Workshops & Speakers

Wednesday, June 12

Session Description: The Community Resource Center and Anschutz Family Foundation provide these critical training sessions across the host region prior to the three-day conference. In addition to learning about what Rural Philanthropy Days has to offer, you’ll get to take part in a “telling your story” training workshop designed to help you articulate your organization’s work and impact in a clear and concise manner. Whether you’re a veteran fundraiser or a newcomer to the nonprofit world, creating the perfect pitch is essential in introducing your organization to somebody for the first time, including potential donors and grantmakers. Come be inspired and get prepared to make meaningful connections with funders and other community leaders at Rural Philanthropy Days. This makeup session is available to any conference registrants that did not attend a previously hosted session.

Pre-conference trainings are required for first-time RPD attendees.

Session Description: This class provides an introductory overview to the process for securing grant revenues: Prospective funder research and relationship building with funders. How to effectively write and edit a proposal for submittal to a funder (what are the questions I’ll need to be able to answer?). Presenting budgets and other financial information, and preparing required attachments. Participants will learn about the various sources of grant funding – government, foundations, corporations and businesses, service clubs and even churches – and how to determine if these offer viable opportunity for an organization. We’ll discuss “the rules of the game,” proven formulas for success (and typical rookie mistakes) and trends in granting. Further, we’ll discuss an organization’s readiness for jumping into the world of grants, and getting organized to do so. This workshop is for those looking to raise money for an organization, program or special project (e.g. capital expansion) and wish to explore grants as a viable part of the overall fundraising strategy.

Illene Roggensack owns Third Sector Innovations, based in Grand Junction, working with Western and rural Colorado’s small/mid-sized organizations to meet fundraising, communications, leadership and other development needs. Illene’s expertise as a grant writer comes from 32 years as a researcher, writer and editor. This experience is coupled with an MBA, a BA in journalism and recognition as a Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE). She is a Past President for Colorado Nonprofit Association and has proudly worked with Southwest Rural Philanthropy Days to present the Effective Boards fall training series since 2016.

This pre-conference gathering of grantmakers, hosted by the Colorado Association of Funders at Solar Energy International just outside of Paonia, will provide an opportunity to connect with peers, a local community fund, and learn more about the North Fork Valley and Delta County. Local experts will talk about locally sourced energy as well as the story of how a local electric coop has been able to light up its communities and households with world-class gigabit broadband service setting it apart from many areas in Colorado and the nation.  As space is limited to 40 people, we kindly ask that you only sign-up if you know you can attend.  (*This selection is open to Grantmakers Only)

Session Description: Begin the 2019 Western Slope RPD conference with welcome remarks and an inspiring kick-off presentation by Sally Kane. Together we will explore the theme of how connections are made, how connections lead to a sense of belonging, how a sense of belonging leads to clarity of purpose, and how all of that allows meaning to take form.

Sally Kane is a third generation Colorado native. She was born in Denver and raised on the western slope. Sally was educated in Colorado public schools and attended Colorado State University where she earned a BA in Social Science in 1986. Her working life includes owning her own business in the private sector, working in health care in the public sector, and thirty years in the nonprofit sector in many different roles.

Session Description: Join the WS RPD Steering Committee for an energizing, collaborative conversation about the nonprofit sector in Delta, Eagle, Garfield, Mesa and Pitkin counties. These facilitated, small group dialogues will bring together nonprofit professionals, community leaders, and funders to network and create a collective message of the strengths and assets of the sector. Participants will leave feeling motivated and ready to take full advantage of the RPD conference and leverage their knowledge and passion to establish new partnerships and discover key opportunities.

Maria Fabula, President and CEO of Community Resource Center, brings more than 17 years of experience in nonprofit management, fund development, volunteer engagement, collaboration and business development. Maria has extensive experience delivering training and consulting services to increase nonprofit capacity. Maria earned a B.A. in Political Science from the University of California at San Diego and has spent a majority of her career connecting government agencies, nonprofit organizations and private enterprises to improve community. Her experience includes leadership positions with the Nonprofit Support Center, the Junior Statesmen Foundation and the California State Senate.

Session Description: The “Meet the Funders” sessions provide an introduction to a group of Colorado grantmakers and an opportunity for peer-learning and networking. Foundation staff will share information on strategic funding initiatives, giving philosophy, and grantmaking process. Nonprofits will gain valuable insight on potential partnerships with each funder and opportunity for open dialogue and questions.

General Purpose Funders Group 1: Daniels Fund, El Pomar Foundation, Kenneth King Foundation

General Purpose Funders Group 2: Adolph Coors Foundation, Anschutz Family Foundation, A.V. Hunter Trust, Buell Foundation,

Government Support: Department of Local Affairs, State Historical Fund, USDA

Healthy Communities: Colorado Health Foundation, NextFifty Initiative

Session Description: The “Meet the Funders” sessions provide an introduction to a group of Colorado grantmakers and an opportunity for peer-learning and networking. Foundation staff will share information on strategic funding initiatives, giving philosophy, and grantmaking process. Nonprofits will gain valuable insight on potential partnerships with each funder and opportunity for open dialogue and questions.

General Purpose Funders Group 1: Daniels Fund, El Pomar Foundation, Kenneth King Foundation

General Purpose Funders Group 2: Adolph Coors Foundation, Anschutz Family Foundation, A.V. Hunter Trust, Buell Foundation,

Government Support: Department of Local Affairs, State Historical Fund, USDA

Healthy Communities: Colorado Health Foundation, NextFifty Initiative

This walking tour will showcase the Valley sports complex located next to Hotchkiss High School, featuring the Valley’s only public pool, as well as sports fields, a playground and picnic facilities.  As a direct result of contact with funders at a Rural Philanthropy Days conference in 2017, grants received enabled Crossroads Park to undertake $926,000 in improvements.  The most recent project, which will be in progress in June, is the baseball/softball complex.  New Weatherport structures and a bicycle pump track and trails system is 90% finished now, and should be complete in June.

