2024 Western Slope Rural Philanthropy Days Workshops and Speakers

Wednesday, June 5

Community Resource Center will have a registration and help desk set up at the Fruita Monument High School for the entirety of the day.

Networking Breakfast | 8:00 AM – 8:45 AM

A variety of breakfast options such as biscuits and gravy, egg scramble, fruit, and pastries from Flavors Grille. Breakfast will be held at the Fruita Monument High School.

Shaping Communities: Exploring Innovative Housing Solutions on the Western Slope | 8:30 AM – 12:15 PM

Session Description:

This dynamic tour and panel will give attendees the opportunity to learn about innovative housing projects across the Western Slope, including

  • Roaring Fork Community Development Corporation’s work with the residents of 3 Mile Mobile Home Park to purchase the land and transfer ownership to residents 
  • Habitat for Humanity Vail Valley’s collaboration with the school district to create affordable housing for school employees
  • Habitat for Humanity Roaring Fork Valley’s Modular Housing Production and Education Center that is designed to train 100 employees and build 100 houses per year

A panel of regional leaders and project innovators will share insights, challenges, and successes of implementing these creative projects.

Following the panel, attendees will tour three community housing projects: 

  • HomewardBound of the Grand Valley / United Way of Mesa County Resource Center highlighting the power of community collaboration
  • The Joseph Center, restoring hope, dignity, and a sense of belonging 
  • Fruita affordable housing fo people who work in Fruita

Panel Moderator: Clark Anderson, Executive Director, Community Builders

An entrepreneur and community builder, Clark has spent the last 15 years helping communities to address complex land use, transportation, housing, and economic development challenges. A seasoned facilitator and bridge-builder, Clark is adept at helping people find common ground through informed dialogue and meaningful public engagement. He relishes the opportunity to help communities create a shared vision for the future and identify the strategies and partnerships needed to get there.

Tour Guide: Stephania Vasconez, Founder and Executive Director, Mutual Aid Partners

Stephania has spent the last 5 years as a grassroots community advocate in Grand Junction and founded Mutual Aid Partners in 2020, as a direct response to the rising community needs due to the pandemic. With Stephania’s leadership and engagement as Executive Director, Mutual Aid Partners, as a network that supports and connects grassroots efforts and community partners through meaningful collaborative efforts, has been able to assist over 56,000 families through the weekly distribution of essential resources.

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

Session Description 

A Relationship-Based Approach to Fundraising: Myth or Reality? is offering the participant an opportunity to explore commons myths of fundraising and develop practical tools for improved results. Utilizing the World Café’ strategy for collaborative small group exercises to explore questions that matter, connect diverse perspectives, and listen for patterns and insights to benefit non-profit boards and staff. Actionable steps, easy to implement strategy and the immediate impact of a shift in perspective will be available to all participants.

Upon completion of this session, participants will have…

  1. Identified common fundraising myths and the possibility of other perspectives.
  2. Recognized the possibility of approaching fundraising considering deeper relational intention and engagement with current and potential donors.
  3. Integrated elements of a collaborative process to explore, connect and evaluate the relationship-based approach to fundraising.

Presenter: Terry Chase, ND, MA, RN, CEIP-Ed

Dr. Terry Chase dedicated to healthcare since 1990 obtaining a Master of Exercise Science (MA’90), University of Denver; Doctorate of Nursing (ND‘96), University of Colorado-School of Nursing and Spiritual Psychology: Consciousness, Health and Healing (MA’04), University of Santa Monica. Dr. Chase has worked for Craig Hospital (1996-2014) as Patient & Family Education Coordinator, Admission Liaison and various research programs. Recently retired as Associate Professor, BSN Nursing-Mental Health, Colorado Mesa University, Grand Junction CO. Dr. Chase is a professional speaker, author and coach living fully with SCI for 32 years active in kayaking, cross-country skiing, hand-cycling and whenever possible, riding horses.

Session Description 

This presentation shares the basics of evaluation capacity building aimed at supporting organizations like nonprofits. It frames evaluations with a learning mindset and concentrates on the basic skills to launch an evaluation. Case examples from a capacity-building project with an Eagle County rural Colorado nonprofit will be used along with some projects focused on diversity, voice, and equity. Hands-on practice with some basic survey development steps and focus group instrument development will occur. The session will end with a discussion of who and how we count impacts the stories we tell. This presentation intends to build the skills of participants to learn: How to center a learning mindset in evaluation About some useful frameworks Hands-on skills for focus group questionnaires and survey development

Presenters: Natalie De Sole, Founder and Evaluator at Rooted-Growth

Natalie (she/her) started Rooted-Growth to coach mission-driven organizations to develop, process, and use data. She aims to build positive learning environments and incorporates a social justice lens when triangulating data. Natalie often uses a community-based participatory research approach encouraging the participants to engage, frame, and co-interpret the evaluations. Natalie De Sole is White, half-Coloradoan and half-Southern Italian, and grew up in Ethiopia, Burkina Faso, and Zimbabwe until the age of 14. She knows what its like to struggle with social norms. While acknowledging structurally marginalizing forces, Natalie focuses on strengths and protective factors. In 2011, she received her MSW from the University of Michigan in Social Policy and Program Evaluation. She holds an adult teaching certificate from the Association of College and University Educators (ACUE), which she earned while teaching the macro capstone class at Metro for two years. She currently lives in Lafayette, CO, with her husband Elliott and dog Billy.

Session Description 

A Certified Financial Planner and Certified Fundraising Executive team up to consider the giving, asking and receiving of gifts and pledges. The two sessions can be taken sequentially, or as separate stand-alone presentations.

Part One – Your Financial Identity – Giving Fingerprints to Giving Footprints

This is an opportunity to connect with personal money messages and how they are serving you or hindering you on your financial journey. With introspective and interactive exercises, participants will consider their financial identity in how they bring money into their lives, give it away, nurture, protect and grow it and make spending decisions. In creating an awareness of how they relate to money, their belief systems and behaviors, they will be better prepared to fulfill roles at their non-profits and enhance their personal financial lives.

Part One: New awareness of the four areas of their financial lives and how that is reflected through their involvement in the non-profit world. Participants will, through personal sharing in a safe environment, have new understanding and empathy for the stories around money that other people have. As we share our stories, we normalize money conversations. As we normalize conversations and learn from each other, we will create wellness, have empathy and make better decisions around asking for money, receiving money, growing, nurturing money and spending money.

Presenters:

Danielle Howard, Certified Financial Planner

Danielle Howard has lived in Eagle, Pitkin and Garfield Counties for 35 years. She is a Certified Financial Planner®, author, speaker and personal finance thought leader. She has 27 years of client engagement and financial world experience, which includes, among other things, helping clients with Charitable Remainder Trusts, Donor Advised Funds, QCD’s, other giving tools and generational conversations.

Cynthia Perry Colebrook, CFRE. Independent consultant to non-profits.

Cynthia Perry Colebrook has been helping non-profits accomplish their missions for forty years. She has served major cultural and religious institutions, hospitals, youth and environmental organizations, and social service agencies. Her areas of particular expertise include interim management, capital campaign assessment and direction, board recruitment, volunteer solicitor training, special event design, and staff competency assessments. She was the first Managing Director of the Cincinnati Parks Foundation, and she served as Vice President for Institutional Advancement at the San Francisco Art Institute. She has directed capital campaigns for Cincinnati’s Contemporary Arts Center, the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts, the YMCA of Greater Cincinnati, and the New Bedford Whaling Museum in New Bedford, Massachusetts.

