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Board of Directors



Cindy Starr

Cindy moved to Cedaredge in 2013, from Fayetteville, AR, after marrying her childhood friend and longtime Colorado resident, David Starr. As a lifelong lover of the arts and through travels with her husband, Cindy realized the benefits of arts in a community, especially one like Cedaredge, which is rich in preforming and visual artists.  In 2016, being a board member of the Chamber of Commerce, she conducted a survey and found that the Cedaredge community was eager for an arts center, to showcase these artists.  Cindy is an experienced non-profit president, skilled networker, and a visionary. She coordinated bringing the Grand Mesa Arts and Events Center from a dream to reality.

Cindy enjoys the beauty of the Western Slope by hiking and snowshoeing,, playing Pickleball,  traveling with her husband, and sharing time with  family & friends.

Linda Lichtendahl

Vice President

Linda Lichtendahl

Linda moved to Cedaredge to be with her partner, Bob, an organic farmer on Cedar Mesa.  Linda is a retired fundraiser who also served as an event and marketing director for the town of Frisco.  She has served on boards and chaired events for many non-profits.  She is currently on the steering committee for the 2019 Western Slope Philanthropy Days and a member of the Cedaredge Rotary Club and Cedar Mesa Community Club.  Linda has enjoyed the challenge of a grassroots effort to open the GMAEC and was eager to contribute her grant writing, fundraising and event planning experience.

Linda enjoys working at her partner's orchard, hiking, alpine and cross country skiing, and playing pickleball.  

Perry Hotz


Perry Hotz

Perry moved to Cedaredge in 1976 when his wife was offered a teaching position here.  His career transitioned from a successful builder and contractor to real estate broker.  Perry has always believed in giving back to his community.  A self proclaimed 'career volunteer' Perry saw that the GMAEC was an opportunity to bring a cultural and entertaining experience to Cedaredge.  Perry has served many philanthropic organizations and his business background has helped to bring more structure to GMAEC as an organization.

Perry loves the outdoors and enjoys hiking, hunting, fishing, boating, skiing and 4-wheeling.



Al Kogler

Al Kogler retired from his position as an Administrative Director for the Communications Workers of America (CWA) in January of 2020. Prior to going to work for CWA in 2004, he worked as a technician designing, installing and maintaining communications, video and security systems. He has also volunteered extensively at churches he has attended, HOAs and served on several government Boards and Commissions. He currently resides with his wife Connie in Austin, Colorado.


His professional and volunteer experience is diverse and includes: Public speaking; Staff recruitment and management; Event coordination; Volunteer recruitment and coordination; Design, installation and operation of audio and video systems; Facilities management; Membership expansion.

Judy Fairchild

General Board Member

Judy Fairchild

Judy is a native Coloradan and moved to Cedaredge to take on a teaching position.  Now retired from teaching, Judy became part of the vision-to-reality team for the GMAEC.  Judy believes in doing something positive for her community that will outlast our lives, and has contributed much of her time to the success of the GMAEC.  Judy currently helps organize events at the center.

Judy enjoys writing, hiking and playing pickleball.

Terry Hotz

General Board Member

Terry Hotz

Terry moved to Cedaredge in 1976 with her husband to take a teaching position with the Cedaredge school district.  Terry was committed to GMAEC from the beginning because of the opportunities that it would bring to people in the community from all walks and ages of life.  She is the chair of the GMAEC Education Committee and has coordinated many educational and community events for Cedaredge area students.  

Terry enjoys spending time with family, particularly her nine grandchildren.  She is an outdoor enthusiast and takes advantage of the activities available on the Grand Mesa, as well as educational and local events.


