Advisors and Skills
* Indicates Advisors who speak Spanish
Yamel moved from Oaxaca, Mexico, to Gunnison in 2014. She is currently working as a community educator with the Juvenile Services Department of Gunnison County, providing diverse services to the Hispanic/Latino community. Yamel is the creator of the GCSAPP “BLOOMING-Floreciendo lejos de mis raices” newsletter in Spanish free to the community, and she created a Spanish Class curriculum taught through Juvenile Services to various organizations in town. Yamel provides services of translation and interpretation to the youth and their families. She has an extensive background in property, casualty and life insurance, and was licensed in several states. She’s skilled at IT/Office 365 certifications. She is knowledgeable in marketing, and manages the social media accounts for the Resiliency Project, GCSAPP and Choice Pass. Some of her hobbies are acrylic painting and photography, with images seen both in the Spanish newsletter and the Gunnison Country Times. Being involved in the art world has given her the chance to be part of the Gunnison Creative District Board.
Advisor skills (speaks Spanish): Board development; Collaboration/collective impact; Community engagement; Cultural understanding; Engaging new groups; Facilitation; Facilitating hard conversations; Insurance; Meetings – planning, running meetings, retreats, etc.; Team building/organizational culture
Mayte is originally from Colombia. She emigrated from Canada to the United States in 2015. She came to Gunnison following her husband’s job as a professor at Western. As soon as she became a US Resident, she began helping members of the immigrant community by interpreting at doctor’s appointments, at school, and helping them with paperwork at the Multicultural Office as a volunteer as well. Today, she works with Health and Human Services and the Gunnison School District where she helps immigrant kids and families to find their way to be content in a different culture and to supply needs and resources in Gunnison.
Advisor skills (speaks Spanish): Cultural understanding; Surveys, focus groups, etc.; Translation/interpretation – guidance, what should be translated, what to expect, from an interpreter
Cillian Liam Barrett
Cillian Liam Barrett is the owner of Hearth Design Build, a small but dynamic company which offers a diverse set of services and a wide range of experience in ecological design, construction and education. He trained and worked in Ireland as an Architectural Technician before moving to the US. He migrated from working in architectural practices on commercial, institutional and residential projects to focusing purely on highly crafted residential homes in an integrated design/build process. Driven by a desire to create equitable, healthier homes and to improve the building process, education became a large part of his work and continues to be a passion today. He has built in a diversity of climates with a range of building types and often with low skilled but driven individuals to pursue the goal of community centered, low carbon, high-performance construction. His projects have been in many locations such as Ireland, Argentina, Alaska, North Carolina, Vermont, Colorado and Hopi Lands in the northern Arizona desert. He is a certified Passive House Builder and a BPI Certified Professional. Hearth Design Build is currently contracted to design and construct regenerative homes for Habitat for Humanity in Gunnison, Colorado.
Advisor skills: Collaboration/collective impact; Community engagement; Cultural understanding; Facilities – green building
Jason Berv, Ph.D.
Both independently and in association with a number of outstanding partners, Jason Berv has been involved in coaching, education, leadership development and organizational change for over 25 years. Jason founded a school in Boulder, Colorado, on the forefront of educational innovation, and currently works with Blue Dot Coaching, helping individuals, couples, leaders, and executives fall in love with their lives, no matter the circumstances. He lives with his wife, sons, horses and dogs in the mountains of Crested Butte, Colorado and can often be found (and sometimes lost) on a mountain bike or skis.
Advisor skills: Coaching – executive director; Coaching – board president; Team building/organizational culture; Other – employee wellbeing
Ian Billick, Ph.D.
Ian started his love affair with RMBL as a summer student in 1988, shortly after receiving a bachelor’s degree in math and physics from Trinity University (Texas). After receiving his PhD in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from the Univ. of California-San Diego, he worked as a research scientist at the Univ. of Houston and was a visiting faculty member at Truman State University (Missouri). He’s been Executive Director of RMBL since 2000. He currently serves as Mayor of Crested Butte, is an elected official on the Gunnison County Metropolitan District, and served on Gunnison County’s Planning Commission for 5 years, chairing it for almost 4 years. He is a former President of the Organization of Biological Field Stations, a 501c3, and currently chairs the Biology Leadership Council for the National Science Foundation’s Research Experience for Undergraduates program. Ian is interested in complex challenges that integrate multiple issues.
Advisor skills: All skills covered
Jenny Birnie brings over 30 years of experience with non-profit organizations to her position as Executive Director of the Gunnison Valley Health Foundation, and Behavioral Health and Service Line Development for Gunnison Valley Health. Prior to this, she was the Executive Director for the Crested Butte Center for the Arts, and under her leadership the Center was named “Non Profit of the Year” by the Chamber of Commerce. In her tenure, the Center experienced a remarkable expansion of their program offerings leading to a 75% increase in the Center’s program participation, and she successfully headed a multi-million-dollar campaign for the major renovation and expansion of the Center. Jenny returned to Colorado in 2007 after spending 9 years in Oregon serving in many different leadership capacities in human service organizations. She served as the Executive Director of Meadowlark Manor, a non-profit residential treatment program, and was the Director of Juvenile Community Justice in Deschutes County. Jenny has a Masters Degree in Social Work from the University of Denver and a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and Communication from the University of Colorado at Boulder. Jenny is committed to building community support, igniting collaboration and consensus among organizations, and utilizing performance measures to improve overall outcomes for organizations.
Advisor skills: Board development; Coaching – executive director; Community engagement; Evaluation/measuring outcomes; Facilitation; Facilitating difficult conversations; Governance/policy; “Herding cats”; Nonprofit 101 – for new organizations; Strategic planning/business planning
Michelle is the Executive Director of the Crested Butte Wildflower Festival. She holds a M.A. in Science Education from the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs and a B.A. in Biology from the University of California-San Diego, and spent over 15 years teaching high school and college students in classroom and online settings before moving to the Wildflower Festival. She leads trainings on time/workload management for both CFGV and the ICE Lab at Western Colorado University, and understands the complexity of non-profit staff/board relationships having formerly served as the president of the Festival’s board of directors. Michelle is passionate about helping executive directors manage their (often overwhelming) workload and developing positive, productive relationships between the staff and board. In her free time, you will find playing with her horses.