Thursday, June 13

Concurrent Breakout Sessions 1 (10:00 – 11:30 AM)

Tour Description: A walking tour hosted by the North Fork Valley Creative Coalition will begin at the Paonia River Park on the bank of the North Fork of the Gunnison River, and go through the Paonia Museum and Bowie Schoolhouse Museum.  Many communities with mining legacies are faced with major challenges of transitioning their local economies while also stewarding their lands and watersheds. Creative, community-oriented reclamation can allow for economic, environmental, artistic, and recreational opportunities in these communities.  The Paonia River Park is a prime example of a successful and sustainable post-mining reclamation project. Formerly an-instream gravel mine, the Paonia River Park is now a fully functioning public-access park with a boat ramp, trail system, beach and swimming holes, picnic areas, and ADA accessible features. Join the Western Slope Conservation Center for a tour the River Park and learn how our community turned an environmental liability into a community centerpiece.  The two museums capture the history of the Valley, including its former prominence as a supplier of high grade anthracite coal.

Session Description: If you are feeling overwhelmed, frustrated, and wonder if the work you do really makes an impact, then your work/life balance might be out of alignment. Learn the three keys to creating a work-life balance in order to love what you do again. In this workshop, you will learn how to say no without feeling guilty, prioritize your downtime, and create a daily self-care routine to help you reconnect with your passion, purpose, and direction.

Since 2014, Nikole Stanfield has owned her own business in rural Colorado. She has been a member of several local business networking groups. She has been a presenter at the Grand Junction Incubator and Small Business Development Center, and Region10 in Montrose. In the summer of 2018, she experienced burnout firsthand. After recovering from burnout, she realized the importance of helping other entrepreneurs and business owners prevent burnout in their businesses. Now she helps leaders who feel unfulfilled and struggle to find meaning to work through burnout so that they can prosper again. You can learn more about her at

Session Description:What makes a board experience truly special? What are the signs that a greater level of engagement might be needed and how does a board constantly improve itself? This panel will address best practices towards board effectiveness, with board member and executive director perspectives.

Session Description: The budgeting process, if it follows zero based budgeting methods, can:

1. Allow the organization a way to evaluate existing programs and strategize for new projects before committing funds.
2. Provide the ability to determine positive or negative trends in income and expense by comparing, in detail, the projected budget to prior years actual numbers.
3. Provide the information needed to project not only profit/loss, but a balance sheet with restricted grant/donor funds-and the cash flow required beyond cash needs for operations.

A retired CPA, Judy Martin has lived and worked in Paonia since 2003. She has been the lead business counselor for Region 10 SBDC since 2016 and has successfully helped local businesses put together budgets and projections to obtain financing through SBDC, banks and private investors. In her “former life” in Los Angeles and San Francisco, she worked as CFO and COO for companies with assets of over a billion dollars, but also helped start, manage and do the books for her husband’s and other woodworking companies. She is treasurer of two local non profit organizations.

Session Description:This interactive session will present best practices and tips for success in seeking grants. Participants will understand the essential elements included in a grant proposal, terminology, research and grant management tools. As a participant, you will learn how to utilize nonprofit best practices to make your grants even more competitive.

Nellie Stagg joins Community Resource Center with a background in rural programmatic management, nonprofit capacity building, and data informed decision making. After graduating from the University of Connecticut, Nellie completed two years of national service with AmeriCorps NCCC in the Southwest Region. Following her service, she joined Serve Colorado – the Governor’s Commission on Community Service as a Program Officer, overseeing a portfolio rural and developing AmeriCorps programs across the state. At Serve Colorado Nellie built strong partnerships with nonprofits as they sought to meet their local needs through national service, and lead the development of the agency’s three year strategic plan.  Nellie is passionate about good design, sound data, and collective impact. When not driving across Colorado, she can be found at the library, in a makerspace, or in the garden.

Session Description: Conflict happens in all organizations and understanding conflict and how to effectively approach conflict is important to the efficient management of today’s non-profit organization. Participant will consider: ineffective approaches to conflict resolution; types of problem solvers; stages of conflict resolution; the conflict resolution continuum including negotiation and mediation; and communications and conflict. Participants will have the opportunity to discuss conflicts and consider effective methods to assist in resolution.

E. Wendy Trachte-Huber has been a private consultant and trainer in negotiation, mediation and conflict resolution. She provides training and consulting to non-profit organizations, corporations and law firms. Prior to returning to her consulting practice she served as Claims Administrator for the Settlement Facility – Dow Corning Trust. (“SF-DCT”) As Claims Administrator, Trachte-Huber was responsible for the direction and management of the claim handling process—from outreach and intake to resolution. Trachte-Huber was previously Vice President for the American Arbitration Association (“AAA”). She was responsible for marketing dispute resolution services including training and educational programs as well as program development for the leading provider of dispute resolution services in the world. She was also responsible for the recruitment and retention of neutrals for service on AAA panels. She served as Executive Director of the A.A. White Dispute Resolution Institute at the University of Houston College of Business Administration for seven years prior to joining the AAA. She was an Executive Professor in the College of Business Administration. As Executive Director of the Institute she was engaged in teaching and research in the dispute resolution field. Over a thousand people received training in mediation, negotiation, or related topics during her tenure at the Institute. Trachte-Huber has trained or consulted for numerous organizations including: Baylor College of Medicine, SOCAR, Southwest Texas State University, Rice University, Harris County Juvenile Probation Department, Mediation Association of Kentucky, Supreme Court of Nebraska Mediation Program, Principalship Institute of Texas A & M University, City of Houston, Fulbright & Jaworski, L.L.P., U.S. Air Force, and the Better Business Bureau of Metropolitan Houston. She is a certified Daring Way(TM) Facilitator using the work of Brene’ Brown. In 2012, she was ordained an Episcopal Priest and serves three small congregations in the Roaring Fork Valley.