General Board Member

Melissa Newell

Melissa is a native Missourian who has had the tremendous pleasure of living in Colorado for the past 15 years.  She relocated to Cedaredge in late 2016 in pursuit of her dream of operating an organic farm.  Today, Melissa lives a simple but rich life growing vegetables and flowers for her Western Slope community.  Additionally, she is a mom to many furry and feathered babies, she teaches yin and Hatha yoga classes at the Grand Mesa Arts and Events Center, and she manages the Ridgway Farmers Market.  Melissa believes in living a life of service and is honored to be a part of the Arts Center community.  When not in her garden, Melissa loves experimenting in her kitchen, adventuring in the mountains with her partner and dogs, and cycling on the roads of our gorgeous Delta county. 


General Board Member

Deborah Shaffer

Deborah moved to Cedaredge in 2005 after spending thirty years in California working in the Clinical Laboratory industry. She grew up in Connecticut and Colorado is her last move! Here she met her husband Ken, and they enjoy gardening on the nine acres they share with numerous animals, fly fishing, skiing and camping.

Deborah’s career as a highly successful Operations Management and Customer Relations professional allowed her to acquire a diverse skill set; budgeting, customer service, personnel management, networking, conflict resolution, project management, process implementation, training, leadership, team building and facilitation. Her positive experiences with employee development and mentoring led her to pursue a coaching certification and shift her professional emphasis to coaching individuals and consulting with small business.

Deborah has been involved with the Grand Mesa Arts & Events Center since its inception. She facilitated the planning and implementation team, served as the first Board President, and assumed the Executive Director position in 2018. Deborah retired in November 2022 to return to her coaching and consulting business, garden, manage a pack of dogs and write a book or two. She continues her commitment to GMAEC on the Board, manages the Starr Family Gallery, and is a member of several committees. The Grand Mesa Arts & Events Center fulfills a lifelong dream of applying her art history education to enrich the community she loves. 

David Starr

General Board Member

David Starr

David spent the early '80's in Aspen before returning to his native Arkansas. He was steered toward Cedaredge by an old Aspen friend and found that it had a great small-town vibe with room to grow.  David is a touring musician, songwriter, producer and concert promoter.  He has owned Starr's Guitars on Main Street in Cedaredge for 19 years.  As a traveling musician, David saw what an arts center can bring to a small town; entertainment, education, engagement, and realized how all of this could lift a community spiritually, artistically and economically. David has served on numerous boards and currently organizes and promotes concerts performed at the GMAEC.

David enjoys working in his yard and enjoying the perfect summer days at the base of the Grand Mesa.

Kacy Stillings

General Board Member

Kacy Stillings

Kacy and her husband moved to Cedaredge in 2005 to pursue career opportunities.  Kacy is the Market President of the Bank of Colorado Branch in Cedaredge and has current funding and local economy expertise. She is active in several community based non-profit organizations.

Kacy loves the outdoor opportunities in Western Colorado.

Dottie Whitlock

General Board Member

Dottie Whitlock

Dottie was lured to Cedaredge after visiting friends here.  She spent the majority of her career in medicine, and became a massage therapist in 1990.  Dottie firmly believes in being involved in her community in any capacity.  She volunteers on a regular basis at the GMAEC and is on the Events Committee for the center.

Dottie enjoys reading, dancing, gardening, and spending time with her grandchildren.


General Board Member

Rob Wolcott

Robert (Rob) Wolcott is a passionate musician, performer, and composer. Rob earned a Bachelor’s degree in music from Central Christian College in McPherson, KS and a Master’s degree in music education from Wichita State University in Wichita, KS. He currently teaches music at Cedaredge High School and Cedaredge Middle School, actively plays in several local music groups and has been submitting several musical compositions to music residencies as well as music publishing companies around the country. Rob has owned, operated and sold a successful business, has taught music from elementary level to college level, and has directed the music at several churches. He is and has been married to Melany, a native to Colorado, for 26 years and they are  blessed to have three kids; Taryn (16), Jocelyn (15) and Owen (11) and currently one exchange student from Mongolia, Tyler (16). Rob is passionate about the vision for the Grand Mesa Arts and Events Center and anxiously would be honored to be able to be more involved in the continued success of this great establishment.


