Class of 2017

  • Ashley Allis
    Ashley Allis Landscape Architect and Planner, Design Workshop, Class of 2017

    Ashley has lived in the Roaring Fork Valley since 2005. She attended Pennsylvania State University for Landscape Architecture for her bachelor’s degree and the University of Virginia for a master’s degree in Urban and Environmental Planning with a focus on Historic Preservation. She serves on the Carbondale Historic Preservation Commission and is involved with the American Planning Association. Ashley was looking forward to connecting with peers and contributing to larger ideas within our community, bigger than one mind alone can fulfill.

  • Ashton Hewitt
    Ashton Hewitt Magazine and Special Projects Director, The Aspen Times, Class of 2017

    Ashton graduated from the University of Georgia and moved to Aspen 20 years ago. She has worked for The Aspen Times for over 11 years. She has been involved with Aspen Junior Hockey as a Sterling Cup committee member; she currently sits on the board for AJH. She has been an active member of the Aspen Rotary Club for 3 years, serving on various committees within the club and is also involved with the Christmas Wish Charity. As Ashton grows in her role at The Aspen Times, she is ready to commit wholeheartedly to personal and professional development as a community leader. She felt RFL was the ideal program in which to develop the tools to be a successful, compassionate and effective leader, alongside other like-minded individuals from this wonderful community.

  • B. J. Schmidt
    B. J. Schmidt Superintendent, Hayes Construction, Class of 2017

    BJ received a BS in biology from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and Construction Management certificate from Colorado State University. He currently serves on the Parent Council and Building and Grounds committee for the Waldorf School on the Roaring Fork. He hoped RLFL would help him grow as a leader and collaborate with other professionals in the community. He hoped to gain knowledge that would help him be a better leader and to gain the skills to build effective teams to accomplish great things.

  • Brian Thomas
    Brian Thomas Project Manager, Shaw Construction, Class of 2017

    Brian received a BS in Building Construction from Auburn University and volunteers with Habitat for Humanity, Associated Builders and Contractors, and E3 Partners. As a recent transplant, Brian hoped to establish relationships and friendships while becoming engaged in civic opportunities. Through RFL, he hoped to grow his management and leadership skills.

  • Brian West
    Brian West Senior Project Architect, Charles Cunniffe Architects, Class of 2017

    Brian completed his Master of Architecture and MBA degrees from Texas Tech University and, upon graduation, moved to the Roaring Fork Valley in 2001 to pursue a career. He has volunteered with the American Institute of Architects (AIA) on the programs evaluation committee and in the local community with scouting. Brian was interested in participating in RFL to work with other community members. Through RFL he hoped to broaden his knowledge of what it means to be a leader and how to better apply leadership skills in his everyday life and community.

  • Briston Peterson
    Briston Peterson Owner, Brikor Associates, Class of 2017

    Briston completed a Liberal Arts degree focused in economics and urban planning from Rutgers College. He has served as an active member of the Board of Directors for Habitat for Humanity since 2000, currently serving as Secretary. Through RFL, Briston sought to support the future of our community by enhancing his leadership skills and building synergy between local networks.

  • Camy Britt
    Camy Britt Class of 2017

    Camy wanted to be involved in the RFL program because she wanted to better understand the unique and diverse individuals within the Roaring Fork Valley. Also, she wanted to improve her leadership skills so she could apply them in her many community volunteer roles such as board vice-president for Valley Life for All and commissioner of the Carbondale Parks and Recreation Commission.

  • Carson Schmitz
    Carson Schmitz Private Banker, Wells Fargo, Class of 2017

    Carson completed a BA in Finance and an MBA from Texas Tech University. He currently serves as Finance Chair for the Roaring Fork chapter of Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and is a Big Buddy with the Buddy Program. While in RFL, Carson was interested in improving his leadership abilities in order to become a more effective leader. He also looked forward to gaining experience navigating challenging community issues and working with others who may see those issues differently.