Session Description: Rural Nonprofit Organizations are a fundamental part of the community fabric and have a key role in meeting the needs of all members of the community; many of whom are grappling with the basics of food, housing, healthcare access, employment, and transportation. This workshop will focus on creating and executing a living strategy that supports effective work and the experience of accomplishment. We will address why it is helpful to develop and track goals and performance as well as tips and tools for keeping it simple and celebrating success.

Pat Landrum has had the opportunity to serve as Executive Director for three nonprofit organizations over the last 30 years. Prior to her work in the nonprofit sector, Ms. Landrum developed one of the first post- acute, community-based brain injury rehabilitation programs in the US, led the clinical services of two national brain injury rehabilitation companies and championed the establishment of clinical standards for cognitive rehabilitation in the US. Pat has had the opportunity to work with dozens of extraordinary leaders to make a difference in the lives of individuals served through development and execution of purpose driven strategy.

Session Description: The most important upcoming policy moment that will affect rural communities is the 2020 census. An accurate count of communities across the Western Slope means fair representation in Congress, economic development resources, and continued funding to support the critical work of nonprofits. In this facilitated discussion, we’ll explore strategies that nonprofits and philanthropy can engage in to make sure our communities count. This session will specifically focus on the impact of the census on rural Colorado, with data and resources from the State Demography office specific to the Western Slope.

Rebecca Gorrell brings 17 years of experience in nonprofit management, advocacy, fund development, and community engagement to CRC. Most recently Rebecca served as Executive Director of the Colorado Participation Project and has held roles with Seniors’ Resource Center and Regis University. She has trained nonprofits across the country and is a contributor to the Colorado Nonprofit Association’s Principles & Practices for Nonprofit Excellence. Rebecca holds a Bachelor of Arts and a Masters of Nonprofit Management from Regis University.

Chris Akers has worked as an Economist with the State Demography Office in the Department of Local Affairs (DOLA) since 2015. He produces employment estimates and a long-term job forecast for Colorado and its 64 counties and county-level base industry analysis that identifies economic drivers. Chris is part of a team that does extensive outreach with local governments and other stakeholders to help them understand and use economic and demographic data and forecasts. Prior to joining DOLA, he worked ten years as a Statistical Analyst with Labor Market Information (LMI) in the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment where he produced an array of employment and wage data. Chris has a degree in Economics from Vanderbilt University. He enjoys spending time enjoying Colorado’s beautiful outdoors with his wife and 3 young children.

Rosemary Rodriguez retired from government to use the lessons she learned at the local, state and federal levels to promote civic participation for all, particularly hard-to-reach communities. Her current endeavor is to forecast participatory challenges for the 2020 census and make recommendations to stakeholders to improve outcomes.

Carol Hedges, Executive Director of the Colorado Fiscal Institute, is an important part of the research, policy and advocacy community in Colorado. As program officer at the Piton Foundation, Carol directed the Denver Workforce Initiative. While serving as a senior policy analyst with the Bell Policy Center, Carol authored Ten Years of TABOR, a comprehensive study of the effects of Colorado’s Taxpayers Bill of Rights. Most recently as the Director of the Colorado Fiscal Policy Institute, a project of the Colorado Center on Law and Policy, Carol’s work is focused on creating an adequate, sustainable and equitable revenue system in Colorado.

Session Description: With direction from the Governor’s Office, this panel will present on the state of health across Colorado and specifically in the Western Slope. This panel will present on new governor elect, Jared Polis’s agenda for health in Colorado and opportunities for growth and collaboration across the region and state. Panelists will discuss the local challenges and successful strategies working in the region. Finally, the panel will include a discussion on the role of providers in meeting the needs of individuals and addressing health needs in the communities they serve.

Jason Cleckler, CEO, Delta County Hospital

Jill Ryan, Executive Director, Colorado Department of Health and Environment

Karen O’Brien, Public Health Director, Delta County

Kathryn Jantz, Accountable Health Communities Model Director, Rocky Mountain Health Plans

Session Description: Every organization has a story to tell! What’s yours? More than simply passing information along, sharing the story of your work, your impacts and why you do the work that you do is a powerful marketing and outreach tool. This workshop will boost your nonprofits’s capacity to tell its unique story – creating better connections with the communities you serve, helping decision makers better understand your impacts, reaching new audiences and inspiring people to engage.

By attending this interactive session, you will:

  • Learn the key ingredients of a “story arc” and how to uncover interesting subject matter.
  • Identify and craft the story of you, your organization and an individual impacted by your work.
  • Receive practical tips, templates and samples to help you strengthen your storytelling efforts.
  • Discover how stories can be re-purposed for applications such as newsletters, web content, social media, speeches and presentations – and even that family member who just doesn’t understand what you do.
  • Discover how storytelling not only boosts marketing and outreach initiatives, but also supports fundraising and development efforts, collaborations and partnership opportunities, and other key activities.

