Telluride Foundation: Citizen of the Year & Measuring Outcomes

Telluride Foundation: Citizen of the Year & Measuring Outcomes

The board of the Telluride Foundation selected 2019 Citizen of the Year, Barb Gross, added board member and discussed how it measures outcomes. Go here to watch a video explaining why Barb Gross became Citizen of the Year.

Citizen of the Year Barb Gross is Food Bank coordinator and way more.

The Telluride Foundation’s Board of Directors held its bi-annual meeting on July 3rd, 2019 at the new Lone Cone Library in Norwood, celebrating the completion of the $4.3 million project. The Foundation awarded a $100,000 capital grant in 2016, which the library board and staff leveraged, bringing in an additional $2 million from other grants and fundraising efforts.

At the same meeting, the Board selected Barb Gross as the 2019 Citizen of the Year.

The Telluride Foundation created its Citizen of the Year award to honor individuals who unselfishly make extraordinary contributions to the region’s quality of life. Gross was nominated by the community and her peers for her exemplary service and volunteerism. After all nominations are in, past recipients of the award are responsible for evaluating all the submissions and deciding on three finalists, with the Telluride Foundation board selecting the ultimate 2019 recipient.

Barb Gross has selflessly served the Telluride Community for over 35 years. In the 1980s and 1990s, Gross was a mainstay in the “San Miguel County Day Care and Preschool Association” working to purchase and construct the sorely needed Rainbow Preschool in Telluride and Rascals Preschool in Lawson Hill. Gross has served Angel Baskets, an all-volunteer organization, as a board member and Food Bank Coordinator.

Gross demonstrates her love for our community and compassion for its people by continually advocating for the children and youth in the Angel Baskets Holiday Giving and School Supply Programs. Many know Gross as the kind face and generous heart of the Telluride Food Bank, where she volunteers more than 20 hours each week ordering food, picking up donations from the grocery store and bakery, stocking shelves, cleaning refrigerators, organizing volunteers and working to serve food to recipients.

“Barb passionately cares to feed those who want to be fed. She puts in hundreds of hours to improve the food bank experience for the recipients,” wrote nominator, Elaine Schroedl. “Barb is a community angel. Life is better for countless due to her energy and effort. We are so lucky she lives among us!”

As the 2019 Citizen of the Year, Gross will receive a commemorative plaque and a grant of $5,000 to be given in her name to the local nonprofit of her choice.

Gross shares this honor with Terry Tice (2003), Lissa Margetts (2004), John Micetic (2005), Bill Carstens (2006), John Pryor and Jane Hickcox (2007), Kathy Green (2008), Marilyn Branch (2009), Dan and Greer Garner and Andrea Benda (2010) and Billy “Senior” Mahoney (2011), Anne Brady (2012), Dean Rolley (2013), Kristin Holbrook (2014), Gary Freedman (2015), Elaine Fischer (2016), Wendy Brooks (2017), and Susan Rice (2018). A community celebration to honor Gross is being planned at the Ah Haa School on September 18th.

Also, at the meeting, the board elected Arnie Chavkin as its newest board member. Chavkin has over 39 years of financial and investment management experience, including 30 years of experience in the private equity industry.

Chavkin holds a B.A. from Columbia College and an M.B.A., from Columbia Business School. Chavkin and his wife Laura Chang are founders of the Chang-Chavkin Scholars Program under the Telluride Foundation. The goal of the Scholars Program is to increase the success of rural, first-generation college students. The Program selects scholars at the end of their junior year of high school, supporting them through the college application process until they graduate. The Program, which currently serves five regional school districts, will expand next year to include the Montrose School district. Chavkin and Chang are long-time Telluride homeowners.

Finally, at the meeting the board spent a considerable amount of time discussing how it plans to begin measuring the Foundation’s mission of “enriching the quality of life of the residents, visitors, and workforce of the Telluride region.”  Determining meaningful, quantitative ways to measure whether a foundation is meeting its mission is critical to creating accountability, visibility and the ability to adapt. A board working group of Davis Fansler, Megan McManemin, and Anne Andrews, along with Foundation staff, are developing “enterprise outcomes” as a way to measure how well the Foundation is achieving its mission.

According to Paul Major, President & CEO of the Foundation: “The traditional approach for measuring foundation success is to how much money we give away or how many people we serve. Those are outputs. We need to measure outcomes. What matters in our work is if we changed peoples’ lives for the better. For example, did we help improve a person’s educational experience? Did we help improve the health status of someone? Did we help provide economic opportunity? ”

Measuring impact is not new to the Telluride Foundation, which has a long history of assessing its Community Grant, Initiative and Strategic Plan outcomes, however, the next step is to develop enterprise outcomes that reflect the impact of everything the Foundation does and use benchmarks to track the progress of those outcomes.

Telluride Foundation, more:

The Telluride Foundation is committed to enriching the quality of life of the residents, workforce, and visitors of the Telluride region. It is a nonprofit, apolitical community foundation that makes grants and runs programs in arts, education, health and human services, community development, and social enterprises. The Foundation strives to achieve excellence for the community through its mission and core values of inclusion, self-reliance, and innovation. Our work is funded through the generous support of hundreds of donors as well as grants from state and national foundations.

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