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Congratulations to all of the women who have been chosen as Your Travel Destination Should Women Of Distinction 2019! Be Be the Best It Can Be. Healthcare So Should Your Healthcare.

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EDITOR’S NOTE

Women make our community what it is

PHOTOS BY SYDNEY WARNER | Q/A COMPILED BY MONICA GARCIA AND JUSTIN TUBBS | DESIGN BY SHAUN GIBSON

CONTENTS: SILKE PRINTZ.............................................................................................4 ROBBIE LEVALLEY.....................................................................................5 BECKIE PENDERGRASS..............................................................................6 CONNIE PITTENGER................................................................................. 7 LEAH GLASBRENNER.................................................................................8 CASEY BEST................................................................................................9 AMY CRICK...............................................................................................10 CANDI AMAYA..........................................................................................11

Coming into my second year doing this project, I was feeling a bit overwhelmed. I was the resident expert, there was so much to do and so many questions people had, and I didn’t have all the answers. But then I got to talk to the 2019 class of Women of Distinction. These women, most who didn’t know me, became my support and my calm in a busy summer. They were so grateful for what I was doing, understanding while I fumbled through the questions they were asking and still were caring enough to check on how I was doing. The support, and even just the small chats — all of which happened with accomplished, caring women — helped me as we pieced this project together. They helped me look at life and community in a different way. The way they have given to and helped shape our community so selflessly is amazing. Over this past year, I gained a second family — my boyfriend Dennis’ family. The women in his family, particularly his mom Vangie Vannest and his grandmother Ruth Fish, remind

me of this group of women of distinction. They welcomed me with open arms and were always willing to lend a helping hand, a shoulder to cry on, someone to laugh with and support beyond what I thought I deserved. These are just a few of the many traits I also see in our 2019 Women of Distinction. They have supported other women through life issues and even cancer; they have helped veterans; they are women of faith; they step up when there is a need; they are wives, mothers, friends, neighbors... These traits are some I hope to hone as we make our home here on the Western Slope. These women have all impacted our community in ways we see and ways we don’t, and being a part of honoring them has been a blessing. Congratulations, 2019 Class of Women of Distinction. We are all lucky to have you part of our community! - Monica Garcia News editor at the Montrose Daily Press

APRIL HEARD...........................................................................................12 MARYANN KRABBE...................................................................................13 CARMEN JIMINEZ - MORA.........................................................................14 AMY EIFLING............................................................................................15

Honors these

SHANI WITTENBERG................................................................................18 NANCY BALL.............................................................................................19 NANCY FISHERING (WOMAN OF THE YEAR).......................................20 MARGARET GOODHUE............................................................................22 JERI GILHAM.............................................................................................23 PHYLLIS WIESNER...................................................................................24 KIM REDMAN............................................................................................25 TAWNA CADDY........................................................................................26 MARIA VERBLE.........................................................................................27 VIRGINIA HARMAN...................................................................................29 VALERIE MEYERS.....................................................................................30 LORI SHARP..............................................................................................31

Tawna Caddy

Carmen Jiminez-Mora August 11, 2019

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TANIA HAJJAR...........................................................................................28

Women of Distinction | 3


Silke Printz Having a background in education, Silke Printz probably didn’t think she would work at a real estate office in Montrose. She joined the real estate office of Dennis Bailey & Co., which became Coldwell Banker Bailey & Co., and was there for 24 years. Prior to “retiring” as a broker she was a board member of the Montrose Arts Council, the Montrose Chamber of Commerce and on the Bank One Board of Directors In 1959, Printz met her husband, Gordy, while she was an exchange student in Sidney, Nebraska. After a year, she went back home to Germany. After four years of writing letters back and forth, they got engaged and then married in Nebraska. Thirty-nine years ago, Printz moved to Montrose with Gordy and daughter, Annika. Her daughter now lives in the Netherlands with her husband, Leo, and their daughter, Vivika. Printz stays busy as a CASA advocate, a member of PEO and a substitute teacher for foreign languages at Montrose High School.

Q: Tell Montrose about your biggest passion.

A: My biggest passion is probably the foreign exchange program (AFS) which allowed me to come to the United States. Without this opportunity I could not have enjoyed the wonderful lifestyle I have had. Whenever possible we help other students experience life in the U.S. and to return home with new insights and compassion.

Q: What do you love most about the Montrose/Delta community?

A: It is very easy to love Montrose. When we first arrived, the people we met in the grocery stores and other businesses were noticeably friendly. That

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attraction is still evident. And so is the beauty of the mountains, the recreational opportunities, clean environment and moderate climate.

Q: In your opinion, why is it important to invest in your community?

A: I think that each and everyone of us should contribute something to our community whether it be an investment in time, money or involvement in community activities. These are important attributes because they make the region strong, coherent and a special and happy place to live. Volunteerism is the strength of our country. I feel that Montrose citizens have accomplished so much by embracing innovative thinking and forward planning which resulted in such successful projects as the Montrose Pavilion, Montrose Regional Library, Montrose Community Recreation Center and Montrose County Event Center, just to name a few.

Q: What do you enjoy doing for fun?

A: Our family has always had fun just being together. We play cards, board games and spend time with friends who do the same. I also love reading and doing crossword puzzles. Travelling abroad is a great joy as many friends and family members live overseas.

Q: What are your thoughts on being a 2019 Woman of Distinction?

A: I have never thought much about “ being a leader.” I just try to do my best by setting a good example in my personal conduct and positive outlook on life.Throughout our time in Montrose I have known many dedicated, talented and accomplished women. Each of them is a Woman Of Distinction. I am only grateful that my name can be among them.


Robbie LeValley the mandate and management focus. Too often, specific interests want to restrict our livestock industry’s ability to utilize public lands. Research, experience and expertise show that well-managed rangelands provide a significant carbon sink, wildlife habitat and protein source from a resource that wouldn’t be utilized if not for our livestock industry.

For three decades, Robbie LeValley and her family have been giving back to the community. LeValley has devoted her time to Delta County as its administrator, and she co-owns the meat processor and store Homestead Meats. On top of that, she helps run the family business, LeValley Ranch. LeValley also lends her talents to: Delta Rotary, Colorado Cattlemen’s Association, Colorado State University and National Public Lands Council. Her family includes her husband, Mark, and their two sons: Ross and James.

Q: What do you love most about the Montrose/Delta community? A: I thoroughly enjoy the people, view shed, history, common work ethic and connection to the land that is prevalent in Montrose and Delta counties.

Q: Tell Montrose about your biggest passion. A: I work tirelessly on behalf of our local communities and multiple use industries and amenities to showcase that all is important. Our federal lands are an amazing resource and critical to the economic well-being of the region. These lands were formalized with the understanding that multiple use would be

will be more production when individuals take the time to be engaged and at the table. Q: What do you enjoy doing for fun? A: Our ranch and the constant work provides for all the fun. Q: What are your thoughts on being a 2019 Woman of Distinction? A: I am very honored to be nominated by Leone Anderson and Darnell Place-

Wise for this award. These two ladies go above and beyond every day of the week to make Delta County better and for them to take time out of their day to put forth the nomination is very humbling. The current award winners and previous awardees are an impressive group and I am in awe of all that they have accomplished and what they do each and every day to make this region a better place and to show the next generation all that is possible. Thank you.

Q: In your opinion, why is it important to invest in your community? A: Investing in your community is second nature and has been for generations. It takes active involvement to ensure that institutional knowledge and experience are part of any community decision making. The collective decision making

Congratulations Robbie LeValley,

Honoree

Delta County celebrates you! 195550

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Beckie Pendergrass Whether it’s locally or internationally, Beckie Pendergrass helps support others. Pendergrass has lived in Montrose 28 years with the exception of 10 years (1998-2008) when she lived internationally in Thailand and Ghana, Africa. In Africa, she helped others through mentoring, setting up micro-financing for investments for women’s businesses in the villages, and construction of orphanages, schools and affordable housing utilizing the styrofoam/ ICF blocks that are thriving today. The construction provided skills and employment for local villagers She has been married to her husband, Marshall, for 33 years. Pendergrass is involved in Trout Unlimited and Casting Recovery. Marshall is an avid fly-fisherman and is also involved on the state and national level of Trout Unlimited in conserving water resources. The two have three children: Kirk Cocanougher in Springfield, Missouri; Dr. Jo Cara Pendergrass in Plymouth, New Hampshire; and Jon Pendergrass in Little Rock, Arkansas. They also have nine grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

Q: Tell Montrose about your biggest passion.