Advisor skills: Coaching – executive director; Coaching – board president; Coaching – treasurer; Fundraising – memberships; Grantwriting coaching; “Herding cats”; Nonprofits 101 – for new organizations; Systems development and workflow planning; Time management/efficiency
Drew Brookhart serves as the Executive Director of Gunnison County Libraries. Drew holds a Master of Library and Information Science Degree from the University of Denver and has in-depth experience with strategic planning, budgeting, facility design, program design, public finance, grant writing, board development, and more. He returns to the Gunnison Valley from Columbus, Nebraska, his most recent library post.
Advisor skills: Coaching – executive director; Community engagement/participation; Evaluation/measuring outcomes; Finance – fiscal policy; Governance/policy; Grantwriting coaching
Daniel Bruce has over 20 years of experience working in the non-profit world throughout New Mexico, Utah, and Colorado. Since November 2015 (with a year’s hiatus when he lived in Connecticut), he has served as the Executive Director at Six Points, a nonprofit that provides services and assistance to adults with developmental and intellectual disabilities in the Gunnison Valley. Over the last four years, he has significantly increased programming and funding for the organization. Daniel feels his strengths are in the areas of fundraising, staff development, customer service, collaboration and program development.
Advisor skills: Board development; Coaching – executive director; Collaboration/collective impact; Community engagement/participation; Evaluation/measuring outcomes; Facilitation; Finance – budgeting and forecasting; Fundraising – events, galas; Fundraising – membership; Meetings – planning, running meetings, retreats, etc.; Strategic planning/business planning
“Most nonprofit directors are already wearing too many hats. Making sure the bookkeeping is accurate and audit-ready doesn’t have to be one of them.” Annie offers professional nonprofit bookkeeping that will save you time and money. She says: “With a professional bookkeeper experienced in nonprofit books, you’ll always have the information you need to make the best decisions for your organization, keep your board informed, and donors confident in how funds are being used. I have been bookkeeping for small businesses and non-profit organizations since 2006. In 2017 I took the step to become an entrepreneur myself, and opened Equip Bookkeeping Solutions.”
Advisor skills: Accounting systems, including creating, understanding reports; Coaching – treasurer; Evaluation/measuring outcomes; Nonprofits 101 – for new organizations; Record-keeping; Systems development and workflow planning
David spent most of his career in the field of engineering and management of technology, but he always worked in or around the non-profit arena. After college, he worked for a Marine Research laboratory for 17 years with time spent as Director of Ocean Engineering and Director of Facilities. He has served on the Board of Trustees of Florida Institute of Technology and on the Indian River Community College Foundation Board. He has served in fundraising and financial positions for many non-profits both in Florida and after moving to the Gunnison Valley. Locally, he has served with the Crested Butte Center for the Arts, the Crested Butte Academy, Union Congregational Church and the Crested Butte/Mt Crested Butte Chamber of Commerce. He also has served as General Manager of KBUT-FM, former Mayor of Mt. Crested Butte, and President of the Gunnison County Metropolitan Recreation District. He’s currently the President of the Community Foundation of the Gunnison Valley.
Advisor skills: Accounting systems, including creating, understanding reports; Board development; Coaching – executive director; Coaching – board president; Coaching – treasurer; Data – Collecting, interpreting, presenting; Finance – budgeting and forecasting; Finance – fiscal policy; Fundraising – capital campaigns; Meetings – planning, running meetings, retreats, etc.; Strategic planning/business planning; Technology – what hardware/software might be right; Time management/efficiency
Luke Danielson is a retired lawyer who has spent most of his career in the nonprofit world, as an employee, officer, advisor, founder and lawyer for numerous nonprofit (and for profit) ventures in Colorado, the United States, and other countries. He’s currently President of the Gunnison-based international organization Strategic Development Strategies Group, addressing sustainable mineral resource development worldwide. He is also a recognized practitioner of dialogue processes, dispute resolution, and an experienced mediator. He has understanding of many of the challenges that face both nonprofit and for profit enterprises. He speaks fluent Spanish.
Advisor skills (speaks Spanish): Facilitating hard conversations
Jen is a faculty member of the School of Business at Western Colorado University, where she teaches strategy and sustainable business management. After graduate school she worked at Yosemite National Park, and then volunteered with Be the Change Academy – Kenya, a non-profit organization that aimed to advance entrepreneurial opportunities for young adults living in Kisumu, Kenya. She pursued a Ph.D. in Strategic Management where her research focused on opportunities, approaches and impediments to environmental sustainability in a natural resources sector. In the business world, both CEO’s and students believe that “sustainability” is key, and surely this applies to nonprofits, as well! She loves to rock climb, paddleboard, mountain bike, showshoe and snowboard – and is about to learn to skijor with her Alaskan Malamute, Miska.
Advisor skills: Strategic planning/business planning
Katie has enjoyed and benefited from a plethora of experiences in the nonprofit world including volunteer experiences with the American Red Cross, Boy Scouts of America, and the National Security Agency. She served as Executive Director and President of the Board for Gunnison Country Food Pantry, Program Director for Maryland Academy of Sciences, Adult Development Director for Girl Scouts of Central Maryland, and Director of Volunteer Services for Mountain Resource Center. In the for-profit sector, she has also been Senior Associate with Jackson & Associates, Fundraising Consultants, and Operations Manager for Peak Learning Systems, an educational consulting business. Katie is a storyteller of social history and works occasionally as an executive assistant-at-large for her own entrepreneurial endeavor, Welcome Relief.
Advisor skills: Board development; Coaching – executive director; Coaching – board president; Community engagement/participation; Engaging new groups – youth, immigrants, part-time residents, visitors, etc.; Evaluation/measuring outcomes; Fundraising – capital campaigns; Fundraising – events, galas; Fundraising – planning; Governance/policy; Grantwriting coaching; Meetings – planning, running meetings, retreats, etc.; Nonprofits 101 – for new organizations; Team building/organizational culture; Volunteer recruitment, training, retention
Paul Duba, M.P.A., NCC
Paul Duba trains, facilitates and coaches for exceptional performance at the intersection of leadership and teamwork. He is a Newfield-Certified Coach. He works with leaders in business, non-profit, civic, educational, and military groups, helping them explore the behaviors that serve teams as they work to get from point A to point B. His clients learn the leadership practices that define and animate a team in its desire to perform. While Paul’s teaching is based on the scholarship of contemporary leadership and teamwork theorists, he is outcomes-oriented, using experiential methods to lead participants to a better understanding of themselves, the interpersonal skills necessary for teamwork, and the role that leadership plays in helping teams find efficacy and courage in the face of uncertainty and change.