  • Chris Cohen
    Chris Cohen Rock Bottom Ranch Program Director, ACES, Class of 2017

    Chris moved to the Roaring Fork Valley in 2011 after completing a Masters in Human Dimensions of Natural Resources at Colorado State University. Chris is a Board Member of the Aspen Young Professional Association, the Buddy Program Leadership Development Board and a former Chair of Spring Board. She is also a co-founder of CollegeTrek, a volunteer program focused on bringing together young professionals to assist high school students in navigating the transition to college or career. Chris was excited to join the RFL Class of 2017 to improve her leadership skills and to make a lasting impact in the Roaring Fork Valley and beyond. In her free time, Chris loves to explore the valley’s amazing outdoor playground with her camera in hand!

  • Dave Munk
    Dave Munk Vice Chair, Holy Cross Energy, Class of 2017

    Dave is a 33 year resident of the Roaring Fork Valley and a graduate of UC Davis with a degree in Business Management. He has worked with water and energy utilities on efficiency education for the past twenty years. Dave has been a Director for Holy Cross Energy for the past six years and is involved with Rural Electric Cooperatives across the country. Dave also worked in publishing for ten years. His volunteer activities include coaching for Special Olympics and BOLD programs and board positions for WindWalkers and Aspen Grassroots Experience. Dave was excited for RFL to help sharpen his leadership skills and to work with other leaders from our community to tackle the issues we face, particularly surrounding sustainability and special needs resources.

  • Dina Belmonte
    Dina Belmonte Event Coordinator, Valley View Foundation. Certified Ski Instructor, Aspen Skiing Company, Class of 2017

    Dina is a graduate of the University of Colorado and is a 30 -year valley resident. She has owned and operated a special events business that collaborates with a number of local non-profits. She also worked for Valley View Foundation and organized the Rally the Valley event and various fundraising capital campaigns. Dina joined RFL in order to expand her leadership style. She was excited about the idea of engaging and collaborating with diverse community members. Most of her recent volunteer projects have been serving on a leadership council at her son’s school and with his athletic teams. She looks forward to new and varied community involvement opprotunities.

  • Evan Pletcher
    Evan Pletcher Project Engineer for the City of Aspen's Asset Management Department, Class of 2017

    Evan has lived in the Roaring For Valley for five years. Previously he lived in Boulder where he attended the University of Colorado at Boulder and studied Mechanical Engineering. Evan is an active member of Mountain Rescue Aspen and a part-time guide with Aspen Alpine Guides. He was drawn to RFL to increase his comfort in leading large groups of people and to strengthen his ties to the Roaring Fork Valley. Evan was excited to use the skills obtained in RFL to make a lasting and meaningful impact in the valley.

  • Hillary Seminick
    Hillary Seminick Planner, City of Aspen, Class of 2017

    Hillary attended Florida State University where she received her Bachelors of Science in Geography with a minor in Studio Art. She has volunteered to collect native plant seeds for The Nature Conservancy and loaned her cartography skills to the Florida Office of Greenways and Trails. Additionally, she has served as a board member of the Colorado Mountain Bike Association and is currently the Vice President of Communications of the Colorado Chapter of the American Planning Association. She looked forward to working with her RFL classmates on valley-wide issues to develop leadership skills to help her be a more effective planner and community member.

  • Jake Moe
    Jake Moe Maintenance Operator & Irrigation Specialist, City of Aspen Parks & Recreation Dept. , Class of 2017

    A native of Denver, Jake earned a Bachelor’s in Environmental Science & Science, Technology, and Society (STS) from Colby College. Jake returned to Colorado to ski, hike, bike, and live in the mountains and has worked as a ski boot fitter, ski coach for AVSC, naturalist for ACES, and ranger for Pitkin County and the City of Aspen. Jake went on to earn a Masters in Environmental Policy and Recreation Management from the University of Denver. Jake enjoys volunteering with RFOV and RFMBA building and maintaining trails. Like his talented wife and RFL Alum, Genna Moe, Jake hoped to master effective leadership techniques, connect with peers, and give back to this special community.

  • Jane Wilch
    Jane Wilch Climate Outreach Coordinator, City of Aspen, Class of 2017

    Jane attended the University of Iowa where she received degrees in Environmental Sciences, and Environmental Policy and Planning. Jane moved to the valley in the summer of 2015 to work for the City of Aspen’s Canary Initiative doing outreach and marketing work for the climate and environmental programs. In college, she was a member of the service fraternity Alpha Phi Omega which offered a variety of volunteer opportunities in the Iowa City area. Jane was excited to expand and improve upon her leadership skills, to create positive change, and to meet new people through the RFL program.