A: Passion is having a clear understanding of my purpose in life. My mind is always looking forward to what can be and not what is. As a broker and developer, I’m passionate about providing affordable housing in Montrose and surrounding areas. After spending eight years in Ghana, Africa, I am passionate about creating, through education and entrepreneurship, sustainable opportunities for the improvement of the lives of women and children in the fishing communities in Ghana. I will continue to support the sustainability of those women and children of Ghana in hopes that someday some of the communities might be transformed.

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Q: What do you love most about the Montrose/Delta community?

A: Many things...The people are some of the best in the world. The climate, the outdoor opportunities and most of all the small town feeling that I love to call home.

Q: In your opinion, why is it important to invest in your community?

A: While I have a strong connection in the investing of Ghana, I also know that I’m not solving global issues. I believe by investing in my local community, it helps to maintain the quality of life and the history of our community. It makes everyone care more and want to help more. It’s a great feeling to be involved with a project that when successful you knowing you had a role to play in that success.

Q: What do you enjoy doing for fun?

A: Outdoor activities from golfing, hiking/camping to snowshoeing and skiing. I love participating in the Magic Circle Theatre where recently I was one of the four women in “Savannah Sipping Society.”

Q: What are your thoughts on being a 2019 Woman of Distinction?

A: One of the greatest things about being a 2019 Woman of Distinction is just being chosen in the company of the other 24 women. There are a lot of deserving women in this community that have given of their time and money for many years and that have made a difference through their professional lives and in their personal endeavors. Being recognized by my community and my peers feels like a genuine expression of appreciation and the best kind of recognition.


Connie Pittenger Staying involved in different groups and organizations is what Connie Pittenger enjoys doing. Pittenger has lived in Montrose for 35 years. She has a cat named Callie and a dog named Jazelle. A retired speech/language pathologist from the Montrose County School District, Pittenger is now a community volunteer. She is: on the supervisory committee at San Juan Mountains Credit Union; on the missions committee and board of trustees at Montrose United Methodist Church; involved in the local United Methodist Women’s Unit, executive board; the district treasurer for UT/ Western CO United Methodist Women; the director on the Delta-Montrose Community Concert Association; an officer for the Silver Star Chapter of Order of Eastern Star; served for 31 years on the Grand Mesa Camp Board of Trustees; served four years on the Montrose County Housing Authority Board; served as secretary for four years and chair for two years for the Montrose County Democrats. Pittenger also has two parttime jobs: co-financial secretary for the Montrose UMC; and a water-aerobics instructor at the Montrose Recreation Center. One position that challenges Pittenger is being involved at sthe San Juan Mountains Credit Union. Pittenger has been a member for years, and when she saw the sign at the credit

union asking for volunteers, she knew it was her time to step up. Having no accounting background, she learned new skills. Pittenger was inspired to volunteer by her mother who was also very involved in the community.Pittenger said she doesn’t have much to give monetarily so she gives of her time.

Q: Tell Montrose about your biggest passion.

A: My biggest passion is being involved in the Montrose community. Whether it is serving on committees or boards; taking pride in my home and having a beautiful flower garden for people to look at; or attending cultural events which are offered in our area. Being engaged just enhances my life.

Q: What do you love most about the Montrose/Delta community?

A: I thoroughly enjoy living in Montrose because it is small enough to be able to get to know people on a personal level but it is large enough to offer amenities like community concerts, community theater, many choices for shopping and opportunities for furthering my intellectual development.

Q: In your opinion, why is it important to invest in your community?

A: It is important to invest in your community because there would be no community if people did not get involved with each other. The investment of time is so much more valuable than money. Having a community means that people are interacting and communing with each other. We are not meant to be isolationists. We are in this world to work together and have relationships to accomplish the greater good and that is what builds/sustains a community.

Q: What do you enjoy doing for fun?

A: I like to go for walks with my dog; attend concerts; go to movies and the Magic Circle Theatre.

Q: What are your thoughts on being a 2019 Woman of Distinction?

A: I am humbled and honored at the same time by the nomination. I am involved in many different groups because that is just who I am. Being recognized for that involvement allows me to know that I may have possibly made a difference for someone else besides myself.

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Women of Distinction | 7


Teaching and inspiring, supporting the next generation is what Leah Glasbrenner does. Glasbrenner is a severe special education teacher at Johnson Elementary School. At JES, she is also a volunteer coach for Girls on the Run and the site liaison for the Pennies for Patients fundraiser to raise money for the lymphoma society. In her free time, she co-coordinates a free “parent’s night” in the district. The night allows for parents of students who have disabilities to have a night for themselves. Glasbrenner moved to Montrose when she was 2. After graduating from Montrose High School, she left the city for college but returned to teach. She has returned to MHS to be the assistant volleyball coach. Her parents are Mark Glasbrenner and Jessica Sedlock. Glasbrenner also has two older brothers.

Leah Glasbrenner classroom, fills my heart with happiness. I feel lucky to be surrounded by, and to work collaboratively with, professionals just as passionate as I am. Although it comes with many challenges, at the end of each school year, we are able to look back to the beginning of the year and reflect on how far the students have come in confidence, social relationships, problem-solving skills, regulation, and academics. I love what I do.

Q: What do you love most about the Montrose/Delta community?

A: Besides the beauty of where we live, the best part about the Montrose/Delta community is the people. I have met, made friendships and looked up to many amazing human beings in our community. Many of them have inspired me in my career aspirations.

the investments made as I grew up in Montrose have made a positive impact on my achievements. It is important to continue investing in the community so that the current youth can also have support towards their own aspirations.

Q: What do you enjoy doing for fun?

A: I enjoy spending time with my loved ones. Whether it’s shopping with my mom, a spur of the moment trip with my best friend or brother, playing Sequence with my dad, or fishing with Jake and his family, I am just happy to be surrounded by people that I love!

Q: What are your thoughts on being a 2019 Woman of Distinction?

Experienced, Experienced, Educated, Educated, Certified, Certified, Smart Smart Experienced, Educated, Certified, Smart Q: Tell Montrose about your biggest passion.

A: My biggest passion is teaching special education. The relationships I build with my students and their families, along with the growth and joy I witness in my

Q: In your opinion, why is it important to invest in your community?

A: When you invest in your community, you are giving the community members a better chance of being successful in their own personal dreams and goals. I feel that

A: I am honored to be a 2019 Woman of Distinction nominee and I hope that this nomination can represent all of the hard-working, passionate educators in our school district. We are lucky to have a school district full of distinctive men and women who go above and beyond to make an impact on the youth.

THE WOMEN AT THE REAL ESTATE STORE WOULD LIKE TO CONGRATULATE ALL OF THE HONOREES OF THE WOMEN OF DISTINCTION.

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Casey Best Whether she is teaching little ones or volunteering at the nursing home, Casey Best enjoys serving her community. She directs and teaches preschool at The Learning Cottage. Her business is a full-day care facility for children 6 weeks to 5 years. One important aspect to early education is reading to the young ones. Best has said reading to a child is one of the best things you can do for them and it leads them to do better in school and life in general. Best also lends her talents to Helping Hands, Open Hearts by serving as the organization’s vice president. This non-profit serves local families in need in Montrose and Delta counties. Its mission is to help local families and connect people with resources to give them a start to helping themselves. Best has lived in Montrose for 19 years. She and her husband, Ryan, have two boys together: Christopher, 7, and Nicholas, 3.

Q: Tell Montrose about your biggest passion.

A: My biggest passion is serving others, especially children and families. I truly enjoy taking any opportunity I can to support others, whether it’s teaching a child a new skill, visiting the local nursing home (in honor of my grandfather’s memory) or finding a way to help a family in need. I love being able to assist those who don’t always have a way or an answer.