Advisor skills: Board development; Coaching – executive director; Coaching – board president; Meetings – planning, running meetings, retreats, etc.
Ricardo Esqueda is the Community Outreach Liaison for the City of Gunnison. He graduated in 2020 from Western Colorado University with a B.A. in Spanish and B.S. in Mathematics. He grew up in Hollister, California, and both his parents are immigrants from Mexico. He is a first-generation student that has seen firsthand the difficulties that immigrant families face in adjusting to life in a new country. In his role with the City of Gunnison, he offers interpreting and translation services in Spanish, as well as coordinates bilingual informational events with different departments and organizations throughout the City of Gunnison to provide education and learning opportunities for the community. He works towards increasing two-way engagement between members of the community and their local government officials. He also works closely with Latinx/Hispanic/immigrant community members and leaders to learn about what resources and information are needed most in the community. He is grateful to be helping community members in Gunnison in this way, and often reflects on the people that were able to help families like his that needed assistance in making the transition to a new country. In his free time, Ricardo enjoys getting out on runs and hikes in this beautiful valley that he now calls home.
Advisor skills (speaks Spanish): Community engagement/participation; Cultural understanding, communication; Engaging new groups – youth, immigrants, part-time residents, visitors, etc.; Translation/interpretation – guidance, what should be translated, what to expect; Other – event planning that engages immigrants
While Noelle now lives in Ft. Collins, she returns frequently to Gunnison. She has worked throughout the Western Slope as an organizational capacity consultant and meeting facilitator for nonprofits and local governments. She now serves on the board of Montrose-based CASA of the 7th Judicial District, and she is on the board of the Temple Hoyne Buell Foundation. She has conducted strategic planning efforts for recipients of Colorado Trust grants, and has served as Mayor of Montrose. Her list of public service endeavors is a long one and includes the Board of Trustees of Western Colorado University, the Montrose Library District, the Montrose Economic Development Corporation, and the Colorado Municipal League.
Advisor skills: Coaching – executive director; Grantwriting coaching; Strategic planning/business planning; Other – design of planning processes
Raised by a traveling salesman, Colleen has lived in many states in the US. She settled in Colorado where she graduated from high school in Golden and attended CU Boulder and CU Denver. She has a master’s degree in urban and regional planning. Her career has been a happy balance between providing technical assistance to local government and to nonprofits on the western slope for 30+ years. Currently she is serving as a Regional Grant Navigator for Region 10 and assists local governments in securing federal infrastructure grants through the bipartisan infrastructure law. Her strengths include project planning from inception through grant application and award as well as navigation of local government, regulations and procedures. Her happy place is when working on historic preservation, transit, animal rescue, or land management projects; elements of bricks-and-mortar projects such as permitting and codes; as well as writing on butcher paper with colored markers.
Advisor skills: Facility development – planning for a facility; Grantwriting coaching; Other – infrastructure development
Patricia C. Harrington
Patricia is a results-oriented leader and strategic thinker with a proactive approach. She is able to identify organizational improvements and manage for the current and future needs of citizens, employees and institutions. Particular experience and skills in a broad spectrum of governmental, non-profit and for-profit areas including organizational management, land-use planning, strategic planning, human resources, capital improvements, facilities planning and intergovernmental relations. Her professional career in Maine included for-profit commercial real estate development with Hannaford Bros Co (currently Delhaize) and Vice-President of Managed Assets for Fleet Bank of Maine (currently Bank of America). She was the Assistant Town Manager in Brunswick, Maine and was the Director of the Casco Bay Estuary Project, a regional environmental planning project.
Advisor skills: Data: Collecting, interpreting, presenting; Evaluation/measuring outcomes; Governance/policy; Grantwriting coaching; Human resources/personnel policy; Meetings: planning, running meetings, retreats, etc.; Mergers
Claudia is a finance professional with more than 30 years of experience in corporate banking with emphasis in international trade and credit structuring. She’s worked with multinational companies with business interests in Central and South America. Most of this experience was gained while working for Bank of America in Miami. For the Latin America Agribusiness Development Corporation, she was director for 8 years, two of those as Chairwoman of the Board. She was a board member of The Women’s Fund – Miami. For the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women she served as a mentor for a woman entrepreneur starting a catering/restaurant business in Nigeria. She was a council member for the two years the Export Council operated (Obama Administration). Claudia has a B.A in Economics from Boston College and an MBA from Babson College. She’s fluent in spoken and written Spanish.
Advisor skills (speaks Spanish): Coaching – treasurer; Evaluation/measuring outcomes; Finance – budgeting and forecasting; Finance – fiscal policy; Governance/policy; Strategic planning/business planning
Brett Henderson is the Director of Finance and Development at the Center for the Arts in Crested Butte. Brett is a long-time local with over 12 years of non-profit expertise in the Gunnison Valley. Originally from Fort Worth, TX, Brett started his journey into the world of art and finance with a studio art degree from Texas Christian University. Once complete, Brett then followed his heart to the mountains of Crested Butte for a second degree in financial accounting from Western Colorado University. Shortly after graduating, he accepted a job at a Crested Butte non-profit where he eventually became Executive Director and stayed with the organization for over a decade. During that time, he was able to help achieve many of the organization’s long term financial and policy driven goals.
