2017 Honoree Celebration Nominees

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Cheers to all of our 2017 Award Nominees! Here is some information about each outstanding business and/or individual. 


Youth of the Year Nominees

Natalie Holley
Youth of the Year Nominee

Natalie has been working in the Sells Law Firm office for nearly a year and has been a tremendous support to their clients. She demonstrates exceptional professionalism and knowledge and has been a true joy to have in the office. She is graduating from Evergreen High this year and has been an exceptional leader at the school. She leads the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, has been the golf team captain (qualifying for the state tournament), and is a perpetual honor student who has been given an appointment at the U.S. Air Force Academy. She is also an active volunteer at her church, and has even trained a service dog from puppyhood to employment.


Piper Richey
Youth of the Year Nominee

Piper plays volleyball for Conifer High School, volunteers for volleyball with younger kids, and has helped out at Intermountain Humane Society. Piper is in the Evergreen Rotary's Interact Club, National Honor Society and is going to State with Distributive Education Clubs of America (DECA).  She is helping raise money for DECA scholarships by going to local businesses and making an ask. Piper Richey is a go-getter youth in our mountain community!

Nonprofit of the Year Nominees


AT HOME in Evergreen
Nonprofit of the Year Nominee

The faith based organizations in town, together with AT HOME, banded together to create the first homeless shelter in our mountain community.  This gave birth to the new Emergency Shelter Program (ESP). A planning committee met throughout the year to write procedures, recruit host sites, train volunteers, raise funds, purchase bedding supplies, and conduct community information meetings.

The shelter program began in October 2016 and started receiving its first homeless guests in November when temperatures turned cold. Shelter guests receive a hot meal and a warm place to sleep on severe weather nights.


Bootstraps, Inc.
Nonprofit of the Year Nominee

Bootstraps' mission is helping Conifer and Evergreen students fulfill their educational dreams and they've been doing it for over 70 years.  Since 1945, Bootstraps, Inc., has awarded more than $3.5 million in scholarships and interest-free loans to over 1300 students.  Last year alone, they awarded 88 scholarships and interest-free loans totaling $202,000.

They have a matching donation program and their board does an excellent job stewarding the funds and pairing the many applicants with the appropriate scholarships each year.


Drive Smart
Nonprofit of the Year Nominee

Drive Smart provides much-needed education regarding safe driving practices for all ages. Their fundraising events are wildly popular and unite our community. They integrate education with exciting events including the Triple Bypass, Barks & Belts, and Skate the Lake. They have recently introduced "The Experienced Driver Safety Program", which will assist older drivers, their families, and the community with resources to help older drivers to continue to drive as safely as possible for as long as possible.


Evergreen Christian Outreach
Nonprofit of the Year Nominee

Evergreen Christian Outreach does so much for the community.  In addition to participating in multiple fundraising events, last year 9678 individuals took advantage of one of EChO's many services. Their programs touched an average of 230 households monthly. These households may be single men or women, couples, or families with children making an impact on approximately 1100 adults and 550 children each month.

They have recently taken over the administration of the Emergency Shelter Program, working to train volunteers and set up schedules.


EAS+Y- Evergreen Alliance for Sustainability + You
Nonprofit of the Year Nominee

Evergreen Alliance for Sustainability works to make our community more environmentally friendly and appealing by creating the community gardens, recycling, and raising environmental awareness.

In March 2016 EAS+Y began construction on a new community garden and nature-based play area with the help of a $43,900 grant from Great Outdoors Colorado. The garden is located at Wilmot Elementary and has 30 garden beds, a toolshed, a shaded gathering area for classes, meetings and workshops. The nature based play area features an interactive play area utilizing natural elements such as sand pit, green tunnels, boulders for climbing as well as a sensory garden.


Evergreen Elks Lodge #2363
Nonprofit of the Year Nominee

The Elks are celebrating their 50th Anniversary of helping youth, nonprofits and our local community. Last year they donated over $40,000 to local mountain nonprofits. They work tirelessly volunteering to raise funds to benefit our community, state and country.

The community events they sponsor are almost too many to name, but include the Easter Egg Hunt and Free Breakfast, Crawfish Boil, Rodeo Parade and Lunch, Thanksgiving Dinner for Seniors, Christmas Wish List for Laradon Hall, Flag Day, Jazz Festival, and Red, White and Brew.  They have donated to Alpine Rescue, Big Dogs, Bootstraps, Conifer High School, EChO, Drive Smart, Freedom Service Dogs, MALT, Peace Works, Senior Resource Center, Mount Evans Hospice, Scout Troops and many more.