Q: What do you love most about the Montrose/Delta community?

A: We are a small community with a lot of heart. There is always someone willing to step up and lend a hand.

Q: In your opinion, why is it important to invest in your community?

A: I think a better question would be why wouldn’t someone want to invest in their community? A community is a wonderful melting pot of people who directly and indirectly influence one another in so many ways. By investing in your community, you are really investing in yourself and bettering your own experiences. Plus, a great community means great influences for our children. Who wouldn’t want that?

Q: What do you enjoy doing for fun?

A: My family and I love being outdoors. When not working, we are usually camping, riding dirt bikes, fishing or just exploring the surrounding mountains. I’m also kind of a science geek!

Q: What are your thoughts on being a 2019 Woman of Distinction? A: I’m just a preschool teacher.

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Amy Crick Strengthening Delta County and the Western Slope is on Amy Crick’s radar. Crick has lived in Delta for three years. She is the retail district manager for First Colorado National Bank, a local bank in Delta County. Along with her professional position, she serves on several boards: Delta County Economic Development Inc- Treasurer,

Uncompahgre/Com, HopeWest Community Board, and Great Beginnings Early Childhood Education Center Board. She also actively works on projects that impact the economic and social environments in Delta County. One project she is excited about is helping the local libraries with the library support initiative — Passionate About Libraries.

She and her husband, Ryan, have 4-year-old twin boys — Charlie and Lincoln. The Delta community has many elements of the rural living that appeals to the way they want their boys to grow up, and as she says, Delta offers a next-level quality of life in many of those areas.

Q: Tell Montrose about your biggest passion.

A: It is exciting for me to see Delta County and the Western Slope on a verge of growth, and to have the potential for some economic and social diversity. I enjoy working on projects and with groups that are engaged in raising the quality of life in rural areas. I am working with several groups that want to see Delta County create an identity and elevate our potential to be a place where people want to live and grow their businesses.

Q: What do you love most about the Montrose/Delta community?

A: There are many things I love about living in Delta, but the most fundamental thing I love is that it is a great place to raise our boys. We enjoy the recreation, having family close, and friendly small town atmosphere. Delta is a special place to call “home.”

Q: In your opinion, why is it important to invest in your community?

A: Simply, investing and spending time working in the community gives me a wider view of the world and allows me to lend my skills and resources to making it a better place. Concurrently, I want to exemplify for my children a sense of civic responsibility; helping them understand that civic responsibility belongs to everyone, not just one group of people. I firmly believe that as women become more involved a variety of options and solutions will arise that have never been options on the table before.

Q: What do you enjoy doing for fun?

A: My boys are getting to “sports age,” so we spend most of our free time helping them learn and attend the sports. I love to read, travel and garden.

Q: What are your thoughts on being a 2019 Woman of Distinction?

A: This has been a very humbling experience and I am honored to be recognized. I hope to continue to do good work in my community and to work on projects that improve our quality of life.

Congratulations 125 Merchant Drive, Montrose, CO 81401 970-249-6213 • Office Hours: Mon. - Fri. 8 am - 5 pm www.montroseassociationofrealtors.com 10 | Women of Distinction

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to all of 2019 Women of Distinction honorees from all of the Montrose area REALTOR’S.


Candi Amaya Coaching up-and-coming realtors is what Candi Amaya has a knack for. She is the assistant team leader, productivity coach and realtor for Keller Williams Colorado West Realty. She has been a realtor since May 2014 and with Keller Williams since February 2018. What she really enjoys is helping people make their dreams come true through home ownership, real estate investment and through the business coaching she does with other agents. Amaya has been married to her best friend and husband, Tony, for 24 years. They have three adult children: their oldest is 26 is married with two children and one on the way; a 22 year old daughter who lives in Grand Junction and works as a barber at Distinguished Studio; and the youngest is 21 and is a barber as well.

The family enjoys spending time together at their family cabin in Cimarron and vacationing on the beaches of Southern California and Mexico. They especially enjoy Puerto Vallarta in Mexico as they enjoy the rich traditions, colorful culture, colonial architecture and delicious foods.

Q: Tell Montrose about your biggest passion.

A: My biggest passion is in the coaching I do with the real estate agents in our office. I love helping them achieve their greatest dreams and getting them to think big so they can live the life they desire. I am passionate about seeing them grow their real estate business and watching them grow personally. I love that I am able to have a positive impact on their lives and seeing the ripple effect

my impact has on their clients, their families and their relationships. I believe the effects will ripple through generations.

Q: What do you love most about the Montrose/Delta community?

A: I love the people in our community. I admire how many have committed themselves to making our community rich with music, art and culture; and I admire those who take care of our public lands and rivers and those who work so closely with our veterans, making our community welcoming.

Q: In your opinion, why is it important to invest in your community?

A: I believe it is important to invest in our community because it is where my roots are, dating back to the early 1900s. It is where I have raised my children and where my children’s children will

be raised. This Valley has been home for many generations and I believe we need to continue pouring into the community to leave it a better place for generations to come.

Q: What do you enjoy doing for fun?

A: I enjoy hosting Sunday dinner at my home, where my husband and our children can take time away from our fast pace world and can spend some time in conversation and connecting with one another. I enjoy spending time with my dad, sister, brothers, their families and my extended family.

Q: What are your thoughts on being a 2019 Woman of Distinction? A: Wow!

What an honor just to be nominated alongside all of these talented women. It makes me proud to know I inspired someone!

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April Heard Veterans and their well being are important to April Heard. Heard’s dad is an Army Vietnam Combat Veteran. She currently works as an administrative assistant for Welcome Home Alliance for Veterans. She has lived in the community for four years, and serves as a board member for Operation Sweet Tooth and volunteers with Prostaff Woods & Water Addiction. She is also a brand ambassador for Madera Outdoor Co. In her free time, she enjoys being active. Heard has two kids: Fletcher, 27, is manager of an Academy Sports and Outdoors store in Georgia, and Jessica, 25, is a journeyman analyst at Robins Air Force Base in Georgia. Her grandson, Brayden, is 7 and loves to play sports and takes gifted classes in school. Heard also has a younger brother, a younger sister, two nieces and a nephew. Q: Tell Montrose about your biggest passion. A: My biggest passion is my job. I love helping our veterans with their needs and being able to provide resources for them. Showing our veterans, from all across the nation, how wonderful and supportive our community is. Q: What do you love most about the Montrose/ Delta community? A: I love how our community supports our veterans and children. And, how supportive our community is towards our local nonprofit organizations whose missions are to provide help and resources for our veterans and for our children in our communty. Also, the support our community gives our small businesses. Q: In your opinion, why is it important to invest in your community? A: Investing in my community keeps the community thriving and growing for generations and sets a good example for the younger generations on how important your community is. Q: What do you enjoy doing for fun? A: I enjoy fly fishing, hunting, kayaking, softball and having coffee with our veterans. Q: What are your thoughts on being a 2019 Woman of Distinction? A: It is an honor. I was not expecting this at all because I do what I do because I love my job and absolutely love helping our veterans with all types of resources. I’m very thankful for being nominated and chosen as an honoree.

