2022 Steering Committee

Conference Co-Chairs

Born in Jos, Nigeria, Carrie spent the first 18 years of her life as a missionary kid. She returned to Texas for college, receiving a BA in Elementary Education from Dallas Baptist University. After teaching 4th grade ESL in Texas for 4 years, Carrie and her Australian husband moved to Telluride in 2003. Starting out in seasonal jobs, they quickly put down roots by purchasing a home in Norwood. Carrie first worked at the Telluride library for 1 year and then became the District/HS Librarian for the Norwood School District where she worked for 5 years. During this time, she earned her Masters Degree in Educational Media (School Librarianship) from UNC Greeley. She began working as the Library Director of the Norwood library in 2010. These have been exciting and rewarding years, during which time Carrie has had the honor to serve the community in many ways including sitting on the boards of the Prime Time Leadership board, Chamber of Commerce, Lone Cone Legacy Trust, WEEDC, and multiple initiatives. She also served on the board of the Colorado Library Consortium, a state-wide agency providing continuing education, cooperative purchasing, regional consulting, and ILS management to libraries all over the state. Now that the new library facility has been completed, Carrie is excited to see it used by the local and regional community in new and creative ways, which bring more opportunities to our citizens.

Danelle is a Certified Prevention Specialist who earned her Colorado Department of Education Initial License in k-12 ART and her Bachelor of Fine Art in Art Education from Colorado Mesa University. Having lived in the region since 1999, she brings years of managerial experience in the hospitality industry and countless hours of working with children through Ouray County schools, Weehawken Creative Arts, Ah Haa School of the Arts, and Telluride Ski School.

Advisory Committee

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.

Sofia is the Event Coordinator with Community Resource Center, working to support several of the programs that CRC has to offer. Most of Sofia’s work focuses on the Education Program and the Nonprofit Leadership and Management Program. Sofia graduated from The University of New Hampshire with a degree in Environmental Conservation and Sustainability. Sofia recently packed up her car and moved out to Denver in the summer of 2019. In her free time Sofia enjoys hiking, knitting, cooking, camping, and soaking up the Colorado sunshine.

Program Subcommittee

Sarah Holbrooke is the Executive Director of Pinhead Institute. Before joining the organization in April 2014, she was a filmmaker and Peabody award-winning television producer, working for ABC News, CBS News and CNN. She collaborated with anchors such as Peter Jennings, Katie Couric and Larry King. She also was a senior booker for several networks including CNN, where she arranged on-air interviews with leading opinion makers, scientists, and celebrities. Sarah is a graduate of Wesleyan University, with a double major in English and Psychology with a concentration in BioPsych. After living in New York city for two decades, she now lives in Telluride, Colorado with her husband David, the Founder of Original Thinkers, her three children and her two dogs. In her spare time she enjoys rock climbing, hiking, biking and relaxing with a good book.

Patrick is the Southwest Regional Manager from the Department of Local Affairs (DOLA). Prior to serving in this position, Patrick was the City Administrator for the City of Ouray for 13 years. Patrick also served four years on the Executive Board of the Colorado Municipal League, helping to develop strong municipal relationships throughout the southwest part of the State. Patrick has served on the Ouray Volunteer Fire Department for the past 15 years and is currently the Battalion Chief for the Department. Patrick is a graduate from the University of Colorado at Boulder.

Scott first experienced Gunnison as a child on one of many family road trips to the valley from his hometown of Golden, Colorado. The love he developed for this community never faded, and he was eventually able to move here full-time in 2019. Scott graduated with a B.A. from Gonzaga University in 2011, and returned to Colorado to complete his M.A. in Education from Denver University. Since then, he has been working in K-12, higher education, and nonprofit spaces around the state of Colorado. Scott jumped at the opportunity to join CFGV, and is eager to assist in serving such a wonderful community. When not working, Scott enjoys exploring our limitless public lands with his dogs, listening to a good podcast, and writing.

Maryo Gard Ewell has spent her entire career either with nonprofit groups or serving arts nonprofits, and is excited to be working with nonprofits of all types via the CFGV.  She serves them primarily in a training and teaching capacity, but in addition, does public speaking and writing.  She is a 2017 recipient of the Colorado Governor’s Creative Leadership Award, an honorary doctorate from Goucher College, and Americans for the Arts’ Selina Roberts Ottum Award for leadership in community arts development.  She teaches the online community arts class for the MA in Arts Administration program at Goucher College, and teaches Grantwriting at Western Colorado University and online for the Arts Extension Service at the University of Massachusetts.  She has worked for community arts councils in Connecticut and for state arts agencies in Illinois and Colorado, winding up her service for Colorado Creative Industries by designing and managing its Creative Districts program. Locally, Maryo co-chairs the Basic Needs team of the One Valley Prosperity Project and is Past President of the Gunnison Arts Center.  She holds an MA in Organizational Behavior and an MA in Urban & Regional Planning.

