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North Regional Council

Focus Area

The North Regional Council recently concluded its fifth year supporting youth mental health. The focus has included recommended funding to SummitStone Health Partners and North Range Behavioral Health to hire four full-time mental health clinicians to work in seven schools, as well as prevention efforts for youth. In the first three years, these clinicians worked with more than 580 youth providing almost 6,500 direct service hours. The Council is currently exploring additional ways to have impact in the region.
Serving Boulder, Larimer, Weld Counties

Click to enlarge the map.

Region Facts
Population
1,032,697
Major Cities
Boulder, Fort Collins, Loveland, Greeley
Median Household Income
$84,611
Unemployment Rate
3.3%
High School Graduation Rate
88.7%
Industries
Agriculture, education, healthcare, manufacturing, energy development (including oil, natural gas, and wind)

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

Nechie Hall Vice Chair, El Pomar Foundation
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Nechie Hall founded Vladimir Jones, Colorado’s third-largest woman-owned business and one of the state’s oldest and largest strategic marketing, advertising and public relations firms. Nechie has served as the company’s President and Chief Executive Officer and is currently Chairman of the Board. In 2003, her firm was honored by El Pomar Foundation as the first recipient of the Corporate Philanthropy Award.

Nechie has served the community in numerous ways including serving on almost 25 boards. Nechie was the Interim Chief Executive Officer of the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center in 2014. She was the first woman to be recognized as the Chamber Business Citizen of the Year and in 2014 was named the Business Leader for the Arts recipient by COPPeR, the Cultural Office of the Pikes Peak Region. Nechie recently retired after 18 years as a Trustee of the Myron Stratton Foundation. She has served on the boards of CASA, Goodwill, Pioneers Museum, St. Francis Foundation, founding Board of the Sports Corporation, the Colorado Springs Economic Development Corporation, Colorado Springs Chamber of Commerce and the University of Colorado at Denver Health Sciences Center Board for Bioethics and Humanities, to name a few. Additionally, she served in numerous leadership roles on committees to enhance and build the presence of the United States Olympic Committee in Colorado. She is currently a member of the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center Board of Trustees.

Nechie has served as a Trustee of El Pomar Foundation since 2015.

Erik Estrada Trustee, El Pomar Foundation
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Erik Estrada serves as Senior Associate at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati and resides in Boulder, Colorado. Mr. Estrada practices corporate and securities law with a focus on corporate governance, public company representation, public offerings, and mergers and acquisitions. He has extensive in-house counsel and senior leadership experience with Nasdaq-listed and Fortune 500 companies and in private law firm practice. Prior to law school, he served as a Program Officer for Boettcher Foundation and as a Fellow with El Pomar Foundation. Mr. Estrada serves or has served on numerous community, civic and state boards. He earned a bachelor’s degree from University of Colorado Boulder, where he was named a Presidents Leadership Class (PLC) Scholar, and a Master of Public Administration from University of Colorado Denver School of Public Affairs, where he received the Outstanding Student Award. He earned a Juris Doctor from University of Denver College of Law, where he was named a Chancellor’s Scholar, and a Master of Laws from the Boston University School of Law, where he graduated with honors.

Mike Bond Chief Operating Officer, Weld Trust
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Mike Bond is the Chief Operating Officer of the Weld Trust, overseeing grantmaking activities and development at the organization. Mike has more than 30 years of banking experience in Greeley and has served on several local boards including the Weld Trust and United Way of Weld County.

Kathay Rennels Special Advisor to the Chancellor for Rural-Urban Initiatives, Colorado State University System
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Kathay Rennels is Special Advisor to the Chancellor for Rural-Urban Initiatives at the Colorado State University System. As a former county commissioner and state board representative, she has significant experience fostering public and private partnerships in regional and workforce development. Kathay is currently a member of the Northern Colorado Economic Development Council. She also works closely with the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade on the Governors’ Blueprint and is the co-lead for the Food and Agriculture Industry Concentration.

Adam Shake Former President & CEO of the Estes Park Economic Development Corporation
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Adam Shake is the former President/CEO of the Estes Park Economic Development Corporation, a role he held since 2020. Adam served nearly 15 years in the U.S. Army, completing tours in Desert Storm, Desert Shield, CONUS, Panama, Somalia, Bosnia and Europe. Prior to his role at the EDC, he served as the Department of Homeland Security Transportation Security Agency Program Director. He has also founded environmental media and news websites including Simple Earth Media and Twilight Earth. Since his arrival in Estes Park, Adam has served on the boards of Visit Estes Park, Estes Valley Partners for Commerce, the Rocky Mountain Performing Arts Center and Flinch Forward.