  • Jeff Wissing
    Jeff Wissing Line Clearance Foreman, Holy Cross Energy, Class of 2017

    Jeff has lived in Glenwood Springs for 40 years and has been a utility arborist with Holy Cross Energy for 23 years. Working with trees and power lines has opened Jeff up to solution-based collaboration that can benefit both the consumer and the utility. Jeff has served on boards ranging from church relationship building to moderating groups of his peers at Holy Cross Energy. In addition to the development of his leadership skills, Jeff hoped RFL would help him gain a better understanding of issues facing the Roaring Fork Valley and the ability to better engage in those issues to find a solution.

  • Jim Gohery
    Jim Gohery Project Manager, Koru LTD, Class of 2017

    Jim went to the University of Delaware, graduating in 1990 with a major in Political Science and a minor in Construction Management. He is a volunteer Youth Athletic Coach for football, basketball, and lacrosse. Jim was looking forward to gathering new tools to help him navigate both his personal and professional life in a progressive and open-minded way. He was also excited about meeting new, driven, and open-minded people and expanding his network. He also hoped to gain increased confidence, compassion, and gratitude.

  • Jodi Surfas
    Jodi Surfas Hospitality Development Manager, Aspen Skiing Company, Class of 2017

    Jodi received a BS in Interior Design with a Minor in Spanish from Colorado State University and a MS in Construction Management with a focus in Real Estate Development from New York University. In New York, Jodi volunteered for the Free Arts Organization for ten years and was involved in the Young Professionals division of the Anti-Defamation League. She was interested in participating in RFL to gain a better understanding of the needs of the community as well as to meet and collaborate with other RF leaders. She hoped to grow her skills as a leader to not only further her career but to learn how to manage different types of people.

  • Joe Amato
    Joe Amato Banking Officer, Alpine Bank, Class of 2017

    Joe obtained his Bachelors in Finance from the University of Phoenix. He came to the Roaring Fork Valley in 2009 from the suburbs of Detroit, Michigan.  Since then he has volunteered with Aspen Junior Hockey as a peewee hockey coach. Joining RFL interested him because he would like to be more involved in the community by connecting with more people and being more diversified. He believed that RFL would help him develop his leadership skills and that he would learn new skills from his peers in the program.

  • Jonah Frank
    Jonah Frank Fleet Manager, Pitkin County, Class of 2017

    Jonah is an ASE Master Technician and has lived and worked in the Roaring Fork Valley for the last 16 years. He has moved his way up from a mechanic position to Fleet Manager for Pitkin County.  Jonah chose the Aspen area for its skiing and outdoor opportunities in the Rocky Mountains.  Jonah believed RFL was a great opportunity to learn new leadership techniques and collaborate with other professionals in the valley.

  • Jonathan Delk
    Jonathan Delk Snowboard Instructor & Trainer, Bike Pro, Website Systems Administrator & Content Developer, Aspen Skiing Company, Class of 2017

    Jonathan received his BA in Political Science and BA in Economics from The University of Colorado, Boulder. While living in Boulder, Jonathan spent time working and volunteering with the YMCA of Boulder Valley. He chased year-round winters in Queenstown, New Zealand and Aspen, Colorado from 2011-2014 before settling down in the Roaring Fork Valley. Currently, Jonathan spends his spare time as Head Coach and Team Director for a local high school mountain bike team. He has also started a local non-profit to support youth cycling. Having known so many people who have gone through RFL inspired him to sign up. In RFL, Jonathan hoped to develop stronger communication and collaboration skills and to be able to take ideas from vision to reality. 