Advisor skills: Accounting systems, including creating, understanding reports; Coaching – executive director; Coaching – treasurer; Earned income; Finance – budgeting and forecasting; Finance – fiscal policy; Finance – investments; Fundraising – capital campaigns; Fundraising – events, galas; Fundraising – membership; Fundraising – planning; Nonprofits 101 – for new organizations; Technology – what hardware/software might be right
As a resident of Gunnison Valley since the early 1990s, Jake’s personal and professional journey has been shaped by the community. Jake’s “year off” from college to ski in Crested Butte became a life and career in the valley where he earned a degree in Biology from Western State College, worked for the Colorado Outward Bound School for a decade, and built a family, career, and home in the community. Jake comes to the Land Trust team after 6 years as Managing Director of Eleven Experience, a global adventure travel company headquartered in Crested Butte. Prior to his work with Eleven, Jake was the Parks, Recreation, Open Space and Trails Director for the Town of Crested Butte where he worked on municipally funded conservation projects alongside the Land Trust. While employed with the Town, Jake also served as the Executive Director for the Crested Butte Avalanche Center and volunteered on several non-profit and government advisory boards including the Gunnison County Trails Commission, Crested Butte Nordic, and Junior Achievement. Jake is currently the chair of Gunnison County’s Sustainable Tourism and Outdoor Recreation Committee.
Advisor skills: Accounting systems, including creating, understanding reports; Coaching: executive director; Collaboration/collective impact; Community engagement/participation; Facilitation; Finance: budgeting and forecasting; Meetings: planning, running meetings, retreats, etc.; Nonprofits 101 – for new organizations; Strategic planning/business planning; Systems development and workflow planning; Team building/organizational culture; Technology: what hardware/software might be right; Time management/efficiency
Lyndie serves as Trailhead’s AmeriCorps Senior Program Manager where she is collaboratively leading efforts to evolve Colorado’s public health workforce through the integration of AmeriCorps and public health apprenticeship programs. Prior to joining Trailhead Institute as the AmeriCorps Senior Program Manager, Lyndie served as the Program Director for Mountain Roots and the Healthy Futures Program where she served as the main point of contact for AmeriCorps Supervisors, Members, and affiliate partners for communication, position development, impact reporting, and human resource management. With a BA in Psychology, Lyndie has worked in program development and marketing for community education since 2007. Her work experience varies from private youth counseling to public outdoor education experiences, including leading various workshops and trainings on community outreach and public speaking. Lyndie is available to advise on Leveraging staff skill and talent, Recruiting attracting workforce, Event Planning, Strategic planning, Outreach and Education for Marketing.
Advisor skills: Coaching – executive director; Community engagement/participation; Evaluation/measuring outcomes; Facilitation; Facility development – planning for a facility; “Herding cats”; Meetings – planning, running meetings, retreats, etc.; Not Your Mother’s Nonprofit – new ideas in governance; Record-keeping; Systems development and workflow planning; Team building/organizational culture; Time management/efficiency; Volunteer recruitment, training, retention
Believing the arts nurture and grow creativity, goodness, and beauty in the world, Carlie began her journey with the Arts Center as a volunteer receptionist in 2011. With a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Western Colorado University, she sporadically explores the worlds of photography, painting and mixed media creation. With a passion for bringing the arts to life in our community, Carlie values the delight and emotion felt when experiencing the arts, either as a creator or as an observer. She hopes to improve other people’s lives, and our world, by sharing the impact of these experiences. Now as Executive Director, Carlie has taken on the essential responsibilities of reporting to the board of directors, raising funds for organizational operations, participating in capital campaign planning and managing a staff and facility.
Advisor skills: Coaching – executive director; Community engagement/participation; Data – Collecting, interpreting, presenting; Evaluation/measuring outcomes; Fundraising – capital campaigns; Grantwriting coaching
Although she’s currently working in the for-profit sector, Marilyn’s background in non-profit work includes five years as the Executive Director of the Trailhead Children’s Museum in Crested Butte, and an additional eight years in administrative positions at the Crested Butte Music Festival and the Mt. Crested Butte Performing Arts Center. She is well versed in non-profit finance, budgeting, development, HR, and strategic planning.
Advisor skills: Accounting systems, including creating, understanding reports; Board development; Coaching – executive director; Coaching – board president; Finance – budgeting and forecasting; Fundraising – capital campaigns; Meetings – planning, running meetings, retreats, etc.; Nonprofits 101 – for new organizations; Team building/organizational culture
Eileen has lived in Gunnison County since 1979. She started work as an architectural draftsman for the only Gunnison based architectural firm at the time, and since 1983 has operated her own business, designing and drawing custom family residences and other construction projects. The recent recession had its challenges in this profession so she took the opportunity to return to college and earn a degree in Accounting and Business Administration from Western Colorado University. Since then, she has worked in numerous accounting offices, gaining experience in tax preparation, bookkeeping and payroll prior to operating her own tax preparation and accounting business. She knows QuickBooks software and can help get nonprofits on their way to successful bookkeeping.
Advisor skills: Other – Excel, Quickbooks, Tax/Payroll
Paula has over 20 years of experience in accounting, tax, and business consulting. She began her career in public accounting at Deloitte, before working at various diverse financial services firms, including New York Life, Marsh & McLennan, hedge fund DE Shaw, and Simon Equity Partners. Most recently Paula has run her own tax and consulting practice and serves as a Lecturer in Accounting at Western Colorado University. Her recent Board service includes acting as Treasurer of the Gunnison Valley Animal Welfare League, and she is appointed to the Colorado State Board of Accountancy. She holds her Certified Public Accountant certificate and is licensed to practice in the State of Colorado. She is also a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Colorado Society of Certified Public Accountants. She holds a Bachelor of Business Administration in accounting and finance from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, and a Master of Taxation from the University of Denver’s Sturm College of Law.
Advisor skills: Accounting systems, including creating, understanding reports; Coaching – executive director; Data – Collecting, interpreting, presenting; Evaluation/measuring outcomes; Finance – budgeting and forecasting; Human resources/personnel policy; Insurance
Tina is the Executive Director of Gunnison Valley Mentors, a nonprofit youth mentoring organization serving Gunnison, Crested Butte and Lake City. She holds an M.P.A. from Ball State University, and a B.S. in Education from Western Kentucky University. Tina serves as President of the Partners Mentoring Association state-wide board of directors, a member of the Mentor Colorado Advisory Council, an appointee to the Region 10 Area Council on Aging, and a member of various civic organizations. With Tina’s leadership, GVM – Partners has received international recognition as a model of youth mentoring, and Tina travelled to Tbilisi, Republic of Georgia, to help establish a first-ever, youth mentoring program in that country. Mentors matter, and Tina’s aim in life is to be an advocate for positive change in any way possible.