Leadership Evergreen Class of 2015
Nonprofit of the Year Nominee

The class of 2015 elevated Leadership Evergreen by starting a Legacy Fund and securing a 501(C)6 designation.

This class had 100% participation who volunteered hundreds of hours to have an event that broke the Guinness Book of World Records with the World's Longest Picnic Table. They organized the event, sold tables, promoted the event, built and dismantled over 120 picnic tables and sent documentation to Guinness.  Not only did they realize their goal of breaking the Guinness Book of World Record's category of longest picnic table, but they raised over $12,000 for 4 local food pantries in the process.  They also adopted a stretch of Highway 73 to keep clean and beautiful.


Mount Evans Home Health Care & Hospice
Nonprofit of the Year Nominee

For the third time in four years, Mount Evans Home Health Care & Hospice was named one of the year's top 100 home health providers nationwide, according to the National Research Corporation and DecisionHealth.  Out of the nearly 10,000 agencies across the U.S. evaluated annually, Mount Evans is consistently in the top 1%.

They fill a crucial need in our community and not only have an impeccable reputation, but amazing fundraising efforts and community outreach.  They served over 950 patients in 2016 and almost 900 individuals took advantage of their group and individual counseling.  They have been nominated Nonprofit of the Year multiple times.


Rotary Club of Evergreen
Nonprofit of the Year Nominee

Evergreen Rotary has done a huge number of projects to benefit the entire community, from the Mountain Home and Garden Show to community cleanups and recycling to running youth leadership camps and connecting local families with exchange students from across the world.

In 2016 they used their fundraising dollars to install a $30,000 musical park at the Stagecoach playground. This group of individuals does a lot for our community and volunteers where and when needed.

Volunteer of the Year Nominees


Melissa Baker
Volunteer of the Year Nominee

Melissa Baker is very active with both the Evergreen and Conifer Chambers, and gives tirelessly to the community. Melissa works for Gerou Associates, an architectural firm that specializes in residential, commercial and remodeling projects.  It's a two-person firm and she does construction and design drawings.

Melissa is the past president of the Conifer Chamber and continues to coordinate lots of their events, including the Summer Festival, Elevation Celebration, Fall Beer-Tasting, November Wine Tasting, Festival of Trees, December Christmas Parade and Craft Beer Crawl.


John Erlandson
Volunteer of the Year Nominee

John Erlandson volunteers for multiple organizations in town, conducts food drives for EChO and helps spearhead the Boogie at the Barn fundraising events.  He has produced over 60 benefit concerts since 2000, never benefitting personally.  In addition to his full-time job as a realtor with his wife, Pandora, he chaired the philanthropic Boogie Brain Trust that produces and promotes benefit concerts for multiple local nonprofits, such as Mountain Resource Center, MALT, Center for The Arts, Evergreen Animal Protection League, as well as various individuals in need.

Additionally, John's band 'Subject2Change,' performed for others' fundraisers, such as July 4th Evergreen Music Festival, the World's Longest Picnic Table event, the Greg Henika Benefit, the Songwriter's series @ Studio Krieg, Evergreen Chamber Sparkle & Shine Gala, and many others.


Lori Frease
Volunteer of the Year Nominee

Lori helps EVERYWHERE in the community. Lori shows up at all sorts of different events to help volunteer, even helping other nonprofits when EChO isn't the beneficiary. She works tirelessly and always with a smile on her face. Half the time, people don't even know she's involved because it's "behind the scenes."

In addition to her role as Development Director for EChO, she is on the Salvation Army Committee, handles development and maintenance for the Leadership Evergreen website, she's a committee member of Boogie At the Barn, board member of the Evergreen Chamber of Commerce, and a volunteer for special events for Conifer Chamber.


Beckie Mosch
Volunteer of the Year Nominee

Beckie Mosch leads the Evergreen Christian Outreach Jobs Center and volunteers in several other capacities throughout our community.

Beckie personally wrote and teaches several computer training courses. She supervises and mentors five Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP) grant recipients, a program that helps low income seniors re-enter the work force. She assists jobless Evergreen residents through counselling, resume writing, and job search assistance. She is the outreach and marketing lead for the new Emergency Shelter Program and serves as an ESP volunteer as well.


Susan Stearns
Volunteer of the Year Nominee

Susan Stearns has been a long-time member and servant of the Evergreen community. She has volunteered for years as a leader in Kiwanis and Mount Evans Hospice.