Linda Lidov has over 25 years of experience in the communication field, and has provided strategy, messaging and storytelling services to nonprofit, philanthropy, government, education and private-sector organizations. As a writer, Linda has helped dozens of clients tell their unique story in ways that illustrate the compelling impacts of their work and increase the value of their communication programs. Her clients use these stories to engage community members, inform and educate stakeholders, celebrate accomplishments, and attract funding opportunities. In addition to providing direct consulting services, Linda delivers training workshops to help organizations strengthen their communication capacity. (

Concurrent Breakout Sessions 2 (1:00 – 2:30 PM)

Tour Description: Take a walking tour of the Paonia Creative District!  The District is a walkable hub of arts and cultural activity.  Turn of the century buildings housing local shops, galleries, restaurants, artist studios, an arts center, an artist residency program, a historic movie theatre, and a community radio station add to the charm of the Rockwellian scene.  In addition, Paonia has recently embarked on Space to Create, an initiative that seeks to develop affordable housing and work space in rural areas for creative industries and artisans in the visual, performing and culinary arts, to name a few.  As a State Certified Creative District, Paonia is an appealing place to live, visit and conduct business.

Session Description: Advocacy is the act or process of influencing public policy. To help nonprofit organizations understand their opportunities to engage in various types of advocacy efforts and to have the tools to do so effectively, the Foundation is hosting a series of workshops that share insights into advocacy tactics that influence policy made across the executive, judicial and legislative branches of government.

Dustin Moyer is acutely aware of the impact health has on every component of a person’s life. As a program officer at the Foundation, he is driven to address the health inequities that exist in Colorado for both individuals and families across the state. Dustin has worked at the Foundation since 2015. He worked as a public policy officer from 2015-2017 and joined our Philanthropy team in 2018. He has more than ten years of experience in the health arena, with past positions at the Department of Health Care Policy and Financing, Senator Michael Bennett’s Denver office and Kansas Health Policy Authority. As a program officer, Dustin’s work is focused on access to care, ensuring that all Coloradans have health in reach. He understands that each community has its own strengths and challenges and is excited to work with communities across Colorado to learn about the former and help address the latter. Dustin tends to his own well-being by gardening, cooking, playing the banjo and enjoying the company of his wife, Amy. Their weekends are often jam-packed with skiing, hiking, camping, trail running and the occasional bicycling jaunt to one of Denver’s many microbreweries. He also considers himself somewhat of a pet wrangler, with two dogs, a cat and three chickens.

Session Description: Marketing is so much more than a logo and steady posts to social media. It’s the earned revenue side of your nonprofit! Don’t miss this opportunity to learn how to build a marketing strategy that creates a robust revenue stream and helps lessen your organization’s dependence on grant writing and fundraising efforts. This session is highly interactive.

Nancy Murphy is a marketing executive with a proven track record of creating international industry trends and strategies that have driven the expansion and profitability of global luxury/lifestyle brands, including BMW, Benetton, and the Olympics. In the nonprofit Arts world, she has been a catalyst for organizational growth through revenue development for Santa Fe Opera, The Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, and the San Jose-Cleveland Ballet.

Session Description:The most exciting part of fundraising is sharing your nonprofit’s needs with a donor who desires to be involved in the mission of your organization. Isn’t it great when they ask “How can I help?”. Fundraisers often wonder how to find these people. Not many nonprofits have a professional researcher on staff. We know about wealth screening software, but it may be too expensive or under-utilized. Don’t let any of that prevent you from prospecting for major gift donors and learning as much as you can about them. The more you know about their wealth, interest, and stature in the community, the better your gift ask can be for the largest gift possible. In this session we will talk about inexpensive—even free—tools that you can use to find and qualify your potential prospects without having to rely on your “best guess”.

Robin Thompson has been a professional fundraiser for over 10 years in positions like: • Vice President of Development at one of the largest nonprofits in Vail and at the Oregon Institute of Technology • Executive Director of the Oregon Tech Foundation • Executive Director, Philanthropy Vail Christian High School She raised over $2.4 million dollars in six months, which was more than had been raised in the previous three years and built the staff from 2.3 to 11 people in less than one year. Her BS degree is from West Virginia University and her Master’s Degree is from the University of Utah.

Session Description: The ED’s time is precious. The Board’s time is precious. Staff time is precious. Why do we let them suffer through ineffective meetings? Non-profit Boards and committees have much to cover in their various meetings, yet we’re often not addressing the highest-priority issues as we slog through the agenda. Nobody want to chair or participate in a bad meeting — everybody wants to do right by each other, the organization, and the community. In this workshop, we’ll cover:

  • Why Meet
  • Why NOT to Meet
  • What Kind of Meeting
  • Who Needs to Meet
  • When/Where – Logistics Matter
  • How to Assess and Improve Meetings

Carlene Goldthwaite is the president of Create Real Growth and works with organizational leaders by providing expertise in strategic planning, leadership development, and performance management. That collaborative relationship allows the leadership team to define and develop cultures and work systems that result in sustained organizational results and high individual achievement. Carlene has worked in the retail, hospitality, and managed care industries in roles focused on organizational development, management, and human resources. Clients of Create Real Growth include public and private sector organizations, non-profits, and individuals.

Session Description: With the Colorado Blueprint to End Hunger as the backdrop, this panel will address community solutions to address the changing face of the food insecure. Panelists will speak to two collective impact models in both Mesa and Garfield counties where unexpected partnerships are leading to surprising results.

