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Central Peaks Regional Council

Focus Area

The Central Peaks Regional Council recently shifted its focus from affordable housing to youth mental health and resiliency. Recent examples of the Council’s support include recommending funding for an after-school intervention and enrichment program, continued funding towards Boys and Girls Clubs, support of Rocky Mountain Rural Health, and support for a mental health collaborative that meets clients’ behavioral health needs regardless of ability to pay. The Council continues to explore additional opportunities to fund mental health efforts and resiliency initiatives.
Serving Chaffee, Custer, Fremont, Park Counties

Click to enlarge the map.

Region Facts
Population
90,541
Major Cities
Buena Vista, Cañon City, Fairplay, Salida, Westcliffe
Median Household Income
$61,722
Unemployment Rate
4.2%
High School Graduation Rate
84.4%
Industries
Recreation and tourism, retail trade, government (including nine state prisons and a four-facility federal prison), construction

Data is sourced from the KidsCount! Database and the US Census Bureau.

Meet Our Regional Council Members

Along with council members, regional councils are supported by El Pomar Trustees, staff, and Fellows

Kyle H. Hybl President & Chief Executive Officer, El Pomar Foundation
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Kyle Hybl currently serves as President and Chief Executive Officer for El Pomar Foundation and Vice President of The Garden City Company. Kyle is Chairman Emeritus of the University of Colorado System, a board he served on from 2007-2018. Kyle currently serves as Chairman of National Cybersecurity Center, Corporate Secretary for Junior Achievement, USA and on the boards of American Council of Young Political Leaders, Employers Council, and Exponential Impact. In 2018, Kyle was appointed as a member of the Air Force Civic Leaders Program.
Kyle earned bachelor's and juris doctor degrees from the University of Colorado, Boulder. He is a former Air Force Captain and Judge Advocate.

Mike Edmonds, Ph.D. Trustee, El Pomar Foundation
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Mike Edmonds retired as Senior Vice President of Staff at Colorado College in spring 2023, following a 32-year career with the institution. He also served as CC’s Acting Co-President for the 2020-2021 academic year and as Dean of Students/Vice President for Student Affairs from 1991-2020. Dr. Edmonds is an executive in residence at CC’s Economics and Business Department where he teaches Business Communications. Highly engaged in community, he has served on more than 25 civic and nonprofit boards, committees, and commissions.

He holds a bachelor of arts, master’s, and doctorate from University of Mississippi, where he was inducted as a Hall of Fame graduate in 1984, and inducted into its School of Education Hall of Fame in 2019. He was also inducted into the National Speech and Debate Hall of Fame in 2019. He completed a post-graduate institute at Harvard University, and is a graduate of the Center for Creative Leadership.

Greg Felt County Commissioner, Chaffee County
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A fly-fishing guide and outfitter on the Arkansas River since 1985, Greg Felt’s route to public service began with water. In advocating at the state level for the Arkansas River Voluntary Flow Management Program and for protecting the Right to Float, he grasped both the tenuous nature of non-consumptive beneficial use of water and its essential value to Colorado’s quality of life. Acting on this belief, he was appointed to the Upper Arkansas Water Conservancy District board in 2006, the Southeastern Colorado Water Conservancy District board in 2017, and was appointed Arkansas Basin Representative to the Colorado Water Conservation Board by Governor Polis in 2020. Along the way, he was elected Chaffee County Commissioner in 2016 and was reelected without opposition in 2020. Since 2019, he has served as Chairman of the Board of Commissioners and of the county Board of Health, a normally low-key position that took on weighty significance in March of 2020. He has a daughter, Kestrel (27) and son, Rowen (24) and resides in Salida with his wife, Susan.

April-Dawn Knudsen Executive Director, Summit Habitat for Humanity; Owner & Consultant, Knudsen Coaching & Consulting
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April-Dawn Knudsen has lived, served, and worked across rural Colorado since 2008, and is proud to call Park County home. She finds beauty in the transformational opportunities that come with seasons of transition. Employing this skill, she equips and empowers leaders, companies, communities, and individuals experiencing or exploring transition. As a Nonprofit Executive for over a decade, she has guided board development, change management, dissolution & growth, assessments, strategic visioning, action planning, hiring, complex problem solving and strategic development across systems. Ms. Knudsen holds a M.S. in Community Development; is currently the Executive Director with Summit Habitat for Humanity and established Knudsen Coaching & Consulting in 2012. She also serves on the Colorado Habitat for Humanity Government Relations Committee and is a Board Member with the South Park Ambulance District.

Brian Konty Financial Consultant, Konty Financial Services
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Brian Konty, a lifelong Cañon City resident, embodies the spirit of community service. For 21 years, Brian has led a successful career in Financial Services, guiding clients towards their financial goals. Brian's devotion to his hometown is evident through his active involvement in various boards over the past 25 years, including Loaves and Fishes Ministries, St. Thomas More Hospital Community Board, CCHS Band Boosters, Trout Unlimited, and the Royal Gorge Chamber Alliance.