  • Joni Keefe
    Joni Keefe RFL Class of 2017

    Joni has over 30 years of landscape design and horticulture expertise and has been trained in environmental programs and horticulture at the University of Florida and Disney, Orlando. In south Florida, she established a multi-division company that included three plant nurseries. Her successful career of design work has been featured numerous times in national publications, such as Florida Architecture. She continues to be passionate about the design and education of living spaces using the principles of “Biophilia”. In her previous community, Joni was involved in numerous organizations including the City of Vero Beach Landscape Review Board, Chamber of Commerce, and Big Brother Big Sister. Joni has been a full-time Aspen resident for six years, and writes a column in The Aspen Times called “Farms Finest.” Joni joined up with the RFL because she feels it is a valuable community asset.

  • Joshua House
    Joshua House Volunteer, The Center for Independence, Class of 2017

    Josh volunteers and works for the Center for Independence to promote community solutions and to empower individuals with disabilities to live independently. Josh’s previous work experience is tied to the hospitality and recreation industries. He is currently attending Colorado Mountain College. What interested Josh about participating in RFL, was the opportunity to redefine himself as an individual.

  • Lauren Whittaker
    Lauren Whittaker Owner & Chiropractor, Lux Wellness Center, Class of 2017

    Lauren is a Colorado State licensed and National Board Certified Chiropractor and is the owner of Chiropractor at Lux Wellness Center.  Lauren completed 4 years of undergraduate work at Penn State University where she majored in Human Development and Family Studies. She holds a Doctorate in Chiropractic from Life Chiropractic College West in Hayward, California. As a self-motivated and enthusiastic practitioner, Lauren was excited to be part of the RFL experience. She hoped RLF would cultivate her leadership, communication, and operational skills.

  • Lisa Sobke
    Lisa Sobke Restorative Justice Coordinator, YouthZone, Class of 2017

    Lisa graduated from Fort Lewis College with a Business Administration degree. She’s lived in the valley for more than 20 years and feels lucky to have raised 3 children here. Lisa volunteers for local schools, Race for the Cure and Rotary Club. Lisa has had a number of friends who have completed RFL and they all said that it was a life changing experience. She hoped to gain new leadership skills, build new relationships and give back to our community.

  • Meg Jefson
    Meg Jefson Front Office Manager, The Gant, Class of 2017
  • Meghan Lutterman
    Meghan Lutterman General Manager, Vacasa Vacation Rentals, Class of 2017

    Meghan studied Business and Marketing with a Minor in English Literature at John Carroll University in Cleveland, Ohio. She focused on Environmental Law at Vermont Law School and received her JD from the University of Wyoming in Laramie. Meghan has served as a volunteer for  the City of Steamboat Springs, the Northwest Colorado Bar Association, the University of Wyoming School of Law, Routt County United Way, and National Public Lands. Meghan hoped to become a more effective manager, to get more involved locally, and challenge herself through her RFL experience.

  • Meghan Pearlman
    Meghan Pearlman Development Director, Buddy Program, Class of 2017

    Meghan has been fortunate to call the Roaring Fork Valley home for 15 years.  Having grown up in Wisconsin, Meghan graduated from the University of Wisconsin, Madison with a BA in Journalism.  Originally arriving in the Roaring Fork Valley to ski for a winter, Meghan immediately realized that she was home, and feels fortunate to combine making a positive impact in her community with a career in nonprofit work at organizations like Whitcomb Terrace, Anderson Ranch Arts Center, Aspen Community Foundation, and now the Buddy Program. Meghan was excited to participate in RFL to cultivate her leadership skills and meet people who are also passionate about making a positive difference

  • Melissa Knight
    Melissa Knight Talent Acquisition & Retention Analyst, Pitkin County, Class of 2017

    Melissa studied Psychology at the University of Vermont and then received a Master’s in Education from Colorado State University in Organization Performance and Change. She wanted to combine her love of skiing with a career in human resources and in 2007 moved to the valley and worked for Aspen Skiing Company. After leaving the area for a couple years, she moved back to work in the human resources department at Pitkin County. She was looking forward to participating in RFL to grow her leadership skills, meet new people in the valley, and share her experience with other employees at Pitkin County.