Laurie Stolen Former Behavioral Health Services Director, Larimer County
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Laurie Stolen is formerly the Behavioral Health Services Director for Larimer County. She has been with Larimer County for more than 21 years. She has been a returning guest lecturer at CSU, a member of several nonprofit boards, published in professional journals and trained in organizational development. From 2010-2018, she was the Director of the Alternative Sentencing Department with Larimer County Criminal Justice Services. She worked for the Larimer County Sheriff’s Office, Jail Division for 12 years prior to that. Laurie holds a bachelor’s degree from Colorado State University and her master’s degree from University of Northern Colorado. She has been extensively involved in contract administration, program development and re-entry initiatives and is an advocate for improving behavioral health across the region. In her free time, Laurie enjoys time with her family, playing golf and traveling.

Jeannine Truswell Former President & CEO, United Way of Weld County
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Jeannine Truswell has over 40 years’ experience in non-profit management. She was the President & CEO of United Way of Weld County from 1986 to 2022. Prior, Ms. Truswell was the Executive Director for Weld County Partners and owned and operated a private child care business for children 3 - 12 years old. She has a bachelor’s degree in both elementary education and special education. She has hundreds of hours of course work and training in business and nonprofit management. Ms. Truswell lead a successful $4 million non-profit organization employing more than 30 people. She is responsible for overall supervision including resource development, resource investment, financial management, volunteer management, marketing and communications, program development and community building.

Ms. Truswell is an active volunteer and has served on several local, regional, and statewide community boards and committees including the Colorado Nonprofit Association, Colorado Children’s Campaign, and Colorado Victims Assistance Committee.

Dave Young Colorado State Treasurer
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Dave Young serves as the Colorado State Treasurer. He previously represented House District 50 in Greeley, Evans and Garden City and was a member of the Colorado General Assembly Joint Budget Committee. Prior to being elected to the Colorado Legislature, Dave was a senior instructor for the information and learning technologies program at the University of Colorado Denver and taught math and technology in the Greeley Weld 6 School District before that.

A lifelong Coloradan, Dave earned his master’s degree in information and learning technologies from the University of Colorado Denver in 2000 and his bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Colorado State University in 1975.

Erica Oakley-Courage Associate Vice President of Grants, El Pomar Foundation
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Erica Oakley-Courage serves as the Associate Vice President of Grants at El Pomar Foundation, managing the operations of the grants department.

Prior to El Pomar, Erica worked for more than six years as a development officer with the Palmer Land Conservancy and the Colorado Springs office of the American Heart Association. The Seattle-area native earned a Bachelor’s degree from Western Washington University in Journalism/Public Relations and a Master’s degree in Public Administration and Certificate in Nonprofit Management at the University of Colorado Colorado Springs. She spent six years doing media relations in professional sports before transferring to the non-profit sector.

Erica was a member of the Institute for Leaders in Development’s Class of 2017, participated in the Community Leadership Program in June 2021, and was a member of the Mayor’s Civic Leaders Fellowship Class of 2023. She has served on multiple boards and volunteered for several organizations in the Pikes Peak Region including Peak Vista Community Health Centers, Girl Scouts of Colorado, and the Colorado Springs Osteopathic Foundation. Currently, Erica is on the Board of the Cultural Office of the Pikes Peak Region (COPPer). In 2016, she was recognized as the Association of Fundraising Professionals Southern Colorado Outstanding Emerging Fundraiser, and in 2018 she was named a Rising Star by the Colorado Springs Business Journal.

Hayes Witherow Program Associate, El Pomar Foundation
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Hayes Witherow joined El Pomar Foundation as a member of the 2023 Fellowship class. As a 1st Year Fellow, Hayes serves as Program Associate for Alumni Relations, Communications, the Internship, and Regional Partnerships. He also supports the North Region.

Hayes grew up in Colorado Springs and graduated from the University of Colorado, Boulder in 2023 with a degree in Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology, with a focus in Public Health. While in Boulder, Hayes worked with the Boulder County Public Health Department and several local non-profits to learn about the unique challenges facing Colorado communities. During this time, he shadowed members of the health department in their efforts to increase youth vaccination rates through free vaccine clinics and education. Hayes also studied a species of virus called bacteriophage and presented his findings of a newly isolated strain at the 2020 CURE Symposium on Boulder’s campus. In the future, Hayes plans to return to school for an M.D./Ph.D. program to contribute to the betterment of Coloradans’ health access and outcomes. In his free time, Hayes enjoys skiing, rock climbing, camping, or anything else to spend time outdoors.

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.