Anne Wenzel, President & Executive Director, Western Colorado Community Foundation

Session Description: There is growing evidence of cultural organizations and creative industries driving sustainable economic and community development in rural communities. For example, rural communities with performing arts organizations have experienced population growth three times faster and higher average incomes than rural communities without them. This session will provide information for participants about a variety of resources and creative place-making practices led by our state arts agency, Colorado Creative Industries (CCI), and its public and private partners. Highlights include information about accessing CCI programs and initiatives and hearing from community leaders employing these strategies. You’ll hear about how Creative Districts can energize local community and economic development efforts, ground-breaking collaborations such as Space to Create, and how remembering the power and potential of creatives in your community can leverage or tie into transformational cross-sector projects.

Tim Schultz, a Grand Junction native, is currently the chair of the Colorado Creative Industries Council, a position he was appointed to in July 2016 by then-Governor John Hickenlooper. He served as president of the Boettcher Foundation from 1996 until his retirement in 2017. During his tenure, he emphasized working with great Coloradans and helping local citizens make a difference across Colorado. Tim served as executive director of the Colorado Department of Local Affairs after being appointed in 1987. While there, he designed a program of community development for Colorado’s small towns and served as the first chairman of the Colorado Economic Development Commission. He started his career in public service by representing Rio Blanco County as commissioner for two terms, before moving to Denver in 1982 to become commissioner of agriculture. His achievements have earned him numerous awards, including the Governor’s Creative Leadership Award in 2016, in recognition of bringing government and the public, private and nonprofit sectors together to revitalize Colorado towns through innovative use of real estate. Tim began his career as a banker and rancher in Meeker and attended Colorado Mesa University and Colorado State University.

Jen Coates grew up in Central Illinois and headed west after graduating from college. She received her Undergraduate Degree in political science from the University of Missouri-Columbia, and her Master’s Degree in the same field from the University of Colorado. After working in the private and non-profit sectors in Arizona and Southwest Colorado, Jen moved to Ridgway in January 2006 and has loved working in Town Hall and with the Ridgway community ever since.
During her tenure as Town Manager, Jen has led the community toward a more sustainable future that is directed and nurtured by Ridgway residents and businesses. This includes significant investments in main street development, creative industries, street and drainage infrastructure, parks improvements, place-making, wayfinding, water supply security, affordable workforce housing and more. In addition to building local support and engagement, Jen has been able to leverage very limited resources, in a community of less than 1000 residents, to have a significant and beneficial impact on the present and future of the town. More recently a focus on capacity building, succession planning and creating a roadmap for the future is providing the Ridgway community, Town Hall staff and Town Council with the information and direction needed to remain strategic and focused with decision-making and securing the right resources.
Outside the colorful walls of Town Hall Jen enjoys traveling with her husband and indulging in numerous outdoor activities that soak in the majesty of the San Juan Mountains, our beautiful State of Colorado and the West.

Brandon Stam is currently the Director at the Downtown Grand Junction Partnership, which consists of the Downtown Development Authority, Business Improvement District and the newly formed Creative District. Previously he worked as an Economic Development Specialist for Pueblo County GIS/Economic Development. Prior to Pueblo County, he worked as a City Planner for the City of Farmington, NM and as Program Manager for the Rio Grande Community Development Corporation in Albuquerque, NM. He also spent two years as a Business Development Specialist for South Valley Economic Development Center in Albuquerque, NM. Mr. Stam holds a Master’s degree in Community and Regional Planning and an MPA from the University of New Mexico.

Sheila Sears is Deputy Director of Colorado Creative Industries and supports all programs, services and operations of the agency. Sears oversees CCI grant programs, cultural heritage, literary arts and special initiatives. She coordinates partnerships to provide services to schools and youth-serving organizations and serves as primary liaison to local and national collaborators. In 2015, Ms. Sears was awarded the Wayne Carle Award by the Jefferson County School Board for Outstanding Contributions to Diversity and Inclusion for her work leading an arts-based afterschool program for Native American youth. She serves on the Colorado Historic & Scenic Byways Commission.

Session Description: The Health Equity toolkit being presented was designed specifically to focus on rural health equity. Both rural pilot sites, Pitkin County and Mineral/Creede Counties share some similarities and some differences, which the presenters hope will capture many of the rural challenges we face in Western Slope communities. The Public Health staff who supported the design of the curriculum all live, work and play in rural community, and have a rich understanding of our equity challenges.

Karen Koenemann has been the Pitkin County Public Health Director since 2017. She oversees all of the Department’s core public health services. For three years, she served as Co-Chair of the Health Equity Commission. She holds a undergraduate degree in Biological Sciences, Masters in Education and Masters in Geography. Karen’s thesis focused on the health status of a displaced, marginalized Native American community. Her passion for health equity comes from this research, as she began to understand impacts of the determinants of health. She and her husband live on a small ranchette near Carbondale, with one dog and three cats.

Session Description: The success of any nonprofit is dependent largely on the strength and vision of its leadership. Every organization will experience change and how they respond to that change has a huge impact on their success and effectiveness. Succession planning is a vital form of organizational planning that is too often overlooked by busy nonprofit boards and leaders. This session will address two crucial forms of succession planning, emergency succession planning and long term strategic succession planning. Participants will learn how to create an emergency succession plan and will receive templates to help create their own. They will also learn about the importance of long term succession planning and how it can work in their organization.

Shannon Meyer has been executive director of Response in Aspen since November 2018. Response serves survivors of domestic and sexual abuse in Pitkin and western Eagle counties. She has worked in nonprofit management for 20 years. Before joining Response, she advised the staff and boards of over 200 conservation nonprofits across the southwest on topics like staff management, board governance, strategic planning and leadership development.

