Roaring Fork Center for Community Leadership:

aspires to be the most effective and respected leadership development organization in the greater Roaring Fork Valley, and through its actions and influence is a catalyst for effective and collaborative community change and improvement.

Roaring Fork Leadership provides access to new ways of being a leader – and we relate to everyone as the powerful capable leaders that they are.  Our view is that Leadership is not something bestowed upon us, but rather a way of  ‘being.’  RFL provides access for it’s participants to see possibilities where there were none, and gain a sense of personal efficacy – that they can make a difference.  This makes for a powerful combination and RFL now has over 650 graduates ‘being’ leaders in our community.

Roaring Fork Leadership has been serving the Roaring Fork valley since 1988.  Each year we solicit the community for applicants, and then intentionally assemble a group of approximately 40 diverse community members that will jointly embark on a journey of leadership discovery and breakthroughs.

RFL Logo 2009

Our annual program entails taking 40 community members through 100+ hours of training and dialogue critical for personal, professional, and community problem solving and effectiveness. Inside of the ‘program’ participants take on civic projects as a ‘laboratory’ for practicing new ways of ‘being’ a leader.  The annual program consists of three elements: personal growth and development, skill building, and working in a team on a civic project.

Community Confluence is designed as an online matching system designed to align community members’ skills and interests with relevant volunteer leadership opportunities for local non-profit organizations and municipalities.  The system enables matches in two ways: volunteer opportunities for individuals and a place for the organization offering the volunteer opportunity to post the available volunteer opportunities that are available.

Become a Community Leader

  • RFL is an opportunity, a door, to what you want for your future and for the future of the community you live it. So I ask people – “what kind of community do you want to live in, what does that look like?” People often have the same answers, and it involves what you’re willing to put into it. RFL and 25 years of alumni can give you the tools and support, but it is a commitment. So is life – so what do you want to put into it?

    Shirley Ritter
    Shirley RitterDirector, Kids First, Class of 2003
  • For many, RFL was an opportunity to hone skills that they had been developing for many years.  For others, it allowed them to explore new possibilities.  The aspect of leadership that is fundamental to this program and which brings me the most joy and satisfaction is that of service.  The contributions to the community over the years, not only from class projects, but the thousands of service hours given by graduates to hundreds of community projects and organizations are gifts that continue to give over time.  As a founder and past president of Leadership Aspen, I am profoundly grateful and very proud of the alumni of this extraordinary program.

    Sue Smedstad
    Sue SmedstadFounder
  • Instituting a culture of giving back to your community may be RFL’s greatest gift to the community.  Once an individual sees the impact they can have on a non-profit through individual leadership skills developed at RFL, this volunteer spirit becomes a part of the person’s identity.  Volunteering then becomes a part of a person’s daily life as they move through the generational stages.

    Scott Gordon
    Scott GordonClass of 1994
  • I joined RFL to learn more about other people and how to lead them. Instead, I learned about myself and how to have better relationships, which I think is the foundation of all we do as leaders.

    Jenny Lyons
    Jenny LyonsDevelopment Officer, Aspen Music Festival and School, Class of 2006
  • My initial motivation when I signed up for RFL was to develop skills that would improve my leadership within my business and career.  Although I achieved that goal, it turned out not to be the most valuable outcome from my participation in this program.  The greater benefit, for me, is the increased self awareness that I gained allowing me to become a more effective leader in my own life.  This carries over into my relationships, my participation in community and in the priorities I set for myself.  It truly has been a life changing experience!

    Julie Warren
    Julie WarrenPersonal Rehabilitation Center, PC, Class of 2013
  • Through RFL, I've met people in the valley who share my concern for quality-of-life and my desire to participate in creating a community that works to make life here better.

    Barry Crook
    Barry CrookAssistant to City Manager, City of Aspen, Class of 2007
  • "My idea of leadership has changed significantly after attending RFL. I always thought of a leader as someone being in charge and whom we might see heading companies or organizations. While this is true, leadership opportunities are abundant. We see leader in our families, friends, schools, etc. I realize that how I show up each day matters. I am a critical force and model for change and well being in my community, whether it be at work or home."

    Jamie Britt
    Jamie BrittRN, Family Visitor Programs, Class of 2014
  • “I actually learned more about myself in the RFL 9 month program than in my academic career.  RFL exposes you to tools and then gives you the opportunity to put those tools into practice in both your personal and your professional life.  My particular experience with RFL is best exemplified in a quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson, ‘Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fail.’ “

    Kevin Jordan
    Kevin JordanSnowmass Children's Coordinator, Aspen Skiing Company, Class of 2013
  • My life has accelerated in terms of commitment, taking action, taking risks, being proactive, trying different behavior to attain results, treating people differently, joining new organizations, taking new classes, and being more accountable for my perceptions of individuals, organizations, and events.

    Gordon Ledingham
    Gordon LedinghamSenior Relationship Manager, Wells Fargo, Class of 2007
  • RFL has opened so many doors for learning. I don't think the learning or transformation ever stops!

    Jennifer Dolecki-Smith
    Jennifer Dolecki-SmithLandscape Architect, Escape Garden Design, LLC, Class of 2007