full potential.

      She also brings her passion for problem solving to her local community, as was clearly displayed in 2009. She discovered a very pressing need for parents to have safe and productive after-school care for their children. In response, she was instrumental in the founding of a local chapter of the Boys and Girls Club of America in Steamboat Springs. Heather’s drive, experience and commitment overcame many obstacles, resulting in a club that now enrolls more than half the community’s children.

      She continued her commitment to the community as the Collaborative Management Program Coordinator for Routt County, where she facilitated youth serving organizations to reduce duplication of services and to address fragmented collaboration. This sparked her interest in taking those same process and waste reduction challenges to the business sector.

      Through her work in both non-profits and government, coupled with her background in professional coaching and positive psychology, she has gained a reputation as a skilled facilitator and change agent. She is able to “cut through the noise” to identify the real issues confronting individuals and groups and to move towards solutions and positive results.

      Heather enjoys the outdoor lifestyle and all that comes with living in Colorado. She recently embarked on a journey with her family where they sold everything and lived on a sailboat for a year. If she isn’t working, you might find her on a mountain with her husband, Ren, their three boys, Andrew, Ryan, Lander and her dog Routty.

Session Description

Join our Keynote Speaker, Chet Sisk, as he hosts a workshop where teams actually put together a community that works better than what we have now. It’s going to require your creative and innovative selves as well as your “super powers”. Be prepared to defend your ideas.

Presenter: Chet Sisk, Futurist & Author, Universal Basic Resources.

Chet W. Sisk is a Futurist, author and entrepreneur. He has spent the last 15 years letting companies, organizations and individuals know about this dramatic
time of change and how to thrive and succeed in it. Chet has spoken on these subjects at the United Nations in 2015 and 2017. He has presented in almost 30
different countries, including South Africa, Albania, Malaysia, Nigeria, The Netherlands and Bahrain. He believes that change presents an opportunity for us
to become great. To that end, he has created the UBR Climate Strong Initiative — a new economic system that combines cool tech with climate adaptation and resilience with visionary, inclusive leadership. He’s written several books on personal and corporate change including his latest one — You and the New Normal with Dr. Mohammed Buheji. He was born and raised in Waterloo, Iowa and considers popcorn one of the most important food groups.

Session Description

The last few years have marked enormous change across so many facets of our lives. Our sector sits at the intersection of every major social issue and confronts these changes in our programs and in our internal operations. Our field is grappling with new models of leadership, approaches to shared services, increased urgency for advocacy, trust based philanthropy, and the imperative to focus on equity and inclusion. Join CRC and other statewide organizations serving the social change sector for a rich discussion regarding the emergent shifts in our field, learnings from the last few years, and changes that are here to stay.

Facilitated by: Rebecca Gorrell, Chief Program Officer, Community Resource Center

Rebecca brings 20 years of experience in nonprofit management, leadership development, adult education and advocacy to CRC. Rebecca has spent the majority of her career working to bring people together to do their good work better. She is passionate about the role of nonprofits in civil society, and is a fierce advocate for community-driven change. Prior to joining Community Resource Center in 2015, Rebecca served as Executive Director of the Colorado Participation Project, a nonprofit building advocacy capacity within human service organizations to engage their communities in elections and civic life, bringing the organization to CRC’s portfolio in 2016. Rebecca has held fundraising, business development, and program roles with Seniors’ Resource Center and Regis University. She is a contributor to the Colorado Nonprofit Association’s Principles & Practices for Nonprofit Excellence and was recognized by the Denver Business Journal as a Who’s Who in Impact Investing. Rebecca holds a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Science in Nonprofit Management from Regis University.

Panelists Include: 

  • Maria Fabula, President & CEO, Community Resource Center (CRC)
    • Since 2013, Maria has served as President & CEO of the Community Resource Center (CRC). Maria believes in the power of the nonprofit sector to drive meaningful change and promote health and justice in our communities.With over two decades of experience leading the social sector to become more transparent, community-driven and collaborative, Maria has spent her career connecting government, nonprofit organizations, and businesses to improve the community. Maria works closely with individuals, their teams, and organizations to build trust, create a space for open dialogue, and harness the power of change.

      Maria’s visionary leadership has led to milestone improvements at CRC including the transformation of the Rural Philanthropy Days program, addition of AmeriCorps VISTA and State/National programs, acquisition of the Colorado Participation Project and the Nonprofit Social Enterprise Exchange.  Since 2013, CRC’s budget has grown from under $500K to over $8 million, CRC’s staff has grown from 5 to 33 team members and CRC’s impact across the state of Colorado has been felt at every corner.

      Appointed in 2014 to the Governor’s Commission on Community Service, Maria served as the Commission Chair from 2018 to 2020.  Maria was recognized as “Who’s Who in Impact Investing” by the Impact Finance Center and Denver Business Journal in 2017 and 2018 and is an Everything DiSC® Certified Facilitator.

