Mark Cano says Amber mother of 3 children, Rock singer, positive community member. Teaches self-love and happiness. Amber is an amazing soul. Sings in the rock band Khanundrum, sings for MAC Frenzi and has helped setup Unity Thru Music Festival here in Salida to support less fortunate families via the Grainery. Amber teaches positivity, self love and acceptance. Looked as role model and is every bit the meaning of this award. Ask around, the community will agree.
Marty Kuhn says Andra works full time as Team Lead RN in Same Day Surgery and PACU (recovery room) at HRRMC. With Arkansas Valley Ambulance she volunteers as an EMT and board member. Andra moved here in 2015 and has quietly taken on this community by the horns! She is a devoted, energetic leader in the Surgical Services department and a really great nurse. Our number one supporter at Heart of the Rockies, she is a champion in fighting for fair wages, and with a positive and respectful presentation before administration was able to singlehandedly secure an overdue 10% wage increase for all nursing staff at HRRMC this past year - saving morale and helping our community retain and attract the nurses and staff that care for us when we need them most. By fostering teamwork Andra facilitates great care in Same Day Surgery and makes it a fun and positive place to work. Andra truly believes that everyone should have access to healthcare and as board member of Arkansas Valley Ambulance she campaigned for creation of a special district to ensure the viability of ambulance service in western Fremont County. She writes grant proposals for equipment, trains new EMT recruits, and volunteers countless hours and sleepless nights working the back of the ambulance and saving our neighbor's lives. Andra is an avid hunter, fisher, and rafter and enjoys yoga. Andra you Rock!
Liz Walsh says Andrea wears many hats in the community and wears them all with great style and success. I know her primarily as a phenomenal dance teacher and leader of RiverTribe. Though I know she also teaches children, assists with community plays, and is top volunteer for Rok Skool and other creative community projects. Andrea helps build community while offering healthy and creative opportunities for people. She has tremendous energy and is extremely creative! She shares herself and her talents generously with youth and adults. She often goes the extra mile to get things done. She has incredible composure and grace in her teaching and her various projects. Dance classes with live music is a rarity and a specialty and through her coordination this is offered weekly in Salida.
Matt McCulley says Andrea is the service manager at Absolute Bikes. She has raced 100k runs, 100-mile bike races, and has worked her entire life to achieve her goals - regardless of her gender. She is a board member for Salida Mountain Trails and works to getting more people outside to have fun in our community. She is a great mechanic for Absolute Bikes. She has always gone above and beyond to take care of our customers - both locals and tourists - to ensure everyone can enjoy themselves. She is not just an asset for me personally, or Absolute Bikes, but for the entire area as she brings energy, professionalism, and passion to everything that she does.
Logan Stephens says Ashley is Mother/Wife/Mentor & Friend. Ashley is an amazing mother, mentor, & friend! She worked at the Salida Pregnancy Center for years helping guide mothers in a loving direction. She is the definition of an awesome role model! Her love for Jesus, the community, & helping spread love to anyone that will accept it, is unbelievable! If anyone deserves some acknowledgement for being a wonderful woman, it’s her! ❤️
Liz Walsh says Brenda is devoted to teaching and supporting the Health of her students and the community. As a teacher, she gives her all! Her passion for yoga and health, her extensive experience and her deep wisdom comes across fully in every interaction. She does not hold back and you can feel the truth of her heart and depth of her compassion in every interaction. I’m certain she has helped empower many in their healing journeys. I’m deeply grateful for her superior teaching and the improvements I’m experiencing with my health. I think she is a great gift to the Salida community.
Gavin McReynolds says Bonnie helps the homeless and low income families and people of SALIDA and the greater Arkansas valley. Bonnie has been a vital part of Salida by helping with caring and sharing the first Street emporium and by trying to get the funds to start the house of hope (a home for single parent families and women). she has helped my mom and I with our own living situation struggles and I would just like to see her get the recognition she deserves.