  • Miah Wheeler
    Miah Wheeler Snowboard Program Director, AVSC, Class of 2017

    Miah has a BS in Psychology with a focus on statistics from Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado. He enjoys biking, fly fishing and spending time with his family. Miah is currently the Director of Snowboarding for Aspen Valley Ski and Snowboard Club. He uses his connection with sports as a gateway to influence youth locally and nationally. He has served on the United States of America Snowboard Association Executive Board as well as hosting Snowboard and Free Skiing events locally. Miah’s objective with Roaring Fork Leadership was to gain new techniques and strategies to enhance communication channels and broaden his model of thinking.

  • Nannette Weinhold
    Nannette Weinhold Educator, Class of 2017

    Nannette has a MA in teaching from Lewis and Clark College and a MA in Contemplative Education from Naropa University. She is currently a PhD candidate in Somatic and Spiritual Psychology at the International University of Professional Studies. Nannette is a long time public school educator. Through RFL she wanted to build her communication and public speaking skills, develop a contemplative leadership style, and learn from and network with other leaders in the community. Also, she hoped RFL would help her move into a new career helping others and offering an alternative learning experience for young people that emphasizes the development of social and emotional skills. Finally, Nannette believed RLF would ignite her courage and confidence to step forward.

  • Nate Kneifel
    Nate Kneifel IT Customer Support Manager, Pitkin County, Class of 2017

    Nate studied computer science at Purdue University. He has served as an annual volunteer committee chair for Food & Wine. He was also volunteered with Aspen Youth Experience, Summit for Life, and Susan B. Komen. Nate was interested in RFL because he has many friends and colleagues that are RFL alumni and praised the program. He hoped that it will benefit him both personally and professionally.

  • Pam Gabel
    Pam Gabel Sales Manager, APCHA, Class of 2017

    Pam received her Bachelor’s degree from the University of Iowa.  She later attended Scherer’s Academy of Natural Healing (now known as Santa Fe School of Massage).  Most of her volunteer work has been one on one with individuals.  Pam’s interest in Roaring Fork Leadership was mostly a result of feedback and encouragement from other RFL graduates – one graduate in particular, whose communication and listening skills she found very impressive.  She was also intrigued by other RFL graduates’ feedback re: life balance, time management, self-discovery, and self-knowledge, and was excited to see where RFL would lead her.

  • Rio Crandall
    Rio Crandall Project Manager, Good Earth Landscaping & Maintenance, Class of 2017

    Born and raised in the Roaring Fork Valley. Rio received a BA in Communication Studies from Chapman University in Orange, CA. She was in the Delta Gamma Fraternity and was the Director of Alumni Relations for a semester. Rio was interested in participating in RFL for self-growth and getting involved in the community via the civic project. She was also looking to gain a sense of community and to be surrounded by individuals who are interested in growing personally and professionally and in helping their community.

  • Ryan Austin
    Ryan Austin Director of Email Marketing, Bluetent, Class of 2017

    Ryan grew up in Fort Collins and attended Front Range Community College. He moved to Carbondale in 2001 to manage Construction Junction and fell in love with the community. He has volunteered for Carbondale Mt. Fair, KDNK, Steve’s Guitars, Food Co-op, and his neighborhood HOA. Turning his focus to digital marketing, he attended Colorado Mountain College and joined the Bluetent family in 2006 as the Director of Email Marketing. He hoped RLF would teach him new leadership tools and techniques for helping others grow as leaders. He was excited for the opportunity to connect with others and grow his volunteer opportunities in the Roaring Fork Valley.

  • Steven May
    Steven May Project Manager, CAD Manager, Forum Phi Architecture, Class of 2017
  • Tim Thompson
    Tim Thompson Project Manager, City of Aspen, Class of 2017

    Tim attended the University of Oklahoma and received a BA in Entrepreneurship Management and Finance in 2006 and a MS in Construction Science in 2009.  Tim also graduated from the Acton School of Business Journey Program in 2012. What interested Tim about RFL was the curriculum and the focus on personal change. In particular, focusing on critiquing and analyzing yourself to find your opportunities for improvement. It requires that you find your core beliefs and attitudes and re-focus them to become a leader by truly finding yourself.  Connections, networking, business, and all other areas will grow because you work to become a better individual. Tim wished to increase his emotional connection and empathetic understanding through RFL. He believed this would benefit his career and personal life.

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