2023 Southwest Rural Philanthropy Days Workshops and Speakers

Wednesday, June 7th

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

Tour of Ignacio – A Colorful Tri-Ethnic Community Rooted in Culture | 8:30 AM – 12:15 AM

Session Description:

Don’t miss this opportunity to join us for this behind the scenes tour of the people, places, and groups that make Ignacio the vibrant community that it is. Ignacio is a small community of 800+ people located within the exterior boundaries of the Southern Ute Indian Reservation.

Join us for this bus tour as we visit some key community locations and hear from local leaders leading this change in their community. Learn about the key challenges that local leaders are working to address, unique partnerships at play, and how this community leverages Tribal, municipal, philanthropic, and local talent to serve their community. 

Bruce LeClaire, Chief Executive Officer of the Boys & Girls Club of the Southern Ute Indian Tribe will serve as our tour facilitator introducing our distinguished speakers including Edward Box III from the Southern Ute Indian Tribe’s Cultural Department and Mayor Pro Tem of Ignacio, who will provide important information on Ignactio’s history, context, and culture.

This bus tour will depart from and return to Fort Lewis College in Durango. Stops of the tour will include the Sun Ute Community Center, the Southern Ute Tribal Council Chambers, the ELHI Community Center, and local schools. 

The tour is designed with grantmakers and statewide policy members in mind, and will provide critical context and introductions to this unique and vibrant community.

Facilitator: Bruce LeClaire (Sicangu Lakota), Chief Executive Officer, Boys & Girls Club of the Southern Ute Indian Tribe

Bruce LeClaire is a enrolled member of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe. Bruce moved to Durango in 1982. He and his wife, Mary raised 4 children in Durango. He is the Chief Executive Officer of the Boys & Girls Club of the Southern Ute Indian Tribe.

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

Session Description 

The aim of this session is to educate organizations and individuals on best practices when working with 2SLGBTQIA+ individuals, clients, co-workers, youth, and community. Practical applications will include: What is allyship? The importance of intersectionality’s, identities, cultural humility, education around pronouns, and more.

How to make your intake processes inclusive, know the protection laws around 2SLGBTQIA+ rights for clients and employees and how organizations can make impacting change.

Presenter: Jennifer Stucka-Benally, LCSW- Co-Director and Found of the Four Corners Rainbow Youth Center

Jennifer has a strong passion for social justice and a background being involved in advocating for the 2SLGBTQIA+ community. They identify as a queer, genderqueer individual. They gained their Master’s in Social Work from the University of Denver and their undergraduate in psychology at the University of Washington. They have been trained in and have been working with adolescents, teens, and families for 17 years in Residential Treatment, Therapeutic Mentoring, Conflict Resolution, Child Protective Services, Community Mental Health, both in and out of schools, and Private Practice. They believe that every person deserves a safe world in which they can be free to be themselves and express themselves. They also believe that every young person’s voice is crucial and should be heard. Jennifer’s hope is for the Four Corners Rainbow Youth Center to provide a space that is safe, nonjudgmental, and educational.

Session Description 

Imagina navegar por la vida en una lengua distinta a la tuya. | Imagine navigating life in a language different than your own. Everything becomes more challenging and, perhaps more fundamentally, it feels nearly impossible to become ‘part of’ a community. You may not be able to access resources; have that conversation with the teacher about your child’s performance in the classroom; advocate your needs to your city council.

Language Justice is a key practice that we as individuals, organizations, and communities have to build a more equitable system that removes a critical barrier to universal participation thereby ensuring that all voices are heard and included in the process of community change toward social justice.

In this workshop, participants will work with members from the La Plata Food Equity Coalition and the Community Language Justice Resource Group to gain a common understanding of what language justice is and why it matters. We will then introduce basic steps that participants can take to advance language justice work in their own efforts, as well as, present local resources. This workshop will practice Language Justice and be presented in both English and Spanish.

Presenters: Tomas German-Palacios, Good Food Collective and Olivia De Pablo Lopez, La Plata Food Equity Coalition

Tomas has always had a love of food and helping others. He is a Certified HeartMath® Trainer and Health Coach creating a foundation of skills and techniques based on over 25 years of scientific evidence-based research to increase performance and resilience. Tomas is currently undergoing certification in the Functional Medicine approach to Nutrition, Mind-Body Medicine, and Positive Psychology with the Functional Medicine Coaching Academy. He is also a Board Member with Manna Soup Kitchen. Tomas is on a lifelong mission to improve the health and well-being of the Planet and all of its inhabitants. Being part of the La Plata Food Equity Coalition is a clear path to doing that right here at home!

Olivia De Pablo-Lopez

Olivia De Pablo-Lopez is an Immigrant and an activist from Morelos, Mexico who moved to Durango, Colorado in 1993. She believes in the power of community mobilization to dismantle systematic oppression, spark curiosity, and create change! Most of her work has been in theareas of Immigrant’s and Women’s Rights. She is a National Awarded winner from ARTE SANA –
a national organization dedicated towards the eradication of violence against women- She sits in various committees such as: La Plata Leadership Diversity, Mujeres sin miedo and Voces. She
is also a former member of the Community Relation’s Commission through the City of Durango. Her passion is to help build healthier communities by promoting social change, diversity,
Inclusion, and cultural Competency. She is an avid life learner, a very complex being in search of simplicity. She enjoys living in Durango, local colors, arts, traveling, independent cinema,
outdoors, music, dancing, spending time with family and her dog Max.

Session Description 

Three things people fear most: Snakes, the Wicked Witch of the West… and asking for money!

True, all three are scary, but asking for money isn’t nearly as hard as we’ve convinced ourselves. And – surprise – when we do request a financial contribution to support our work, the answer – more often than not – is “YES!”

This series of two workshops is designed to increase your personal comfort with asking for money. Session One will discuss the psychology of asking/giving, and the process for and techniques of a successful ask. In Session Two, participants will plan for, execute and debrief a face-to-face meeting to request support from local philanthropists.

Presenter: Illene Roggensack, President, Third Sector Innovations, Inc.; Strategic By Nature, Inc.

Illene Roggensack is a Certified Fundraising Professional (CFRE) and frequent Rural Philanthropy Days presenter whose sweet spot lies in building bold and solid nonprofit organizations. She is owner of Third Sector Innovations (Grand Junction) and co-owner of Strategic By Nature, Inc. (Durango), firms that help to facilitate increased organizational capacity and sustainability – and maximized services’ impact – via planning, marketing/communications, fundraising, board/staff leadership development, and building of quality structure and systems.