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Maryann Krabbe Cheering women on and coaching, Maryann Krabbe has found, is her calling. Krabbe is the owner of Hearts Song Life Coaching. She has lived in Montrose for 43 years. After having her third child, Krabbe struggled with postpartum depression. There weren’t many resources available, but she knew others who were struggling. So she started her quest to help others. Not long afer she got her degree in geriatrics. She also serves as a council member at Grace Community Church and mentors young mothers through Mothers of Preschoolers, or MOPS. While working as the pastor’s women she found herself sitting with women discussing life issues. Krabbe thought this would be a six month project, but it has become her career. She served as the Women’s Pastor at Grace Community Church for 17 years before starting her own life coaching business. When talking about what she finds rewarding about her work, Krabbe refers to her mission, which includes peace, contentment and hope regardless of circumstance. In her work, Krabbe said she has achieved a reward beyond anything she ever imagined. Maryann was married to Gary Krabble, who passed away in February 2018. They have three children: Laren works as a graphic designer and lives in Denver with her husband, Rob; Ross is in law enforcement in Telluride and lives in Ridgway with his wife, Catherine, and their son, James; Molly teaches kindergarten and lives in Scottsdale, Arizona, with her husband, Jason. Q: Tell Montrose about your biggest passion. A: My biggest passion, which is also a core value of mine, is integrity. I believe living a life of integrity brings wholeness to every area of our lives. It means being honest with others, but most importantly

with ourselves. As a life coach I have the opportunity to walk a long side women and be their biggest cheerleader! If at the end of the day I have helped someone grasp their self-worth, inner confidence and put their passion into action, I have had a really good day! Q: What do you love most about the Montrose/Delta community? A: As a child living in this community you could go to the grocery store and always see someone you knew. It’s not that way now but I love the people, the generosity and the way the community comes together when tragedy strikes. Q: In your opinion, why is it important to invest in your community? A: Community is what holds a special town together. We can’t have the attitude that “someone else” will step up. We have been given a great place to call home so we must make an effort to jump in where we feel passionate and agree to join the team to move Montrose forward. Not everyone is called to do everything, but there are so many things to be a part of. We need each other to build and maintain our beautiful town. Q: What do you enjoy doing for fun? A: For recreation I like to paddle board, hike, walk and use our rec center for classes and such. I also enjoy reading, hanging out at home puttering around my yard or sipping wine on my back patio! Q: What are your thoughts on being a 2019 Woman of Distinction? A: I am thrilled to have been nominated for this award! When I found out about it, I felt a sense of accomplishment, but more than that I began to reflect on the work I do and the impact I want to have on lives. Getting to be a part of this honor makes me cognizant of my opportunities and makes me want to be and serve in my business and community with more passion than ever!

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Carmen Jiminez - Mora Taking care of Montrose County is what nurse Carmen Jimenez-Mora does. Whether she is working as the nurse practitioner or the public health clinic manager, she steps up for the residents of the city. She is also a member of the Honor Society of Nursing. Jimenez-Mora also gives of her time as an associate clinical professor for undergraduate and graduate nursing students. Jimenez-Mora has lived in Montrose for 33 years. She is the mother of two sons: a business owner/entrepreneur and a civil engineer. She is also a mother-in-law to a program analyst and a victim witness coordinator. Jimenez-Mora is a grandmother to a 9-year-old and a 6 year old. Q: Tell Montrose about your biggest passion. A: The force that drives me and defines my passion is the love I have for family, community, country and, most importantly, God. I strive to model exemplary behavior; and to participate as a productive and positive citizen of Montrose County. As well as a clinician. My mantra is “Live.Work. Lead.” Q: What do you love most about the Montrose/Delta community? A: I love the unique combination of small town “friendliness” and big city progressiveness/resources without loss of the small town flavor. While surrounded by breathtaking scenery in a supportive environment. Q: In your opinion, why is it important to invest in your community? A: It is important to invest in your community, in my opinion, because of the huge dividends. Investing in your community is investing in yourself and future generations. The dividends are communities with strong foundations, strong values and productive/progressive citizens that continue the tradition of investing in their respective communities. Q: What do you enjoy doing for fun?A: My biggest enjoyment is spending time with my grandchildren. It’s like spending and enjoying time in the “past” and “future.” Spending time with my best friend — we laugh together and at each other. Family time is important and gives me pleasure. I enjoy dancing, traveling, swimming, outdoor activities and helping those in need. Q: What are your thoughts on being a 2019 Woman of Distinction? A: There are no words to describe the honor I felt when I learned that I had been nominated to be included in this group of prestigious women. And the positive responses and compliments I continue to receive from others is surreal and heartwarming. “My Tribe, my Circle has clapped loudly with this good news” and “want to see me win.­” (Wesley Snipes). Thank you.

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Amy Eifling Amy Eifling served in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1979-1984, and now she continues her service through her work with other veterans. Eifling has worked as an administrative assistant to physicians for 15 years. She started at the University of Colorado and then worked at Baylor College of Medicine, University of Texas and Methodist Hospital in Houston, Texas. Now retired, Eifling works as the volunteer coordinator for Welcome Home Alliance for Veterans. She has been in this role for three years and has been a volunteer for four. She assists with getting volunteers to help with events in the community and at the facility. Eifling is also involved in meeting and greeting vets as they come into the center. She wants to find out what they need and how WHAFV can assist them in getting those needs fulfilled. Her medical background has prepared her for her role at the center. If there is an emergency, she is able to keep calm and find the correct resource, be it medical, mental health or just someone to listen. As she puts it, the best part of her job is when a veteran comes in desperate, lonely or in need of clothes, a place to live or a job, and she and the others at WHAFV give them hope. Born in Gunnison, Eifling has lived in the area on and off since 1972. Her parents, sister and nieces and nephews live here. Her son, Blake, lives in Steamboat Springs and will be married to his fiancé Lisa soon. Her daughter, Phylicia, lives in Denver with her three children: Addy, Brooks and Ainsley.

to become a productive community member. We failed these guys in the Vietnam era, and now we say never again!

Q: Tell Montrose about your biggest passion. A: As a US Marine Corps veteran, I understand these guys that come into our center at Welcome Home Alliance for Veterans. My passion is caring for the veterans in Montrose and surrounding counties. To be a voice for the voiceless. I meet them where they are and accept them for who and what they are. The goal being to help them get on their feet, care for themselves and their family, and

Q: What are your thoughts on being a 2019 Woman of Distinction? A: I am honored to be recognized. It’s always nice and it makes me happy that it’s for something I love to do. Caring for veterans is an honor. WHAFV saved my life and giving back is my saving grace. These men and women come to us in need and for them to trust us enough to let us into their lives is life changing for me. I always want for them to know they are not forgotten.

Q: What do you love most about the Montrose/Delta community? A: We are a small community with a big heart. I have lived many places and this is home. I get to see that every time we have an event. We put out needs from clothes to food — ­ it pours in! They are generous and kind. I am never surprised at the giving spirit of Montrose. This community embraces our veterans and that is part of the mission of WHAFV. Q: In your opinion, why is it important to invest in your community? A: Investing in the veteran community is important for many reasons. First, if you invest in them, they are less liking to fall through the cracks. They are more likely to get a job, have successful family relationships and best of all, they are able to pay it forward. If we can be a safe place to fall, we can reach veterans that need all kinds of assistancemental health, employment or just a place to hang out and not be alone. Most of my guys want someone to listen and hear them. And then see them.

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Q: What do you enjoy doing for fun? A: My fun is my family. We have a huge family and their is always great family get togethers. And we laugh — all the time and mostly at each other.

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Shani Wittenberg Enjoying time with family and helping out the community are just a few things Shani Wittenberg enjoys doing Wittenberg is the City of Montrose finance director. She has been with the city for 25 years. She enjoys the team work between the different departments within the city organization, saying it make for a great place to work. She is also part of the Government Financial Officer’s Association. CO GFOA is an organization that assists governments across the state with education on new and /or existing accounting rules and regulations so participating on the education committee to plan events for learning. Her volunteer work includes work with her children’s classes, Boy Scouts and community events like FUNC Fest and household hazardous waste event. For 27 years, Wittenberg has called Montrose home. She is married to her

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husband, Joe, of 27 years, and they have two teenage children: Lucy and Daniel. She and her family enjoy traveling to different parts of the country to visit family and friends. Q: Tell Montrose about your biggest passion. A: Creating scrapbooks of my friends’ and family’s adventures full of pictures and memorabilia is one of my passions. It allows us to spend time together, reminiscing and enjoying the past and looking forward to the future. Q: What do you love most about the Montrose/Delta community? A: I love Montrose for its small town feel and the beauty that surrounds it, making it a great place to live, work and play.

Q: In your opinion, why is it important to invest in your community? A: Investing in the community helps it to become sustainable into the future. You don’t have to invest financially to make the community better; investing your time and talents is very rewarding as well. Q: What do you enjoy doing for fun? A: We enjoy traveling around this beautiful state camping and hiking with my family and friends. Q: What are your thoughts on being a 2019 Woman of Distinction? A: The Montrose community is full of very talented women and I am very honored to have been nominated.


