Southwest Region

Counties:  Archuleta, Dolores, La Plata, Montezuma, San Juan

Cities:  Cortez, Dove Creek, Durango, Pagosa Springs, Silverton

For the past several years, the Southwest Council has supported youth-serving organizations that focus on mental and behavioral health. Following a convening meeting, the Council selected four organizations and gave funds, totaling $647,500, to pilot programs focusing on prevention of youth behavioral health issues. One pilot program provides trauma-informed care to students in two schools in the region.The program will expand to all regional schools in the coming years.

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Meet Our Regional Council Members


R. Thayer Tutt, Jr. is Vice Chairman and Chief Investment Officer of El Pomar Foundation. He is the Chair of the Investment Committee for the United States Olympic Foundation, and also serves on the investment committees for Colorado College and the Geological Society of America. Tutt is Treasurer for the Air Force Academy Foundation, and Treasurer and past President for the National Recreation Foundation Board in New York City. He is on the Board of Directors and Treasurer for the Colorado Springs Health Foundation. He sits on the Boards of Trustees for Colorado College, Broadmoor World Arena and The Hundred Club of Colorado Springs.
In addition, Tutt is the President of the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center Foundation, President of the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo Endowment Fund and past President of Penrose St. Francis Board of Trustees. In 2009, he received the Business Citizen of the Year Award from the Colorado Springs Chamber of Commerce.

Tutt is a graduate of Princeton University with a bachelor's degree in geological and geophysical sciences, and earned his master's from Duke University in business administration.

R. Thayer Tutt Jr.

Vice Chairman and Chief Investment Officer, El Pomar Foundation

Mary Jo Coulehan is the Executive Director for the Pagosa Springs Area Chamber of Commerce. She's been with the Chamber for nine and a half years. Previously, she spent two years as a manager with Pagosa Verde, LLC, a renewable resource development company focusing on sustainable solutions for economic development in rural communities. Mary Jo has held numerous board positions regionally and in the state including Region 9 Economic Development, Club 20, Colorado Chamber of Commerce Executives, United Way of Southwest Colorado, and 2014 Rural Philanthropy Days Co-Chair.

Born in El Paso, Texas, Mary Jo graduated from Tulane University with a bachelor's degree in biology. She then embarked on a 16-year career with Marriott Hotels. She has been a resident of Pagosa Springs for more than 20 years.

Mary Jo Coulehan

Executive Director, Pagosa Springs Area Chamber of Commerce

Beth Drum currently serves as Senior Vice President for Alpine Bank Durango. She has worked with Alpine Bank for 24 years. During her tenure, she has held numerous positions, though her primary focus has been business and community development as well as bank marketing. She is a Colorado native, and grew up in Denver. Since moving to Durango in 2005, she has volunteered and consulted with many local nonprofits. She is past Chairwoman of the Mercy Health Foundation Board, and past Board Member of the Mercy Regional Medical Center. She served as President of the Durango Chamber of Commerce, and as a Board Member for the Women’s Resource Center. She is currently active with the Colorado Women’s Hall of Fame. In 2014, she was honored with the Morley Ballantine Award for her commitment to the community and exhibiting excellence in business.

Beth Drum

Senior Vice President, Alpine Bank

Joe Keck retired in 2015 from the position of Director of the Small Business Development Center at Fort Lewis College in Durango, serving the five-county area of Region 9 in southwestern Colorado. Joe has been a small-business owner since 1993 and worked in planning and economic development capacities with the Ute Mountain Ute and Southern Ute Indian Tribes for fifteen years.. Joe and his wife Susan were owners of Susie’s Gifts on Main (formerly Susie’s Hallmark Shop) and Cortez Catalog Sales (a JC Penney Catalog Merchant). Joe has served in a number of public capacities including eight years of service on the Cortez City Council as Council Member of which four years were as Mayor, with the Cortez Downtown Association, the Cortez Chamber of Commerce Board, Mesa Verde Country Tourism Board and the Colorado Aeronautical Board. Joe served as a Trustee on the Ballantine Family Fund from 2001 to 2019. In 2013, Joe was recognized as the Southwest Colorado Economic Development Leader of the Year by the Region 9 Economic Development District of Southwest Colorado. He was recognized as the Colorado State Star by the Colorado Small Business Development Network in 2004 at the National Association of Small Business Development Centers Conference in New Orleans and received the SBA Excellence in Innovation Award in 2015.