Session Description: How often have you sat down to write a grant proposal and had no idea what to write in the evaluation plan section of the grant? Grant application questions about evaluation can be a nightmare. It’s hard to figure out what they are asking overall, let alone what the differences between each question are. Want to know the dirty little secret? Few funders understand evaluation better than you do. Everyone is just trying to figure it out and doing the best they can. The bad news is that the result of funders’ best evaluation efforts can be confusing and burdensome for you. The good news is that if you provide high-quality, substantive responses – even if they are not quite answering the question that was asked – it can go a long way to setting your application apart. In this session, you will participate in a facilitated discussion about what development staff need to know about evaluation in order to better understand the ways in which development staff touch evaluation, effectively communicate with and motivate funders and donors around evaluation, and support staff in meeting evaluation requirements.

Laura Sundstrom is an Evaluator with Vantage Evaluation, where she specializes in building evaluation capacity among Colorado’s nonprofits. Laura excels at helping individuals new to evaluation understand the “why” behind evaluation tasks and learn the skills they need to implement evaluations well. Prior to joining Vantage Evaluation, Laura was an Evaluation Associate with the Curtis Center Program Evaluation Group at the University of Michigan and the Development Coordinator at Girls Group, a Michigan-based nonprofit. Laura holds a Bachelors in Women’s Studies from Beloit College and an MSW from the University of Michigan.

Concurrent Breakout Sessions 3 (3:00 – 4:30 PM)

Tour Description: A driving tour will take participants up to Garvin Mesa overlooking the Valley.  In Western Colorado, access to water is a necessity.  We depend on snowmelt, aquifers, underground springs, and reservoirs to provide water in irrigation ditches and domestic water delivery systems.  Strengthening local food systems means safeguarding the health of the land and supplies of clean water, and addressing long-term sustainability issues including climate change.  Today industrial threats challenge the agrarian lifestyle and the outdoor recreation economy.  On this tour you will hear from winemakers and farmers about their challenges and concerns for the future.  Representatives from the nonprofits Citizens for a Health Community and Colorado Farm and Food Alliance will share the current status of economic sustainability in the shadow of industrial energy development.

Tour Description: A driving tour will include stops at the two clinics that increase access to care for North Fork Valley residents, as well as an introduction to the West Elk Clinic’s virtual visits with physicians.  Jason Cleckler, CEO of Delta County Memorial Hospital will talk about the hospital system’s commitment to patients as consumers.  In addition, the tour will include an conversation with staff of the North Fork Ambulance Association in Hotchkiss.  Serving 1500 square miles, the North Fork Ambulance  has been the only ambulance service in the Valley since 1969.  In 2018, voters approved the formation and funding of a special health district which will provide the core financial support needed to maintain quality ambulance service in the three communities of the North Fork Valley. (*This tour is open to Grantmakers Only)

Session Description: Nonprofits fill-in the gaps where government and business do not operate. They do the hardest work, with the least resources, and the strictest oversight. Many times nonprofits are held to standards and expectations warranted for routine practices (like the American Factory worker expected to complete one small task perfectly), yet they often implement innovative solutions to address problems others have not figured out. With a world often demanding positive results in exchange for funding, it can be hard to embrace evaluation and data as a friendly learning tool. This presentation offers a vibrant discussion about how to best use organizational learning principles when considering data, evaluations, and results. It will include a review of theories from organizational learning and positive psychology, and a facilitated discussion for how these theories could apply to your own organizational context. Theories will include learning principles from works such as those of the the Harvard Buisness theorists Amy Edmunson, and Edgar Schein in addition to the social justice to authors Finn & Jacobson. The aim of the presentation is to bridge theory to practice and to support nonprofits organizations’ ability embrace the use of data in ways that build positive environments.

Natalie De Sole is the Lead Knowledge Facilitator at Rooted-Growth where she specializes in facilitating discussions with stakeholders about their evaluations or data. Since 2008, she has worked internationally, and in Michigan, and Colorado. Some of her past employers included SPEC Associates, American Indian Health and Family Services, College for Ama, and Save the Children UK’s South African Program. Natalie received her M.S.W. focused in Social Policy and Evaluation from the University of Michigan. She is currently the Program Co-Chair for the Evaluation Theories TIG at the American Evaluation Association, and is a member of the Canadian Evaluation Society.

Session Description: Volunteers are typically referred to as the “life blood” of an organization and likely are the organization’s largest asset. But did you know less than 20% of organizations don’t think they are recruiting, training and supporting volunteers well, specifically skilled volunteers? However, those organizations that invest in their volunteer program are better led, managed, able to sustain significant changes, return a 600% on a volunteer strategy investment and operate at half the median budget of peer organizations. The key is engaging volunteers at all levels of your organization. This session will provide a practical approach to assess the effectiveness of your volunteer program and provide a process to analyze how you can identify operational needs so that you can cultivate and engage volunteers as part of your business strategy. Further, you will learn how to calculate your Return on your Volunteer Engagement Investment (ROVI). Why does this matter? Making volunteerism a core strategy instead of a program will provide the programmatic results you need to support a financial request to a funder. Your organization will begin to use all its assets, human and financial, to achieve the greatest impact.

Kristy Judd, President/CEO, joined Spark the Change Colorado in 2008 after eleven years at The Colorado Mountain Club. Kristy is known for her intuitive ability to pull together diverse constituencies in finding common ground and developing relevant, targeted programming to address pressing community concerns. Kristy has served on numerous boards including the Directors of Volunteers in Agencies, Scientific and Cultural Collaborative, COVOAD, Colorado Volunteer Center Network, Faith Lutheran Church and the Denver Office of Strategic Partners. She is currently serving on the Governor’s Commission on Service. She is from North Dakota, graduating from NDSU, home of the Thundering Herd!