Session Description 

Do you find it hard to make the time to post on social media, enhance your website, or compose emails? You’re not alone. Often, digital outreach can fall to the bottom of to-do lists at non-profits because there are just so many other tasks to complete! However, having good digital outreach is key for creating trust in your community and for connecting with potential donors. This session will help non-profits take their website, social media, and email to the next level. If done correctly, you can increase program participation, more effectively spread information, and raise more money.

Presenter: Emily Spahn, Founder of Sage Messaging, School Community Youth Collaborative

Emily has her Masters in Behavior Change Communication for Global Health from the University of Denver. Emily has worked for non-profits and small businesses both domestically and internationally. She started her career at the United States Agency for International Development in Malawi where she worked on an HIV/AIDS prevention program. More recently, Emily worked in child abuse prevention with the Four Corners Child Advocacy Center where she led a county-wide campaign to destigmatize service utilization. After noticing a gap in non-profits’ digital outreach capacity, Emily started a business to support non-profits with design, fundraising, and grant writing. In her free time, she enjoys rock climbing, skiing, and mountain biking.

Session Description 

Learn how to lead your board and staff through an effective and affordable strategic planning process. Strategic planning is a foundational component of nonprofit development and a key responsibility for boards of directors. During this interactive workshop participants will gain an understanding of how to lead their team through a DIY (do it yourself) strategic planning process that gets everyone on the same page about how to move forward. We will cover the benefits of planning, organizational readiness, key questions to address, transitioning from vision to action, process and design options, and evaluation.


Stacy Beaugh, Co-Owner and President, Strategic By Nature, Inc.

Stacy Beaugh co-owns Strategic By Nature, Inc., a woman-owned company that provides expertise and support to those striving for impact and effective outcomes for people, land, water and nature. In this role, Stacy primarily supports nonprofits, government agencies, and collaborative groups through strategic planning, facilitation, stakeholder assessment, collaborative design, conflict resolution, organizational development, executive/leadership coaching, fundraising and training. Stacy has worked as an executive director, board member/chair, public administrator, volunteer, facilitator, trainer and consultant. Recent clients in SW Colorado include Powerhouse Science Center, Conservation Lands Foundation and Animas Watershed Partnership.

Sandhya Atkinson, Founder and Lead Facilitator of Sagebrush Ltd.

Sandhya Atkinson (she/her) is the Founder and Lead Facilitator of Sagebrush Ltd., providing participatory facilitation and consulting for diverse groups in Southwest Colorado and beyond. Originally from Santa Barbara, CA, Sandhya has lived in Colorado since 2005 and Durango/Bayfield since 2010 on the unceded traditional lands of the Nuuchiu (Ute), Diné, Jicarilla Apache and Pueblos peoples. She holds a Bachelors of Science in Environmental Science from Colorado College and served as Executive Director of The Garden Project of Southwest Colorado for over five years. Sandhya facilitates strategic planning, board and staff retreats, and community coalition work with nonprofits, local businesses and government agencies. Her intention is to hold space for all voices to be heard equitably so that powerful collective decisions can be made for the betterment of our interconnected communities and natural environment. Sandhya is a member of the International Association of Facilitators and graduate of the Leadership La Plata class of 2022.

Session Description 

When thinking about data for your grant applications, where to look can be overwhelming, to say the least. In this session, attendees will learn examples of reliable, relevant, and in many cases, free data sources where you can obtain numerical data to strengthen your grant proposals and add to your narrative to help your applications stand out while also setting context.

Presenter: Heather Otter and others from Region 9 Economic Development District of SW Colorado

Heather Otter has professional experience in economic development planning & project management, non-profit board governance, secondary education, small business ownership, and workforce training. She loves helping people find meaning in data.

Session Description 

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, Arrow Performance Group

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 seminar will take a close look at financial statements of a typical non-profit. We will gain an understanding about each type of account and their relationship between the balance sheet and the income statement. We will expose some red-flags to look for and then what questions to ask of management regarding these concerns. We will compare financials of healthy verses struggling non-profits and offer basic financial advice to sustain your non-profit.

Presenter:Chuck Forth Jr., CPA and Executive Director

Chuck attended the University of Colorado, Boulder graduating with a degree in Mathematics. After a four year Air Force commitment, Chuck moved to the area and attended Fort Lewis College to obtain the accounting and business requirements to sit for the CPA exam. He has been a practicing CPA in Durango and Cortez since May of 2000. He is the owner of Forth & Associates, CPA and the Executive Director of Onward! A Legacy Foundation.

Session Description 

Resiliency is weird. A lot of people are talking about it, but do you know anyone that’s actually succeeding at it? We don’t. Not even us. Which is why we’re reimagining resiliency–what it looks like, who it applies to, and who’s responsible for it. Through extensive research, we learned that resiliency is about so much more than self care, breathing exercises, and staff pizza parties. Rather, resiliency is dependent on implementing collective cultural shifts within our organizations. Join Hailey Hawkins for a unique take on staff resiliency, retention, and capacity building and learn how to truly make your organization more effective, innovative, and resilient for years to come.

Presenter: Hailey Hawkins, Sailing Hawks Consulting

After experiencing burnout for the majority of her 10 years in the nonprofit sector, Hailey decided it was time to finally figure out what truly prevents and cures it. Through extensive research and collaboration, she discovered that resiliency, the opposite of burnout, does not lie solely within the individual, but in the collective culture of an organization. With this revolutionary approach, Hailey created the one of a kind Resiliency Audit, a toolkit that guides organizations through the process of measuring and improving their internal resilience.

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

Session Description 

Advocating for our missions and communities through policy work is a powerful way that our organizations can create lasting and impactful change. This session will focus on how policy organizations and nonprofits can work together to center community in the policy process and create more equitable and sustainable outcomes that truly reflect community needs. Participants will explore community engagement strategies and examples of community-driven policy efforts, discuss challenges and lessons learned, and hear from policy experts who are looking to center community in their work.

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 Director of Civic Engagement, Alex oversees Community Resource Center’s civic engagement programs including the Participation Project and the Root Causes Network helping nonprofits to build and strengthen their advocacy efforts. Alex has a masters’ degree in conservation social science and is passionate about working at a systems level to tackle complex social issues.

