Telluride Foundation: Pending Leadership Changes!

Telluride Foundation: Pending Leadership Changes!

Telluride Foundation founder, Ron Allred, retires. Chairperson transitions in December.

At the Telluride Foundation’s Board of Director bi-annual meeting on July 6th, Foundation founder, Ron Allred, announced he would retire from his leadership position on the board.

In 2000, Allred teamed up with Norman Schwarzkopf to gather commitments from 13 people who each contributed donations to seed a foundation; these 13 were recognized as “Friends of Telluride,” the founding members of the Telluride Foundation.

“When people ask me about my involvement in the region and what I’m proudest of, they might assume it’s building a world-class ski resort,” said Allred. “Actually, it’s knowing that because of the Telluride Foundation there is a safety net for people in need, there are scholarships for kids going to college and participating in after-school programs, and there are efforts to help diversify the economy, increasing jobs and opportunities in our neighboring communities.”

The meeting was held  in-person in Telluride well as virtually via Zoom and highlighted the accomplishments and challenges of the past year as well as the new initiatives and events planned for 2021.  The Board spent a considerable portion of the meeting reviewing and affirming components of the Foundation’s newest initiative to pilot a innovative workforce housing project, “Rural Homes, For Sale, For Locals” that will build new homes in four regional towns for the local workforce.

At the meeting, Dan Tishman, chairperson of the Board for the past five years, announced that he would step down at the December meeting and the new chairperson will be Anne Slaughter Andrew who is currently leading the search for the Foundation’s new CEO.

Also retiring from the board is Carol Armstrong who served as a board member for the past eight years and has been instrumental in developing the Neil Armstrong Scholarship Fund, which supports regional high school students attending college and majoring in Science, Technology, Engineering or Math.  Carol will continue to serve on the Neil Armstrong Scholarship Committee, which selects a scholar from among applicants in five regional school districts to award a $20,000 scholarship.

At its meeting, the board elected two new board members, Freddy Bensch and Kim Fulton.

Freddy is the co-founder at SweetWater Brewing Company, which was recently acquired by Tilray.  Freddy currently serves on the Tiray Executive Team as well as the Telluride Brewing Company Board of Directors.  He lives full time in Telluride with his wife, Jennifer, and their three children.

Kim has been a member of the Telluride community since 1977, where she raised her family and owned and operated Mountain Village Real Estate, in addition to working for numerous nonprofit organizations. Now living in Uvalde, Texas, Kim is the founding director of Chicktime Smalltown, a mentorship program for foster care graduates. She also serves as a C.A.S.A. volunteer working closely with child protection services and representing victims of abuse.

The board received an update on the Foundation’s newest initiative, Rural Homes: For Sale, For Locals.  The initiative is a pilot workforce housing project in four regional communities (Norwood, Nucla, Ouray, Ridgway). Rural Homes  aims to pilot a scalable and replicable approach to reduce the price of constructing new housing in rural communities by attacking the traditional construction and financing costs of building housing.  This is done by the use of free land, low-cost financing, and a packaged, housing product and building process.  The Foundation and its statewide partners hope this approach can be used statewide to help solve the housing crises in rural communities.

Finally, the board reflected on the Foundation’s position as a result of COVID and its role in responding to a community crises.

“A community foundation is uniquely designed to respond to community emergencies,” said Paul Major, President & CEO.  “We met this challenge exactly as we were designed to do; during the past year, we raised and gave out $1.6M, of which $1.2M was provided in direct aid to individuals. In addition to helping people in financial crises, the foundation also pivoted staff to help businesses and nonprofits to access federal and state programs.”

Telluride Foundation, more:

The Telluride Foundation exists to create a stronger Telluride and regional community through the promotion and support of philanthropy. This ear, 2021, marks 20 years of making more possible through the Telluride Foundation’s commitment to enrich the quality of life of the residents, visitors, and workforce of the Telluride region.

The Telluride Foundation is a nonprofit, apolitical community foundation that makes grants to nonprofits, owns and operates programs that meet emerging and unmet community needs, and makes investments.

The Foundation approaches this work through the lens of its core values of inclusion, self-reliance, and innovation. Its work is funded through the generous support of individual donors as well as grants from state and national foundations.

The Foundation hopes the community will join it in celebrating its 20th anniversary as it honors the nonprofits, donors, and community members who have all partnered together to achieve a significant positive impact on the region.

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