Advisor skills: Board development; Coaching – executive director; Coaching – board president; Collaboration/collective impact; Community engagement/participation; Engaging new groups – youth, immigrants, part-time residents, visitors, etc.; Equity policy and practice; Evaluation/measuring outcomes; Governance/policy; Nonprofits 101 – for new organizations; Strategic planning/business planning; Surveys, focus groups, needs assessments; Volunteer recruitment, training, retention; Other – Research
Gesa Michel is a sustainability practitioner with an MBA from the University of Nuremberg in Germany and a postgraduate degree in International Environmental Management from the Erasmus University, The Netherlands. She has worked for several non-profits in the Gunnison Valley. Since 2020 Gesa is the GV-HEAT Coordinator as part of the Gunnison Valley Regional Housing Authority, facilitating energy efficiency upgrades in income-qualified housing. Between 2011-2019 she was the Director of Finance and Operations at the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory and between 2004-2009 the Executive Director at the Office for Resource Efficiency. Gesa excels at project management, logistics, event, and human resource management with significant leadership experience emphasizing sustainable practices. She is bilingual in English and German, which complements her international business background. Gesa has lived in the Gunnison Valley for over 24 years with her husband Glenn and now two grown sons. Gesa grew up in Hamburg, Germany, and originally came to the US on a field hockey scholarship at the University of Iowa, where they became Division I NCAA Champions. Today, during the summers she appreciates our spectacular mountains while hiking, camping, or horseback riding and in the winter, she enjoys playing ice-hockey and skiing. Gesa has strong roots in the Gunnison Valley and likes bringing her business sense to the local non-profit community.
Advisor skills: Community engagement/participation; Cultural understanding, communication; Evaluation/measuring outcomes; Facility development – green building; Human resources/personnel policy; Systems development and workflow planning; Time management/efficiency
Jeff has thirty years of experience working in the fields of business development, economic forecasting, destination marketing, resource allocation, and political strategy. Jeff worked for Crested Butte Mountain Resort, holding positions in marketing, lift pricing, and air service development. Working with all of the major U.S. airlines, Jeff conducted numerous market feasibility studies to evaluate new routes and revenue maximizing schedules. In 2013, he founded Triple Point Strategic Consulting to provide data-driven marketing, strategic planning, and business analysis in a variety of sectors throughout the Western U.S. and Canada; Triple Point is frequently retained to conduct economic forecasts, develop custom financial models, and estimate economic and environmental impacts using IMPLAN software. More recently, Jeff has and is serving as strategic advisor to multiple campaigns seeking voter approval as well as development projects requiring various government approvals. (Visit www.tpsconsulting.net for a complete list of projects.) Jeff has served on many boards and is currently President of the West Elk Hockey Association.
Advisor skills: Board development; Coaching – executive director; Coaching – board president; Coaching – treasurer; Community engagement/participation; Data – Collecting, interpreting, presenting; Evaluation/measuring outcomes; Finance – budgeting and forecasting; Marketing – communications plan; Strategic planning/business planning; Surveys, focus groups, needs assessments; Time management/efficiency
After a 40+ year career in nonprofit administration, Pam retired from the Executive Director position at the Community Foundation of the Gunnison Valley in June of 2020. Having been hands-on in all facets of nonprofits from grantwriting, fundraising, board development and operations to policy creation, Pam has broad knowledge of the inner workings of nonprofits. Today, she has a specific interest in coaching board presidents to be the best they can be, basics of grantwriting as well as individual time management and efficiency.
Advisor skills: Coaching – board president; Grantwriting coaching; Time management/efficiency
Brooke is a culture, employee engagement, and leadership development consultant, professional coach, workshop designer and facilitator, and professor. She is a Co-Owner and the Human Potential Catalyzer at Zen for Business, the purpose of which is the elevate the effectiveness of purpose-driven individuals, teams, and organizations. She works with Fortune 100 and 500 companies, non-profits, and government agencies and has done so on five continents. Brooke is an emeritus professor at Western Colorado University and regularly serves as adjunct faculty at Dartmouth College’s Tuck School of Business and the University of North Carolina’s Kenan-Flagler Business School. Brooke has also earned money by cleaning hotel rooms and flipping burgers as a vegetarian in high school, waiting tables in college…and she has done countless hours of service work with a shovel and pick axe. She has authored several articles on leadership and sustainability, and is the author of Organizational Heartbeats: Engaging Employees in Sustainability by Leveraging Purpose and Curating Culture (Routledge, 2020). Brooke holds graduate degrees from the University of New Hampshire and Harvard University. She is a certified Leadership Circle coach.
Advisor skills: Coaching – executive director; Coaching – board president; Team building/organizational culture
Lindsay has been working to support and build nonprofit capacity throughout her career. Following her graduation from Regis in 2015 with a Masters in Nonprofit Management, she worked with Rich Male & Associates and the Colorado Nonprofit Association. She is now the Partnership and Marketing Manager for Giving Docs, an online estate planning platform, purpose built for planned giving. A born and raised Coloradan, Lindsay has also worked with nonprofits and NGOs throughout the US, in parts of Africa, Australia, New Zealand and Central and South America. She was the executive director for the Valley Housing Fund in 2021 and the co-founder of American Canary, a media literacy organization.
Advisor skills: Board development; Coaching – executive director; Collaboration/collective impact; Community engagement/participation; Earned income; Equity policy and practice; Facilitation; Fundraising – membership; Fundraising – planning; Governance/policy; Grantwriting coaching; Not Your Mother’s Nonprofit – new ideas in governance; Nonprofits 101 – for new organizations; Strategic planning/business planning
Jodi is the Executive Director at Gunnison Country Food Pantry. She holds an M.A. in Nonprofit Management from Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota and has a passion for basic needs, grassroots community efforts, and good strong leadership. Jodi, a self-proclaimed nonprofit nerd, has experience building effective teams that tackle tough community issues, executive/organization leadership, and managing nonprofits/nonprofit basics.