Session Description 

Nonprofits are a force for good in communities and a major contributor to the economy creating more than $62 billion dollars in economic impact in Colorado. The impact of nonprofits is felt more deeply in rural communities and the Western Slope in particular. In this session, a panel of statewide and local leaders will explore the newly released Colorado Nonprofit Economic Impact Report and its findings specific to the Western Slope Region. Participants will leave with data, language, and resources to strengthen their case for support as critical drivers of community change and economic impact. Participants will leave with a better understanding of the economic contributions nonprofits make to the economy of Colorado and the impact of the findings on a local level. Participants will receive data, language, and resources to discuss the critical role nonprofits play as economic drivers and how to leverage this information to benefit their nonprofit and work.

The session will feature a panel discussion of the report and its findings as well as an opportunity to ask questions and to connect with others in the room about how to use this data in your work (fund development, communication & marketing, community engagement and advocacy).

This report was a collaborative effort by three statewide capacity building nonprofits– Community Resource Center, Colorado Nonprofit Association, and Philanthropy Colorado- and we hope this report will provide the data you need to share the economic and social impact of your work with funders, partners, and elected officials.

Panelists:

  • Paul Lhevine, President & CEO of Colorado Nonprofit Association
  • Katy Pepinsky, Director of Grant Services, Community Resource Center
  • Amy Swiatek, Senior Director, Rural and Statewide Networks of Philanthropy Colorado

Moderator:

  • Zebulon Miracle, Executive Director, United Way of Mesa County

Session Description 

Does your organization struggle to engage your board in fundraising? Do you often hear board members say, “I don’t have those kinds of connections” or “I hate asking for money”? If so, this session is for you. During this interactive session, we will provide a step-by-step process to building a culture of philanthropy among your staff and board that will demystify fundraising and provide clear and easy ways to effectively involve your board in the process. As one board member recently shared, “ I have always been reticent to volunteer for fund raising of any sort. Your presentation made the “ask” much clearer for me and has reduced the anxiety significantly. I will work on a plan for each of my friends below and am looking forward to starting the process.”Participants will gain practical skills and tools to engage their staff and board members in fundraising. Objectives of this session include:

  1. Ensure all board members have a foundational understanding of fundraising principles
  2. Clarify the specific roles and responsibilities of board members in fundraising efforts
  3. Cultivate a culture where board members understand and embrace their role in fundraising, emphasizing the collective responsibility of the board to support fundraising initiatives.
  4. Train board members on how to effectively communicate the organization’s mission, impact, and funding needs to potential donors, utilizing storytelling techniques to create emotional connections.
  5. Equip board members with strategies for cultivating and stewarding donor relationships

Presenters:

Katie Santambrogio, CEO Social Impact Advisors, MNM

Katie Santambrogio is a trusting, ambitious, and forward-thinking philanthropic leader with nearly 18 years of experience in fundraising, nonprofit management, leadership, strategic planning, marketing, public policy, and impactful relationship building for foundations, community development, health and youth serving organizations. Katie is invigorated by creativity, big ideas, an entrepreneurial spirit, and finding innovative solutions to our world’s greatest problems. Katie received a bachelor’s degree with honors in International Relations and Spanish from the University of San Diego and a master’s degree in Nonprofit Management from Regis University with an emphasis in fund development and leadership. Katie has additional graduate level certificates in dialogue, deliberation, civic engagement, and philanthropy. Throughout her career, she has worked with international organizations, for a U.S. Senator, for grassroots community organizations, private foundations, and larger scale nonprofit institutions serving diverse audiences and gaining robust insights into the public, nonprofit and social impact sectors. Katie has spent much of her career focused on resource development and marketing. Her professional skills, coupled with her strengths in relationship building, leadership, strategic thinking, goal achievement and empathy, allow her to be adaptable, hardworking and a good team player. Katie uses her passion and experience to serve diverse organizations and people who are committed to changing the landscape of philanthropy and draws on her expertise to cultivate community impact through social change, community engagement and social entrepreneurship. Katie has a big vision to work with partners and other change makers to bend the arc of history and advance equity and justice in our world, leveling the playing field so that all people can be successful and live their best life. Katie is a motivated professional who learns quickly and aligns her personal passions of social justice, gender equity, community impact and life-long learning with her professional skills in philanthropy, marketing, community partnerships and nonprofit management. Katie thrives on a team that is fast-paced, goal oriented, strategic, compassionate, and fun. She is invigorated by teams and people not afraid of the unknown and that propels everyone to stretch and grow together, defying experiences and expectations. Environments that cultivate vulnerability, building trust, independence and collaboration create a space for Katie and those around her to blossom and thrive.

Susie Davis, Senior Consultant, Nonprofit Leader

Session Description 

Nonprofit organizations are reporting significant challenges in recruiting and retaining dedicated employees in the face of an ever more competitive labor market. A genuine culture of wellness that permeates the organization is key for staff satisfaction and retention, but what can you do when your organization’s wallet is stretched thin? The CEO of Roice-Hurst Humane Society, Anna Stout, shares her award-winning, psychologically informed, human-focused strategies that set her organization’s workplace apart. Learn how to strengthen your benefits package with non-traditional benefits, organize successful team-building events your staff won’t dread, express your appreciation effectively, and increase team participation, all without breaking the bank.

This session will provide concrete strategies for creating a culture of wellness from the top down, as well as offer easy-to-implement suggestions for developing a wellness plan in organizations of any size and any budget. Participants will leave with a 12-month plan for improving their own and their organizations’ overall wellbeing.- Set organizational goals for employee engagement, retention, and recruitment based on compassionate workplace practices and individualized employee wellness and development – Identify, differentiate between, and prevent compassion fatigue and “burnout,” with a focus on resilient organization practices – Explore how executives and leadership teams shape the wellness culture of a workplace and set expectations for and model self-care and mindfulness – Provide concrete strategies for creating a culture of wellness from the top down and the bottom up, as well as offer easy-to-implement suggestions for developing a wellness plan in organizations of any size and any budget – Create and implement a 12-month plan for improving individual and organizational wellbeing, utilizing handouts and interactive breakouts.

Presenter:Anna Stout, CEO of Roice-Hurst Humane Society, Certified Animal Welfare Administrator, Certified Spanish Interpreter, ATA Certified Translator ENG>SPA, Mayor

Anna Stout has served as the CEO of the Roice-Hurst Humane Society since 2015, during which time the organization has won multiple business and nonprofit awards. Under her leadership, Roice-Hurst launched the first-of-its-kind co-sheltering program for people experiencing homelessness with their pets, Homeward Hounds. It was also one of the first shelters nationwide to hire a human social worker and started the innovative Community Health Through Shelter Pets Initiative. In 2021, the organization opened a second location offering sheltering services in and around Delta. Anna was elected to the Grand Junction City Council in 2019 for District C. She served as the city’s Mayor from 2022-2024 and as Mayor pro tem from 2021-2022. Anna is the founder and president of the Foundation for Cultural Exchange, a local nonprofit founded in 2004 to facilitate Grand Junction’s official sister city relationship in El Espino, El Salvador. She also organizes citizen exchange delegations to the country, including previously an annual spay/neuter brigade aimed at improving animal, human, environmental, and community health in the sister city community. Anna is a Certified Court Interpreter and ATA Certified Translator from Spanish to English and owns Transfinem Language and Cultural Services. She has worked extensively within the legal and medical fields and with Spanish-speaking populations throughout the state, including as an upper-division Spanish instructor at Colorado Mesa University and as an interpreter trainer throughout the Western Slope.