Session Description: How do new members get recruited to your board of directors? Is a faithful volunteer offered a board position as a type of promotion? Does your nominating committee scramble to find candidates with a pulse to fill open positions? Does the executive director identify most of your board prospects? The job of building the board is more than just filing slots. It is about being strategic in the way a board looks at its composition and what is needed to build an effective, diverse, and representative board. Good boards wanting to become great boards will take the time to carefully determine who should be at the table and develop a plan to strategically identify, cultivate, and recruit new board members. This workshop will inspire you to rethink your entire board recruitment process, guide you through the board building cycle, and provide ready-to-use templates so you can get started right away.

Denise Clark has been consulting, training and managing change in nonprofit organizations for over 25 years. She is a recognized thought leader, consultant and coach with experience in nonprofit leadership and governance. A popular trainer and facilitator, Denise is known for her spirited and interactive training style. She brings enthusiasm and authenticity to her work and is passionate about strengthening the nonprofit sector and supporting the health and well‐being nonprofit leaders.

Session Description: Nearly a quarter of the U.S. workforce experience a mental or substance abuse disorder, but 71% of workers with mental illnesses never seek help for their symptoms. Reasons for not seeking treatment include cost, not knowing where to go for services, and fear of what employers and coworkers will think. This workshop will coach your front line staff and HR on how to integrate and promote good mental hygiene practices into your organizational structure to address collective and individual well-being.

Emily Supino is a licensed professional counselor and Interim Executive Director of Aspen Strong, a mental health nonprofit serving the Roaring Fork Valley. Emily has a Bachelors in Psychology from the University of Missouri and a Masters in Counseling Psychology from the University of Colorado-Denver. Emily was a school counselor in Durango, CO before moving to Aspen and opening her practice. As a member of the Aspen Strong team, Emily is dedicated to identifying mental health trends impacting the community and supporting the mental health needs of Roaring Fork Valley residents through education and collaboration.

Session Description: Engaging families authentically can be difficult no matter where you live, however, rural communities face unique challenges and opportunities. Join Valley Settlement and YouthPower365 to deeper your understanding of successful efforts, and brainstorm how to look at your programming through a 2-Gen lens.

Kendra Cowles, a Colorado native, is the PwrUp Senior Manager at YouthPower365, an educational non-profit in Eagle County, Colorado. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Education, with emphasis in Art Education and later obtained her certificate of Adult Education Language Acquisition. Kendra has been in the Vail Valley for 20 years, working with various organizations to support children and their families in literacy, parenting, self-actualization and growth. Currently, she is raising two young boys and managing the Early Childhood programs at YP365 allowing her to partner with the School District, community organizations and families to empower Hispanic parents to become more involved in their children’s learning, as well as engagement in the schools and community.

Sally Boughton has worked in the nonprofit field for the past 10 years. She earned her Master’s in Nonprofit Management from Regis University, and spent seven years working in programming and communications for Wish of a Lifetime, a Denver-based nonprofit that addresses isolation in seniors by connecting them with loved ones and fulfilling their lifelong dreams. She is proud to have recently joined Valley Settlement’s development and communications team, working to engage Latinx families in the Roaring Fork Valley through 2Gen programming.

Lupe Montes is the now the Parent Mentor Coordinator at YouthPower365, after volunteering three years in the program in the classroom and as a school coordinator. She is from Mexico and has been in the community for 23 years. Her experience is in administration and leadership. With her leadership experience, she gives support, “I love to work with students, help my community, support parents in the community and Parent Mentors.” Her trainings have included personal care, caring and compassion for children. Her talent is to be able to help every single person that is in need, especially children with disabilities and special needs. Her family is extremely important and they love to spend as much time as they can together to go walking, biking, hiking, and spending time with their grandkids.

Session Description: Nonprofits are a force for good in communities and a major contributor to the economy creating $40 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, we will explore the newly released Statewide Nonprofit Economic Impact study 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.

Rebecca Gorrell brings 17 years of experience in nonprofit management, advocacy, fund development, and community engagement to CRC. Most recently Rebecca served as Executive Director of the Colorado Participation Project and has held roles with Seniors’ Resource Center and Regis University. She has trained nonprofits across the country and is a contributor to the Colorado Nonprofit Association’s Principles & Practices for Nonprofit Excellence. Rebecca holds a Bachelor of Arts and a Masters of Nonprofit Management from Regis University.

Maria Fabula, President and CEO of Community Resource Center, brings more than 17 years of experience in nonprofit management, fund development, volunteer engagement, collaboration and business development. Maria has extensive experience delivering training and consulting services to increase nonprofit capacity. Maria earned a B.A. in Political Science from the University of California at San Diego and has spent a majority of her career connecting government agencies, nonprofit organizations and private enterprises to improve community. Her experience includes leadership positions with the Nonprofit Support Center, the Junior Statesmen Foundation and the California State Senate.

Renny Fagan is the President and CEO of Colorado Nonprofit Association. With 1,300 member nonprofit organizations statewide, the Association provides knowledge resources and advocates for the entire nonprofit sector. 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 Colorado Commission on Higher Education (Vice Chair), and the boards of Mile High United Way, Colorado Channel Authority, Metro Denver Leadership Foundation and Colorado CPA Society. A Colorado native, he earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Chicago and a J.D. from Northwestern University.

Joanne Kelley leads the Colorado Association of Funders in its efforts to provide education and advocacy for Colorado’s philanthropic sector. Before transitioning to her role at CAF, Joanne spent much of her career in journalism with news agencies, magazines and daily newspapers across the country, working to inform the public about a wide range of subjects including Wall Street, Congress, high technology and the social profit sector. Joanne brings other experience to CAF including several years working for a management consultancy on the Innovation team that planned and hosted CEO summits and educational seminars for diverse groups of executives.