Advisor skills: Coaching – executive director Collaboration/collective impact; Meetings – planning, running meetings, retreats, etc.; Nonprofits 101 – for new organizations; Team building/organizational culture
In a tale as old as time, Brittany came to the Gunnison Valley in 2006 to attend and ski for Western and has never left. She has worked for a non-profit organization, Crested Butte Nordic, for the last decade. Over the years, she has filled many different roles at CB Nordic, but is currently serving as Finance Manager. After learning to use Salesforce for her position with CB Nordic, she became a Certified Salesforce Administrator in 2021. Brittany is excited about helping other non-profits realize the free benefits that Salesforce can provide them and help them use the platform to its full potential. Outside of work, she enjoys getting out to ski, mountain bike, or float the river with her boyfriend and 2 dogs.
Advisor skills: Accounting systems, including creating, understanding reports; Finance – budgeting and forecasting; Technology – what hardware/software might be right
Darcie Perkins worked as the Executive Director of a Gunnison Valley nonprofit moving through rapid growth, and subsequently worked at the ICELab at Western Colorado University where she assisted small businesses and helped Gunnison County coordinate response and recovery endeavors when the pandemic became a reality. She is a consultant with Managing for Results, a national consulting firm. She helps nonprofits think like entrepreneurs, enabling them to bring more services to the community they serve, and provides coaching in the following areas: Mission, Vision, Values, Board and Staff roles, Strategic Planning, and general nonprofit management.
Advisor skills: Coaching – executive director; Community engagement/participation; Finance – fiscal policy; Fundraising – planning; Governance/policy; Nonprofits 101 – for new organizations; Strategic planning/business planning; Systems development and workflow planning; Time management/efficiency; Volunteer recruitment, training, retention
In search of bigger mountains and a small, tight-knit community, Hedda found herself at home in the Gunnison Valley after growing up in the Green Mountains of Vermont. Her work with both the U.S. Geological Survey and the Mount Washington Observatory in Vermont and New Hampshire fueled her desire to explore, research and protect her surrounding environment through her work at the Crested Butte Land Trust as Stewardship Director. Hedda graduated from the University of Vermont with a B.A. in Geography and German. In May of 2018 she completed her Masters in Environmental Management, with a focus in Integrative Land Management, at Western Colorado University. Today, she works as the executive director of Crested Butte Nordic whose mission is to foster outdoor experiences and community well-being through high-quality winter trails, programs, and events.
Advisor skills: Community engagement/participation; Grantwriting coaching
Shelley Popke, fundraising and grant management consultant, has over 20 years’ experience working in the non-profit sector with an emphasis in fundraising, communication, leadership, and non-profit management. Shelley first moved to Crested Butte in 1999 and most recently served as the Development Director of the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory and the Executive Director of the Crested Butte Mountain Heritage Museum, where she led the Museum’s Preserve Tony’s capital campaign and two-phased building preservation project. Passionate about Gunnison County and its rich history, Shelley serves on the Gunnison County Historic Preservation Commission, and as a STEP Advisor for the Community Foundation of the Gunnison Valley. She holds a BA in English Literature and an MA in History, both from the University of Colorado, and is an MBA candidate at the University of Denver. In her free time, Shelley enjoys reading, gardening, cooking, yoga, volunteering, and spending time with family and friends in the great outdoors we get to call home.
Advisor skills: Most of the skills offered
Brian is an accomplished C-level executive who spent the last 18 years leading organizations of all sizes to solve complex problems. Along the way, he developed clarity in understanding his passion and skill for creating a simple vision, developing plans, and building coalitions to deliver real, positive change. He has a BS in Civil and Environmental Engineering and spent 18 years as a decorated military veteran and leader, culminating in roles with BPX Energy as Chief Operating and Chief Innovation Officer. He now spends his time with his wife Allie raising two boys, Owen and Oliver, enjoying the outdoors around their home in Mt. Crested Butte, and working on local causes geared toward food security and environmental stewardship. He is a board member and treasurer of the Mountain Roots Food Project and a board member of the Reserve Metro District 2 in Mt. Crested Butte.
Advisor skills: Contact us for information
Brieanna holds her bachelor’s degree in Studio Art and has been working in content creation, design, and marketing in the Gunnison Valley for the better part of a decade. Working with personal clients, and most recently in the non-profit sector, content creation is one of her favorite aspects of marketing. She thrives when creating and innovating. She is currently working remotely in content creation, and running Lift Line Marketing Solutions. From web design to targeting new audiences, Brieanna helps create systems to make marketing easy. She served as Marketing Director for the Crested Butte Music Festival, and prior to that as the Marketing and Gallery Director of the Gunnison Arts Center where she used her skills to improve the organization’s communication strategies and brand identity, increasing engagement and boosting programming. Beyond marketing and art, Brieanna’s passion lies in the extraordinary community of the Gunnison Valley. Here she can freely pursue her love of creating with the support of her talented husband Sam, and incredible son, Evan. Together they love camping, Harry Potter and making art of all kinds. Brieanna considers herself a lifelong student and relishes the opportunity to learn something new at any turn.
Advisor skills: Branding; Community engagement/participation; Engaging new groups – youth, immigrants, part-time residents, visitors, etc.; Marketing – communications plan; Marketing – reaching new groups; Marketing – social media; Website coaching
Erica Rasmussen is a communications consultant, coach, speaker and the Executive Director of the Crested Butte Snowsports Foundation. Before that, she served as Communications & Development Director for the Community Foundation of the Gunnison Valley and spent eight years on the Crested Butte Mountain Resort marketing team. Her expertise is marketing strategy, storytelling, and social media. Erica is a lifelong skier and winter snowsports enthusiast, having grown up skiing on the slopes of Vermont, and now continuing that tradition with her kids on the slopes of Colorado. She’s an avid runner, with a goal of completing a running race in all 50 states.
