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Northwest Regional Council

Focus Area

The Northwest Regional Council is focusing their funding recommendations in support of two priorities: economic development/coal transition and youth well-being/mental health. In 2022, the Council partnered with Keystone Policy Center and community leaders to create an educational strategy designed to raise local awareness about the significant number of resources available to rural Coloradans from federal relief funds. Through listening sessions in the Northwest Region, the project identified similar needs in other rural parts of the state. As a result, funding streams and community initiatives were more aligned with broader rural needs. The Council remains involved in tracking the economic transition in Moffat County and its multi-year funding to organizations focused on supporting youth development and well-being.
Serving Garfield, Gilpin, Grand, Jackson, Mesa, Moffat, Rio Blanco, Routt Counties

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Region Facts
Major Cities
Glenwood Springs, Grand Junction, Steamboat Springs
Median Household Income
Unemployment Rate
High School Graduation Rate
Ranching, energy development (including oil, natural gas, and wind), retail, education, healthcare, recreation and tourism

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

Dave Palenchar Chair, El Pomar Foundation

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 El Pomar’s program staff. In 2007, Dave was recognized as Colorado Springs Business Citizen of the Year by the Colorado Springs Chamber & EDC. He has been a Trustee of the Foundation since 1998 and retired as El Pomar’s Chief Operating Officer in 2013.

He has served in a variety of nonprofit leadership roles throughout Colorado Springs. Most recently he was President and Chief Executive Officer of the Broadmoor World Arena and Pikes Peak Center for the Performing Arts Board of Directors and Chair of the Colorado Springs Sports Corporation.

Carrie Besnette Hauser, Ph.D. President & CEO, Colorado Mountain College

Since 2013, Dr. Carrie Besnette Hauser has served as President and CEO of Colorado Mountain College. She has held prior senior executive roles at the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, Metropolitan State University of Denver, and the Daniels Fund. While at Daniels, she was a loaned executive advising Denver’s mayor on a citywide college scholarship program and assisting the Metro Denver Sports Commission on an initiative to attract top-tier sporting events, including the Olympic Games. She co-chaired the 2012 Women’s Final Four.

Carrie has held gubernatorial appointments to Colorado’s Blue Ribbon Commission on Health Care Reform and the Colorado Commission on Higher Education and currently chairs the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission. She is also a member of the Vail Valley Foundation and American Council on Education boards of directors.

Carrie earned her undergraduate degree from the University of Arizona, master’s and doctorate degrees from UCLA, and is a graduate of the Advanced Management Program at the Wharton School of Business. An avid outdoorswoman, she has trekked to the Mt. Everest Basecamp, summited Mt. Kilimanjaro and Mt. Rainier, and is nearing completion of Colorado’s “14ers.”

Dana Duran CEO, Boys & Girls Clubs of Northwest Colorado

Dana Duran is Chief Executive Officer of Boys & Girls Clubs of Northwest Colorado, serving Craig and Steamboat Springs. Dana’s background includes working with underrepresented populations, decreasing barriers to access in afterschool and summer programming, and previously in college admissions. Dana sits on the Board for Rise Above Colorado and the State Alliance for Boys & Girls Clubs and previously served as on the State Judicial Nomination Commission. She earned her undergraduate and master’s degrees from Regis University, and is a graduate of the advanced leadership program through Boys & Girls Clubs of America and the Nonprofit Executive Leadership Program through El Pomar Foundation.

Tim Foster President Emeritus, Colorado Mesa University

Tim Foster has served as the 10th President of Colorado Mesa University since March 2004, when he was appointed by the Colorado Mesa University Board of Trustees. A former member of Colorado Governor Bill Owens's cabinet, Tim has served as the Executive Director for the Colorado Commission on Higher Education. He was initially appointed to the position by Governor Owens in 1999 and reappointed in 2003. Mr. Foster also served as head of the Department of Higher Education, which includes the Colorado Historical Society and the Colorado Council on the Arts, and served on the boards of the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education, the Denver Chamber of Commerce and its Committee on Science and Technology. Tim was elected to the Colorado House of Representatives in 1988 and served as the majority leader from 1993 to 1996. A Grand Junction native, his numerous community activities include service on the Board of Governors of the Colorado Bar Association, the Board of Powderhorn Ski Area, as Chairman of the Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce and Chair of the Grand Junction Economic Partnership.