Session Description 

Whether you are new to capital campaigns or have some experience under your belt, Hidden Gems for a Winning Capital Campaign is certain to provide you with fresh and tangible campaign tools for your next campaign. This session will be valuable whether you are in a campaign now, planning for one in the next year, or a capital campaign is a future possibility.

Presenter: Derry Deringer, Deringer Consulting, LLC

Derry Deringer, CFRE, brings 15+ years of fundraising experience as an independent consultant and director-level staff and has certifications in professional coaching and facilitation. Derry is a campaign advisor with Capital Campaign Toolkit and has his own fundraising consulting practice at Deringer Consulting, LLC. Derry most enjoys helping nonprofits transform themselves through outstanding fundraising performance.

Session Description 

A perennial nonprofit challenge lies in building and maintaining a quality board of directors and officers. “”Who will lead this organization?”” is a question of unparalleled importance, but one that often is answered with no more consideration than securing an “I guess so…” or promoting those not in attendance.

This workshop explores the imperative and challenge of board member recruitment and selection, orientation/onboarding, and Chair/officer succession and transition. We’ll explore who the Board really needs and in which seats, how to find and attract the needed talent, and the process of/systems for getting members actively engaged and moving into positions of greater responsibility.

Presenter: Illene Roggensack, President, Third Sector Innovations, Inc.; Strategic By Nature, Inc.

Illene Roggensack is a frequent Rural Philanthropy Days presenter whose sweet spot lies in building bold and solid nonprofit organizations. She is owner of Third Sector Innovations (Grand Junction) and co-owner of Strategic By Nature, Inc. (Durango), firms that help to facilitate increased organizational capacity and sustainability – and maximized services’ impact – via planning, marketing/communications, fundraising, board/staff leadership development, and building of quality structure and systems.

Session Description 

In Durango and La Plata County, the community has joined together to envision new ways to solve the seemingly intractable affordable housing crisis. This session will pair a macro-level view of the workforce housing needs of La Plata County and Southwest Colorado with a micro-level focus on a critical success story: the community-led acquisitions of the Westside and Triangle Mobile Home Parks in Durango by the nonprofits Elevation Community Land Trust (ECLT) and HomesFund.


  • Robin Hickey, CPA, CFO Elevation Community Land Trust
    • Robin joined Elevation Community Land Trust as CFO in July 2020. As CFO, she is responsible
      for leading Elevation’s financial strategy, building lender relationships, and leading the
      organization in leveraging public and philanthropic investments and additional income streams
      to maximize the organization’s impact for Colorado communities. Robin has more than 15 years
      of experience in the nonprofit and government sectors and specializes in ensuring the long-term
      fiscal health of organizations through strategic financial management. Prior to joining Elevation,
      Robin served as Deputy Director and Chief Financial Officer of the Denver Urban Renewal
      Authority and as Vice President of Financial Planning & Analysis for the New York City
      Economic Development Corporation, among other leadership roles. Her financial and real
      estate experience includes developing funding strategies for a wide variety of economic
      development activities and advising on resource deployment for critical business areas,
      including personnel, housing development and program services, and loan and investment
      programs. Robin has a Bachelor of Arts in English from Rutgers University and an MBA in
      Accounting from Baruch College, City University of New York.
  • Alejandra Chavez , Community Services Representative, Common Good Management Services
    • Alejandra Chavez is an Immigrant Woman from Mexico who moved to Durango, Colorado at the
      age of 12. Alejandra spent all of her youth years at Westside Mobile Home Park community
      where she lived with her parents and two other sisters. When Alejandra learned that the
      Westside Mobile Park was for sale, she successfully organized her community to avoid been
      Alejandra was also instrumental in requesting and ensuring the return of the bus route 160 West
      that was taken away few years ago by the City of Durango. She sits in the VOCES committee, a
      subgroup by the Good Food Collective, where she encourages other immigrant woman to
      elevate their voices and empowered them. She also participates with the local Language Justice
      Committee where she promotes access to multi-language resources to the vibrant and diverse
      community of Durango. She is the Community Services Representative for Common Good,
      managing three different Mobile Home Parks, offering local resources to its residents and
      promoting social justice in everything she does. She loves cooking and spending time with her
      daughter and family.
      Her dream is to continuing raising community awareness and keep promoting love to build
      healthier communities, particularly continuing raising awareness to immigrant and Latinx issues.
  • Stefka Fanchi, President & CEO, Elevation Community Land Trust
    • Stefka leads the execution of Elevation’s mission through development of strategic partnerships,
      funder relationships and visionary thinking. With nearly 20 years’ experience in affordable
      housing, Stefka specializes in the development of homeownership opportunities for low- and
      moderate-income families, and public policy development to support that mission. Stefka’s
      background is in large-scale nonprofit fundraising, and she has held executive-level
      development positions with statewide nonprofits and municipal government, including Habitat
      for Humanity of Colorado and the City of Lakewood. She has raised nearly $200 million dollars
      over the course of her career, and was recognized in 2008 as one of the Denver Business
      Journal’s Forty Under 40 and in 2009 as one of Midwest CEO Magazine’s Most Influential
      Women. She lives in Lakewood with her husband, two teenagers, and two very spoiled dogs.
      She has a Bachelor’s degree in International Affairs from the George Washington University and
      a Master of Arts in International Management with a focus in Sustainable Development.
  • Jenn Lopez, President, Project Moxie
    • Prior to founding Project Moxie, a housing and homelessness solutions consulting firm, Jenn
      held a senior position in the Hickenlooper administration in Colorado and led regional housing
      efforts in southwest Colorado for several years. She loves working with local community leaders
      and excels at both strategy development and implementation work. Jenn has developed
      thousands of housing opportunities during her 22-year career and thrives on projects where the
      public and private sector are aligned for maximum impact. Jenn has a Masters in Community
      and Regional Planning from the University of New Mexico, and a BA in English Language &
      Literature from Fort Lewis College. She currently serves as Board President for the Community
      Economic Defense Project, and was previously a longtime Board member at the Colorado
      Housing Finance Authority (CHFA). Jenn’s current Colorado clients include: Fort Lewis College,
      Elevation Community Land Trust, MGL Partners, RCM, TWG, Total Concept, Housing
      Resources of Western Colorado, Community Investment Alliance and La Plata Economic
      Development Alliance.
  • Pam Moore, Deputy Director, HomesFund
    • Pam Moore is the Deputy Director of the HomesFund, a position she has held for 12 years.
      Pam holds a degree in Accounting from Fort Lewis College. She began her career as a Real
      Estate Closer for Land Title Guarantee. In the early 90’s, she moved into lending and served
      as a credit analyst, Loan Officer, and eventually a Vice President for Bank of Colorado as a
      Mortgage Loan Officer at Wells Fargo. During those 20 years in banking, she gained experience
      in commercial lending, construction lending and mortgage lending. In 2011 she took the role of
      Deputy Director for HomesFund. Pam is a licensed Mortgage Loan Originator and a HUD
      certified Housing Counselor. Pam oversees the Mortgage Assistance loan program, and
      administers the grants related to Homebuyer Education and Housing Counseling.

