Central Peaks Region

Counties:  Chaffee, Custer, Fremont, Park

Cities: Buena Vista, Canon City, Fairplay, Salida, Westcliffe

The Central Peaks Regional Council has identified early childhood education and development as their focus area.  Since inception in 2006, the Council has been interested in supporting youth throughout the four-county region in a variety of ways, from improving access to dental care to providing annual support to the regional Boys & Girls Clubs.   Since March of 2014, the Council has provided almost $200,000 to the Chaffee, Fremont, and Teller/Park Early Childhood Councils, all three councils focus on early childhood development and connecting families and children to resources. The grant assists the three organizations in their efforts to create a regional consortium tasked with addressing school readiness and social-emotional development. The grant also helped Chaffee County Early Childhood Council to hire a Child Mental Health Specialist that is available to the entire region.

Grant Highlight In July of 2015, the Regional Council approved a $20,000 grant to Colorado Mission of Mercy. The grant supported the rental of dental equipment and purchase of dental supplies for a large scale dental clinic held annually in Colorado. With the help of volunteer dentists, hygienists, assistants, and lab technicians, Colorado Mission of Mercy set up a 125 dental chair clinic at the Harrison School in Cañon City. Patients had access to health and dental evaluations, cleanings, fillings, root canals, extractions, ceramic crowns, interim partial dentures, and interim complete dentures.
Council Member Log In Central Peaks-Royal Gorge.jpg

Meet Our Regional Council Members

Kyle Hybl is Chief Operating Officer and General Counsel for El Pomar Foundation and General Counsel for The BROADMOOR Hotel, Inc. and The Garden City Company. In 2012, Kyle was elected to serve a second six-year term on the board of regents for the University of Colorado System. He served as chairman of the board of regents from 2010-2012 and from 2014-2016. Kyle currently serves as chairman of Police Foundation of Colorado Springs and serves on the board of directors and as corporate secretary for Junior Achievement USA. He also serves on the board of directors for Hundred Club of Colorado Springs, Air Force Academy Foundation, Mountain States Employers Council, American Council of Young Political Leaders, and Broadmoor World Arena. Recently, he was appointed to the National Cybersecurity Center board of directors and is a member of the Cyber Institute Board of Advisors.

Kyle earned a Bachelor of Arts and juris doctor from the University of Colorado Boulder. He is a former Air Force captain and judge advocate.

Kyle H. Hybl

Chief Operating Officer, General Counsel and Trustee, El Pomar Foundation

General Gene Renuart, USAF (Ret.) culminated a 39 year Air Force career as Commander, NORAD and US Northern Command. In this last role, he was responsible for providing for the Homeland Defense and Defense Support to Civilian Authorities for the United States. He previously served as senior military assistant for both Secretaries Rumsfeld and Gates. General Renuart serves both locally and nationally as director, The Griffon Corporation; as chairman of the Board of Directors, TIMCO Line Services, LLC; as director of Capco Inc; as director of Indiana Energy Systems Network; as chairman, Memorial Hospital Board, University of Colorado Health; and as president of the 77th Annual Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo Board. General Renuart is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

General Gene Renuart, USAF (Ret.)


Debi Blackwell grew up in a ranching/farming community in the Texas Panhandle, lived in Riverton, WY for a decade, and settled in Cañon City in 1989. She has a bachelor’s degree in speech pathology & audiology and a master’s degree in special education from Texas Tech University. She obtained an education specialist degree in the School of Administration from the University of Wyoming. As an educator for 34 years, she has served on the Fremont County Early Childhood Health & Education Board since 1999, was co-chair for the Colorado Special Education Advisory Council to the State Board of Education, and served as the regional representative to the Special Education Consortium which advised Colorado state legislators.