Session Description 

This session aims to revolutionize perspectives on nonprofit collaboration. Participants will discover practical strategies to view other nonprofits as partners, not competitors, fostering a culture of mutual support. Using the success of Eagle County Gives, raising $1.6+ million annually, as a model, the session will provide tangible applications for building effective coalitions. Attendees will gain actionable insights into collaborative fundraising, resource-sharing, and community engagement, empowering them to navigate challenges in a limited-resource environment. This interactive experience promises real-world examples, equipping participants with tools to enhance their organizations’ impact through strategic collaboration.Participants will leave this session with a transformative outlook on building coalitions in the western slope, emphasizing collaboration over competition among nonprofits. Objectives include instilling new ideas, skills, and tools for perceiving fellow organizations as partners rather than funding competitors. Anticipated actions involve attendees actively applying collaborative strategies, inspired by the success of Eagle County Gives, which raises over $1.6 million annually. The session aims to shift perspectives by showcasing the potential of collective efforts, fostering a collaborative mindset, and illustrating the tangible benefits of working together. Attendees will gain insights into effective coalition-building, unlocking possibilities for greater impact in their community.

Presenters: 

Grace Anshutz, CFRE Director of Development and Marketing Eagle Valley Community Foundation and President Eagle County Gives

Grace earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana with a major in Communication and a minor in Spanish Language. At DePauw, Grace found her love for philanthropic studies while founding a university fundraising program for the local children’s hospital in addition to a chapter of international women and girls education program. Following her graduation, Grace has worked professionally in the nonprofit industry for 6 years with a focus on underserved and underrepresented populations. She has led teams and organizations through unprecedented growth, strategic planning, and relationship-centered fundraising. Grace’s primary fundraising experience is in event fundraising and execution, inclusive grassroot campaigns, comprehensive campaign management, and major donor pipeline development. She graduated from the Lilly School of Philanthropy with a MA in Philanthropic Studies and will finish the program with a focus in nonprofit leadership. Committed to education and appetite for continuous learning and application of best practices, Grace earned her Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) Certification, accredited in April of 2021.

Brooke Skjonsby, Executive Director of the Vail Valley Charitable Fund

Session Description 

Regardless of the situation, the players, or the contextual roles, when it comes to relating across differences in our work and in our lives, what is really at play are unseen yet potent and inescapable power dynamics. Awareness is the antidote. In this session, participants will map their own unique Personal Power-Print; learn distinctions between Rank & Power; demystify how invisible power dynamics play out on in our client & coworker interactions; and gain powerful tools to avoid misunderstandings and de-escalate conflict and leave feeling more empowered to lean in and relate across difference.

Presenter: Andi Tilmann, MA, Founder & Director of Loving Beyond Understanding

Andi Tilmann, MA (they/she/he) LBU Founder & Director LGBTQ+ & Gender-Diverse Compassionate Cultural Awareness Trainings Co-Developer After 18 years as a capital campaign consultant for spiritual communities with her firm Tri Unity Consulting, Andi earned a master’s degree in psychology & conflict facilitation from the international Process Work Institute in Portland, OR in 2016 and has since focused intensely on better understanding anti-oppression work and the psychology of colonial cultural socialization. They co-developed a very well-received Gender Diverse Cultural Awareness training series for mental health, medical and social service providers in 2023 which has already reached over 880 trainees on the Western Slope. Andi is now applying their decades of professional experience, her passion for social justice, and his life-experience as a gender-between LGBTQ+ person to founding the nonprofit Loving Beyond Understanding and The Center, which offer safe spaces, social support & activities for LGBTQ+ youth, adults, elders and parents, as well as counseling services, resource navigation in Grand Junction CO and surrounding rural areas.

Session Description 

This session is designed to guide team members through various activities that foster teamwork and camaraderie. Its purpose is to enhance communication, cooperation, and collaboration among team members. The activities are designed to build trust and mutual respect among participants.Upon completion of the session, participants will have a better understanding of how to support and uplift one another, empowering them to work together more effectively in the workplace.

Presenter: Mary Cloud, Development Director of River Bridge Regional Center

Mary Cloud has received her Bachelors Degree in Education at Ohio University, Athens, Ohio, and holds a Masters Degree in Education from University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Her goals with River Bridge is to help the organization reach their financial goals through grant writing and reporting, head up their annual fundraising event, annual appeals, and coordinate outreach and education events within the community, for parents, teachers, childcare workers, and other necessary partners. In addition, she has been providing team building activities to the staff to help support a culture of acceptance, approachability, wellness, and fun in the workplace. On the side from River Bridge, Mary is also a leader of the Mountain West Gives/Colorado Gives Day Regional Champion group, helping nonprofits from Aspen to Parachute raise money on the annual appeal day.

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

Session Description 

Downtown Colorado, Inc. is working with university partners to develop a community capacity profile and workplan to improve community capacity for economic development throughout Colorado. The City of Cortez is a pilot community in the first cohort of seven around Colorado. The session will outline the methodology of the community capacity assessment, the strategic use of data to inform economic development and community engagement, and the action steps for the city that were generated through the process. Community capacity data is shared with state and federal funding partners to find resources to support local communities build capacity in strategic ways.Participants can expect to leave the session with an understanding of key characteristics of economic development, regional characteristics around Colorado, how to assess local strengths and make action plans to address weaknesses, and connect data with community action. Attendees will be provided a link to take the Community Capacity Assessment themselves and compare their results with other statewide participants after the presentation.

Presenters:

Bill Shrum, M.A., M.P.A., Director of Operations for Downtown Colorado, Inc.

Bill has worked in economic development and special districts for nearly 15 years, previously as Assistant Town Manager in Eagle, CO and with DCI Bill works with downtown districts and communities around the state. This includes strategic planning, district formation, community engagement, and business development work. Bill oversees DCI’s membership development and member resources, community data sharing, technical assistance projects, and supports DCI’s Colorado Challenge Accelerator Program. Bill has BENVD and M.A. in Communications degrees from CU-Boulder, and an M.P.A. from CU-Denver. Prior to joining the public sector Bill started several businesses and non-profits including a coworking and student accelerator in Boulder as well as a third-party logistics service supporting several multi-million-dollar retail clients. Bill has previously presented at Rural Philanthropy Days in Lamar, speaking about municipal communication best practices.

Helen West, Community & Economic Development Specialist, City of Cortez

Prior to joining the Community & Economic Development team at the City of Cortez, Helen taught music and was the high school band director in Shiprock, New Mexico in the Northern Navajo Nation. Helen has lives in Cortez with her husband and two cats and is passionate about serving her hometown.

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.

Through this workshop, participants will:

  1. Identify how policy and advocacy fits into their organizational mission
  2. Explore barriers and benefits of community-driven policy

Presenters:

Alex McHenry, Director of Civic Engagement / Interim Co-Executive Director, Community Resource Center

Alex brings over twelve years of experience in the fields of education, leadership, and community engagement. As the Director of Civic Engagement at CRC, Alex helps nonprofits build and strengthen their advocacy efforts through CRC’s civic engagement programs including the Participation Project and The Root Causes Network. Alex has a masters’ degree in conservation social science, is a graduate of the Family Leadership Training Institute (FLTI), and is passionate about working at a systems level to tackle complex social issues.

Perrine Monnet, Policy Analyst, The Bell Policy Center

Perrine joined the Bell Policy Center as a policy analyst after returning from Washington DC where she earned her master’s degree in public policy. She was born and raised in Colorado and is passionate about strengthening the state through engaging community in the policy process. Her work at the Bell primarily centers around the care economy, looking at care across the lifespan and the invaluable role of caregivers in our communities.