Advisor skills: Branding; Marketing – communications plan; Marketing – reaching new groups; Marketing – social media
Lisa has been actively involved in the charitable sector—as a board member, funder, consultant, and nonprofit CEO—for over 25 years. She has a passion for outreach and service. In Texas, she served as a Board member, Board president, and non-profit staff member with organizations such as Hospice Austin, The Breast Cancer Resource Center of Central Texas, the Austin Children’s Museum, HeartGift Foundation, AustinGives and South by Southwest (SXSW) Community Fund Grants. Here in the Gunnison Valley, she serves as a Finance Committee Member for the Public Policy Forum of Crested Butte and the Town of Mt. Crested Butte. She is also a Charter Member of the recently formed P.E.O. Chapter in Crested Butte. In her off time, Lisa enjoys skiing (water and snow), hiking, needle work, and bridge. Lisa and her husband, Robert, will soon celebrate 40 years of marriage. They have two adult children and three grandchildren.
Advisor skills: Board development; Coaching – board president; Coaching – treasurer; Fundraising – capital campaigns; Fundraising – events, galas; Governance/policy; Grantwriting coaching
Tammy is a native of Gunnison and has spent most of her adult life working with businesses and organizations in the Gunnison Valley. Following graduation from Western Colorado University, she spent ten years in the banking industry with a focus on Marketing and Human Resource Management on the Western Slope of Colorado. Returning to Gunnison, Tammy enjoyed 25 years as the Executive Director of the Gunnison Country Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center. She has participated on many boards and organizations in her tenure with the Chamber. She is currently co-owner of Scott Resource Management Specialists providing consulting in a variety of areas as well as working as the Foundation Coordinator for Gunnison Valley Health.
Advisor skills: Board development; Branding; Coaching – executive director; Coaching – board president; Community engagement/participation; “Herding cats”; Human resources/personnel policy; Marketing – communications plan; Marketing – reaching new groups; Meetings – planning, running meetings, retreats, etc.; Surveys, focus groups, needs assessments; Volunteer recruitment, training, retention
Most recently, William was the Communications Manager for the Gunnison County Assessor’s Office; prior to that, he worked for Rio Grande County. From 1993 to 2003 he was employed by a large software corporation in their project management & planning department. In that capacity Ihe was trained in both strategic planning and facilitation techniques, and facilitated a number of strategic planning exercises for various other groups within the business. He is the past president of the Gunnison Arts Center.
Advisor skills: Board development; Coaching: executive director; Coaching: board president; Collaboration/collective impact; Community engagement/participation; Cultural understanding, communication; Evaluation/measuring outcomes; Facilitation; Facilitating hard conversations; “Herding cats”; Meetings: planning, running meetings, retreats, etc.; Strategic planning/business planning; Surveys, focus groups, needs assessments; Systems development and workflow planning; Team building/organizational culture
Rob has over 20 years of experience in marketing and he understands the challenges small businesses and non-profits face – and how important these small businesses are to the fabric of our community. People say, “If you’d like to explore ways to cost-effectively promote, and measure, your business with digital marketing then Rob’s your guy!” Rob graduated Magna Sum Laude from Western Colorado University, worked seven years as the Marketing Coordinator for the Gunnison-Crested Butte Tourism Association before launching his own business (Midnight Marketing Solutions), and has taught several courses in marketing at Western. The biggest perk for Rob has been the opportunity to create lasting professional relationships with many businesses locally, regionally, and Internationally. Rob’s scope of practice includes website development and design, search engine optimization, pay per click advertising, social media, and Google analytics.
Advisor skills: Branding; Marketing – communications plan; Marketing – reaching new groups; Marketing – social media; Website coaching
Kelly is an accountant and started her career at Deloitte, a global public accounting firm. She has over 20 years of experience in the nonprofit sector, especially in finance, strategic planning, board development, Human Resources and fundraising. She came to the Gunnison Valley from Texas, where she worked in the world-renowned arts community of Marfa; she was an executive with the Chinati Foundation there. She worked with the Rocky Mountain Biological Lab as a consultant, and then as Chief Operating Officer, from 2016 to 2023, and now teaches Accounting and Strategy in the School of Business at Western Colorado University. Kelly and her husband, David, live in Gunnison with their four children.
Advisor skills: Coaching – executive director; Coaching – board president; Coaching – treasurer; Equity policy and practice; Facilitation; Facilitating hard conversations; Finance – fiscal policy; Fundraising – planning; Governance/policy; Human resources/personnel policy; Meetings – planning, running meetings, retreats, etc.; Not Your Mother’s Nonprofit – new ideas in governance; Strategic planning/business planning; Team building/organizational culture
Paul has traveled the world assisting organizations in leadership development. Whether working as a basecamp director for Outward Bound, serving with the Australian Army, teaching in higher education, facilitating leadership development workshops for corporate executives, volunteering at the local food pantry, or coaching executives, Paul’s unique and approachable style wins people’s trust and respect. He has focused his professional experiences on connecting people to their personal mission and career objectives, and with organizational clients he is dedicated to collaborative, solution-based learning. Paul has worked with employees and executives from such organizations as Outward Bound International, Singapore Airlines, PwC, Telstra Australia, Australian Federal Police, Commonwealth Bank, Singapore Department of Education, and Indonesia Post.
Advisor skills – Board development; Coaching – executive director; Coaching – board president; Facilitating hard conversations; “Herding cats”; Strategic planning/business planning; Team building/organizational culture
Marnie Taylor is President and CEO of the Oklahoma City Nonprofit Center, a position she’s held for more than 10 years. One of Oklahoma’s leading governance experts, she has more than 40 years of leadership in volunteerism, board service, fundraising, and community engagement. Over the course of her career, she has served on more than 30 boards. At present, she’s the Taylor Board Chairperson of the National Council of Nonprofits, and has held leadership board positions for Oklahoma Arts Institute, World Neighbors, American Red Cross, and Junior League of Oklahoma City to name only a few. Her awards are numerous; most recently she was named one of her state’s “50 Most Powerful Oklahomans” and “Oklahoma City’s 5 Most Powerful Women.” She’s also been the City’s “Most Admired CEO” and on the 2022 “Power List of Innovative Women.” She lives part-time in Crested Butte where she’s an avid grandma, skier and hiker; her proudest hiking feat was climbing Mt. Kilamanjaro.