Session Description: Alchemy: “The seemingly magical process of transmuting ordinary materials into something of true merit.”
A capital campaign has the potential to transform an organization into something far more than it was before it started. How do development professionals use personal passion to light a fire with volunteers? When the fireplace is prepared with paper, kindling and matches, great. But what if the wood is damp or there are no matches? Do you practice being resourceful? If you don’t know the difference between burning oak and pine, do you know how to find the right answers? When things are going well, can you sit by the fire and relax? Or when campaign leadership is under-performing, can you take them out to the woodshed and set them straight? This session will use personal anecdotes of the presenter, group process, and examples of best practice to entertain and educate the participants. The audience will gain fresh understanding of capital campaign techniques that can transmute ordinary materials into something of true merit.

Cynthia Perry Colebrook has been a certified fundraising professional for over 30 years, serving a wide variety of organizational types as senior staff, consultant, and/or board member. She has provided trainings and workshops ranging from AFP International Conferences to coaching Americorps and VISTA leaders in sustainability principles through the Corporation for National and Community Service. Capital campaigns that she has directed include the following: the Rosenthal Center for Contemporary Art; YMCA of Greater Cincinnati; Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts; New Bedford Whaling Museum; CRI; San Francisco Art Institute.

Session Description: Compassionate Leadership begins with the intention to see as others see and feel as others feel. By practicing genuine empathy, leaders are positioned to cultivate mindfulness in others, enabling them to fulfill their potential and unleash it those around them for the greater good. Learn the impact of stress on the workplace, review leadership skills, lessons and new tools resulting in increasing an individual’s capacity to remain focused, diffuse conflict, build collaboration, perform under pressure and positively influence the behavior and well-being of others.

Christy Whitney, RN, MSN is founding CEO of HopeWest, an aging, hospice and palliative care organization serving 4000 people/year in five counties across 9,000 square miles of Western Colorado and recognized as Modern Healthcare Best Places to Work. Christy serves on the boards of National Partnership for Hospice Innovation, Western Health Care Alliance, and Caring for Colorado Foundation. Recognized by Colorado Women’s Foundation as “Woman of the Year,” the CU School of Nursing Distinguished Alumna and Colorado Nurses Foundation’s Nightingale Award, the Community Visionary Award, Rocky Mountain Health Plans Exemplary Community Service Award and Rotary’s Service Above Self Award.

Session Description: An effective performance review can only be accomplished when clearly defined and measurable goals are in place, expectations are set and understood, there is an open exchange of issues, real-time continuous feedback, and an investment in the process to include reviewing outcomes. Wow. How can all of this be realistically achieved? Come and find out how to do this one step at a time.

Lucille DiDomenico is Principal of DiDomenico Group, Inc., a consultant group practice to private foundations and nonprofit organizations in the areas of strategic and program planning, research and evaluation, marketing, fundraising, board and staff development, executive search, meeting planning, interim executive director search and technology. She has served as the CEO or COO of 4 nonprofit organizations and as the board chair of 3. She has been a certified secondary school and college level instructor with past teaching positions at Miami University of Ohio and Houston Community College. Lucille lives in both Westcliffe, CO and Dallas, TX.

Friday, June 14

Funder Roundtables (9:00 AM – 12:00 PM)

This is an opportunity for grantseekers to get immediate feedback from potential grantmakers on their nonprofit funding needs. Each grantseeker will have two minutes to give their pitch in “round-robin” style conversations with grantmakers. Grantmakers will then provide immediate feedback to grantseekers as to whether or not that grantseeker is a good match with their particular grantmaking entity. We ask that each grantseeking organization send no more than two representatives to Friday’s Funder Roundtables. This ensures all organizations have the opportunity to visit with participating funders. Only grantseekers headquartered within the five counties of the Western Slope region will be permitted to participate in roundtables.

Post-Conference Activities

Stay a little longer and enjoy Delta County! Be Inspired to Linger!

Here are some ideas for relaxing before you head home from the conference.  Information will be available at the Registration headquarters.

Wine Tasting. June 14-16 we celebrate North Fork Uncorked.  Local winemakers will host  three days of exciting events featuring wine and food pairings, barrel tastings, music, picnics, and winemaker dinners. Fun activities for everyone.  Maps and information available at registration.

E-biking.  Rent an e-bike in Paonia at the Cirque. Explore the surrounding mesas and enjoy the bucolic scenery, small farms, ranches and vineyards.

Explore the outdoors and clear your head after the conference!  Hiking, mountain biking, fishing, rafting you name it we have it.

Cedaredge and the Grand Mesa. Take the long way home and experience Cedaredge’s lovely downtown and new Arts & Events Center as you go up to the spectacular Grand Mesa, the largest flat-top mountain.

The Black Canyon of the Gunnison.  Go past the Town of Crawford on Highway 92 and turn off toward the North Rim of Black Canyon National Park.  Whether you take the car tour or choose to hike to Exclamation Point, you won’t be disappointed.  Allow 2-3 hours for a leisurely tour.

Take in some music.  In Paonia, we love art & we love music.  Ask a local.  There are a number of venues that host local, regional and international talent.  In the North Fork, we like to think of ourselves as Small Towns with a Big Personality!

Relax at the P.U.B. (Paonia United Brewery).  You’ve been to microbreweries but this one is special.  Based in a remodeled historic church, P.U.B.  is dedicated to making and serving high quality, small-batch craft beer. Grab a seat in the back and chill out. You may even be serenaded by a local musician.

For more information, please contact:

Michelle Livingston, Event Coordinator
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