San Juan Region

Counties:  Delta, Gunnison, Hinsdale, Montrose, Ouray, San Miguel

Cities:  Delta, Gunnison, Montrose, Ouray, Telluride

In the San Juan region and throughout the state of Colorado, there are many valuable causes, but limited resources through which to support them. This presents the San Juan Regional Council with the question of how best to distribute the finite resources at their disposal. As with all Councils, San Juan Council members want to have the greatest impact with the grants they recommend.

The San Juan Council has decided that investing in the educational and behavioral development of children beginning at an early age will provide the greatest returns to the region over time. Studies have shown that investing in early childhood education (ECE) and development does, in fact, bring significant positive returns over time. Children who benefit from ECE programs show higher cognitive ability than those who aren’t enrolled in ECE programs, beginning at toddler age and extending all the way through college. Children who participate in ECE programs are less likely to repeat grades, require special education, or get into future trouble in the legal system. Similarly, these children are more likely to attend a four year college and earn more over a lifetime. Because of the early intervention these children receive, long term health outcomes are improved. 

Grant Highlight The San Juan Council has chosen to direct grants towards programs that focus on early childhood development. The Pyramid Model helps address social and emotional development through targeted intervention in schools. In this program, teachers are coached by Pyramid Model trainers on various activities and phrases they can use to help students learn how to respond to situations in an appropriate way. The program is derived from an evidence-based approach to help drive outcomes. The Council has granted more than $300,000 toward Pyramid since 2012.
Council Member Log In San Juan - Owl Creek Pass iStock_000076004395_Medium.jpg

Meet Our Regional Council Members

Bill Ward grew up in Pueblo and attended Colorado College, graduating in 1964 with a bachelor of arts in political science. He received a juris doctorate degree from the University of Colorado in 1967. He was President of Ward Transport, Inc., a family-owned trucking company, and is a past chairman of the American Trucking Association. Bill’s activity in the nonprofit sector includes serving as Chair of Colorado College’s Board of Trustees. In that capacity he was actively involved in a record-setting capital campaign of $93 million and provided leadership during a successful presidential transition. He has also served on the Board of Trustees of Denver Seminary, twice serving as its Chair.

Bill Ward

Vice Chairman, El Pomar Foundation

Hap Channell received his undergraduate degree at Austin College in Texas and began his teaching career in Ft Worth. In 1976, he moved to Gunnison County with his wife Narcissa and their two daughters. After a stint in the lumber business, Hap resumed his teaching career in 1984 as an eighth grade science teacher at Gunnison Middle School and earned his MA in science education at Western State Colorado University. As a community leader in Gunnison, Hap has been on a number of nonprofit boards and was the Founding President of the Gunnison Council for the Arts. After retiring from teaching in 2004, he has served two terms as a Gunnison County Commissioner.

Hap Channell

Retired County Commissioner, Gunnison County

Born and raised in Montrose County on a family farm/ranch operation, Don Coram has a background in ranching, mining, environmental relation, and business. Don was elected to the Colorado General Assembly in 2010, he serves on the Agriculture, Livestock, & Natural Resources Committee as well as the State, Veteran, & Military Affairs Committee. Prior to joining the legislature Don served as Director and Treasurer of School District RE -1J, and as Treasurer and President of the Delta-Montrose Vocational Center. He also served as 2nd Vice-Chairman of the Montrose County Central Committee and was selected by CRC Chairman Dick Wadhams to serve on the Colorado Republican Committee Executive Committee.

The Honorable Don Coram

Colorado State Senator, District 6

Linda Gann is a western Colorado native, growing up in Glenwood Springs, Grand Junction and Redstone. She has lived in Montrose since 1978. Linda was co-owner and operator of family farms and ranches in the Montrose area for over 20 years. After a successful career in the Montrose and Olathe school district, including raising over $10 million in grants for capital projects and two school-based health centers, Linda retired in September 2010 as the district’s Communications and Special Project Coordinator. She is currently the Western Slope Outreach Manager for Connect for Health Colorado.

Linda Gann

Senior Manager Western Slope, Connect for Health Colorado

Andrew Karow first experienced Colorado in 1979 as a vacationing skier in Aspen. Over the next ten years, he was drawn to Colorado to enjoy the beautiful outdoors and skiing. In 1990, after earning a bachelor of science in economics from the University of Wisconsin, Andrew relocated to Avon. Upon earning his master of business administration from the University of Denver in 1996, Andrew joined Alpine Bank. He now serves as the Chief Digital Officer. Andrew has held board positions on the Telluride Foundation, Ah Haa School for the Arts, Imogene Pass Run, Telluride Tourism Board, Town of Mountain Village Ethics Commission and Town of Mountain Village Comprehensive Plan Task Force.

Andrew Karow

Chief Digital Officer, Alpine Bank

Betsy Marston has been a resident of Paonia, Colorado since 1974. She works as the Editor of Writers on the Range, an op-ed syndicate of High Country News, which covers public land issues in ten western states, and also writes a syndicated column called Heard Around the West, about the odd doings of all of us. Locally, she is a member of Rotary, a Board Member of the Paonia Chamber of Commerce and part of a group of avid hikers and bikers called Women on the Move.

Betsy Marston

Editor, Writers on the Range

Originally from Chicago, former State Senator Gail Schwartz fell in love with Colorado at the age of 13 on the top of Longs Peak. After attending the University of Colorado in Boulder, she moved to Aspen where she raised a family and dedicated time to community service. Prior to her political career, Gail served as the Acting Director and Director of Development for the Aspen/Pitkin County Housing Authority, and a corporate officer and market analyst for Sno-Engineering Inc. After her appointment to serve on the Colorado Commission on Higher Education by Gov. Romer, she was elected to the University Of Colorado Board Of Regents from the 3rd Congressional District in 2000 where she served for six years, including two years as Vice Chair. In 2006, Gail was elected to the Colorado State Senate from eleven counties of Senate District 5, and was re-elected for a final four-year term in 2010. Formerly, Senator Schwartz served as the Colorado Senate Caucus Majority Whip and Chaired the Senate Agriculture, Natural Resources and Energy Committee, the Local Government Committee and the Capital Development Committee. She has a distinguished legislative record of both promoting energy diversification with local renewable energy generation and efficiency, and protecting Colorado’s water and natural resources. Throughout her career she has actively supported rural economic development, access to rural broadband and funding quality rural education including the Building Excellent Schools Today (BEST) Program. Having lived for over forty years in Pitkin County, she and her husband Alan now call Crested Butte in Gunnison County home

Gail Schwartz

Former Colorado State Senator

A three-time member of the Ouray Chamber Board, Dee Williams’ long list of service activities includes two years on the Ouray City Council and two years as Co-President of Women in Support of Education. Dee helped start a ski program for kids in Telluride. She has driven the successful campaign to purchase and preserve Ouray’s historic Wright Opera House. She is a founding member of the Ouray County Nordic Council. A longtime member of Ouray’s Community Development Committee, she helped implement the city’s economic development plan. Dee served on Ouray’s Home Rule Charter Commission. Since 2003, she has served as coordinator for the School to Work Alliance Program, which helps high school students with special needs prepare for graduation and transition to the workplace. For 28 years, she and her husband operated a beloved Main Street establishment, V&S Variety Store.

Dee Williams

Coordinator, UnBOCS SWAP

Senior Staff, San Juan Regional Council

Contact Mike:

Mike Buth

Vice President of Facilities, El Pomar Foundation

Contact Garrett:

Garrett Mayberry

Program Associate, El Pomar Foundation

Contact Trevor:

Trevor Zalkind

Program Associate, El Pomar Foundation