Session Description 

The aim of this session will be to give an overview of digital marketing with an emphasis on social media marketing and the necessary uses of video on social channels now. It will include tips on software for non-profits to utilize (design, editing, video, etc), the social channels to best spread your message, how to tell your story effectively to gain followers and supporters, the basics of social media, and video. We will break the session into Marketing Presentation/Social presentation/videography presentation/generate a real example from a person in the room/Q&A.

Presenter: Joseph Kuzma, Co Owner at Blue Lily Productions

Joseph Kuzma is responsible for the planning, development, and implementation of the Community Foundation’s marketing strategies and public relations activities, both external and internal. In addition to planning the Foundation’s events, which include Durango Wine Experience, Making a Difference Speaker Series, concert series, nonprofit professional development, and more. He reports to the Deputy Director and other staff in charting the direction of the Foundation’s marketing/communications/public relations function and ensuring its effective operation. He is currently on the boards for Annie’s Orphans in Durango and Vice President for the Durango Young Professionals (YPOD’s) under the Durango Chamber.

Session Description 

This session will help smaller and newer organizations figure out how to best and most affordably use technology to their advantage, from purchasing hardware, to maintaining email lists, to internal communication. We will be sharing strategies, troubleshooting issues, and discussing the best technology-based solutions for common nonprofit tasks and goals.

Presenter: Kira Taylor, Technology Manager, Pasque Technology

Kira Taylor is the current Technology Manager at the Mancos Public Library and founder of Pasque Technology, a nonprofit technology consulting company. She has a background in education, technology support, and nonprofit administration.

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.

Presenter: Katy Pepinsky, 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 

Immigrants in rural areas of Colorado are integral members of local communities, but face unique barriers to fully participating in civic, social and economic life beyond those of counterparts in metro areas. As a result, the full richness of talent, perspective and innovation in our communities remains untapped and unrealized. In this session, Colorado’s Office of New Americans will discuss their role in improving immigrant integration in the state, and will host a panel of local experts sharing resources and best practices for addressing challenges and ensuring immigrant communities have every opportunity to participate and thrive in the Southwest region.

Presenter: Dee Daniels Scriven, Director, Colorado’s Office of New Americans

Dee Daniels Scriven serves as the Director of Colorado’s Office of New Americans. Prior to her job at ONA, Dee worked for the federal Office of Refugee Resettlement in various positions including as an Unaccompanied Refugee Minor program analyst, Special Assistant in the Office of the Director, Regional Representative for Region VIII and Refugee Policy Counsel. Prior to ORR, Dee served as an Assistant Attorney General in the D.C. Office of the Attorney General, Child Protection Section and as a public defender in Baltimore City and Montgomery County, Maryland. Dee has also worked abroad with a grassroots nonprofit organization, Paz y Esperanza, in Peru. Dee earned her BA from Colorado College in International Political Economy and her Juris Doctor from American University’s Washington College of Law.

Networking Lunch | 12:25 PM – 1:30 PM

Premium Takeaway Sandwich Lunch. Sandwich Box Lunches include Your Choice of Side Salad, Chips, Dessert and Beverage made by the Culinary Team at Fort Lewis College.

Southwest Regional Town Hall | 1:30 PM – 3:00 PM

Session Description: 

This interactive session will bring together nonprofits, community leaders, and funders for a purposeful discussion about local and regional strengths and opportunities to build community. Participants will leave feeling motivated, inspired, and connected to their fellow conference participants.

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.

Southwest Nonprofit Community Fair: Meet the Nonprofits | 3:30 PM – 5:00 PM

Join us for a celebration of the nonprofit sector across the Southwest region. In this highly interactive session, nonprofits and local governments 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 Southwest Community Fair. Through this session funders and nonprofit organizations have the opportunity to develop a mutual understanding of one another in a relaxed environment. Prior to the Fair you will have the opportunity to read through a directory of local organizations and identify potential partners you wish to approach.

Welcome Reception | 6:00 PM – 7:30 PM

Sitting 6,872 feet atop a mesa overlooking the Animas River Valley and downtown Durango, our Wednesday evening Welcome Reception will be held at Fort Lewis College’s Plaza and Terrace. We will be enjoying a selection of flavorful hot and cold appetizers from the talented Catering Team at Fort Lewis College and listening to local music.

Thursday, June 8th

Community Resource Center will have a registration and help desk set up at the La Plata County Fairgrounds.

Breakfast and Remarks | 8:00 AM – 9:00 AM

Make Your Own Breakfast Burrito, Hash Browns, Fruit Salad, Toast/Pastries/Bagels made by Farm to Fingers Grazing. Breakfast will be held at the La Plata County Fairgrounds.

Decolonizing Philanthropy Plenary Panel | 9:00 AM – 10:30 AM

Join us for this plenary panel conversation for the conference on Decolonizing Philanthropy, facilitated facilitated by Regina Lopez-Whiteskunk of Montezuma Land Conservancy, Ute Mountain Ute Tribal Member, and Western Colorado University Master’s Candidate.

An impressive panel of regional and statewide thought leaders will discuss what colonization is; where colonizer culture is seen within philanthropy/the nonprofit sector/communities across Southwest Colorado; and where we go from here – how we can do things differently and better, how we can partner more effectively. Join us for this honest conversation on systemic inquiries within philanthropy, the nonprofit sector, and our region and leave inspired as our speakers paint a vision of what a trust-based philanthropy future could look like.

