Board of Directors

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President

Cindy Starr

Cindy is a retired dental hygienist who moved to Cedaredge to marry the love of her life, David.  Through travels with her husband, Cindy discovered the benefits of arts in a community.  As a board member of the Chamber of Commerce, she conducted a survey and found that the Cedaredge community was eager for a visual and performing arts center.  Cindy is an experienced non-profit president, skilled networker, and a visionary. She coordinated bringing the GMAEC from a dream to reality.

Cindy enjoys hiking, snowshoeing, traveling, and being with family & friends.

Linda Lichtendahl

Vice President & Secretary

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

Treasurer

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.

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.

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General Board Member

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.

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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.

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.

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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.

Staff

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Deborah Shaffer

Executive Director

Deborah’s career as a highly-successful Operations Management and Customer Relations professional includes twenty-five years in government, regional, national, and joint venture organizations. Her various positions in the delivery of clinical laboratory services allowed her to acquire a diverse skillset; budgeting, customer service, personnel management, networking, conflict resolution, project management, process implementation, training, leadership, team building, and facilitation. Her success was demonstrated by rapid, progressive promotions and the respect of individuals at all levels of the organizations and customers she served. Deborah was recognized by colleagues for unwavering honesty, integrity, and communication skills. She delivered optimal customer satisfaction and consistently exceeded objectives. Upon her relocation to Cedaredge in 2004, 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 businesses to build interpersonal skills and achieve objectives. The Grand Mesa Arts & Events Center fulfills a lifelong goal of applying her art history education to inform the community of the value of the arts and their historical significance.

Heidi Weissner

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.  She has taken on many volunteer roles including softball coach, teachers aid, teen counselor, interim director for a child advocacy center, mentor, and local fundraisers.  Shortly after moving to Cedaredge, Heidi began volunteering at the Center 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.  

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Jo Carole Haxel 

Program Director

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Annie 

Finance Manager

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Stacy Malmgren 

Administrative Assistant/Voice of Reason

Advisory Council

Dottie Whitlock

Hunter Campbell

Jo Dickes

Bruce Joss

Stacy Malmgren

Dale Russell Smith

Nancy Snowdon

Rob Wolcott