Laura is a recent graduate of Hope College in Holland, MI where she studied history, psychology, and political science. Laura is currently an AmeriCorps VISTA, serving at the Lone Cone Library as their Connecting Community Initiatives Coordinator. She works on writing and managing grants, as well as social media and marketing for the library.

Robyn has been in a grant Writer in the community for more than 15 years for various nonprofits and county governments.

Chris S. Lopez is the Community Relationship Manager for SW Colorado from the Colorado Housing Finance Authority (CHFA) based in Durango and serves nine Counties and two Tribal Nations. His professional background includes community and economic development, affordable housing, land use planning and entitlement work, and natural resources management. Chris brings an extensive background in program development and project management in a variety of sectors, the ability to identify and create community and business partnerships, and an understanding of the diversity of cultures and challenges that rural communities face.

Lori is the founder of ThinkSharp! Consulting providing guidance, training, grant management and event planning for regional non-profits. Lori has over 10 years of non-profit consulting experience, and her work has led to increased and stable funding for each client she works with. She prides herself on her client, donor and funder relationships, strategic thinking and planning, and ability to represent her clients with integrity and passion. She is a passionate advocate for Western Slope communities.

Joey is currently the interim Executive Director of PEER Kindness, Inc, a nonprofit focused on reducing bullying among school-aged youth. She brings with her six years of nonprofit leadership experience and has spent over 15 years in leadership and higher education. She has called Montrose home for the last 16 years and loves the beauty of the natural landscapes surrounding the Western Slope.

Deana Sheriff is the Executive Director for West End Economic Development Corporation. Since April 2017, Deana has been working to mitigate the economic effects of both a mine closure and power plant closure. Deana’s task is to help the region diversify the economy, and not only survive the impact of the closures and loss of high-paying jobs, but to come out the other side a stronger and more resilient community. Deana has worked in economic development for over 25 years, working in both metropolitan and rural settings. Deana’s passion for rural communities has helped to craft unique solutions that work for isolated regions. She particularly enjoys helping small businesses grow and prosper.

Carlton has worked at CASA of the 7th Judicial District CEO for the past 7 years. Prior to joining CASA he was a small business owner.

Candy is currently the Mayor Pro Tem for the Town of Norwood, a contributor for the Regional Water Planning Grant and the Business Manager for the Norwood Fire Protection District.
Additionally, she is the Administrator for her family’s heavy civil construction company.

Julia grew up in the DFW area, then went to college in New England, earning a BA in Economics. After college, she worked initially in business in NYC and then in Ohio. At 24 she went back to school to earn an MBA (after taking a detour to work as an apprentice chef). Until last year when she retired, Julia worked as a business consultant and in industry, primarily focused on financially-related roles. Over the years, she also volunteered for various organizations, vowing that ‘someday she’d learn to write grants.’

Julia is married to a wonderful man, Bob Johns. When they married in 2017, they merged their two families. He arrived with three daughters (all in their 40s) and five grandchildren. Julia brought her only daughter, who is in her mid-20s. Their entire family (including significant others, kids, and pets) gathers annually in Lake City for the fourth of July. Julia and Bob both like to volunteer; he is active with Lake City Arts (LCA) and the Creede Repertory Theatre in Mineral County. She volunteers in several capacities with LCA and also with the Pioneer Jubilee Women’s Club in LC.

Hospitality  Subcommittee

Mel McKelvey stepped into the role of Site Director for the Black Canyon Boys and Girls Club in Montrose, Colorado, in 2021. She works with the Club’s organizational partners to provide opportunities to the youth of the community, providing them with skills and knowledge for whatever endeavors they choose in the future.  She brings her background in organization development, event planning, and nonprofit work to this year’s SJ RPD. Mel is also a parent, and enjoys many outdoor adventures in the beautiful San Juan region, including family rafting trips, and ice climbing.

Amanda Pierce is the Town Clerk for the Town of Norwood. Prior to her position as Town Clerk she was the Chief Quality and Compliance Officer at a federally qualified health center in Norwood. She had been a risk manager and emergency preparedness coordinator for the clinic while she was the compliance officer, she truly enjoys the administrative rolls of running organizations and making it a better place. She enjoys her community, where she was born and raised. Norwood has been her home for almost 15 years and where she is currently raising her 14 year old son and 5 year old daughter. In her role as Town Clerk she looks forward to making her community a better place not only for the residence of Norwood but also people just passing through, planning on coming to visit, and people wanting to make it their home too.

Tera Couchman Wick (she/her) is the Community Initiatives Facilitator in Ridgway, Colorado where she works in partnership with local residents to facilitate a vibrant and creative main street. She has over 20 years of experience facilitating community initiatives in diverse communities in Western Colorado and Oregon.