Session Description 

Part Two – Taking the Fear out of Asking for Gifts

This session will cover an overview of fundraising fundamentals such as the distinction between fundraising and development, national statistics about sources and uses of philanthropic monies, and factors affecting fundraising success. It will also provide step-by step coaching on taking the fear out of asking for gifts. Non-profit staff, board, and donors will be able to immediately apply this information to their organization’s goals of fiscal stability.

Part Two learning objectives are:

  1. To understand national trends in philanthropic giving.
  2. To identify common fears in asking for gifts and how to overcome them.
  3. To learn the key steps in asking.
  4. To overcome the challenges and to believe in the joys that are possible in asking for gifts.

Presenters:

Cynthia Perry Colebrook, CFRE. Independent consultant to non-profits.

Cynthia Perry Colebrook has been helping non-profits accomplish their missions for forty years. She has served major cultural and religious institutions, hospitals, youth and environmental organizations, and social service agencies. Her areas of particular expertise include interim management, capital campaign assessment and direction, board recruitment, volunteer solicitor training, special event design, and staff competency assessments. She was the first Managing Director of the Cincinnati Parks Foundation, and she served as Vice President for Institutional Advancement at the San Francisco Art Institute. She has directed capital campaigns for Cincinnati’s Contemporary Arts Center, the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts, the YMCA of Greater Cincinnati, and the New Bedford Whaling Museum in New Bedford, Massachusetts.

Danielle Howard, Certified Financial Planner.

Danielle Howard has lived in Eagle, Pitkin and Garfield Counties for 35 years. She is a Certified Financial Planner®, author, speaker and personal finance thought leader. She has 27 years of client engagement and financial world experience, which includes, among other things, helping clients with Charitable Remainder Trusts, Donor Advised Funds, QCD’s, other giving tools and generational conversations.

Session Description 

Join Raíces del Valle (Roots of the Valley) to learn how to empower yourself, your staff, and your community, laying the foundation for a future of Belonging. Discover unique strategies that break down barriers to engagement, empowering service providers to drive positive change and foster community connections. This session will delve into the strategic approaches employed by Latina Leaders to address health disparities, reflect on the role of leadership and advocacy in promoting social justice, and highlight the significance of grassroots initiatives in creating tangible change within local communities.

Presenter: Nelly Garcia, RAICES (Roots) of the Valley

Nelly Garcia is a dedicated professional with a rich background in community organizing, advocacy, and linguistic proficiency. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Spanish Applied Professional and Spanish Literature and Language, graduating Cum Laude. Hailing from Grand Junction, Colorado, Nelly has been deeply engaged in various initiatives aimed at fostering community cohesion, empowerment, and social justice. Nelly’s passion for social change and community empowerment led her to participate in numerous training programs and workshops. She has actively engaged in events and participated at the national level with the Migrant Education Program, where she has deepened her understanding of immigration issues and honed her advocacy skills. Nelly’s dedication to social justice extends beyond her professional endeavors. As an active volunteer with various local organizations, she has contributed her time and expertise to advancing causes related to immigrant rights, education, and civil liberties. Her participation as a presenter at conferences and events underscores her role as a respected voice within her community. She continues to champion the rights and well-being of marginalized populations. Through her leadership, she strives to create inclusive spaces where all individuals feel valued and empowered. She is fully committed to nurturing future leaders and fostering intergenerational dialogue to support them in reaching their full potential.

Session Description 

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

At the conclusion of this workshop, participants will be able to:

  1. Recognize the different types of grantmakers and kinds of grants available
  2. Apply what they have learned about the importance of building relationships with grantmakers during the conference
  3. Understand what is needed to be demonstrated in the questions and attachments required in the Colorado Common Grant Application, especially as they apply to rural nonprofits

Presenter: Katy Pepinsky, BS, MA, Director of Grant Services, Community Resource Center

Katy Pepinsky (she/her/ella), works with AmeriCorps VISTA members, consultants, and nonprofits to build grant access equity across Colorado. 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. Originally from 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, cycling, and exploring the rural rivers and trails of the Southwest with family and friends. Katy is also conversant in Spanish!

Session Description 

As a leader in philanthropy, we are often driven to ‘pay it forward’ to inspire others. To see that moment on their faces when you have a direct impact on what you’ve worked so hard to implement. We can do that within the organization, and it can be the butterfly that affects more than we can imagine.

Offering the opportunity to dispel generational & societal myths by adding some context to the things that confuse us can go a long way in putting aside differences. We will offer some scenarios for open discussion while encouraging folks to look at things from different perspectives.It’s hard to embrace change but each generation forces the other generations to do exactly that. However, if you think about the possibilities and not the frustration of these societal changes, you’d be surprised at what you can accomplish and who you can inspire.

Objective: We hope to ease the fear of embracing other generations and those not like us.

Actions: We will discuss how to build internships for college credit; the value of youth leadership on a board of directors; how to see through all the filters and find what’s at the core of a person plus a few more tricks and tips. From looking at resumes, building internship projects, working across generations all the way to how to find and foster someone’s best skills. This will be an opportunity to have open, safe conversations with the goal of easing the fear of embracing other generations and those not like us.

Shift perspective: If we’re here to inspire, we can learn and share all kinds of ways to create butterflies.

Presenter: Amy Thieme, ASEDD.org

Seasoned manager with over 20 years of experience in non-profit and corporate environments. A strategic and creative thinker, and I excel in optimizing processes, fostering member growth, and transparently managing budgets. Proven success in BOD management, event coordination, and database management, with proficiency in AMS systems and Microsoft Office. Adept at enhancing organizational efficiency while maintaining a focus on mission integrity. My track record includes leadership roles at National Association of RV Parks & Campground, Denver Public Schools Foundation, and Colorado Ski Country USA.

Session Description 

Leading people and cultivating a culture where relationships, behaviors, and emotions drive us to thrive is one of the biggest challenges of being a non-profit executive. It is common for employees to hit “burn out,” conflict to fester until someone blows, and we somehow find ourselves spending 80% of our time putting out fires or managing a crisis. This workshop will focus on sharing strategies for navigating difficult conversations, building accountability across your team, and cultivating radical care in the workplace with integrity and improved effectiveness. If you have feelings of stress when thinking about the relationships, obstacles, or challenges you are facing at your organization, this workshop may be just right for you.

Session Objectives:

  1. Increase ability to negotiate and navigate in difficult conversations
  2. Improve relationships across the team and build team integrity and accountability
  3. Resolve conflict more effectively with improved cohesion across the team
  4. Implement new communication strategies to create spaces of trust and care
  5. Align professional and the mission of the organization to employee coaching and strategic action planning

Presenter: Christine Fonner, Roam Life, LLC

Christine Fonner has over 20 years of leadership career experience across the non-profit, corporate, and educational industry sectors. She holds a Bachelors in Elementary Education and Bilingual/ESL K-12 and a Masters of Education in Transformational Leadership and Change Management. Christine has been involved in startup business development multiple times, including building a business from $5M to $500M in two short years. She specializes in strategic planning, capacity building, leadership development, communication and conflict resolution, change management, and board training. She is passionate about working with businesses in her own community throughout the region to impact and influence for the greater good. Christine is a PhD candidate in Organizational Leadership focusing on the impacts of toxic leadership on people and places and the responsibility that leaders have to cultivate what she calls, “radical care” in the workplace. You’ll find Christine skiing on some of her favorite mountains, snowshoeing or hiking with her two dogs, Reese and Buddy, or mountain biking with her husband, Josh who enjoys the outdoors almost as much as she does.