Joe completed a bachelor's degree in psychology and English at Fort Lewis College in Durango, and has completed work toward a master's degree in Planning and Community Development. He has also completed extensive training in business, community and economic development from the Association of Small Business Development Centers and the National Development Council.

Joe Keck

SMALLBIZWORKS Consulting

Bruce LeClaire is the Chief Executive Officer of the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Southern Ute Indian Tribe. He has worked with the Southern Ute Indian Tribe for 8 years. Previously Bruce worked five years with the Durango School District as the first Title VII Coordinator, now Title VI. Bruce provided support and helped Native American students and families develop a sense of belonging/community. Bruce also worked as an Independent Living Specialist for five years providing independent living skills training and support for Native American Youth in NW New Mexico who had “aged out” of foster care. Bruce was a Project Director for fifteen years of a Residential Behavioral Treatment Program for Native American Adolescences. Bruce serves on the Durango Adult Education Center and KSUT Four Corners Public Radio Board of Directors. He is the Treasurer of the Southern Ute Veterans Association. Bruce has served on various community committees to include: two terms on the Boys & Girls Clubs of America Native Advisory Committee, the LaPlata County Suicide Prevention Steering Committee, Albuquerque Area Indian Health Native Connections Advisory Committee, Ignacio School District Multi-Cultural Committee, and was a key leader for the LaPlata County Community that Care program. Bruce is also a member of the Ignacio Chamber of Commerce.
Bruce was born and raised in South Dakota. He moved to Durango, Colorado in 1982, where he graduated from high school. Bruce served in the United States Army as a Combat Engineer, he obtained the rank of Sergeant. He then attended Ft. Lewis College before beginning his 30+ years working with youth, 25 of those years with Native American Youth.

Bruce LeClaire

CEO of Boys & Girls Club of the Southern Ute Indian Tribe

Lisa Scott is a community volunteer in Pagosa Springs and has been a resident since 1998. She has been involved with a variety of nonprofit organizations and has held numerous leadership positions with the United Way of Southwest Colorado, Dr. Mary Fisher Medical Foundation and Archuleta County Education Center. Prior to moving to Pagosa Springs, she lived in San Francisco and Denver, and her volunteer affiliations were with the Junior League, Women’s Foundation of Colorado and Big Brothers Big Sisters.

Lisa has a bachelor's degree in business from the University of Colorado and had a career in investment banking in San Francisco.

Lisa Scott

Community Leader

Gus Westerman grew up in Dolores Colorado where he resides today. Gus received a Bachelor of Science in Environmental and Organismic Biology and Agriculture Science Minor from Fort Lewis College in Durango, CO in 2011. He received a Master of Agriculture from Colorado State University in 2018 with concentrations in rangeland science, animal science, and agricultural business. Upon completing his bachelor of science Gus was employed by the Southern Ute Indian Tribe as a Rangeland Technician where he assisted the SUIT Department of Natural Resources to manage grazing allotments and to ensure environmental compliance with all surface disturbing activities such as energy development on Tribal Lands. In 2014 Gus was employed by Colorado State University Extension as the County Extension Director and Agent based in Dolores County, CO. Gus is responsible for providing research based information to the Dolores County Communities in the focus areas of agriculture, community and economic development, and 4-H youth development. Gus is currently the Chairperson for the Dolores County development Corporation, a member of the Axis Health System Board of Directors, a technical advisor to the Dove Creek Mandatory Weed District, and 4-H liaison for the Dolores County Fair Board.

Gus Westerman

Dolores County Extension Agent Director for Colorado State University

Kim White has been the Superintendent of the Silverton School District for the past 18 years. She has overseen and administered a number of initiatives including the recent rehabilitation and historical restoration of the Silverton School building, the successful implementation of multiple 21st Century Community Learning Center grants and the Comprehensive School Reform efforts to implement the Expeditionary Learning Educational Model in a rural school district. As a longtime resident of Silverton, she has been involved with the San Juan County Economic Development Board, affordable housing efforts in San Juan County and efforts to bring reliable health care to San Juan County. In addition, she currently sits on the Silverton Family Learning Center and Preschool Board as well as on the Silverton Youth Center Board.

Kim White

Superintendent, Silverton School District

Senior Staff, Southwest Region

Contact Erin:
719-577-5750

Erin Hannan

Vice President of Communications, El Pomar Foundation

Contact Megan:
719-577-7022

Megan Sanders

Program Director, El Pomar Foundation

Contact Jordan:
719-577-7013

Jordan Colvin

Program Associate, El Pomar Foundation