Lisa Lamb says Candace Bryans has been living in Buena Vista full time since 2014. She originally came to Buena Vista during the summers from 2009 – 2014 to work as a raft guide. Candace has been teaching AP Biology, AP Chemistry, and Math for the past 8 years. Prior to teaching Candace spent five years working for the Little Rock Veterans Affairs Hospital Inpatient Pharmacy. Candace is a role model for life-long learning. She brings a strong background in non-profit fund raising and volunteer work. In addition to volunteer work in Thailand, Burma, and Morocco, she has served on several non-profit boards, worked in the education and funds department for Heifer International, and has been the Sponsorship Coordinator for the Autumn Color Run for the past three years. An avid runner, climber and outdoors woman (she literally ROCKS!), Candace also assists elevateHER with its work empowering young women to push beyond their comfort zones and try new activities.
Kristina Smith says Cassondra helps so many new moms and families rely on her help with the healthy start program. She also has such a passion for helping people. She is also a listening ear for anyone who needs it, with such great insight on so many different subjects. She’s always willing to help those in need, and does so with such compassion.
Mayor P.T. Wood says Council Member Brown-Kovacik has dedicated the last 6 years to the city, first as the Treasurer and then as a Member of Council. Her dedication to housing, communication, financial responsibility, and making Salida the best it can be is second to none, Council Member Brown-Kovacic truly keeps our town rocking!
Jane Templeton says Cheryl has always contributed her time and talents to the benefit of the people of Salida, having served on too many boards to mention. In recent years, she has served as City Treasurer, and now on City Council, she brings her years of service to bear with an impeccable institutional memory, instructing those of us whose memories are not as long and keeping us all honest. What 99% of Salidans don’t know is how hard she works as a council member. Besides the obvious meetings, Cheryl spends hours actively seeking information from innumerable sources on current issues, contacting experts, talking with citizens, working with City staff and fellow Council members, and attending meetings of related organizations. In the face of sometimes unfair criticism, she remains calm and fair, and always puts the best interests of the citizens of Salida first. For that alone, she deserves to be recognized as a Woman Who Rocks..
Anne-Marie Holen says Clara is an Iowa girl originally. In Iowa, she married her high school sweetheart, raised five children, lived in Brazil for a while, launched a career in real estate, and then started her own business in interior design, called Clarification. After retiring, Clara moved west and settled in Salida where she has won many new friends and admirers.Clara Swan is one of the first people I met in Salida when I moved here almost exactly six years ago and had the immense good fortune to be her neighbor for six months. First Clara shared her garbage can and wifi signal with me and my dad and then came all the rest, including the circle of friends she had already developed. For an introvert like me, having a friend like Clara is the BEST. Clara is the one who gets me (and others) out of the house for coffee, a cocktail, live music and dancing, imaginative parties, and events like Salida Soup, where Clara has been a stalwart volunteer since almost Day 1. Clara is kind. Some of my first memories of Clara are of her interacting with my dad, who died in 2014 at the age of 92. Lots of people will consciously or unconsciously avoid an elderly man who walks with a cane. Not Clara. She knew how to make him smile, how to make him laugh, and how to light up his eyes with one of her culinary creations. (Clara is an excellent cook!) She is known for rounding up "orphans" at Thanksgiving and treating us to fabulous meals at her delightful artsy home. She is the kind of person who is likely to say "yes" when you ask, "Can you do me a big favor...?" She has been known to take in old dogs who need TLC in their last months of life. (Ask her about Ozzie.) Clara is creative and her creativity reflects her sense of fun and appreciation of the offbeat. I know for a fact that she has a collection of Barbie dolls just waiting to be incorporated into some crazy work of art. Clara's mosaics and watercolors are beautiful. I have two pairs of her earrings that I love for being both pretty and unique (just like Clara herself!). Clara is adventurous and not afraid to try new things - e.g., hiking, mountain biking, snowshoeing, exploring backroads and urban alleys and homeless camps in the Arkansas Hills (she has helped clean up many of them after they’ve been abandoned). When other people her age would be thinking about "slowing down," Clara buys a cabin in the woods, off the grid and miles from the nearest grocery store, and turns it into yet another delightful creation where all her friends are invited. If necessary, she stares down mountain lions. Clara rocks my life because of her great smile, generous heart, witty conversation, and perpetual sense of fun. She is engaged with life to the hilt. She's the real deal. I could not ask for a better friend or better role model and I know I am just one of many who would say the same thing.