Session Description 

Today’s nonprofit board is based on an archaic model that puts a group of passionate, well-meaning, and often inexperienced volunteers in a position of oversight over a professional executive with experience in the industry. Oftentimes the result is ineffective support, at best, and toxic micromanagement, at worst. In both cases, the outcome is ultimately that the nonprofit executive is unsuccessful in the role, whether because of burnout or frustration or conflict with the board.

Presenter: Anna Stout, CEO, Certified Animal Welfare Administrator (CAWA), Certified Spanish Interpreter, ATA Certified Translator ENG>SPA, Mayor

Anna Stout has served as the CEO of the Roice-Hurst Humane Society since 2015, during which time the organization has won multiple business and nonprofit awards. Under her leadership, Roice-Hurst launched the first-of-its-kind co-sheltering program for people experiencing homelessness with their pets, Homeward Hounds. It was also one of the first shelters nationwide to hire a human social worker and started the innovative Community Health Through Shelter Pets Initiative. In 2021, the organization opened a second location offering sheltering services in and around Delta. Anna was elected to the Grand Junction City Council in 2019 for District C. She served as the city’s Mayor from 2022-2024 and as Mayor pro tem from 2021-2022. Anna is the founder and president of the Foundation for Cultural Exchange, a local nonprofit founded in 2004 to facilitate Grand Junction’s official sister city relationship in El Espino, El Salvador. She also organizes citizen exchange delegations to the country, including previously an annual spay/neuter brigade aimed at improving animal, human, environmental, and community health in the sister city community. Anna is a Certified Court Interpreter and ATA Certified Translator from Spanish to English and owns Transfinem Language and Cultural Services. She has worked extensively within the legal and medical fields and with Spanish-speaking populations throughout the state, including as an upper-division Spanish instructor at Colorado Mesa University and as an interpreter trainer throughout the Western Slope.

Session Description 

A staff team that works well together is key to any organization reaching their goals. This session will address principles and practices that support individuals joining, growing with and sticking with an organization. We will explore strategies for balancing the challenges related to low pay and limited benefits with the value of being part of a team that works well together. We will look at a few examples of organizations that have benefitted from invested in staff and have time to discuss challenges that participants have with staff and management burnout. This session will dig in to the challenges related to recruiting and sustaining a staff team as well as fatigue and burnout at the leadership and staff level. We will examine how you and your organizational leadership can cultivate a depth of peer support and care that fuels sustainability.

From this session, participants will be able to look at their organization from a variety of different perspectives to see where they can cultivate a more satisfying and sustainable workplace.

Presenter: Pat Landrum, organizational change

Pat Landrum has been immersed in the nonprofit arena across the US for 40 years. She helped develop a nation-wide network of specialized post-acute brain injury rehabilitation programs and has served as the executive director for several nonprofit organizations. She has worked extensively with organization leadership and program teams as they grapple with serving people in need within a challenging regulatory and funding environment. Pat is deeply committed to supporting people in finding the joy and gratitude related to working together in service of others.

Networking Lunch | 12:25 PM – 1:30 PM

Premium Takeaway Sandwich Lunch. Sandwich Box Lunches include Your Choice of Side Salad, Chips, and Beverage made by Cowboy & the Rose.

Western Slope 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: Katy Sawyer, Director of Capacity Building, Community Resource Center

Katy joined Community Resource Center in 2020 to help build and launch the COVID Containment Response Corps- an AmeriCorps program that engaged over 800 people in National Service across Colorado. Katy brings the perspective of having worked in grassroots nonprofits in developing countries as well as national nonprofits in the US to her role as the Director of Capacity Building. Katy spent over 10 years working with Jumpstart, a national early childhood education organization, gaining experience in program management and development, AmeriCorps programs and funding, nonprofit fundraising and board management, and national campaigns. Combining her professional skills and experiences with her love of (and degrees in) international relations and Spanish, Katy moved to Nicaragua to work with organizations providing supplementary educational opportunities to children in Granada. Katy was excited to discover CRC and move to Colorado. In her free time, Katy enjoys exploring Colorado, new trails, and (attempting to) cross some 14ers off her list.

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

Join us for a celebration of the nonprofit sector across the Western Slope 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 Western Slope 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

A regional paleontological and geological museum that tells the story of the history of life in Western Colorado and surrounding areas with real fossils, cast skeletons, and reconstructions of dinosaurs and other paleo species, our Wednesday evening Welcome Reception will be held at the Dinosaur Journey. Dinner includes choices from 505 Fix, Bo-B-Q, and Little Pink Truck. Dessert includes three different flavored cupcakes from Moutain Whisk Bakery as well as a vegan option. 

Thursday, June 6

Community Resource Center will have a registration and help desk set up at the Fruita Monument High School.

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

A variety of breakfast burrito options from Dango Burrito. Breakfast will be held at the Fruita Monument High School.

Keynote Panel – Voices of Change: Transforming Actionable Change Through Lived Experiences | 9:00 AM – 10:30 AM

Commencing with a listening and engagement exercise designed to foster active participation, this panel of local leaders will illuminate lived experiences and narratives, focusing on identifying unaddressed needs within our community and catalyzing action. Through diverse stories, attendees will gain insights into innovative approaches, successes, and the transformative potential of collaborative efforts and redefined notions of leadership. By giving voice to lived experiences of marginalized communities, this panel aims to inspire attendees to reevaluate their roles as partners and funders, with a renewed commitment to supporting initiatives that authentically engage and honor diverse voices. Participants will depart with a sense of inspiration, challenged perspectives, and a profound eagerness to contribute to meaningful change within our communities.

Panelists:

  • Faviola Aderete, Community Health Strategist of Eagle County Public Health & Environment 
  • Kaleb Cook, Executive Director of the Cook Inclusive Company
  • Mads Partridge, Founder and Executive Director of Mountain Pride
  • Monique Terpstra Sturgeon, Executive Director, Western Slope Native American Resource Center
  • Stephania Vasconez, Founder and Executive Director of Mutual Aid Partners, TEDx speaker

Moderator: 

  • Natasha Léger, Executive Director, Citizens For A Healthy Community

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 11 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

Hearty wraps with choice of Iced Tea/Lemonade/Soda from Hillbilly Catering .

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.

Discovering Fruita Through a Local Lens | 2:30 PM – 4:00 PM

Session Description:

Join us for a walking tour of Downtown Fruita and surrounding areas by Fruita City Manager, Mike Bennett, where we will come to visit some of the destinations and organizations that make Fruita a unique place to bring the community together. These organizations and destinations are unique to Fruita and offer vibrant places for artists to create, businesses to flourish, and community members and guests to recreate. Stops will include:

  • Mulberry Plaza – Previously a through-street now turned into an open space featuring art and a place to come together in Downtown Fruita
  • Grrretta the Dinosaur – The unofficial town mascot in the center of town
  • FARM (Fruita Arts & Recreation Market) – Previously a vacant building (nearly 10 years) now turned into an art studio with 19 spaces and 4 retail/recreation/creative storefronts
  • Over the Edge – A bike store that provides rentals, bike tunes, and hosts the Annual Fruita Fat Tire Festival. This stop will also showcase the partnership with the City of Fruita in trail management and developing and sustaining our trails for mountain biking
  • Imondi Wake Zone – Cable wakeboarding park that was established through a creative partnership with the City of Fruita and its owners. This is the only cable wakeboarding park in Colorado
  • “The Beach” – This project is currently being developed to repurpose a vacant piece of land the City owns to create a family-friendly space to recreate in the water. It is located next to the Colorado River and would include a space to swim in shallow waters as well as a no-cost boat launch onto the Colorado River. 
  • Rimrock Adventures – This is a local business that provides rafting tours, horseback riding, and rentals. 