  • Melinda Higgs, President & CEO, Colorado Nonprofit Development Center (CNDC)
  • Elizabeth Prutch, Chief Impact Officer, Colorado Nonprofit Association (CNA)

Session Description

Healthy development in the early years of a child’s life provides the building blocks for educational achievement, economic productivity, lifelong health, and strong communities. This session will convene regional leaders in early childhood education (ECE) to discuss the greatest challenges in today’s child care crisis, solutions that have been implemented in the region, and opportunities on the horizon. Panelists will dive into drivers of the crisis, such as workforce challenges, capacity to serve children, and the cost of providing and accessing high-quality ECE programs. Systemic solutions to be discussed include public-private partnerships, government investment, the role of large employers, and the importance of backbone supports like early childhood councils.

Facilitated by Marrisa Mora, Program Officer, Buell Foundation

Prior to joining the Buell Foundation in August 2020, Marrisa worked for the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment coordinating and evaluating the state’s Essentials for Childhood Initiative. Her work on this project focused on increasing protective factors like food security, access to child care, and community norms related to help-seeking and collective prosperity. Marrisa holds a Master’s in Public Health and participates in the Colorado Public Health Association’s Health Equity Coalition. She also serves as the Board Chair of AUL Denver, a trauma-informed charter school focused on closing the school-to-prison pipeline. When she is not working, Marrisa spends as much time as possible in the outdoors, hiking, camping, riding her bike, and learning how to better tend her garden.

Panelists include:

  • Carolyn Gregory, Executive Director, Totally Kids
  • Katy Hale, Grand Beginnings
  • Kelly Kissling, Director, Routt County Human Services
  • Betsy Overton, Connections 4 Kids

Session Description

Join local author and historian Dagny McKinley for a guided tour of the most iconic historic and cultural sites through the lens of the economies that have shaped Steamboat Springs. Local experts will shed light on key economies such as agriculture, outdoor rec, and the arts as well as drivers of our rural communities like our environment and heritage spaces. Through this walking tour you will visit iconic Steamboat landmarks, learn inside scoop you won’t get anywhere else, and reflect on the nuanced history and vibrant future of our community.

Stops will include Steamboat Creates Depot Arts Center, Sulfur Spring in West Lincoln Park, Main St on the corner of Lincoln & 10th, Steamboat Art Museum, Old Ambulance Barn, and the base of Howelsen Hill.

Will be about 12-13 blocks of walking total.

The tour will start and end at the Steamboat Creates Depot Arts Center, with ample parking on site.

Facilitator: Dagny McKinley, Executive Director, Colorado New Play Festival

Dagny McKinley is the Executive Director of the Colorado New Play Festival. Prior to that, she served for four years as Director of Development and Communications for Steamboat Creates. She is an author, historian and photographer with five books to her credit. Her photography has been published across the United States. She earned an MFA in Creative Writing from Naropa University.

Dagny is currently working to protect the Mineral Springs of Steamboat Springs with the Tread of Pioneers Museum, is on the Colorado Business Committee for the Arts advocacy committee, and is determined to see a performing art center in Steamboat Springs come to fruition. Dagny believes that anything can happen when you believe the impossible is possible.

Networking Lunch | Funder Office Hours | 12:40 PM – 2:00 PM

Enjoy lunch from a local Steamboat restaurant including a variety of specialty sandwiches, hoagies and chips. The Community Agriculture Alliance is providing local greens for salads. The office hours will provide grantseekers an opportunity to connect one-on-one with foundation staff to discuss any project or application specific questions, pre-registration is not required and funders will self-facilitate these conversations.

Northwest Nonprofit Community Fair: Meet the Nonprofits | 2:30 PM – 4:30 PM

Join us for a celebration of the nonprofit sector across the Northwest region. In this highly interactive session, nonprofits serving across the region will have the opportunity to host a table where their peers, statewide leaders, and funders can approach them to connect and learn more about their work. Form new relationships, strengthen existing ones, and build knowledge about the great work of your organization during the Northwest Community Fair. Through this session funders and nonprofit organizations have the opportunity to develop a mutual understanding of one another in a relaxed environment.

Nonprofits based in the Northwest region are eligible to host a table. The set-up for the event will be simple, and parameters will be explained during the virtual pre-conference trainings.

Dinner at the Botanic Park | 5:00 PM – 7:00 PM

Come spend the final night of the conference listening to local performers, enjoying food from a Steamboat food truck, and taking in the beautiful views of the Yampa River Botanic Park.

Thursday, September 15

Day 3 of the conference will be an optional Housing Tour. The intended audience for this session are grantmakers, government leaders, and statewide entities seeking to learn more about this part of the region from local speakers.

It’s Our Problem to Solve: How We All Can Be a Part of the Solution to the Housing Crisis | 8:30 AM – 12:30 PM

Lack of access to housing has reached crisis levels for communities across Colorado – and it is our problem to solve together. Join us for a half-day intensive focusing on housing in Northwest Colorado where you can realize opportunities for your organization to be a part of the solution.

Regional leaders will discuss projects being advanced locally to address housing and what made these projects possible. Engage with panelists speaking to the community support needed for systemic change in how we approach housing, and the effective messaging needed in making the case supporting investing in our communities through housing.

This tour will start and end with programming at the Steamboat Springs Community Center. Participants are encouraged to drive themselves between tour locations, and carpooling can be facilitated as needed. Breakfast and snacks will be provided with a list of recommended lunch locations.