Married for 28 years to his high school sweetheart, Brian cherishes family values. He is a loving father to two children, Makenzie and Tyler. Brian's commitment to his community has brought him to serve on a regional council for El Pomar Foundation. His dedication to Cañon City and its residents remains unwavering as he continues to make a positive impact on his cherished hometown.

Wendell Pryor Former Director, Chaffee County Economic Development Corporation
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Wendell Pryor retired as the Director of the Chaffee County Economic Development Corporation on June 30, 2021 after 12 years. He has been an Adjunct Professor/Lecturer with the University of Colorado School of Public Affairs for over 20 years, and Senior Fellow for Diversity and Inclusion. He also taught in the Graduate School of Public and Business Administration at California State University in San Bernardino. He retired as the State of Colorado Civil Rights Director, is a former lobbyist, and a social entrepreneur. He served as the Chair of the Foundation Board (now Next 50) and a member of the Board of Directors for Innovage, a senior care organization. He was appointed by Governor Hickenlooper as a Trustee for Adams State Colorado University and Board member on the Colorado Opportunity Scholarship Initiative, and currently serves as a Governor Polis appointee on the Colorado Economic Development Commission. He served as the Human Resources Director for the City and County of San Francisco, City of Oakland, California, City of Riverside, California, City of Aurora, Colorado, and Acting Director of the Denver Career Service Authority. He was Co-Chair of the Administration Transition Team under Governor Elect Ritter. He has a law degree from the University of Denver, Masters in Public Administration from the University of Colorado, and undergraduate degree in Psychology from Western State Colorado University.

Trenton Stafford Chief Lending Officer and Colorado Market President, Kirkpatrick Bank
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Trenton Stafford joined Kirkpatrick Bank in October, 2012. He has over 19 years experience in commercial banking. His previous banking career was with Bank of Albuquerque in New Mexico and Colorado State Bank and Trust in Denver, Colorado, where he was senior vice president and head of the commercial real estate group.

Stafford, who holds a dual degree in finance and commercial bank management from Oklahoma State University, left the banking profession in 2007 to work with a client, Hunt Development Group out of El Paso, Texas. As the real estate market wound down over 2009, Stafford made investments in several small businesses in Southern Colorado, which he continues to support today and relocated to Westcliffe, Colorado with his wife Pepper and two boys, Ben and Sam.

Stafford serves on the Central Peaks Regional Council, Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center Foundation Board, Deacon Board of the Sangre de Cristo Cowboy Church, Custer County Head Boys Basketball Coach and much more. Under his direction, Kirkpatrick Bank is very involved in their various communities across the Front Range, supporting many significant non-profits dedicated to serving seniors, children, Veterans, and cultural organizations.

Elaine Martinez Chief Financial Officer, El Pomar Foundation
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Elaine Martinez serves as Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer of El Pomar Foundation, bringing more than 39 years of professional experience in financial management and operations. Before joining El Pomar in 2015, Elaine was chief financial officer of a privately-held corporate branding firm, Vice President of Finance and Administration for Goodwill Industries of Denver, and a financial executive in both for-profit and nonprofit health care companies.

In addition to overseeing El Pomar’s financial operations, Elaine provides oversight to its information technology, serves as the senior staff member for the Central Peaks region, and teaches classes on financial leadership with the Fellowship program.

Elaine holds a bachelor’s degree in accountancy from Northern Arizona University and has been a certified public accountant since 1982.

Noelle Paiement Program Associate, El Pomar Foundation
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Noelle Paiement joined El Pomar Foundation as a member of the 2023 Fellowship class. As a 1st Year Fellow, Noelle serves as Program Associate for Fellowship Alumni Relations, Forum for Civic Advancement, and Sally Beck Fund. She also supports the Northwest and Central Peaks regions.

Noelle is a Colorado Springs native. She graduated from Colorado Mesa University in 2023 with a Bachelor’s in Business Administration and a concentration in Hospitality Management. During college, she interned for the Grand Valley Equine Assisted Learning Center and was tasked with planning and executing several fundraising initiatives. She also served as Vice President of the Student Ambassador Program where she oversaw a program of 30 students while supporting the efforts of the CMU Admissions Office and helping prospective students find their next steps. In addition, Noelle studied abroad in Cordoba, Spain for a month and a half, where she practiced Spanish, lived like a local, and experienced other cultures throughout Europe.

In her free time, Noelle loves skiing, hiking, playing pick-up volleyball, thrifting, and binge-watching Friends or Seinfeld.

More on grant making

Grant Making

Beyond Regional Partnerships, El Pomar contributes over $25 million to nonprofits and government equivalents across Colorado through our grant making efforts each year. We have a broad grant making scope with greatest focus in the areas of arts & culture, civic and community initiatives, education, health, and human services.

Regional Partnerships

More than 70 leaders from across Colorado serve on El Pomar’s 11 regional councils, which identify and address local needs in their communities. Since 2003, the councils have recommended grants totaling more than $25 million.