Panelists include:

  • Esther Belin, Lecturer, Native American and Indigenous Studies, Fort Lewis College
  • Matt Karkut, Executive Director of Compañeros: Four Corners Immigrant Resource Center
  • Bruce LeClaire, Chief Executive Officer, Boys & Girls Club of the Southern Ute Indian Tribe
  • Michael Roberts, Executive Director, First Nations Development Institute
  • Imo Succo, Programs Manager for the Indigenous Peer Recovery Program at Southwestern Colorado AHEC

Meet the RAN Funders | 10:45 AM – 12:20 PM

These sessions provide a platform for grantmakers who fund the Rural Action Network 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 grantees 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.

There will be three Meet the RAN Funder sessions back-to-back, with local participants registering to connect with the twelve Rural Action Network core funders. Each funder will facilitate a 25-minute conversation with a group of local participants sitting in a circle. At the end of the conversation, local participants will transition on to their next session, and the grantmaker will connect with a new circle of participants.

Participating funders include:

Networking Lunch | Funder Office Hours | 12:30 PM – 2:00 PM

Soup & Salad Bar, Iced Tea/Lemonade made by Sage Fresh Eats. High quality, scratch made, locally sourced food.

The Funder 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 of participating grantmakers is required and funders will self-facilitate these conversations.

Funder Office Hours will occur during the lunch session, after a 30-minute dedicated lunch break.

Capacity Building Sessions | 2:30 PM – 4:00 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 

Three things people fear most: Snakes, the Wicked Witch of the West… and asking for money!

True, all three are scary, but asking for money isn’t nearly as hard as we’ve convinced ourselves. And – surprise – when we do request a financial contribution to support our work, the answer – more often than not – is “YES!”

This series of two workshops is designed to increase your personal comfort with asking for money. Session One will discuss the psychology of asking/giving, and the process for and techniques of a successful ask. In Session Two, participants will plan for, execute and debrief a face-to-face meeting to request support from local philanthropists.

Presenter: Illene Roggensack, President, Third Sector Innovations, Inc. and Stacy Beaugh, Strategic By Nature, Inc.

Illene Roggensack is a Certified Fundraising Professional (CFRE) and frequent Rural Philanthropy Days presenter whose sweet spot lies in building bold and solid nonprofit organizations. She is owner of Third Sector Innovations (Grand Junction) and co-owner of Strategic By Nature, Inc. (Durango), firms that help to facilitate increased organizational capacity and sustainability – and maximized services’ impact – via planning, marketing/communications, fundraising, board/staff leadership development, and building of quality structure and systems.

Session Description 

Did you know that 1 in every 3 donors is interested AND willing to consider a planned giving, but hardly anyone is ever invited to do so? And, are you aware that almost everyone has the ability to make a planned gift, and that middle-income donors are the most likely to do so? Join Alyssa Acosta, Colorado Planned Giving Roundtable Committee Member and successful LatinX nonprofit fundraising leader with 12+ years of direct fundraising experience, in exploring three actionable strategies to level up your planned giving program THIS YEAR through improved marketing, cultivation, and stewardship.

Participants of this session will leave with a clear set of prioritized action steps for the next 6 months to advance their planned giving program. Specifically, session attendees will gain new ideas and strengthen skills through the following concept exploration:

  • Marketing – creating a year-round planned giving marketing campaign to keep planned giving accessible and front of mind.
  • Cultivation – leveraging high-value conversations with language proven to be effective in seeking and securing planned gifts.
  • Stewardship – ensuring that the organization has a sustainable stew

Presenter:Alyssa Acosta, Director of Philanthropy, Colorado Open Lands

Alyssa Acosta is the Director of Philanthropy at Colorado Open Lands with more than 12 years of fundraising experience from the start-up of a national AmeriCorp program to her role now leading a team of professionals to protect Colorado’s most important resources. Professionally, she enjoys focusing on the details that make up a long-term plan for fundraising success and creating systems to support her powerhouse philanthropy team. As a 6th generation native from a Colorado pioneer family, Alyssa has a deep love of Colorado and enjoys hiking among Colorado aspen groves and discovering the lesser known beauty across the state. When she’s not exploring Colorado, Alyssa enjoys playing board games with her husband Ryan and their families and friends, throwing the frisbee with her dog Luna, and creating all sorts of crafts.

Session Description 

Resilience is a skill and a practice that we can cultivate both personally and collectively. Growing our resilient capacity is also a necessary part of combating burnout and compassion fatigue, allowing us to be more effective in our communities and work. This session offers an introduction into the neurobiology of resilience and how to access more rest and ease through regulating our nervous systems. It will utilize aspects of mindfulness, work by the Trauma Stewardship Institute, and other models to help participants expand their capacity. This interactive workshop will help leaders embody their values, even during challenging times.

Presenter: Lauren Glass, LPCC, NCC Medicine Horse Center

Lauren is a Licensed Professional Counselor Candidate (LPCC) in the State of Colorado and a National Certified Counselor (NCC). She uses a multi-disciplinary approach to serve a wide range of people and non-profits in the Four Corners Region with a focus on mental health and wellness. She offers individual & group counseling and mental health training & consultation. Currently Lauren is a lead facilitator at Medicine Horse Center.

Session Description

The emergence of equity within our organizations is not only a matter of the people within them. Organizational structures, too, can hinder or promote diversity, equity and inclusion. This session will offer an exploration of the ways that governance, hiring, information flows and other structures and policies can provide a foundation to build equitable organizations. Participants will have an opportunity to consider what racial, disability, LGBTQ+ and economic justice can look like in a nonprofit. They will also explore the ways that structures can unintentionally exclude, and they will leave with informational resources and tools they can apply to their own organizations.

Presenter: Lisa Duran Assistant Director of Statewide Education, Community Resource Center

Lisa has worked for over 30 years in the nonprofit sector doing community organizing and social justice work.  She helped to build Colorado’s immigrant rights movement, directing Colorado’s first immigrant-led immigrant rights organization and serving as a co-founder of the Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition. She also served as Executive Director of Grassroots Grantmakers, a national membership organization of foundations and community funders working to lift up grassroots voices and leadership in philanthropy. Lisa’s graduate studies included a focus on philanthropy, foundations, race, and social movements. In her organizing work she developed popular education practices that stress the co-creation of knowledge, the importance of participant stories in building relationship, and the necessity to productively address imbalances of power and privilege. Lisa brings to CRC a deep belief that directly impacted individuals must determine solutions and policies that affect them and a passionate commitment to building equitable and diverse communities.

Session Description

This session will provide attendees with some general knowledge of Native American Culture in effort to help service providers be more inclusive and work more effectively with Native American Clients.