We hope you will join us on this tour to experience what makes Fruita a vibrant community and how each organization and destination contributes to a quality place. The walking tour will begin at the Fruita Civic Center and include a short shuttle bus to our recreation destinations. The shuttle will drop off back at Fruita Civic Center.

Tour Guide: Mike Bennet, City Manager of Fruita

Mike Bennett became the Fruita, Colorado City Manager in October 2014, and is still overwhelmed by how awesome it is to live like a Fruita local. Mike received his Master of Public Administration degree from BYU in Provo, UT; Bachelor of Journalism and Public Relations from Utah State University in Logan, UT; and previously worked in a variety of positions for the City of Hickory North Carolina for many years prior to arriving in Fruita. Mike is an International City/County Management Association Credentialed Manager and graduate of the Senior Executive Institute at the University of Virginia. Mike and his wife have three children and love spending time together in the outdoors. Mike is passionate about family, purpose, fly-fishing, mountain biking, hiking, meetings on bikes, continuous improvement, and community. As City Manager, Mike spends most of the time working with the Fruita City Council, staff, and community to align resources to positively impact Fruita’s Quality of Place, Economic Health and Lifestyle.

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

Session Description 

Volunteer practices and volunteer experience is important to the extent of the mission and vision of the organization. There are creative avenues to include volunteers in the organizational design to better extend the reach of the organization. Worksheets, change management processes, organizational analysis, and the knowledge for internal coalition building. Current volunteer engagement practices will be identified, with analysis on the volunteer experience as a whole.

Presenters: 

Katherine Ruark, Masters in Nonprofit Management

Katherine Ruark graduated with her Masters in Nonprofit Management from Regis University this winter. She has worked as an Americorps to serve Nevada Volunteers with their Service Enterprise initiative. She has been working in nonprofits supporting positive volunteer practices for over 8 years. She has successfully recruited, onboarded, trained, and retained thousands of volunteers from small service projects to celebrating 10 years of volunteerism. Since 2020 Janine Mariani has worked at CASA of the Continental Divide (CASACD), a nonprofit that recruits, trains and supervises volunteer advocates who ensure children’s best interests are at the forefront of legal proceedings. Before her time at CASACD, she spent several years training and managing volunteers at HAVEN, a domestic violence nonprofit. Janine believes volunteers play an important role in nonprofit organizations to help achieve the organizational mission.

Janine Mariani, Co-Executive Director, CASA of the Continental Divide

Since 2020 Janine Mariani has worked at CASA of the Continental Divide (CASACD), a nonprofit that recruits, trains and supervises volunteer advocates who ensure children’s best interests are at the forefront of legal proceedings. Before her time at CASACD, she spent several years training and managing volunteers at HAVEN, a domestic violence nonprofit. Janine believes volunteers play an important role in nonprofit organizations to help achieve the organizational mission.

Session Description 

Grant funders speak “the language of numbers.” While this may not be your first dialect, it is important that your organization effectively communicate its story via well thought-through budgets, properly prepared financial statements (including improvements to standard accounting system-generated reports) and clear, accurate reporting. Financial presentations provide vital information on your past, present, and future, and are necessary to making the case for investment in your organization and its programming.

Participants in this session will increase their nonprofit financial literacy, learn to create and utilize quality documents, consider how to present financial data in an impactful way, and have opportunity to share/ troubleshoot specific challenges.

Learning:

  1. Participants will benefit from exposure to and greater understanding of:
  2. Accurate terminology used for nonprofit financial planning and reporting (e.g. Statement of Activity vs. Profit & Loss Statement)
  3. The financial documentation required for completion of grant proposals, and its effective presentation
  4. The process to create organizational and program/project budgets (expenses AND revenues; treatment of in-kind contributions)
  5. Internal use of financial documents, including for longer-term financial considerations (e.g. operating reserves, restricted fun

Presenter: Illene Roggensack, President, Third Sector Innovations, 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 

Nonprofit boards are crucial to the success of our organizations but in too many cases boards do not live up to their potential and can even hold an organization back. This session will cover how to identify the type of board your organization needs and how to recruit, train and keep members to meet those needs. If you want an active and engaged board to help you meet your mission, this session is for you!This session will cover essential elements of board governance including recruitment, orientation, term limits, board governance, and dealing with problematic board members. We will discuss real examples from my experience and yours and how we can all learn from them. Participants will leave with concrete action steps and handouts to help improve the efficacy of their boards.

Presenter: Shannon Meyer, Executive Director, Response

Shannon Meyer has been the executive director of Response, a domestic and sexual abuse serving agency in the Roaring Fork Valley, for over six years. She has worked in the nonprofit field for 25 years and has a deep experience training on organization management. During her time at Response she has doubled the annual operating budget and instituted an innovative Housing for Survivors Program. She has just completed a $9 million capital campaign to build the first domestic abuse center in the upper Roaring Fork Valley.

Session Description 

The session will also explore DEI strategies and how leadership practices can leverage intersectionality to strengthen organizational mission and impact. Additionally, the importance of understanding intersectionality in community engagement will be examined alongside strategies for tailoring programs to meet diverse community needs. The discussion will delve into the specific challenges that nonprofit organizations face concerning DEI, encompassing both internal dynamics and external interactions with diverse communities. Participants will gain insights into how intersectionality influences organizational culture, affecting leadership styles, decision-making processes, and communication practices. Emphasis will be placed on addressing unconscious biases and equipping participants with practical tools for cultivating an inclusive and equitable workplace.

Presenter: Mads Partridge, Executive Director of Mountain Pride

Mads is the Executive Director of Mountain Pride, a nonprofit dedicated to improving the lived experiences of the LGBTQ+ community in the rural Mountain communities of Colorado. Prior to serving Mountain Pride as its first Executive Director, Madison was the President of the grassroots volunteer organization, Eagle County Pride. Through her commitment to equity and empathetic leadership, Madison has led Mountain Pride through a historic growth phase with an emphasis on building a foundation for long term success and impact.

Session Description

An interactive workshop guiding participant in gaining understanding of how organizational values can lead to improved culture, recruitment & retention, and strategic decision making. Participants will identify their core and aspirational organization values, name specific behaviors needed to operationalize these values, and develop a plan to bring these values back to their organization at large.

  1. Understanding of the importance of organization values and how to make them meaningful
  2. A list of core and aspirational values
  3. A list of behaviors associated with putting these values into practice
  4. A plan to bring these values back to their organization and keep them alive.

Presenters:

Hali Nurnberg, Executive Director, Counseling & Education Center

Hali Nurnberg, LPC has served as the Executive Director of the Counseling and Education Center (CEC) since 2021 and as a counselor at CEC since 2018. With a degree in International Disaster Psychology from the University of Denver she brings more than a decade of nonprofit and clinical mental health experience. As a Mental Health Clinician, Hali uses a client-centered approach and evidence-based practices such as EMDR to empower individuals on their journey to wellness. Under Hali’s leadership, CEC is expanding into the Orchard Mesa neighborhood, bringing high quality mental health services to all, regardless of income or insurance with the vision of building a mentally thriving community. Outside of her work with CEC, Hali is engaged in the community through her service on the board of Colorado Canyons Association and serving on her HOA. When she is not working, she enjoys time spent with her family and friends, enjoying the local wine, camping and rafting in the great outdoors, and traveling whenever possible.with CEC, Hali is engaged in the community through her service on the board of Colorado Canyons Association and serving on her HOA. When she is not working, she enjoys time spent with her family and friends, enjoying the local wine, camping and rafting in the great outdoors, and traveling whenever possible.

