High Country Region

Counties:  Clear Creek, Eagle, Lake, Pitkin, Summit 

Cities:  Aspen, Frisco, Idaho Springs, Leadville, Vail

The High Country Council remains committed to supporting the region’s middle school youth. In 2019, the Council recommended multi-year grants totaling $1 million to five organizations supporting at-risk middle school youth in the region. The organizations are: Mountain Youth Network (Clear Creek County), Mountain Youth (Eagle County), Full Circle of Lake County (Lake County); Aspen Family Connections (Pitkin County), and the Summit Pre-Collegiate Program (Summit County).

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Meet Our Regional Council Members

Dave Palenchar was raised in southern California and first came to Colorado to attend the United States Air Force Academy. After a career in the Air Force, he returned to Colorado and joined the El Pomar program staff. In 2007, Dave was recognized as the Colorado Springs Business Citizen of the Year by the (then) Greater Colorado Springs Chamber of Commerce. He retired as El Pomar’s Chief Operating Officer in 2013.

He currently serves as President and Chief Executive Officer of the Broadmoor World Arena and the Pikes Peak Center for the Performing Arts, Chairman of the Colorado Springs Sports Corporation, President of the Air Force Academy Foundation and is a Board Member for the Great Outdoors Colorado Trust Fund and the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association Hall of Fame.

Dave Palenchar

Trustee, El Pomar Foundation

Katie Baldassar is the Executive Director of Lake County Build a Generation. Prior to taking this position, Katie taught for Leadville’s High Mountain Institute and Colorado Mountain College, as well as the East Bay Conservation Corps, the Coloma Outdoor Discovery School, California Poets in the Schools and the University of California at Davis. In years past, she has also been employed as a reporter, grant writer, poetry translator, research assistant, trail crew supervisor, river camp caretaker, chainsaw instructor, editor and backpacking trip leader. Katie has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Notre Dame, a master’s from the University of California at Davis, and is an educational specialist candidate at the University of Northern Colorado. When she isn’t working or volunteering, Katie can be found trail running, cross-country skiing, mountain biking, and hanging out with her daughters Isabella and Molly, and husband Andy.

Katie Baldassar

Executive Director, Lake County Build a Generation

Kristi Ferraro is a real estate and business lawyer with her own practice in Avon, Colorado. Kristi serves on the Board of Excellence Committee of the Vail Valley Foundation. Kristi was a Board Member of the Vail Mountain School from 2010 to 2017. She was elected to the Avon Town Council in 2004 and 2008, and served as Mayor Pro Tem of Avon from 2010 to 2012. Kristi has previously served on the Northwest Colorado Council of Governments, the Upper Eagle Regional Water Authority and Bravo! Vail. Kristi also served as Chairman of the Board of the Early Childhood Learning Center and as President of the Pitkin County Bar Association.

Kristi graduated from the University of Colorado with a bachelor's degree in business and from the University of California Berkeley with a juris doctor.

Kristi Ferraro

Attorney, Kristi Ferraro, LLC

Millie Hamner is Senior Policy Director at Keystone Policy Center. She joined Keystone after serving as a Colorado State Representative from 2011-2018. During this time period, she earned statewide respect for her bipartisan chairmanship of the House Education Committee and the Joint Budget Committee. As one of the prime sponsors of the original READ Act in 2012 and, as a leader in the implementation of the education vision work with the ELC in 2017, Millie is uniquely poised to provide leadership for the next steps of these critical efforts. Millie’s work in public education in Colorado from 1978-2011 as a teacher, school and district leader, and superintendent of schools provides the experiential background needed to engage communities and stakeholders in the development of a world-class education system. Millie earned a doctorate in education leadership from the University of Denver in 1996. She also holds a master's and a bachelor's degree in Elementary Education.

The Honorable Millie Hamner

Senior Policy Director, Keystone Policy Center

Tim Mauck served two terms as Clear Creek County Commissioner from 2010 - 2019. As commissioner, he focused on health care, enhancing Clear Creek's recreation and tourism, and working to bring about sensible transportation improvements along the Interstate 70 Mountain Corridor. During his time as commissioner, Clear Creek County established a community health clinic, local transit service and housing authority.

A Denver native, Tim received a bachelor's in political science from Catholic University of America in Washington, DC and has worked in various capacities of federal, state and local governments.

Tim is passionate about the outdoors and spends his free time hunting and angling, and serving as Chair of the Clear Creek Greenway Authority working to develop a recreational trail to the Continental Divide.
He currently serves as the Deputy Director for the Colorado Department of Natural Resources.

Tim Mauck

Deputy Director, Colorado Department of Natural Resources

As President and CEO, Christine is responsible for the overall management and policy work of the Keystone Policy Center. Her primary responsibilities include developing new policy and program work, fundraising, and working with the senior management team and Board of Trustees on the overall operations and management of the organization. Christine is a well-respected leader in education policy and a seasoned facilitator with extensive public policy experience at the state and national levels. Her work includes broad-based and widely respected projects, including the Colorado Oil and Gas Task Force’s work from 2014 to 2015 finding collaborative ways to balance oil and gas development — one of the most important economic drivers in Colorado — and private mineral right holders’ interests with local residents, public health officials, and conservationists’ concerns. Christine also has led projects aimed at helping states better prepare teachers for success in the classroom, the Licensing Educators for Academic Development (LEAD) Compact and worked with the states of Massachusetts and Louisiana on teacher licensure and preparation.

Christine Scanlan

President and CEO, Keystone Policy Center

Tamara Tormohlen has served as Executive Director of Aspen Community Foundation since 2005 having joined the organization in 2001. Aspen Community Foundation is in its 38th year of building philanthropy and supporting nonprofits in the Roaring Fork and Colorado River valleys, an 80-mile corridor connected by 12 communities from Aspen to Parachute, Colorado. Tamara launched the Aspen to Parachute Cradle to Career Initiative which gathers nonprofits, schools, governments, civic groups, businesses and philanthropy to implement collaborative and innovative ways of working together to measurably increase youth success across our region. She lives in Basalt.

Tamara Tormohlen

Executive Director, Aspen Community Foundation

Senior Staff, High Country Regional Council

Contact Maureen:

Maureen Lawrence

Senior Vice President & General Counsel, El Pomar Foundation

Contact Hannah Grace:

Hannah Grace Bauman

Program Associate, El Pomar Foundation

Contact Adelita:

Adelita Aguirre

Program Associate, El Pomar Foundation