Nancy Ball Nancy Claire Ball’s grandmother was interested in government. And Ball, she’s always been interested in government and traveling. While in college she studied political science. Now Ball serves as secretary for the League of Women Voters of Montrose County, which serves Montrose and Delta counties. Ball has lived in Montrose for 29 years. Feeling burned out by a stressful job in Southern California, She decided to move to Montrose not know anyone and without having a job. When she saw the San Juan Mountains, she decided this was the place she wanted to be. She took a one year sabbatical and skied, hiked and explored before becoming a realtor. This is when she met her husband, Norm, who was wanting to move to Montrose to be closer to family. Norm has an early tie to Montrose and the Western Slope as he attended third grade at Morgan School and his father was a hoist operator at mines in Ouray and Silverton. Because he is familiar with a lot of back roads from that time as well as exploring on his own, Ball and Norm did a lot of motorcycle and dirt bike riding on backroads. Their adventures took them around the U.S. including Hawaii and Alaska, and as far as New Zealand. They took many trips on the motorcycle through national parks. They have put the motorcycle away, and now ride an ATV. Between the two, there are four children. Ball has two daughters who live in northern California. One is a partial owner of a winery in Uruguay and the other has her law degree and teaches at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Norm has a daughter who lives in Florida and a son who lives in Vietnam. Q: Tell Montrose about your biggest passion. A: A society and world with equality, civility, compassion, equal opportunity, productivity, security, tranquility and peace. Thus, my interest in governments — their history and their evolution to meet the changing needs of their peoples. In our country’s democratic republic with its Constitution and Bill of Rights that allow for and encourage every voice to be heard, this societal atmosphere can be achieved. By well-informed people working together — locally, across states, nationwide and internationally — accords can be reached and resolutions found. Being a member of the League of Women Voters gives me the

perfect opportunity to work toward reaching those goals. Q: What do you love most about the Montrose/Delta community? A: The word “community” says it all — people. People who care deeply about our towns, unselfishly devoted to improving residents’ lives on a daily basis through their employment or various organizations. Dedicated people who strive to work together to achieve common goals are the reason our community is thriving. Q: In your opinion, why is it important to invest in your community? A: Investment is key for both present and future residents, and is respectful of the dedicated work of our forebearers. Present investment is vital for the well-being, tranquility and security of today’s residents, while investing for the future goes a long way to assure that our community will be a desirable place for the young people of today to remain and will be a drawing card for retirees, businesses and out-of-the-area folks to establish, settle and earn and good living. Dedicated investment protects, preserves and improves our wonderful community now and in the future. Q: What do you enjoy doing for fun? A: While I used to love exploring our gorgeous mountains with Norm, at this point in my life I am enjoying get-togethers with friends, trips to California to visit my daughters, two sisters and childhood friends, attending local events and The Forum, and playing Scrabble and doing word puzzles online. Q: What are your thoughts on being a 2019 Woman of Distinction? A: To be numbered among the remarkable women who have made positive differences by their dedicated work to improve our community is truly an honor I shall long remember! It warms my heart to know that in a community as small as ours there are so many more women with the talents necessary to bring about positive changes from which to choose Women of Distinction in future years. I feel so fortunate to live here! A hearty “thank you” to the sponsors of the award that recognizes our work and causes us to continue to strive to be worthy.

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WOMAN OF THE YEAR

Nancy Fishering Family and the importance of contributing to the big picture is what brings Nancy Fishering to the WOD. Fishering is a retired business owner , owning Olathe Corn Company and Mountain Quality Marketing and Nancy Fishering Consulting – Natural Resource and Forest Management Analyst. Currently, she is Club 20 co-chair and Public Lands and Natural Resource Committee and Colorado Forest and Water Alliance (COFWA) representative for Club 20. Fishering has been involved in many organizations and projects over the 35 years she has lived here including: Montrose County RE-1J School Board for eight years; charter member Public Lands Partnership for 25 years; Western Workforce Development Board from 2010-16; Montrose Chamber of Commerce Community Action Plan from 1994-95; Montrose Comprehensive Plan in 1998; Uncompahgre Leadership Program from 1994- 2005; Community Corrections Board from 1984-96; Western Colorado Agriculture Development from 19851990; MEDC member; Rotarian; and Montrose Methodist Church. She and her husband, John, have been married for 42 years. Their children are: Reid and wife Meredith, grandchild Reagan who live in Montrose; Lindsey and husband Dixon, grandchild Preston who also live in Montrose; and Rachael and husband John, grandtwins Aberdeen and Berna-

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dette who live in Houston.

Q: Tell Montrose about your biggest passion.

A: My first passion is family and I have been fortunate to live and work on a farm and in a business that has allowed me to revolve around family. Another passion has been to engage with a wide variety of community groups that bring a diversity of folks together to learn about and work on challenging issues. Examples have been tackling issues in our family business, in economic development for agriculture and forest management companies, in our school district, in passing school bonds, in launching the local leadership program now called Montrose U, and in the 1994 Community Action plan.

Q: What do you love most about the Montrose/Delta community?

A: I love the beauty and richness of our environment. Love the incredible people that I have met while working on so many different projects around the valley. Montrose is blessed to have had visionary community leaders which led to a very dynamic city and county.

Q: In your opinion, why is it important to invest in your community?

A: The Uncompahgre Valley Leadership program said it best: “Because the quality of a community depends on the capability of its leaders.” To me this meant working in

small ways or by contributing the hours necessary to improve a program, or helping find creative solutions to build a school or add to a church, or collaborating with partners to work on complex natural resource issues. One’s investment of time is well rewarded by the friends one meets, the new relationships that grow, and from seeing concrete results at the end of a project.

Q: What do you enjoy doing for fun?

A: Reading, hiking, walking the dogs, stained glass crafts, choir, travel and even “working” on the farm is fun for me. In different stages I find I enjoy new things such as babysitting grandbabies or spending time in Mexico.

Q: What are your thoughts on being a 2019 Woman of Distinction?

A: It was a true honor to be nominated since I had no grand plan or special accomplishment. My contributions are at the level of being a “worker bee,” a team problem solver or “policy wonk.” To me those qualifications don’t seem to rise to the levels of “distinction.” I have so enjoyed working with many women in this valley who are truly worthy of that honor. I do appreciate that it takes many hands, and many different skills to build a community, and have found that my projects were personally rewarding and hopefully of value to our valley.


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Margaret Goodhue Margaret Goodhue, a retired banker, has lived in Montrose for 60 years. She was employed by Wells Fargo Bank as a lender for real estate and agriculture customers, and after retiring, she remained with the bank as a member of its board of directors. She is not only professionally accomplished, she has also served her community as a volunteer. She was the first female president of the Montrose Chamber of Commerce. She was a charter member of Altrusa International, serving as the local president, the District 10 governor and a member of several international committees within the organization. She currently is a trustee on the Colorado Mesa University Foundation board and a member of the local CMU Advisory Council. She is an active member of the United Methodist Church. Margaret is married to David Goodhue, and together they have a son, Dennis, who has a wife named Sherry and a son named John. David is semi-retired, operating with Margaret a small agriculture business raising grain and hay to be marketed to local livestock producers.

Q: Tell Montrose about your biggest passion.

A: My real passion is higher education. Today’s employment op-

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portunities have changed. Much of the focus is on high tech both in academic and vocational positions. The medical community, auto manufactures and teachers face new challenges daily. I am proud to say the school district has partnered with CMU offering concurrent classes for students to have a head start on college. I derive a great deal of satisfaction working with the CMU Foundation in their quest to generate and distribute funds for scholarships and first class educational facilities.

Q: What do you love most about Montrose/Delta community?

A: What’s not to love about the Montrose area!? In addition to the caring and giving people we have great public and private schools, a fine hospital, world-class recreation opportunities, a wonderful transit system, responsive civic leaders, strong religious support from our churches … all nestled in a valley surrounded by the beautiful San Juan mountains.

Q: In your opinion, why is it important to invest in your community?