Rob Dubin says Dee is a Chairman of the Board- Ark Valley Helping Hands. Co- founded A Little Help/Chaffee. Since starting A Little Help and now Ark Valley Helping Hands Dee has spent countless hours working to administer the organizations, raise money, hold events, write grants and inspire others to contribute. But when she gets a chance to still be in the trenches and talk to a needy senior citizen who needs help, all the drudgery of administrative work fades away and she gets so excited to learn about the person who needs help and see what she can do for them. She takes their burdens onto her own shoulders and does not rest until she has somehow makes their life better. She has been rocking my world since we married 36 years ago and now she is helping rock our community by her own volunteer efforts and by spreading the love and making it possible for so many others to find the joy in volunteering for the betterment of our community. Dee would never toot her own horn so I am so glad to have this opportunity to tell you - SHE ROCKS Previously spent 17 years sailing around the world on a small sailboat. When that news elicits any admiration she humbly deflects it and focuses the discussion on how every woman can do just what she did. She is never about her accomplishments but rather about staying in the background and working to raise others up.
Mary Gage says Denise is a Mindfulness Teacher, Coordinator for Mindfulness in the Jail Program. When I got permission from the jail commander almost 5 years ago to start a meditation program for the inmates, I had no clue how to make it happen. So, I asked Denise to help. I can say with conviction, this program would never have happened without her. She came to the jail twice a week to help me teach the male inmates how to step back from their impulsive thoughts and actions and find some peace. I have seen her on many occasions bring tattooed, hardened drug addicts to tears. I have seen several repeat offenders find another way to manage their stress through her guidance. She has grown the program into classes for women (which she now teaches), a yoga class for the women and another one for the men. Denise not only volunteered her time, but spent an unknown amount of her own money to purchase books for the class. She has slogged through the grant process twice to secure funds from METAB to keep the program alive, and has recruited more qualified volunteers to teach as well. She has renamed the Chaffee County Detention Center, now calling it the Chaffee County Dharma Center and is helping inmates reconsider their time there as a "retreat" instead of a sentence. Her work has made a significant impact on the atmosphere in the jail. I can honestly say that I don't think I could continue in my job here without this program that she built. Much Gratitude!!!
Devon Jencks Kaspar
Tom Westrup says Devon is the director of the Salida High School Drama Team and Shakespeare in the Park Salida. Devon has built a solid drama team at the high school and assisted high school students to follow their dreams of theater in college.
Cassondra Franco says Emily Anderson is the backbone and glue of the volunteer-led group called Mountain Meet Up. Just over two years ago, she sat at a coffee shop dreaming and scheming (which is her M.O.) with others and came up with the idea to hold a Mama Summit. Because of her strong event planning background and even stronger will, the event was a HUGE success! After the Mountain Mama Summit, the group called Mountain Meet Up (MMU) was born with the intention of continuing to inspire, connect and celebrate mothers and families within our community year-round. Not only does MMU hold these fantastic annual events, but with the help of some awesome volunteers, also hosts monthly events such as hikes, potlucks and playgroups. The reach of MMU has grown, connecting more and more families in our community and surrounding each other with support. By no means would this group have continued and grown to it’s current extent without Emily’s guidance and perseverance. Emily does this and so much more, above and beyond all the other hats she wears, like a mom of three young kiddos and a public health nurse. Even though we grew up together here in Salida, I didn’t have the opportunity to really get to know and love Emily until we started working together as public health nurses. She is hands down the best public health nurse I know! She is such a perfect fit for the job. You don’t want her to start an IV on you, I PROMISE! But if you want to have a intelligent conversation about vaccines, she is your gal! If you have questions about breastfeeding or babies, she has answers! If you think your car seat is installed perfectly, chances are high she will find at least one mistake! If you are stuck and want another view, ask and she will share four! Emily is kind, thoughtful, intelligent, hard-working, caring, innovative and an all-around ROCK solid human being that Chaffee County is lucky to call our own!