Subjects to be discussed include colonization and its impact on Indigenous peoples, communication differences, gender roles, spectrum of cultural knowledge and practices among indigenous peoples, cultural norms/differences from reservation to dominant cultural communities, taboo subject matters.

Presenter: Bruce LeClaire (Sicangu Lakota), Chief Executive Officer, Boys & Girls Club of the Southern Ute Indian Tribe

Bruce LeClaire is a enrolled member of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe. Bruce moved to Durango in 1982. He and his wife, Mary raised 4 children in Durango. He is the Chief Executive Officer of the Boys & Girls Club of the Southern Ute Indian Tribe.

Session Description

Have you ever asked yourself, “Is this something I should take to HR or should I handle this on my own?” As a leader, especially in a small organization, you have a role in Human Resources, but what are they? Attendees will learn what personnel issues they should handle, when they should involve the Board of Directors, and when they should involve an HR professional. This is meant to be an interactive workshop, so please come with questions!

Presenter: Jennifer Bassignani, SPHR Essential Operations

Jennifer has spent over 20 years practicing Human Resources while working in tandem with business leaders and senior leadership building successful teams, introducing innovative ideas to bring out the best in employees, and laying the foundation for highly functioning HR departments. A desire to help others, problem solve, and find opportunities that increase efficiencies to make the workplace more effective drew her into the HR world. She specializes in supporting small businesses and non-profit to create and improve their current HR practices with a strong focus on keeping employees happy. Jennifer is a supportive and empowering team player who believes that your human capital is your best and most unique asset.

Session Description

With the reality of the “Great Resignation”, there comes an opportunity for the “Great Boss Evolution”! In this era where the challenges of our tight labor market are felt across all industries in Colorado, including rural nonprofit organizations, it is more important than ever for employers to be able to hire and retain great employees while understanding the key issues their staff are faced with.

Facilitator: Louise Snodgrass, Communications Manager, Local First


  • Stephanie Weber, Executive Director, San Juan Mountain Association
    • Stephanie Weber – In May 2021, Stephanie Weber became Executive Director of San Juan Mountains Association (SJMA). Stephanie is a seasoned non-profit professional who, as the executive director of Durango Nature Studies, catalyzed SJMA’s merger with Durango Nature Studies in 2020. SJMA is the interpretive partner to federal land managers overseeing one half of Colorado’s national forests and during the summer season, SJMA has approximately 50 employees scattered across the San Juan Mountain region. As a Colorado native who lived in Durango during her teenage years, she has deep ties to Southwest Colorado
  • Lauren Berutich, CEO, Local First
    • Lauren Berutich brings 20 years of experience in conservation, advocacy, policy, and nonprofit leadership to her role as CEO of Local First. With an extensive background in sustainable community development, grassroots organizing, and public works, Lauren plays an integral role in launching impactful programs and initiatives to leverage the power of local independent businesses and shape a thriving local economy.
  • Doty Shepard, Executive Director, Resilient Colorado
    • In 2018, Doty co-created Resilient Colorado; though initially established to serve the Colorado Western Slope, under her leadership as Executive Director, Resilient Colorado has achieved international reach. Doty champions well-being in rural communities and specializes in educating these communities and those who serve them about the impacts of trauma on individuals (brains, bodies, behaviors) and on systems (family, educational, healthcare, business, government, and more). She expertly communicates trauma-informed, brain-based ways to enhance and sustain personal, organizational, and community resilience. Her holistic approach to community wellness extends across multiple sectors, and she has a reputation for breaking down silos and inspiring collaboration. Doty is in demand as a national trainer and workshop facilitator, a TEDx speaker, and a consultant for organizations seeking to understand the impact of trauma and infuse trauma-sensitive practices into all that they do.

Session Description

Coalitions and collaborations set bold goals on a big scale for the communities they serve. What does it take to help these collective efforts not only survive, but also succeed? Local collaborative efforts will be highlighted in this panel discussion to demonstrate wins and losses when organizations work together.

Facilitator: Lynn Urban. Ph.D. , President & CEO, United Way of Southwest Colorado

Lynn Urban grew up in the Midwest and then graduated from Rice University in Houston, Texas with a degree in psychology. She then completed a Ph.D. in Social Psychology in 1999 with an emphasis on research related to intergroup relations (race, gender, etc.) and aggression.

After graduate school she taught part-time at both Art Center College of Design and Alliant International University in the Los Angeles area, until her growing family decided to take a huge leap and move to Durango in December 2004. Along with her husband and business partner, they purchased College Plaza Laundry, and have owned it ever since. Additionally in 2004, she started teaching part-time at Pueblo Community College in Durango, which eventually morphed into her service as the Campus Dean from 2008-2012.

After PCC, she was hired to serve as CEO of United Way of Southwest Colorado, and has been there for ten wonderful years. In conjunction with her team, she has raised millions of dollars in donations and grants and have transformed the organization from a grant-maker to a community change agent. Along with several other community organizations, she has helped to build the Team UP Southwest Colorado collective effort, which has helped to increase early literacy, reduce food insecurity, close the digital divide, increase access to mental health resources, and so much more.

She lives in Durango with her husband of 30 years, Jeff Urban. Her three adult kids are all out of the house now and blazing their own paths. She runs when she can to keep her heart pumping and to help maintain sanity.


  • David Smith, Ph.D. – retired professor and past board president of Wings Childcare in Pagosa Springs (Archuleta County)
  • Rachel Landis – Executive Director of The Good Food Collective in Durango (La Plata County)
  • Beth Kremer – Economic Diversification & Resiliency Coordinator for San Juan Development Association in Silverton (San Juan County)
  • Stacey Schlegel – Executive Director of Students Tackling Unhealthy Decisions (STUD) in Dove Creek (Dolores County)
  • Emily Huminski – Team UP Director for United Way of Southwest Colorado (Montezuma County)

Session Description

Health. Community. Identity. Jobs. Economic Opportunity. Environment. Food systems impact each of these areas on a daily basis; whether the impacts are positive or negative largely depends on community values and resources and, in turn, how those take shape in the form of policies, infrastructure, and community effort. On this tour, we invite you to come out for the day to learn about our own regional food system here in the Southwest — where it is contributing to health, wealth, and resilience; and where we are falling short….along with the recommendations and ideas from our local farmers, food pantries, schools, residents, and businesses for how we can continue to strengthen the positive impact our regional food system can have on the quality of life here in Southwestern Colorado.