A: Time seems to be our most valuable asset. Without dedicated individuals that serve on boards and in other leadership positions Montrose would not enjoy the success that we have

today. We are grateful for those that planned years ago for the growth of Montrose. Major improvements took personal investment of time and team work to bring new businesses to town. When opportunity comes knocking Montrose stands ready to answer the door.

Q: What do you enjoy doing for fun?

A: Fun always includes family, holidays, birthdays and any reason to celebrate. Travel is a priority. Golf in Hawaii, golf in Florida and golf in Montrose. Living in Colorado, we always leave the latch string out for friends and family to visit. Don’t forget trips to the high country and shopping.

Q: What are you thoughts on being a 2019 Woman of Distinction?

A: I was pleasantly surprised to be included in the Class of 2019 Woman of Distinction. It is truly an honor to be recognized for volunteerism. Growing up in a small community, all we learned was to look out for one another. I have been blessed to have an awesome family, good friends and a supportive employer. With the grace of God we are all given the opportunity to lift someone up be it a smile, a hello or let me help you with your troubles today.


Jeri B. Gilham Jeri B. Gilham has been supporting early and late literacy throughout her career. With a master’s degree in library science, she began her career In Jefferson County, Colorado, where she was a children’s librarian. She later moved to Detroit where she was the bookmobile and outreach librarian for several inner city locations. She continues her work with lieracy outreach at the Montrose Regional Library through the Bookmobile and youth services department. Gilham said a mobile library is a powerful tool to to encourage reluctant and underserved library users and it acts as a bridge of inclusiveness to the community.. Gilham has lived in the area since December 1994. She and her husband have five children, all of whom went to school in the Montrose County School District. In her family, their uniqueness is celebrated and they are all devoted to the family.Their passions range from the medical field to art, clothing design, literature and world traveling. When she first moved to Colorado,

Gilham was a substitute teacher at the media center until her children were older, and that’s when she applied to be a librarian at the Montrose Regional Library. For the past 12 years she has been the director of outreach, and is the head of Youth Services and Outreach for the Montrose Regional Library District. Gilham is also part of the American Library Association, Colorado Association of Libraries, Association of Bookmobile and Outreach Services. She recently was awarded the Youth Services Award from the Colorado Association of Libraries.

Q: Tell Montrose about your biggest passion.

A: My biggest passion is freedom... to pursue my career as an advocate for literacy...to pursue my individuality and faith...to encourage my children in their diversity....to stand in awe of the medical profession and the incredible services those individuals give to us and to be eternally grateful for this country and the opportunities it has given me.

Q: What do you love most about the Montrose/Delta community?

A: The people...all ages...and the view from my windows....Montrose is central to so much beauty and adventure and it has so many interesting people. Everyday I embrace and celebrate the diverse personalities and cultures of our community.

A: Engaging with my family....they are so challenging, entertaining and interesting as adults! Reading anywhere and everywhere. Loving Smokey the Bear and what he represents and camping in all the places he has been and he tries to protect. Love all the drama of NFL football, Soccer and NBA...sports in general and weightlifting with my great trainer.

Q: In your opinion, why is it important to invest in your community?

Q: What are your thoughts on being a 2019 Woman of Distinction?

A: As a youth services and Bookmobile librarian for the Montrose library, I am able to bring literacy tools and programs to so many community venues and to encourage collaborations with organizations. To bring the library outside its walls and use the Bookmobile as a bridge to the community has been powerful, fulfilling and far reaching. Investing where one lives, plays, works, shows such respect and love and hope, that I cannot imagine not investing.

Q: What do you enjoy doing for fun?

A: Humbling. Just by being a woman, I feel we are distinct. There are so many women everyday that we stand beside, pray with, celebrate and grief with, and share joy with that to be identified individually is an otherworldly experience. There are so many voices and faces that share in this honor, that I have to give great thanks and acknowledgement to all who participated in this award and its nomination process. And to all who enjoy words as much as I do, celebrate their power and use them with dignity, wisdom and worth. Thank you for this moment and honor.

Congratulations To all the Women of Distinction Nominees

INDEPENDENCE • COMMUNITIES • COMPASSION • INTEGRITY • LOYALTY 40 LOCATIONS FROM DURANGO TO DENVER

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Phyllis Wiesner Years ago, Phyllis Wiesner received a gleam of hope. That hope was given to her by Bosom Buddies while she was battling breast cancer. Now, over 20 years later, she is giving that lifeline to other women. Wiesner is currently the president of Bosom Buddies. She said the greatest gift she received from this organization is meeting all the people involved, adding it is so rewarding to see, a hope in a women’s eyes after speaking to or meeting with them. She is currently retired, but she has worked as a medical technologist at Montrose Memorial Hospital, as a computer para at Oak Grove School and, most recently, as a clinic coordinator at the San Juan Cancer Center. Wiesner is also a member of PEO (philanthropic education organization) Chapter HL, a board member of the San Juan Healthcare Foundation and a Hopewest volunteer at Heirlooms for over 10 years. She has lived in Montrose for 33 years. Wiesner has been married to her husband, Paul, for 43 years. They have three children together: Eric, Andrea and Steven. They also have four grandchildren: Cubbins, Daisy, Kian and Otis. Wiesner and her family enjoy being active.

Q: Tell Montrose about your biggest passion. A: Bosom Buddies has played an important role in my life for many years. When I was first diagnosed with breast cancer, a small group of women all with the same diagnosis served as a lifeline for me, giving me hope and encouragement. I love being able to do the same for other women touched by this devastating disease. There is nothing more rewarding than giving other women hope, emotional support and the ability to express their fears and experiences through sharing. Q: What do you love most about the Montrose/Delta community? A: I love that this community always gives back. I admire the generosity, support, compassion and thoughtfulness of the people and businesses. I love the diversity of the area — the history, cultures, natural beauty and recreational opportunities. It’s a great place to call home and raise a family. Q: In your opinion, why is it important to invest in your community? A: The Montrose community means family. Being part of a family means supporting all aspects of that family. It is im-

portant to be a good example for our children, supporting them and their schools, its sports programs and curriculum. We set a good example also by encouraging local talent and theater (Magic Circle Theatre), by providing a safe and stimulating atmosphere through outdoor activities (water park and community center), and by encouraging local businesses and entrepreneurship in order to cultivate growth, diversity and a healthy economy. Q: What do you enjoy doing for fun? A: I love hanging out with friends and family, enjoying a variety of outdoor activities — hiking, biking, skiing and golf. I also enjoy using our beautiful community center, participating in the classes offered and playing pickleball. Traveling and just relaxing with a good book also make the list. Q: What are your thoughts on being a 2019 Woman of Distinction? A: There are many women in this community who are deserving of this award. I am deeply honored and excited to be a part of that group.

OUR FRIEND AND PRESIDENT

PHYLLIS WIESNER

ALWAYS A WOMAN OF DISTINCTION TO US! 24 | Women of Distinction

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Congratulates


Kim Redman

Q: Tell Montrose about your biggest passion. A: Beyond my family, my biggest passion is our local community theatre, Magic Circle Players. I have participated in more than 20 shows, mostly behind the scenes. It takes all kinds of people to put on the number and quality of shows we provide to this community and I love being a part of it. I have volunteered as a board

member, president and now as treasurer. I also volunteer as a stage manager for one to two production per season. Choreographing the (hopefully) seamless transition between scenes reflects my passion. It also encompasses a big part of my paying job! Q: What do you love most about the Montrose/Delta community? A: I love that we are still a small town, where you can see people you know when you are out and about, but that it is large enough to provide conveniences. The natural beauty doesn’t hurt either! I love seeing the San Juans as I drive to work.

to you than it is to be a part of making things happen. Q: What do you enjoy doing for fun? A: Whether close or far from home, traveling and seeing things outside of my norm brings me joy. I am grateful that I can share those experiences with my children, show them the variety of places and people in this country. I ski in the winter and camp in the summer.

Q: What are your thoughts on being a 2019 Woman of Distinction? A: I am honored to be recognized. In my personal and professional life I try to give as much time and energy as I can into making things better. Whether I am representing my family, my business or my theater, whether that representation is on the job, out in public or on Capitol Hill, I try to put forth the effort and it is nice to be recognized for that. I hope it can inspire at least one more person to give what they can.