Amber Rushton says Felicia is aSpecial Education Generalist at Longfellow Elementary School Tutor, Outdoor female badass and Comedian :) I have known and met many amazing and inspirational Rockstar women in Salida in the last thirty years, but when I read this contest description, Felicia Hermosillo is the woman that I thought of immediately. She is without a doubt one of the most caring women in our community. Although she has only lived here since 2016, she has impacted several families in the community, including my own. Mrs. Felicia is a special education teacher at Longfellow Elementary School. She goes above and beyond regularly to make sure that her kids are well taken care of, even after hours. She has created fundraisers for tools that help children with different needs and acts as a strong advocate for them. She has referred to her students as superheroes. From tutoring children and adults in her kitchen after school and on weekends, to teaching Spanish classes, to making sure that less fortunate kiddos stay warm with donations, even if they live far away. She always provides encouraging words and gestures and is there through difficult times and celebrations. Felicia inspires me regularly with her huge heart towards others, her outdoor adventures (hiking the Appalachian Trail solo, dancing and running races) and her passion for life and laughter. Thank you Felicia Hermosillo for inspiring others and caring for children and their families in our community! You are amazing!
Adam Larson says Hollie is the owner of Mandala Properties. Even before I met Hollie I knew she was a visionary. I had seen the blueprints for her Earthship and knew that it took someone with great understanding of the problems the world is facing. Almost every time I speak to Hollie she is questioning how the system could be improved. When it comes to action Hollie has dedicated her life to help survivors of trauma and abuse; being a Hotline Rape Crisis Counselor, volunteering at Safehouse Progressive Alliance for Nonviolence, and becoming a certified Yoga Instructor. Hollie is a leader, warrior, and continues to be resilient. I am honored to know Hollie and I couldn't began to thank her enough for everything she has done.
Mary Gage says When we started the jail meditation program for the male inmates, Jane stepped up and started a yoga class for the female inmates. This included raising funds to buying matts and blocks, convincing the jail commander that the blocks were necessary and would not be used as weapons, and recruiting several wonderful women to teach. Jane also came in regularly to teach until she became too sick. (I had to tell her she was too sick to come, because she was going to continue to come anyway.) She knew several of our inmates due to her other work in the community, and they always asked about her and loved to see her. Personally, she took time out of her very busy world to talk to me about my own troubles, lending helpful advise. Jane just rocks, all the way around!
Devon Jencks says Since I moved to Salida 9 years ago Jennifer has had a huge impact on the lives of the children and adults alike inspiring us all to find the performer within ourselves and shine our light in this amazing community. Whether it has been watching my step-daughter and her Dad perform in Circus, acting in shows with Jennifer for Stage Left Theatre Company or witnessing Jennifer produce shows now at Box of Bubbles, she as been an big influence in the lives of creatives in Salida!
Lisa Lamb says Jessica, also know as Ms. Jessica or Ms. J, has worked in the Montessori Primary Classroom for the last 17 years and has devoted her life to the teachings of Maria Montessori and children age 3-6. Jessica grew up on a small farm outside Richmond, Virginia. She attended the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia and graduated with degrees in Biology and Environmental Science in 2001. After graduation she joined Americorps NCCC where she served as a volunteer across the western United States and Guam. Jessica then moved to Houston, TX where she began work in Montessori toddler and primary classrooms. She quickly recognized the power of the Montessori Method and the affect a great school and teacher can have on a child, a family, and our society. Jessica attended her Montessori training at the Montessori Education Center of the Rockies (MECR) in 2004, and she fell in love with Colorado. She began her internship at Giving Tree Montessori School in Colorado Springs that year. Jessica has worked as a teacher at Giving Tree Montessori until this year and has been blessed to be part of an amazing community of teachers and families. Jessica, her husband, and their little dog are thrilled to begin a new life and adventure in Salida. They enjoy camping, hiking, playing music, and sitting around the fire with friends.
Jake Cobley says Johnna is just a great soul and a good friends she cares deeply about Salida and actively but almost effortlessly brings joy to people around her. Hardworking, passionate, loving , smart; she’s a great ambassador for our town and a great role model in the community. She’s special!