Jo Carole Haxel

Executive Director


Jo Carole moved to beautiful Mesa, CO, with her husband John in 2006, and eventually made it to the brighter side of the mountain to Cedaredge in 2021.  Most recently a REALTOR®, Jo Carole has had a varied career from creative design and planning to program and facility management.  She was licensed as a Landscape Architect in 1996 and practiced that profession for a number of years before taking a job as Director of Parks & Recreation in her hometown of Siloam Springs, Arkansas.  On the Western Slope, Jo Carole was a Senior Planner for the Mesa County Planning Department and then moved over to the Mesa County Fairgrounds as Fairgrounds Manager, where she managed the 100-acre multi-use facility, oversaw the design, adoption, and implementation of a new master plan and coordinated hundreds of events annually, including the Mesa County Fair.  She also served as coordinator of the Radio Room, a small concert venue, at KAFM Community Radio in Grand Junction.   


Stacy Malmgren 

Administrative Assistant/Voice of Reason

Stacy and Scott Malmgren “retired” to Cedaredge after 25 years on the Front Range of Colorado. One of their goals was to be involved in a community with the small town feel they loved from their early years in Castle Rock. They found it and more and found that buying a coffee shop is a great way to be introduced to folks in a new town! Cedaredge has more than met expectations, and Stacy is looking forward to being involved with the growth and evolution of the GMAEC and the Cedaredge community.


Annie Holton

Finance Manager

Annie spent most of her adult life in the mountains of Summit County, Colorado as the owner/operator of several restaurants. Wanting to leave the hustle and bustle of the high country, she and her husband Travis moved to Cedaredge in 2017 and love being part of a vibrant small town. They enjoy camping, hiking, skiing, gardening, and all things outdoors.


Heidi Weissner

Marketing Director/Webmaster

Heidi and her husband Rick moved to Cedaredge in 2018 and immediately became founding members of GMAEC.  She and her husband enjoy hiking, biking, camping, skiing, tennis, kayaking, and more.  As outdoor enthusiasts, “The Gateway to the Grand Mesa” was the perfect fit.  Heidi was born and raised in the Chicago area but moved to rural Wisconsin to raise her two children, preferring the close-knit connections a small town has to offer.  She has always been involved in her community one way or another.  Shortly after moving to Cedaredge, Heidi began volunteering at the GMAEC as well as the Surface Creek Animal Shelter.  Heidi served on the Board of Directors until becoming the Marketing Director.

Heidi is a semi-retired paralegal.  Though no longer in law, she owns two businesses with her husband and works from home.  

Sharon Grotrian.jpg

Sharon Grotrian

Bar Manager

Sharon and her husband Lynn moved to Cedaredge from the west coast of Florida in 1997. At that time she worked as a Service Rep for GTE (now Verizon).She grew up in Upstate NY.  

They are founding members of the GMAEC. She was thrilled when the first meeting for the new arts center happened and truly believes that it is the best thing that ever happened in our beautiful town.

Sharon retired in 2022 after 21 years with the Delta County Sheriff's Office. She was a 911 Communications Specialist.

She has volunteered at the Arts Center since it opened and is also Volunteer Gallery Coordinator and serves on the Volunteer committee.

She enjoys outside activities such as hiking and cross country skiing.


Robin Luster

Art Garage Manager

Robin moved to Cedaredge in 2021, from Littleton, CO, after retiring from 30 years in education. She and her husband, Dan, escaped the front range for the quiet, slower pace of the western slope. Robin taught high school English, supported teachers as an instructional coach / content specialist, and wrapped up her career in education as a technologist / librarian.  She has enjoyed volunteering at the Grand Mesa Arts Center on the education and volunteer committees and has developed a passion for the mission of GMAEC.


Robin enjoys hiking and snowshoeing with her husband and their dog Penny, spending time with her kids when they visit from the front range, reading, gardening, and exploring the mountains and canyons of western Colorado. 

Advisory Council

Dottie Whitlock, Chair

Diane Grudt

Bruce Joss

Jody Lyons

Molly McCamey

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