Debi Blackwell

Former School District Administrator, Cañon City School District

Charlie Forster is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Collegiate Peaks Bank in Salida and Buena Vista. In addition to seven years of service to El Pomar's Central Peaks Regional Council, Charlie is currently the president of the Heart of the Rockies Regional Medical Center Foundation and previously served as the chairman of the Colorado Mountain College Foundation. In 2004, he was recognized for his efforts by National Philanthropy Day in Colorado as the Outstanding Volunteer Fundraiser.

Charlie earned a bachelor’s degree in business from the University of Denver.

Charlie Forster

Chairman and CEO, Collegiate Peaks Bank

Kevin Grantham grew up in Crowley County. In 1996, he and his family came back to Ordway, Colorado, where he began working in real estate sales and appraisals. He moved to Cañon City in 1998 and continues his work in appraisals with his brother Gary at Grantham Appraisal Service. Between 2005 and 2006, Kevin served on the Cañon City Board of Adjustments, and in 2007 he served as the committee’s chair. That year, he was elected to one of the at-large seats on the city council where he served until 2010. Also from 2007-2010, he served as the chairman of the Fremont County Republican Central Committee. In November 2010 Kevin was elected to the Colorado State Senate, where he continues to serve as a Colorado State Senator for District 2 and the Senate President.

Kevin Grantham

Colorado State Senate President

Jim Little is Owner and Publisher of the Wet Mountain Tribune, a weekly newspaper serving Custer County. An active member of the community, Jim is a founding member and current president of the Wet Mountain Valley Community Foundation, past president of the West Custer County Library District, former director of Custer County Chamber of Commerce, and past president of Fremont-Custer Historical Society. A member of one of Colorado’s earliest families, Jim was born in Cañon City and attended Colorado Mountain College. He has been a resident of Wetmore since 1975.

Jim Little

Owner and Publisher, Wet Mountain Tribune

Judy Lohnes is the Executive Director of the Upper Arkansas Area Council of Governments in Cañon City. During her 36-year tenure, including 22 years as executive director, Judy has led numerous collaborative efforts in human services throughout Fremont, Chaffee, Lake and Custer counties. She is currently facilitating the Colorado Blueprint and Sectors Launch Initiative for the region. She recently facilitated a regional broadband strategic plan process for a five county region. In addition to her professional efforts, Judy serves as the secretary of the Boys & Girls Club of Fremont County. She serves on the board of directors for SolVista Health, Fremont Economic Development Corporation, Southern Colorado Economic Development District, and the Community Board for St. Thomas More Hospital.

Judy Lohnes

Executive Director, Upper Arkansas Area Council of Governments

Lee Phillips founded the law firm Hayes, Phillips, Hoffmann & Carberry in 1985, which specializes in local government law. He built his home outside of Alma in 1995 and opened the Fairplay office of the firm in 2005. His current clients include the Towns of Alma and Fairplay, the City of Cripple Creek and Park County, where he serves as county attorney. The firm also represents the town of Buena Vista. Lee has provided pro bono legal services to many organizations and individuals in the Park County area including the Senior Coalition, The Alma Foundation, the South Park Schools Foundation, and the South Park Economic Council.

Herbert C. "Lee" Phillips

Attorney, The Philips Law Offices

Sheri Trahern is the Chief Executive Officer at St. Thomas More Hospital in Cañon City, part of Centura Health Network. Sheri is also a certified public accountant, a member of the Healthcare Financial Management Association, and is a fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives. Active in the community, Sheri is a board member of the Cañon City Chamber of Commerce, the Fremont County Economic Development Corporation, and Pueblo Community College Advisory Board–Fremont Campus.

Sheri’s education includes a Bachelor of Science from the University of Southern Colorado (now Colorado State University-Pueblo), and a master's degree in business administration, finance and accounting from Regis University.

Sheri Trahern

Chief Executive Officer, St. Thomas More Hospital

Senior Staff Member, Central Peaks Regional Council

Contact Lisa:

Lisa Carlson

Registered Investment Specialist, El Pomar Foundation

Contact James:

James Lonergan

Program Associate, El Pomar Foundation

Contact Devon:

Devon Seymour

Program Associate, El Pomar Foundation