Hannah Wilson, LPCC

Hannah believes in compassionate and accessible mental health care. She strives to help her clients connect to their inherent internal wisdom through her work at CEC. Having earned an MA in Counseling from Northwestern University, she brings a humanistic approach to help individuals recognize their strengths. Hannah is wholehearted in her work with individuals and in her belief in CEC’s mission and values. When she is not working, most of her time is spent walking, petting, and playing with her (hopefully) future therapy puppy, Winnie. She also enjoys spending time in nature, playing music, and reading.

Session Description

Drawing on the work of Chris Musselwhite, the Change Navigator and Change Style Indicator frameworks offer insight into the stages of transition and the predictable nature of how we move from thinking to feeling and back to thinking. The session will also explore why some people seemingly enjoy the change process and others would rather stand naked in a snowstorm. Using real examples of change, together we will identify effective strategies that everyone in the nonprofit organization can use to develop resiliency and lessen resistance whether the change is significant or relatively small. We will also have a little fun looking at ineffective, but commonly used, strategies for change.Change is certain everywhere except from a vending machine. Every day we are immersed in an experiential course in change, but as nonprofits we often don’t have the time or energy to extract the learning from these experiences. While change is certain, it can be influenced through understanding the steps of transition, appreciating the differences in how individuals experience change, and employing strategies that will build resilience rather than resistance. This workshop will show you how and give you an opportunity to practice.

Presenter: Melanie Hall, PCC, Illuminate Business Services

Following a professional career in the private and nonprofits sectors spanning more than twenty years, Melanie Hall launched Illuminate Business Services in early 2022. As a certified executive coach credentialed through the International Coaching Federation, she finds great joy in drawing from diverse professional experience in healthcare, education, social services, small business, and philanthropy to help leaders, teams, and organizations see solutions clearly. This is accomplished through consulting engagements, coaching professionals, providing training, and facilitating strategic planning sessions. She is certified in the numerous assessment tools including Everything DiSC, Genos Emotional Intelligence, Change Navigator, and Five Behaviors of Teams. When not helping others reach their goals, Melanie enjoys time exploring the outdoors with family and friends.

Session Description

As the world around us continues to change in unpredictable ways, nonprofit leaders are accountable for development and delivery of their organizations strategic plan – a plan that is inclusive, achievable, relevant, and impactful.

In this session, participants will have an opportunity to explore ways to create and deliver living strategic plans that help nonprofits succeed at what they are here to do. Together we will look at tools, tricks, traps, and simple evaluation strategies for leaders at the staff, executive, board and donor level so all stakeholders can contribute to the success of your organization. Participants will look at key elements of successful strategic operating plans and examine what participants want and need in their organization to empower all stakeholders to have agency to support success. We will explore how and where concepts, opinions, power dynamics, and worry get in the way of finding balance, being in sustained action and pivoting where a shift would be useful. We will explore strategies for changing perspective as part of addressing challenging situations and ways to have more fun at work and more balance in life.

Participants are invited to bring their specific challenges, most gnarly issues, and extraordinary breakthroughs to the session as we dig in together.

Presenter: Pat Landrum

Pat Landrum has been immersed in the nonprofit arena across the US for 40 years. She has served as Executive Director for South Bay Community Re-Entry on Cape Cod, the Mesa County Civic Forum, The Healthy Community Consortium in Petaluma California, and Social Venture Partners in Denver. She has consulted with and coached executives and leadership teams of municipalities, nonprofits, and foundations. Pat just can’t get enough of the joy and gratitude related to working together with people who care and are willing to take action for a better community.

Session Description

As a result of federal legislation, Colorado has received billions of dollars to support COVID recovery as well as economic, infrastructure, and climate initiatives. 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 session will provide an overview of local, state, and federal government grant making, will highlight some of the current ARPA, IIJA, and IRA grant opportunities available to Colorado nonprofits, and will share some of the resources CRC has developed to support nonprofits with grant seeking, development, and management. If organizations are interested in learning more about applying for government grants and what opportunities currently exist across our state, this session is for them! Participants will leave the session with information about ARPA, IIJA, and IRA legislation and grant opportunities, will better understand eligibility and other requirements of these grant funds, and will have more government grant tools in their toolboxes. We will also share information about CRC’s GrantCorps program, and the grant support CRC’s provides organizations across Colorado.

Facilitator: Katy Pepinsky, BS, MA, Director of Grant Services, Community Resource Center

Katy Pepinsky (she/her/ella), works with AmeriCorps VISTA members, consultants, and nonprofits to build grant access equity across Colorado. 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. Originally from 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, cycling, and exploring the rural rivers and trails of the Southwest with family and friends. Katy is also conversant in Spanish!

Networking Reception | 5:00 PM – 7:00 PM

Join us at the beautiful Absolute Prestige Ranch in Loma for an Italian dinner, catered by Cowboy & The Rose, and a networking reception.

Friday, June 7

Networking Breakfast

Please join us for breakfast catered by GJ Fusion. The location and timing of breakfast will depend on the half-day session of your choosing:

  • 8:00 AM – 8:30 AM: The Agriculture/Food Security Panel and Tour will meet for breakfast at the Food Bank of the Rockies in Grand Junction
  • 8:30 AM – 9:00 AM: The Wellness session will meet for breakfast at the Fruita Monument High School

Beat the Burnout – Practicing greater levels of health, productivity, and resilience | 8:30 AM – 12:30 PM

Breakfast buffet, burritos, and beverage made by GJ Fusion.

Session Description

The morning will commence with a keynote presentation from Dr. Terry Chase, ND, MA, RN, CEIP-Ed.

A Whole-Hearted Approach for Well-Being is a highly experiential and interactive breakout session offering an inspiring mix of positive psychology, scientifically grounded wisdom, and practical tools for a healthy and flourishing life. Selected elements from Positive Psychology, Caring Science and Experiential Education will feature exercises and skill building activities to promote greater levels of flourishing, productivity, and resilience. Upon completion of this session, participants will have… Identified elements of well-being practices to promote greater levels of health, productivity, and resilience. Integrated elements of health and well-being practice into personal life and professional practice. Recognized the possibility of living with increased energy, positive emotions, deeper relational engagement and a life with deeper meaning and achievement.

After you learn from Dr. Terry, you will have the opportunity to put these core themes into practice. Participants will select between three different experiential sessions that will incorporate mindset shifts to enhance well-being and flourish in personal and professional life.

Presenter: Dr. Terry Chase, ND, MA, RN, CEIP-Ed

Dr. Terry Chase dedicated to healthcare since 1990 obtaining a Master of Exercise Science (MA’90), University of Denver; Doctorate of Nursing (ND‘96), University of Colorado-School of Nursing and Spiritual Psychology: Consciousness, Health and Healing (MA’04), University of Santa Monica. Dr. Chase has worked for Craig Hospital (1996-2014) as Patient & Family Education Coordinator, Admission Liaison and various research programs. Recently retired as Associate Professor, BSN Nursing-Mental Health, Colorado Mesa University, Grand Junction CO. Dr. Chase is a professional speaker, author and coach living fully with SCI for 32 years active in kayaking, cross-country skiing, hand-cycling and whenever possible, riding horses.

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

Session: Relax, Reconnect, and Revitalize with the Harmony Acres Horses

The health and growth of our agencies is directly linked to our own health and personal growth. When was the last time you set the time aside to put yourself first and truly listen to what your inner voice has to tell you? Working onsite at Harmony Acres facility with our horses and therapists, participants will have the opportunity to experientially explore important elements of health and growth, such as disconnecting from technology and stress, and reconnecting with self, others, intuition, and inspiration.
What participants will gain:
Stepping into an environment that is built around awareness, support, and the connection with people, animals, and nature, will give participants a chance to step back from stressful patterns, breathe, relax, and reconnect with healthy tools they can bring back with them to approach problems and stressors in their agency from a new perspective. Connecting with the horses will bring out participants’ inner voice and strengths, empowering them to listen to and support themselves in new ways.