Advisor skills: Board development; Coaching – executive director; Coaching – board president; Community engagement/participation; Earned income; Facility development – planning for a facility; Finance – budgeting and forecasting; Finance – fiscal policy; Fundraising – capital campaigns; Fundraising – events, galas; Fundraising – planning; Governance/policy; Meetings – planning, running meetings, retreats, etc.; Nonprofits 101 – for new organizations; Strategic planning/business planning; Volunteer recruitment, training, retention
An avid outdoors person, Ashley is a native North Carolinian who finished the Appalachian Trail in 2014, the Colorado Trail in 2020, and has plans for more adventures soon. Her 20’s saw her living in Oulu, Finland and Armenia, Colombia before finally landing in the Gunnison Valley with her partner, Dan, in 2014. She entered the nonprofit world through the Crested Butte/Mt Crested Butte Chamber of Commerce, first as the membership and marketing director then as the executive director for four years. She is currently development director at the Crested Butte Land Trust. Ashley also serves on the Crested Butte Arts Festival and Crested Butte Friends of the Library boards of directors, enjoys volunteering for various other nonprofits, and is a Crested Butte/Mt Crested Butte Rotarian. She has many years of experience in general nonprofit management, event planning, and board/staff relations. When not working or volunteering, Ashley can be found hiking, horseback riding, skiing, or reading by the river.
Advisor skills: Fundraising – events, galas; Fundraising – membership; “Herding cats”; Meetings – planning, running meetings, retreats, etc.; Volunteer recruitment, training, retention
Janice is the CEO of Welborn and Associates, a consulting firm serving nonprofits, school districts, local governments and the health care industry. Janice excels at bringing public and private stakeholders together to address community matters and has a reputation for building strong teams that accomplish their objectives. She is a skilled facilitator and strategic planner. Her skills include business and nonprofit organizational management; grant writing, management of federal, state and private foundation grants, fund development and board development. Janice retired from Western Colorado University after 27 years where she served as the Director of Sponsored Programs overseeing research administration. She served on the Sustainability Action Committee, the Western Research Council, and the Administrative Leadership Council. She has served the Community Foundation of the Gunnison Valley in a variety of capacities including board member, past chair of the CFGV grants committee and past chair of the development committee. She also advises the Gunnison Valley Education Foundation, a component fund of CFGV. She currently serves as the Program Director of the Nonprofit Infrastructure Program (NPI) for CFGV’s Regional Access Partnership with the Department of Local Affairs administering the NPI grant awards for six counties on the Western Slope of Colorado.
Advisor skills: Coaching – executive director; Facilitation; Grantwriting coaching; Strategic planning/business planning
Joe L. Williams
Joe has over 53 years’ experience as an insurance agent/broker and insurance consultant. From 1970 until 2007 he was a principal shareholder in a large Houston firm, Wisenberg Insurance + Risk Management, and was its Chairman and CEO when the firm was sold to a subsidiary of Wells Fargo Bank. He has a particular expertise in insurance coverage analysis. Joe is very familiar with all phases of the insurance industry, including consulting on bad faith, customs and practices, and standards of care. He is a media contact for radio, television and news publications as an authoritative source for various insurance and risk management topics. He was one of the youngest people ever to receive the CPCU professional designation at the age of 23.
Advisor skills: Insurance
Karen grew up in Albuquerque, NM, and attended the University of Vermont. She graduated with a degree in Small Business Management and moved to the Gunnison Valley in 2001. Karen has worked in both the public and private sector and brings a wealth of knowledge in running small businesses and non-profit organizations. She specializes in non-profit financial literacy as well as grant writing and development. She is excited to put her skills to good use to help you make your non-profit the best it can be.
Advisor skills: Accounting systems, including creating, understanding reports; Coaching – treasurer; Data – Collecting, interpreting, presenting; Finance – budgeting and forecasting; Finance – fiscal policy; Fundraising – planning; Governance/policy; Mergers
Ian Wrisley is a 20+ year resident of the Gunnison valley and the pastor of Gunnison UCC church. He brings experience working with groups of people with vastly different experiences and perspectives in order to make difficult conversations possible and productive. (He tries to not get too religious!) Valley residents might recognize him from his roles on the stage at the Crested Butte Mountain Theater.
Advisor skills: Facilitating hard conversations
Lisa Yeh is the senior vice president of development and alumnae relations at Barnard College, where she has worked since January 2018. She leads a team of 65 professionals and is responsible for supporting the financial future of the College by developing and implementing fundraising strategies, securing donations from institutional and individual donors, and building relationships with alumnae, parents, and friends of the College. In her time at Barnard, average annual fundraising has increased 54%. She was previously vice dean of external relations and development at Columbia Business School, where she worked for 16 years, with the last 11 in this leadership role. Under Lisa’s leadership, the School raised nearly $1 billion and increased average annual fundraising nearly 3.5 times. Lisa joined the School with over seven years of experience in event planning and fundraising and with six years of experience as a financial analyst in the investment management and insurance industries, beginning her career at USAA. Lisa served on the board of trustees at All Souls School for 14 years, where she was president of the board for four years. Lisa received a bachelor’s in business administration from San Diego State University, where she graduated cum laude with distinction in finance, and a master’s in business administration from St. Mary’s University, where she graduated with distinction. Both of Lisa’s parents grew up in the Gunnison Valley, one in Crested Butte and one in Gunnison. Her grandfather Frank Starika was a Crested Butte coal miner and later operated Frank and Gal’s Bar and Restaurant with Lisa’s grandmother Gal. Lisa’s other grandmother Alma Ruggera Beitler Dean was born and raised in Crested Butte.
Advisor skills: Board development; Community engagement/participation; Fundraising – capital campaigns; Fundraising – planning; “Herding cats”; Team building/organizational culture
Born and raised in Sheboygan, WI, Chad knew he was destined to move west – especially since his school yearbook voted him as “most likely to live in Colorado.” Chad graduated from Western Colorado University in 1999 with a degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in Entrepreneurship. Since 2000, he has been with Gunnison Bank & Trust, starting as a management trainee, and now as Executive Vice President, Senior Lender, Marketing Officer and Board Member/Secretary of the Board. He’s the husband of Melinda, and father of Connor and Carson. When he can, he makes time to serve on nonprofit boards. He is an avid golfer, hockey player, skier – and devoted fan of the Green Bay Packers.
Advisor skills: Coaching – treasurer; Finance – budgeting and forecasting