Q: In your opinion, why is it important to invest in your community? A: Our community is what we make it. Investing time, effort or money into our community allows it to reflect the diversity of our population. If we don’t invest to make it what we want, and reflecting who we are as a group, it will only reflect the loud. This applies on a local and national level, and I try to effect change in both. Our community can be better, but everyone needs to step up and be willing to invest. It’s easier to complain about what’s happening

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Whether she’s shuffling around stage props or taking care of her kids, Kim Redman is on the go. Redman spends her days as the president and general manager of Alpine Archaeological Consultants. Her second job: caring for her kiddos. For almost two decades, Redman has called Montrose home. She is passionate about theater and has spent a considerable amount of time participating with and volunteering for Magic Circle Players. She is currently the treasurer. She is also the president of the American Cultural Resource Association (National Organization) Redman and her wife, Amy, have two children: Sara, 10, and Luke, 9. Her parents, Larry and Delores, have moved from Kentucky to Montrose.

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Tawna Caddy Tawna Caddy was born in Montrose and has lived here most of her life. The civil officer at the Montrose County Sheriff’s Office, she’s been with the law enforcement agency for almost 16 years in various positions from 911 dispatcher, to receptionist and records technician. She was the victim services coordinator for nine years, dealing with issues affecting victims of crime. Caddy is also active in her church and has been involved in a number of different positions over the years. Currently, she’s the teacher for the 6- and 7-year-old children in Sunday school. She says they are “sweet, wonderful, intelligent” students. Caddy has been married to her husband, Keith, for 36 years this August. They have five children: Danielle, James, Keith Jr., Benjamin and David. Danielle is married to Kiel Wyatt, James’ partner is Kris Trabue, and Keith Jr. is married to Faith. Q: Tell Montrose about your biggest passion. A: My family is my biggest joy and passion. Q: What do you love most about the Montrose/ Delta community? A: Montrose is my hometown. I have seen so many changes and growth over the years, but I love that it is still a small, rural community. I love the mountains, blue skies, sunshine and nothing can beat fall in Western Colorado. Q: In your opinion, why is it important to invest in your community? A: My husband and I are both from pioneer families that settled in the Montrose, Ouray and Olathe areas, and because of that, it’s important to both of us to invest in our community to help it to grow and survive. We want it to stay a place where a person wants to raise a family, retire and be a place our ancestors would be proud they helped settle. Q: What do you enjoy doing for fun? A: I enjoy spending time with my family, playing with our dogs, making quilts, spending time with my quilting peeps and reading. Q: What are your thoughts on being a 2019 Woman of Distinction? A: I am very surprised and humbled to receive this award, and honored to be included with all these incredible women. So many other women deserve this honor more than me. With that said, I am so happy to be representing the Montrose County Sheriff’s Office. The people I work with are so amazing. All of us at the sheriff’s office care so much about our community and want to serve and assist the people who live in this wonderful community of Montrose.

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Maria Verble Maria Verble’s path has brought her to serving others. She is a wife, homemaker, mother, grandmother, friend and employee. Serving others is her passion, and her occupation in life is service to the Lord. Verble has been the creative support specialist in retail at HopeWest/Heirlooms for Hospice for six years. After volunteering for several years, she was asked to become part of the staff. She is responsible for the merchandising/ design/displays, keeping the store up, and, most importantly, customer service. She continues her work as a volunteer in the community at HopeWest, cooking, baking and participating in event planning/preparation/execution. Verble also volunteers at her church and is willing to lend a helping hand whenever she can to those in need. She does that by helping to cook and bake cakes for those in need, caring for the elderly, helping disabled children and more. She is a wife to her high school sweetheart, David. The two have been married for 34 years. They have two daughters: Cierra and Brianna. Their eldest Cierra is married to Cory and they have two children: 3-year-old Eli and 1-year-old Lexi Jane. Brianna is engaged to be married to Nick. Q: Tell Montrose about your biggest passion. A: My heartfelt passion most definitely revolves around people. Coming from a large family and having sought out opportunities to nurture, teach, coach, mentor, care-give, volunteer and create, I have been blessed to serve those around me. People are my passion! My position at Heirlooms not only gives me daily opportunities to serve customers, volunteers and staff directly, but also allows for an indirect and deeper extension of service helping benefit the individuals and families through the mission of HopeWest and hospice care. Q: What do you love most about the Montrose/Delta community? A: The mixture of city and country

present an appealing call to reside... The early a.m. crop duster, the beautiful sunrises/sunsets, the bustle of Townsend Avenue, the activities at the rec center and the pavilion, the mountains, rivers and trails are all in close proximity. Q: In your opinion, why is it important to invest in your community? A: I feel a thriving community is reflected by the positive support we invest. Personal achievements to me are secondary to the service we can give others — the opportunities we act upon and the examples we leave behind as a footprint. When we give of ourselves, our resources, our talents, our time, our energy, our smiles/hugs, our productivity and creativity; we, in turn, are truly blessed... and the circle continues. There are a couple sayings I told my children: “What goes around, comes around”; and “You become who you hang around with.” There is nothing more spot on! Q: What do you enjoy doing for fun? A: I embrace every chance to be with my family and in the great outdoors. I love to swim...anywhere, hike mountains, paddleboard the lakes, travel to quiet and quaint places, read non-fiction, listen to music, bake and design “specialty cakes,” entertain with gusto, create and recreate projects, and design...whatever comes to mind! I feel all I do really is “fun!” Q: What are your thoughts on being a 2019 Woman of Distinction? A: My first thought upon hearing my nomination for WOD 2019 was...”What? Really? Wow! Me?” I honestly am beyond words. It’s just simple me here, that loves life and enjoys it to the fullest. I am not deserving of such recognition, however, I am gratefully, humbled and most respectfully honored. There are many wonderful, achieving and prominent women out there...what a lovely deal to be included! I was once asked what my favorite word is and without any question, it is “joy!” I love how it resonates in my life and what it stands for. All glory to God!

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Tania Hajjar Tania Hajjar, the assistant director of the Montrose Regional Library District, has lived in our community for 25 years this October. She is active with Magic Circle Players and the United Methodist Church. Her family includes her husband of 26 years, Christopher Tarman. They live with two big, friendly dogs and one small scaredy cat.

to share in other lives.

Q: Tell Montrose about your biggest passion. A: I love stories. People’s lives are so interesting — whether they are real or fictional. For most of my career I have been a reference librarian, answering questions and researching topics that help people fill in the blanks in their own lives. I have always been drawn to the arts for the same reason: literature, theater, music and dance tell endless stories about life. Travel, too, opens our eyes to the many different ways that people live. Though we are the stars of our own stories, I always feel privileged

Q: In your opinion, why is it important to invest in your community? A: I believe we should invest in our community because the results enrich our collective lives. It’s individuals and volunteers who dream up and carry out their ideas that make Montrose a wonderful place to live. There are so many examples of these successes, large and small. I know it’s a cliché, but I believe that we can do so much more together than we can alone.

Q: What do you love most about the Montrose/Delta community? A: I love the quality of life here! It’s easy to walk or bike to work, the movies, the park, and to all the fun places downtown. I also love that it’s easy to get involved in any organization or activity — Montrose is such a welcoming place.

Q: What do you enjoy doing for fun?

A: Fun things I enjoy are: traveling with my husband, my weekly knitting group and Pilates workouts, taking the dogs to the dog park, riding bikes with friends, and community theater. Since I’m a librarian I also have to say reading, which is a given. Q: What are your thoughts on being a 2019 Woman of Distinction? A: What a surprise! Being named a Woman of Distinction is a wonderful recognition for myself and for the Montrose library. I’m already happily acquainted with many of the other nominees, and it’s been lovely meeting the rest. Such talent and energy making a difference for Montrose! As this award recognizes, women are often the do-ers in a family, a workplace and a community. Much of the time we labor behind the scenes, putting others first. I would like to acknowledge all of the women in my circle who do exactly that — I see you, and you are amazing!

would like to offer sincere congratulations to all of the

Thank you for all you do for our community.

28 | Women of Distinction

August 11, 2019

Congratulations Tania

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Congratulations Jeri

Taken by Johnny Lee, Montrose Photography.