To learn about our food system, you’ll head out with Rachel Landis, Executive Director of the Good Food Collective, to get your boots dirty on a farm, explore how independent grocers can act as the heartbeat of a community, walk in the shoes of someone looking to fill a day’s meal gap, and – of course – eat amazing food grown right here in our backyard. Some of the topics we will explore include the opportunities and challenges facing our producers amidst increasing land prices, more erratic weather, and their unwavering innovation and ingenuity; What does food and nutritional security look like in our region – what are systems-level mechanisms and efforts taking place to advance food security in our region? What are the barriers still in place? Who is most affected and how?

This tour is designed with grantmakers and statewide policy members in mind, and will highlight the themes, issues, and desires brought forward from stakeholders across our food system through last year’s Inaugural Food & Farm Summit, our recent Move the Needle Project, La Plata Food Equity Coalition studies and findings, as well as, Four Corners Food Assessment. Shared transportation will be provided thanks to a USDA Local Food Promotion Grant.

Session Description

When people think of Durango, many envision a lively community rooted in access to world-class outdoor recreation and a vibrant downtown rooted in charming hospitality and the arts. And while they are not wrong, many tourists think of the downtown area where everything is “happening” – but there is a lot more going on in Durango that folks don’t realize or necessarily see.

Join us for this walking tour of our beloved City, guided by a community leader. We will begin and conclude the tour at The Commons, a significant building to Durango’s nonprofit community which serves as a shared office and community space for many local organizations. The Commons provides an umbrella for educational, career, technical, environmental conservation and family support services – all under one roof, it’s emblematic of the deep rooted collaboration at the heart of Durango’s nonprofit community.

Speakers on this unique tour will include Kate Hartzell, Executive Director of the Southwestern Colorado AHEC who will speak to the impact of opioid overdoses in the community and how their organization is working to increase access to life saving naloxone. Dr Heidi Steltzer, Professor of Environment and Sustainability at Fort Lewis College and the founder of the Heidi Mountains Cooperative, will speak to Durango’s inextricable link to the environment, and share the landscape of the many environmental, sustainability, and conservation organizations working together. Ann Morse, the Executive Director of Manna, will provide us with a behind the scenes tour of her organization which serves as a backbone service provider for many Durango residents. Manna provides daily meals, fresh food, job training, and critical resource navigation for community resources and vouchers for basic needs that families have. Vaughn Morris, CEO of the Boys & Girls Club of La Plata County will speak to the needs of youth in our community and the work that his organization and others are doing to support a vibrant future for Durango.

Reception on the Ranch | 5:30 PM – 7:30 PM

Join us at the beautiful River Bend Ranch for a dinner and welcome reception.

Friday, June 9

Wellbeing in the Workplace Retreat | 8:30 AM – 12:30 PM

Session Description

We love our work, and at times it can come at a cost. Persistent stress driven by systemic and organizational challenges can contribute to burnout across our teams and affect our collective ability to achieve our missions. How can we change this?

How can we help shift our organizational culture from one of stress to one of intentional wellbeing? How can we prevent burnout in ourselves and in our teams? How can we live our values and build thriving, healthy organizations?

Join us for a retreat, decompress from two full days of learning and networking and rejuvenate as you prepare to return to your work. Over the course of the morning participants will engage in deep praxis, learning effective strategies and tools for workplace wellness, and actually practicing them together. Learn about different components of wellness and how it can be practiced and cultivated in the workplace.

Workshops will explore skills in topics such as restful sleep, breathwork, office movement, EFT tapping, and more.

The morning will commence with a keynote presentation from Rose Jergens, Executive Director of Four Corners Child Advocacy Center on Intentional Wellness: An Organizational Approach.

Fruit Salad and Yogurt Parfait made by Farm to Fingers Grazing.

Session Description

In the increasingly stressful and demanding world of non-profits, staff want to work for leaders that care about them. If you want to improve employee engagement and work-life balance while reducing stress and burnout among your staff, consider intentionally developing an “employee wellness program” that is the best fit for your organization. We will unpack and simplify the mystery around employee wellness programs and truly embrace the idea of “staff wellness support” as a priority. You will walk away feeling empowered to foster a culture of connection, care and commitment.
The overall goal of this session is to walk away with tangible next steps to guide your staff to thrive and, ultimately, strengthen your organizational culture. Participants will leave this session with concrete tools to develop a “best fit” wellness program for their organization, taking into consideration the unique needs of your staff. There is no one size fits all approach to organizational wellness. Resources will include tools from Gallup Strengths, PositivePsychology and the Wholebeing Institute and guidance on how to utilize those tools to provide wellness support to your staff.

Presenter: Rose Jergens, Executive Director, Four Corners Child Advocacy Center

Rose Jergens is the Executive Director of Four Corners Child Advocacy Center. She has been the director for 15 years. Her PhD work was in Organizational Communication (2007), from University of Missouri-Columbia; dissertation: Toward an ideal model of collaboration for Child Advocacy Multi-Disciplinary Teams. She is a certified facilitator for Nurturing Healthy Sexual Development, and has spent a considerable amount of time studying Body Safety Education. She holds a certificate in Gallup Strengths Coaching and currently working on her PositivePsychology™, and Wholebeing Happiness coaching certificates. Past experiences include: consulting with the Missouri Network of Child Advocacy Centers; researched and designed training models for multi-disciplinary teams throughout Missouri, 6 years as Adjunct Faculty for the Department of Communication at Truman State University, and University of Missouri and Pittsburg State University as a graduate instructor and 7 years with the Juvenile Court in Jasper County Missouri as a Juvenile Officer with the specific responsibility as the Juvenile Court Program Director.

Participants will have the option to attend one of the breakout sessions below.

Session Description: Stop, Drop, and Tap: Utilizing Acupressure Points for Well-Being

Tapping, formally called Emotional Freedom Technique, is a mind and body practice where you focus on a feeling or an issue you want to resolve while you tap on acupressure points on the body with your fingertips. This practice can help you to manage stress and anxiety, improve performance, and help resolve fears.

Presenter: Tiffany Brodersen, Region 9 Economic Development District of Southwest Colorado & Mountaintop Messaging

A lifelong advocate, with 14 years of experience in grant writing and strategic communication, Tiffany helps organizations find their voice, create their message, and take their story to new heights. Tiffany works for Region 9 Economic Development District of SW Colorado as their Community Grant Writer and is also the owner of her own grant writing business Mountaintop Messaging. She has assisted organizations in raising over $6 million from private foundations to local, state, and federal agencies. Tiffany serves on the board of the Colorado Healthcare Coalition. In her free time she enjoys spending time in nature with her husband and her dog.