Tim earned a bachelor's degree in economics from Kenyon College, completed the coursework for a master’s degree in mineral economics from the Colorado School of Mines and a juris doctorate from the University of Denver College Of Law.

Tim Redmond County Commissioner, Routt District II

Tim Redmond was first elected as a County Commissioner in 2020 and was sworn into office in January of 2021. Commissioner Redmond moved to Routt County in 1984. He attended the Nation’s oldest HBCU Cheyney college in Cheyney P.A. Redmond has served on the Hayden town council for 12 years and Mayor for one term. He has also served on the Hayden Recreation Board, as a Hayden Representative for Club 20 and as the Governor’s Appointment to DOLA Energy Impact Advisory Committee. Redmond enjoys the outdoors and has been a lifelong fisherman and fly fisherman since 1990. He has also coached youth baseball, football, basketball, and soccer.

Gregg Rippy President, Grand River Construction

Gregg Rippy is President of Grand River Construction in Glenwood Springs. Gregg also served in the Colorado House of Representatives from 2000-2004, as the Executive Director of the Colorado Statewide Internet Portal Authority from 2004-2009 and is the Founder and Managing Director of Rocky Mountain Ready Mix. Gregg is a former member of the Western State Colorado University Board of Trustees, and is currently Chairman of the Garfield Federal Mineral Lease District.

Gregg graduated from Colorado State University with a bachelor's degree in business administration.

Anne Wenzel President & CEO, Western Colorado Community Foundation

Anne Wenzel has worked in the philanthropic sector her entire career. She currently serves as President and CEO of the Western Colorado Community Foundation, a position she has held since 2001. Prior to her current job, she was a partner in a national consulting firm helping charitable foundations with strategic grantmaking and nonprofit clients with strategic planning, fundraising, new program development, collaboration and strategic alliances. She also ran her own consulting business when her children were young, worked for a university-based nonprofit board development institute and as a philanthropy planner for Rocky Mountain Planning Group.
In terms of national board service, Wenzel most recently served two terms on the board of We Raise Foundation (Chicago) which works on issues of poverty, economic development, job training and social justice. In Colorado, she served on the board of directors for Community Resource Center for eight years, and chaired the Rural Philanthropy Days planning committee in Eagle County and the Mountain Region. She is frequently asked to serve on project committees for the Colorado Nonprofit Association.
Wenzel has an undergraduate degree in Communications and French from the University of Pennsylvania, and also earned a Masters in City Planning (MCP) degree from the same institution. She is married to David Miller and they have two 20-something young adult children. An avid international traveler, Wenzel is fluent in French and enjoys culture and architecture, world heritage sites and hiking trips around the world.

Sarah Woods Associate Vice President of Curation and Archives, El Pomar Foundation

Sarah Woods serves as Associate Vice President of Curation and Archives for El Pomar Foundation, overseeing collections management, research, and exhibit development at El Pomar’s three historic properties – Penrose Heritage Museum, Will Rogers Shrine of the Sun, and Penrose House. She also directs the Julie Penrose Award, an El Pomar program that honors outstanding women making significant contributions to community through dedicated leadership, engagement, and service.

Sarah graduated from Santa Fe University of Art & Design with a Bachelor of Arts in Creative Writing. She earned a Master of Library Science, Specialization in Archives and Records Management from Indiana University. Sarah’s interest in organizations with deep rooted history led to graduate internships with NASA and the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee prior to joining El Pomar Foundation in 2018.

Sarah serves on the Central City Opera House Association Board of Directors and previously chaired the Accessioning, Acquisitions, and Appraisals steering committee for the Society of American Archivists. In 2023, Sarah was named a Rising Star by the Colorado Springs Business Journal and participated in the Community Leadership Program with the Center for Creative Leadership.

Joan grew up in New York, graduating with a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Duke University. She received her master’s in nursing administration from the University of North Carolina-Greensboro. Joan has a long history of board service and currently serves on the board of KidPower of Colorado.

Noelle Paiement Program Associate, El Pomar Foundation

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.