Lelia Coveney says Jo is a lifelong musician, Jo Boatright was educated at Colorado College (BA) and The New England Conservatory of Music, where she received her Masters of Music in piano studies. She studied with the great Hungarian pianist Lili Kraus, and assisted her at Texas Christian University, where she became Associate Professor . She continued to teach at TCU, as well as at the University of Texas and Southern Methodist University. Jo developed close and lasting ties with the music community in Dallas; she co-founded the Walden Chamber Music Society in 1981, and continues as pianist and program director for this group, which includes first chair musicians from the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, as well as members of the Colorado Symphony Orchestra. Jo has soloed with symphony orchestras across the U.S. and has recorded on numerous labels. She continues to teach actively, both privately and at the annual Princeton Peak Piano Retreat. Jo Boatright is one of the cultural treasures of the Upper Arkansas Valley. Through the Walden Chamber Music Society, she and other gifted musicians bring chamber music - four concerts a year - to Salida at a level one would normally expect to hear at a university or a big city. Jo's vast repertoire includes both the great classical chamber works, and as important, more contemporary and overlooked works by lesser--known composers. All this at a price one would normally pay for a parking spot in a metropolitan area. Additionally, Jo directs the Princeton Peak Piano Retreat every summer, sharing her wealth of musical experience and knowledge with pianists who wish to sharpen skills and enhance their musical depth. If Jo Boatright's musical gifts to the community weren't enough, she is also about as down to earth as they come. She is an avid hiker, joining or leading other hikers as often as twice a week. She also makes a point of climbing a Fourteener every year on her birthday.
Jo is a multi-faceted person who enriches life in the Upper Arkansas Valley. She plays classical music, and she ROCKS.
Harper Powell says his Mom is a Nurse - has done public health, home health, cardiac rehab, among others. She currently works as a vet's assistant at a vet's office. My mom came out to Colorado from Wisconsin in her 20s to become a backpacking guide. She has climbed 44 of the Colorado Fourteeners. She is also a great cross-country skier and competed in the Birkebeiner several times in Wisconsin. Among her athletic abilities, my mom raised my sister and me to care for the environment and to care for other people. She homeschooled us and used many creative ways to teach us the curriculum. We would dress up and dig treasure out in the yard as if we were archaeologists. We made elaborate Egyptian dinners when we learned about Ancient Egyptian History. My mom also is a wonderful cook and has so much knowledge about food and eating a well-rounded, nutritious diet. Despite having dealt with a considerable amount of loss in her life within the last year, my mom has shown an incredible amount of strength and persistence to keep going. I admire her determination, her optimism, and her ability to be caring and compassionate through it all.
Rebecca Rose saysKat's present roll: Owner Tenderfoot Health Collective "THC". Kat is a jewel. She is a loved woman in Salida. I have seen this selfless woman be an advocate not only the town of Salida but for the Arts. She has financially supported numerous music events in Salida and also held many art exhibitions in her store. She silently cares for others with her generosity and with a deep concern for her clients and others less fortunate. Salida is better for having Kat in the community. She deeply cares for this town and the direction it is heading. Kat Rocks!
Lane Willson says Kate is a Friend, mother, wife, amazing community member, and soon to be childcare facility operator. Kate is an amazing woman who’s veins are filled with empathy and who has a heart strong enough to pump it into action. Whether it is with her own children or someone else’s, she brightens a path for the young people of our community. With her infectious smile, unlimited patience, and creative ways she leads kiddos on their way to find their truestest selves. And it doesn’t stop with the kids...Kate will be the first to drop a meal off, be a shoulder to cry on, or celebrate any of your victories, big or small. Kate McClelland makes Salida a better place to live and cultivates a community I am inspired to do more for. And, she knows how to look good and have fun doing it.