Session Description: The Art of Breathing in Seven Different Ways

This class has the intention to share methods of breathing from the Pranayama tradition that our teachers from India shared with westerners. Please join us for a 30 mint session at Animas High School and prepare to absorb the benefits of understanding breath in a world motivated for multitasking habits. This class is to cleanse your mind and body from the inside out.

Presenter: Wendolyne Omaña

Session Description: 

Presenter: – Michele Lawrence, Inner Peace Yoga Therapy

Session Description: Creative Mindfulness: Utilizing expressive arts as a form of rest

This class is a hands-on opportunity to practice using art as a restorative practice. People process stress in many different ways. Allowing space for nonverbal and tactile processing is an effective way to take a break from the synthesizing, producing, and problem solving of daily life.

Presenter: – Lauren, Medicine Horse

Session Description: Quick Tips for Better Sleep

Many of us are finding that we aren’t sleeping as well or feeling as rested when we get up. This can be frustrating and have a huge impact on our daily lives. There are numerous reasons for this – we’ll explore why you might not be sleeping, and what you can do to improve sleep quality – tonight!

Presenter: – Nicola Dehlinger, ND, Naturopathic Doctor and Owner, Pura Vida Healthcare

Dr. Nicola Dehlinger received her B.A. in International Health from Brown University in 1997, graduating with honors. Dr. Nicola graduated from the Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine in Tempe, Arizona in 2004.

Dr. Nicola is the founder of Pura Vida Natural Healthcare in Durango, CO where she sees people locally and on-line. Dr. Nicola is an expert in the treatment of anxiety, depression and insomnia. By connecting people back to themselves, she is able to minimize supplements and medications as her patients become empowered to heal themselves. Dr. Nicola welcomes all patients, regardless of age or ailment, who are willing to invest in themselves.

In addition to seeing patients, Dr. Nicola leads group and private retreats. She also teaches a variety of on-line classes. In her free time, you can find her in the mountains or the kitchen, enjoying time with her husband, son and their dogs.

Silverton Tour: High Hope | 8:00 AM – 1:00 PM

Session Description

Nestled at 9,318 feet above sea level in the heart of Colorado’s rugged San Juan Mountains, Silverton is a quaint, historic mining town that is transforming into a nexus of outdoor adventure and community connection. With a year-round population of 705, Silverton offers idyllic small town living and an exceptional quality of life. The entire downtown is a National Historic Landmark, and the highly walkable business district is lined with colorful Victorian shops, galleries, and restaurants. The community enjoys an expanding arts and cultural scene, with numerous special events hosted throughout the year.

But this way of life is not as charming as it may sound. With 86% of Silverton’s economy based on tourism, it lends itself to an inconsistent and fluctuating economy and workforce. The economy is highly affected by natural or man-made disasters such as wildfires, avalanches, mudslides, and the recent COVID pandemic. Silverton is currently experiencing a housing shortage and approximately 70% of families are unable to purchase homes. Services taken for granted in other communities, like health care, childcare, and emergency services are strained, stretched, or even non-existent. Even against these odds, Silverton has repeatedly displayed a strong resiliency and capacity to take on and implement large, complex projects that positively affect our community.

Don’t miss this opportunity to tour Silverton and experience firsthand how Silvertonians value living in a funky and historic town that brings together a cast of characters with grit, and cultivates a deeply felt sense of purpose, freedom, interdependence, and a shared love of place. This half-day session will tour Silverton and its surrounding area so that visitors may meet local leadership and learn about previous success stories and the exciting vision our community is working towards. The tour will start at the Silverton Visitor’s Center and a welcome from the Chamber Director. Visitors will then be taken to the Anvil Mountain Subdivision to see one of the state’s best examples of a private-public partnership for affordable housing development and on-going housing projects. Next, we will head to the Emergency Medical Service’s Carriage House and meet with the EMS Director to learn about special needs required when operating these rugged San Juan Mountains. The tour will then stop at the Silverton Family Learning Center, the only childcare facility in San Juan County, and learn how they’ve created an incredible space for early care and learning and their immediate growth needs. The tour will continue with a drive through Kendall Mountain Recreation Area and the future Baker’s Bike Park to learn about outdoor recreation and goals, before stopping at the Silverton Powerhouse Collective, an old power station building reimagined into a brand-new artist incubator.

After the tour, visitors will be brought to the Silverton School PAC (?Full name) to meet Silverton’s non-profit and community leaders working in areas such as housing, health, the arts, education, and the outdoor industry. This will be an interactive session allowing donors to learn about specific organizations, their projects and goals, and the obstacles they face.

People in Silverton love the community itself. They love the people, relationships, and social bonds that can form in such a unique place. There is a sense of belonging and identity that comes with living in a place where it’s hard to live; and a sense of kinship with those who also make the choice to live in such a place, despite the challenges. They value the diversity of the community and the different types of characters who call Silverton home. And, people love the way that neighbors and friends watch out for each other and come together to help one another when needed. We hope that you join us on this tour of Silverton and come to experience this love, excitement, and hope that we so strongly feel here.

This tour will meet at Animas High School in Durango and leave at 8:20 AM. If you would like to drive yourself, the bus will meet at the bus will meet at Silverton Visitor’s Center at 9:30AM.

Silverton Activities Beyond the Tour

These activities below are not part of the Southwest Rural Philanthropy Days conference. They are additional activities happening outside of the conference for participants interested in exploring Silverton after the conference has ended.

Join us under the stars for the first Silverton Summer Sounds concert of the season! Silverton Summer Sounds 2023 is a free open-air music series produced by Silverton Creative District and presented by the Town of Silverton. This family-friendly event features libations, food and free live music in Memorial Park. Located at 1800 Greene Street, Memorial Park is ideally situated at the north end of Silverton’s charming downtown district, within an easy stroll of myriad hotels, shops and restaurants. Concerts take place from 6 – 9 pm every 2nd Friday of the month from June through September with two high caliber musical acts at each show. The show goes on RAIN OR SHINE so please come dressed for the weather.  For more info visit www.silvertoncreativedistrict.org/silverton-summer-sounds.