Her commitment to the community has led her to be on the Leadership Evergreen founding board, the Board President of Mount Evans 3 times, and an instrumental leader in the merging of the Blue Spruce and Evergreen Chapters of Kiwanis in order to make sure the organization stayed vibrant in the community. She continues to donate and volunteer countless hours even today and is a key member of our community.

Young Professional of the Year Nominees


Caitlyn Dunbar - Edward Jones Investments
Young Professional of the Year Nominee

As an Edward Jones financial advisor, Caitlyn believes it's important to invest her time to understand what her clients are working toward investing their money.  Caitlyn's focus areas are investors saving for retirement, retirees, college savers, individuals with insurance and estate needs.

Caitlyn volunteers in the community, is a Chamber Ambassador who mentors new members, and has recently hosted a free investment seminar here in Evergreen to show others how to separate the news from the noise about how the Trump administration may affect investments in 2017 and beyond.


Kristin Ledgerwood - Owner of Vivian's Gourmet
Young Professional of the Year Nominee

Kristin left the world of interior design behind after completing baking and pastry training to follow her passion with confections.  Kristin puts her heart and soul into creating unique, artisan confections and she loves assisting clients to select products that fit their wholesale needs as well.

Kristin offers small-batch, fresh ingredients, gluten-free options, and she also holds cooking classes on weekends to bakers of all ages.  She donates her treats to churches on Sundays.  Kristin is invested in helping Downtown Evergreen thrive, one cupcake at a time!  She has been open for almost a year and her business continues to thrive!


Colin Riebel - 2HM Concepts
Young Professional of the Year Nominee

Colin has spun 2HM Concepts from his Production Design Company called, 2Henchmen Productions.  He's an artist who designs lighting and programming for theater, but he also has a passion for helping people optimize the digital part of their businesses.  2HM Concepts offers a variety of services, including web design, hosting, search engine optimization, social media management, content creation and consulting.


Marisa Rodero - Roots Medicine Acupuncture & Herbal Healing
Young Professional of the Year Nominee

Marisa works hard to help her patients reach optimal health and wellbeing with individualized treatments of acupuncture and/or Chinese herbs. Her calm, intelligent and nurturing approach to healing exemplifies her maturity as a professional healer, well beyond her years.

She's very active in the community by volunteering for the Evergreen Chamber. As a Chamber Ambassador, she keeps her new member mentees informed and welcomes them to the Chamber, showing up at events and growing her new business as an acupuncturist. She maintains integrity and a willingness to become involved in the community.


 Ambassador of the Year Nominees


Caitlyn Dunbar - Financial Advisor for Edward Jones Investments
Ambassador of the Year Nominee

Caitlyn Dunbar is a wonderful example of professionalism and selfless volunteering as she gives so much of her time to the Evergreen Chamber.  She's always taking on new mentees and never says no when asked to lend a hand at a Chamber event.  The ambassador team is so very lucky to have Caitlyn's youth, energy and spirit on their team.


John Ellis - Evergreen National Bank
Ambassador of the Year Nominee

John is a constant joy and fantastic face for the Evergreen community. He faithfully dedicates his time and energy as an Ambassador to build bridges in the community. He seems to be everywhere, sitting on multiple boards and attending just about every event the Evergreen Chamber sponsors.  He's great at bringing people together.


Penny Randell - Writer for Evergreen Newspapers
Ambassador of the Year Nominee

Penny is first to offer her help with any and every event that the Evergreen Chamber puts on. She's also a great mentor in the Chamber's ambassador program. She loves the Evergreen community!


Marisa Rodero - Owner of Roots Medicine Acupuncture & Herbal Healing
Ambassador of the Year Nominee

Marisa exudes genuine warmth, caring, and a peaceful spirit that makes people feel better simply by spending time with her. She's a fabulous listener, extremely helpful with fellow businesses, a hard worker, conscientious, and a consummate professional. She perfectly embodies the best qualities of a Chamber Ambassador. Time and time again she has taken on more than many of her teammates. She has consistently and reliably attended most, if not all, of the Ambassador events and goes out of her way at events to meet and touch base with members.


Ellen O'Connor - Executive Director of Evergreen Parks and Recreation
Ambassador of the Year Nominee

Ellen is one of those individuals who truly exemplifies the role of "Ambassador." She has a positive attitude and passes that along to those she meets. At ribbon cuttings, Ellen is welcoming to the new businesses and represents Evergreen well. She is diplomatic and professional in balancing her role with EPRD and the community.

Choosing our winners this year has been a challenging task. All of the nominees are winners in what they do and give back to our community.  They do not do their good works for accolades but because it is the right thing to do. Let us all follow in their examples and continue to make the mountain community a wonderful place to be.


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