Virginia Harman For a community to be its best, Virginia Harman believes it’s about what you put into it. Harman is the chief operating officer for DeltaMontrose Electric Association, or DMEA. Harman worked her way up, starting as the manager of member services then becoming the vice president of member relations and human resources. As COO, she oversees member relations, HR as well as operations and engineering, and marketing and communications. DMEA is a not-for-profit organization that prides itself on its commitment to the community. Through her position at DMEA, she helps to ensure that this value and the volunteer program stays active and a central part to what they do. Among the many ways DMEA is trying to better the community is its effort to get Elevate, or high- speed internet, in more neighborhoods in the community. Harman and her husband, Bryce, have been married for 16 years. They have two sons: Percy is 8 years old; and Jude is 6. Harman’s husband is the Art Director for Southern Arkansas University and homeschools Percy and Jude. She and her family are active in their church and help with things from being in the nursery to conducting food drives. Harman also does other community services including working with

Habitat for Humanity, Salvation Army, at the food kitchen and more. Q: Tell Montrose about your biggest passion. A: The cornerstone of my life is my faith in my Lord. Every single good thing in my life — my husband, my sons, my friends, my health, my job — is a gift from God. I am constantly reminded of His mercy, grace and love as He sees me and my family through difficulties, and heaps blessings upon us. I know that I couldn’t accomplish anything without Him. My family and I attend Trinity Reformed Presbyterian Church here in Montrose and truly love our church family there. Q: What do you love most about the Montrose/Delta community? A: I have never lived in a community as friendly as Montrose. While I enjoy the nearby outdoor opportunities, the excellent restaurants, the wonderful rec center and fun downtown shops, what I truly love about Montrose is the kindness and welcoming spirit of the people who live here. Q: In your opinion, why is it important to invest in your community? A: As with most things in life, I believe what you

get out of your community is only as good as what you put into it. If you want your community to be better, you have to be willing to invest in it to make positive things happen. I have never been one to sit back and complain about what a community does or doesn’t offer. Instead, I prefer to participate in all that the community does offer and work to bring about change or improvement in the areas that are lacking. Q: What do you enjoy doing for fun? A: My family and I are outdoor enthusiasts. We love camping, hiking, skiing, soaking in hot springs and just finding any-good excuse to be outside. My husband and I also enjoy growing grapes and peaches and all the work that comes along with that. Q: What are your thoughts on being a 2019 Woman of Distinction? A: I am honored to be included in this group of amazing women. It is always a joy to learn about the people around us, how they contribute to our community, about their passions and their lives. There are so many amazing women in our community, I hardly feel worthy of being recognized. But, I am thankful and honored.

Congratulations Virginia Harman &

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Virginia Harman Nominee For Women of Distinction Thank you for all you do for our community. August 11, 2019

Women of Distinction | 29


Lori Sharp Lori Sharp has found her “thing” — non-profit work. The advertising executive turned non-profit consultant works with five local clients: All Points Transit, Black Canyon Boys & Girls Club, Community Options, Inc., Dream Catcher Therapy Center/End of the Trail Rescue, and Maslow Academy. As she puts it, the skills she honed as an advertising director set her up for her current position. Sharp is also a founding member of the Montrose Recreation Foundation (2013) and served as board president for five years. She participates on the team that puts on the regional Rural Philanthropy Days and does ongoing training for area non-profits. Sharp has lived in the area for 10 years. Her husband, Collin Sharp, is a surgeon at Montrose Surgical Associates. They have two children — Liam, a sophomore at Montrose High School; and

30 | Women of Distinction

Paige, is a seventh-grader at Centennial Middle School. She participates in her children’s sporting clubs and schools. Three years ago, her mother, Eileen Slicker, moved to Montrose to be closer to the family Q: Tell Montrose about your biggest passion. A: Besides family, friends and traveling, my biggest passion is assisting local non-profits in meeting their financial goals. This small role helps enable them to do the amazing work they set out to achieve. I am constantly in awe of the teams I work with including volunteer board members who give of their time and talents without hesitation. Non-profit leaders are running businesses with numerous challenges and heavy burdens, yet they are not given the credit I think they deserve. I try to help them push that large fundraising boulder up the mountain one grant and donor at a time.

August 11, 2019

Q: What do you love most about the Montrose/Delta community? A: The people are so giving. I am amazed with my “village” and how generous they are with their time and love. Through my work, I have met people I would not otherwise know. They constantly amaze me with their kindness and dedication. And those mountains, they greet me everyday and make me smile. Q: In your opinion, why is it important to invest in your community? A: This one is interesting to me, as I was never a localist anywhere else I have lived. Upon moving to Montrose, I quickly learned the importance of local community on quality of life. Together, we can control our destiny. But divided, our community will falter and fade. I have seen amazing things happen in this community when people put their differences aside, and work toward a common goal

of making Montrose a better place to live. Q: What do you enjoy doing for fun? A: Anything involving mountains! Skiing, hiking, mountain biking, paddle boarding a mountain lake or river... I also enjoy a nice beach vacation on occasion, but always love coming home to “my mountains.” Q: What are your thoughts on being a 2019 Woman of Distinction? A: I am humbled and honored, and still trying to figure out who nominated me. I don’t think of myself in these terms, but it absolutely feels good to know someone in our community does. When I see the other women nominated this year and in past years, I am proud to be considered in their league. I look forward to meeting the nominees that I do not personally know and expanding my village even further.


Valerie Meyers Valerie Meyers, a realtor at Coldwell Banker for 17 years, moved to Montrose from San Diego 25 years ago. When/if she actually retires, it will be right here in Montrose. The most important part of her job, she says, is helping someone find, “home.” Finding “home” isn’t just finding a place to lay your head and store your belongings, she says, it’s also about finding a great community and a network of friends and neighbors that you love and care about. She has two boys. One is at Montrose High School in the marching band, and the other is an active duty Army soldier. She met her artist husband at Walmart 16 years ago, and they got married two weeks later. Her husband is fighting Parkinson’s, and her family hopes to win the battle against the disease. Q: Tell Montrose about your biggest passion. A: I’m passionate about many things. It’s so hard to answer this question. I love making a difference in someone else’s life. I get to do that a lot with my work. I also love helping veterans. My passion started right before my son enlisted and went to Afghanistan at the age of 19. In the past, I have served as a board member for Welcome Home Alliance for Veterans, and currently as a fundraiser and volunteer for Homes For Our Troops. Homes for Our Troops builds specially adapted homes for severely injured post 9/11 veterans. I get to help veterans and help them find “home.” Q: What do you love most about the Montrose/Delta community? A: I love the people of the Western Slope. Specifically, I love how friendly and generous people are here. Most people I have met or talked to have a common gratefulness of our amazing lifestyle and weather. I love how people really

care to make Montrose a better place and how they welcome our veterans. Q: In your opinion, why is it important to invest in your community? A: Investing in your community makes everyone’s quality of life better, including my own. I love my life here, and want others to also love their lives here. In my business, it’s important to have a vital, desirable and healthy community so that others want to be here. I earn my living in our community and from our community members. It’s important to me to be a participant, and not just a spectator. It takes doers, and givers to get things done. I’m so proud to have helped champion our new Montrose Community Recreation Center. Q: What do you enjoy doing for fun? A: I love being outdoors and meeting new, interesting people. I love baseball. It’s my favorite sport to watch besides martial arts and boxing. I love music, wine and beer festivals mostly because it involves being outside with fun and crazy people. I love tending to my flowers and my yard. Q: What are your thoughts on being a 2019 Woman of Distinction? A: Well, of course I’m completely blessed and honored to have been nominated. Wow! Being nominated makes me recognize that others in our community look up to me, and that causes me to pause and take a deep breath. It gives me the desire to be more diligent in making a difference in my community, and the people that surround me. I discovered Montrose is a special place with special people, and there isn’t anywhere else that I’d rather live. There are incredible women in our community that deserve to be on this list, more than I. I’m humbled.

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2019 Women of Distinction  

2019 Women of Distinction

2019 Women of Distinction  

2019 Women of Distinction