Facilitator: Morgan Kareus, Program Director/Co-Founder of Harmony Acres Equestrian Center

Morgan Kareus is the Co-Founder and Program Director of Harmony Acres Equestrian Center. She has a long history of working with horses and realized the many benefits of connecting people with Horses. She has a deep passion for sharing the healing benefits of animal-assisted therapies.

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

Session Description: Meditation, Sound Baths, and Journaling

Meditation does not require a special space or spiritual path. All humans have the capacity to use meditation to release binding forces, get connected to self and others, become present and give. 
In this session, we will be exposed to four meditations that support your well being and your work.

Sound is highly effective for helping you achieve a state of healing relaxation or a deeper state of meditation. In our fast paced world, finding time to relax and recharge is more important than ever. Sound is also said to have the ability to help the body clear out emotional blockages from past trauma and release stress from the body. Many report finding inner peace or feeling centered. Sound Therapy has been said to naturally help with stress, anxiety, panic attacks, depression, sleep disorders, high blood pressure, pain, trauma, and individuals with sensory processing problems, such as Autism.

One of the ways to deal with any overwhelming emotion is to find a healthy way to express yourself. This makes a journal a helpful tool in managing your mental health. Journaling can help you:manage anxiety, reduce stress and cope with depression.  Journaling helps control your symptoms and improve your mood by:

  • Helping you prioritize problems, fears, and concerns
  • Tracking any symptoms day-to-day so that you can recognize triggers and learn ways to better control them
  • Providing an opportunity for positive self-talk and identifying negative thoughts and behaviors

In this session we will explore a few types of journaling that can help you during the workday or for life in general. 

Facilitators:

Pat Landrum

Pat Landrum has been immersed in the nonprofit arena across the US for 40 years Her background includes serving as executive director of community-based nonprofit organizations; facilitating the development of national policy and practice standards; and consulting to a variety of organization types to build capacity and sustainability. Pat has always had a strong spiritual base to her work. She is involved with worldwide integrative meditation community; meditating regularly and helping to put infrastructure in place to support people worldwide in pursuing their individual spiritual paths.

Stephanie Stallings, Self Hope

Stephanie Stallings is a Holistic Registered Nurse, and has worked in healthcare for over 20 years. She is a member of the American Holistic Nurses Association and has owned her own holistic nursing practice for 5 years. She is certified in a variety of alternative holistic modalities, providing classes, workshops and tools for people who are seeking balance in life and health. Stephanie is a Colorado native and lives in Cedaredge with her husband, Andrew, and their three sons.

Erin Ivie, Executive Director, SpeakUp ReachOut

Erin Ivie is a non-profit director and board member for many organizations in Colorado including SpeakUp ReachOut (Eagle County); the Suicide Prevention Coalition of Colorado (Treasurer); Office of Suicide Prevention Commission Co-Chair. She lives in Silt, CO with her husband, Nate and German Shepard, Rincon. She enjoys adventure and long good meals with good people.

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

Session: Beginner-Friendly Mountain Biking with Soul Dirt and Riverside Education Centers (REC)

Wrap the conference up with a little outdoor adventure and join the Vail Valley Mountain Trails Alliance (VVMTA)’s Soul Dirt and the Riverside Education Center (REC) for a Friday wellness session! Come for a VVMTA/REC-led beginner friendly group mountain bike ride and experience North Fruita Desert’s epic trails. Bikes and helmets available to borrow on request. Please see registration.

Meet at the 18 Rd. parking lot at 11am on Friday, June 7 following the Keynote Speaker presentation. Click here for directions. Look for the red VVMTA van!
Please be prepared for hot temperatures. Bring plenty of water and snacks (if you want) and wear:
    • Active clothing (avoid cotton if possible)
    • Sunglasses
    • Sunscreen
    • Gym-shoes (or the like)

For more information, contact email hidden; JavaScript is required. See you on the trail!

Facilitators:

Shawna Wood, Soul Dirt Program Manager, Vail Valley Mountain Trails Alliance

Shawna Wood is the Soul Dirt Program Manager for the Vail Valley Mountain Trails Alliance (VVMTA) and serves on the Board of New Roots CO. Originally from Chicago, she moved to Colorado in 2005 to attend Colorado State University. Since graduating with a degree in Natural Resources Recreation & Tourism, she has worked in the environmental education and outdoor recreation non-profit sectors where she gained a deep appreciation for the transformative power of outdoor experiences. With her dog, Pip, Shawna lives in Eagle, CO where you can find her mountain biking, gardening, or on a patio enjoying a tasty sunset meal.

Hannah Pittman, Enrichment Director, Riverside Education Centers (REC)

Agriculture and Food Security of the Western Slope: The People, Land, and Future | 8:00 AM – 12:30 PM

Session Description

This half day tour and panel will give participants the opportunity to learn about food justice and work that is happening to shift power and center the experiences of Latinx community members. Nonprofits are finding meaningful ways to ensure the voices and ideas of community members who have lived experience as farm workers and expertise in navigating food assistance are at the center of decision-making. Creating welcoming spaces through language justice, which ensure people can engage in the language of their heart, is a central value of these organizations.

During the morning’s panel, leaders from La Plaza, SANA, Community Food Bank of Grand Junction, and UpRoot Colorado will share about how through collaborative efforts and community-informed programming, Western Slope food security work is evolving. They will share challenges, successes and insights into how funders can be better partners in this space. After the panel, we’ll leave Grand Junction to head to Dominguez Canyon, in Delta County to learn about the needs of the people working in agriculture as well as the challenges of a region that is an agricultural hub, yet many community members lack access to affordable, healthy food choices. During the drive, Angeles Mendez, with Project Protect, will share about the sacrifices and struggles faced by the agricultural workers that grow the food we have on our tables. Participants will learn about language barriers, politics, labor traffic, law changes and inaccessible healthcare – and what work is happening to change these inequities. After touring an orchard, on the drive back, Alicia Michelsen, with the Paonia Learning Council, will share the agricultural challenges that Paonia faces and the work that is being done to keep local food local and accessible in the community where it is grown.

Agenda

Networking Breakfast | 8:00 AM – 8:30 AM

Panel and Q&A | 8:30 AM – 10:25 AM

Transition | 10:25 AM – 10:30 AM

Travel to Dominguez Canyon | 10:30 AM – 11:15 AM

Tour of Orchard | 11:20 AM – 11:45 AM

Transition | 11:45 AM – 11:50 AM

Drive Back | 11:5o AM – 12:30 PM

This tour will meet at the Food Bank of the Rockies and leave at 10:30 AM. If you would like to drive yourself, the bus will meet at the bus will meet at Dominguez Canyon at 11:15 AM.

Panelists:

  • Dr. Judith Alvarez, Director, SANA
  • Rita Mary Hennigan, Co-Director, UpRoot
  • Nelly Garcia, Executive Director, La Plaza
  • Alisha Wenger, Executive Director, Community Food Bank Grand Junction

Moderator:

  • Sue Ellen Rodwick, Western Slope Director, Food Bank of the Rockies

Tour Guides:

  • Angeles Mendez, Regional Director of the Western Slope Project Protect Food Systems/President of the Western Colorado Migrant and Rural Coalition
  • Alicia Michelsen, Executive Director, the Learning Council