Brian McNeill says Kelsey has been my amazing wife for coming up on 17 years. She has been my sweetheart since we met in high school nearly 23 years ago. She is an incredible mother to our two beautiful daughters, Kinnie (8) and Ellie (4). Additionally, she works for Sol Vista Health as a mental health counselor, working especially with youth in our community to improve their lives and family relationships. She has worked in mental health for about a decade, helping to provide hope and healing to youth and adults with mental health needs, especially people suffering the effects of serious trauma. As explained above, Kelsey ROCKS both at home with our family, and in her work at Sol Vista. 2018 was a year where her awesomeness really showed, though, as I was diagnosed with a heart infection (endocarditis) which resulted in me having a heart attack, several strokes, multiple arterial clogs throughout my body, and most seriously, a sudden cardiac arrest in our Salida home. Throughout the ordeal, Kelsey was by my side, caring for me and making sure my medical needs were met, while still caring for our girls. She updated friends and family at every step of our journey with blog posts that told the story in superb. She also worked with my father and mother to initiate the CPR and emergency medical response that ultimately saved my life during my cardiac arrest. Kelsey continues to take excellent care of me and our girls, and has returned to her job at Sol Vista where she not only provides the mental health services described above, but also has become a supervising clinician helping to mentor and provide guidance to her peers to promote excellence in her team. She is loved and respected by those who know her-friends, family, co-workers, and community partners. She not only ROCKs, she is my rock, and an inspiration to me every day.
Ken Matthews says Leslie Matthews is a woman who leads through her astounding work ethic, creativity, organization, and inspiration. She gets up under those who wish to make their dreams come true and stops at nothing to solve problems on the way. She jumps over every obstacle and lends all her time, her efforts, knowledge, resources, and attention to make life better for those she comes in contact with. Leslie is not just a “Woman Who Rocks”, Leslie Matthews is visionary. Leslie has been the Board chair for KHEN from January 2017 to present. Prior to that Leslie served as the Board Vice Chair for a year. In 2017, Leslie organized a day-long retreat of the Board and the development of a KHEN strategic plan, with the help of an experienced facilitator from Denver that Leslie recruited at no charge to KHEN. She championed the development of a number of new locally-relevant programs: Chaffee Housing Report, Salida Now, On the Rails, Senior Moments, A Church Talks, A Time to Grow, Envision Chaffee County (which she hosted), KHEN Community Page AND developed and implemented podcasting of all of these locally based and produced talk shows. This has allowed listeners to catch these shows "on demand" via KHEN.org. She also developed and hosts (on Fridays) "Sunny Side Up" at 8am. Leslie led the effort for KHEN's Back to School Block Party in 2017, which was a huge "thank you" to the community from KHEN and a gift to the children of Salida. Leslie created the concept of KHEN's recent Women Who Rock and, frankly, will be embarrassed by her nomination for the award that she created. But, damn, she needs to be acknowledged for creating this wonderful event and marshaling it through. Very importantly, Leslie created KHEN's Election Series for the last Salida City Council and Mayoral elections (2017) and the last Chaffee County elections (2018). She developed protocol for that series that encouraged candidates to sit down with each other and the interviewer to answer questions, as well as, dialogue regarding the issues for the City and the County. Leslie has worked tirelessly to make sure KHEN is sustainable, by raising money for KHEN through fund drives, private presentations to donors, creating new ideas for fund drives and fundraisers, nurturing others' ideas for fundraising and community engagement (example: 2018 KHEN Tenderfoot Mountain Kaper) and obtaining from the City of Salida a 10-year lease of KHEN's office and studios at a sustainable rate. Leslie has not confined her efforts for our community to KHEN. She served as a moderator for the City of Salida debates sponsored by The Mountain Mail (2017). She is a founder and Board member for Ark Valley Helping Hands, a fully Chaffee County led, governed, and funded successor to A Little Help - which assists Seniors in remaining in their homes. I can't tell you how proud I am to nominate my wife, Leslie Matthews, as a Woman Who Rocks our community.
Tom Westrup says Linda is the Artistic Director and conductor of Salida Sings (The Noteables, You've Got Male and The Freedom Choir) Linda brings amateur singers to the height of their ability while presenting a message of hope and respect.
Diane Hiebert says Linda is a local music teacher and director of The Noteables and You’ve Got Male. Linda’s dedication to music and the performing arts in our community is outstanding. She directs the 2 chorus groups as a volunteer with only donations from the participants as payment. The hundreds of hours she spends selecting music and rehearsing these groups shows her dedication and love of music. She also directs The Ark Valley Freedom Choir for the 4th of July. This concert is well attended by locals and by the many visitors to our community. Linda’s positive energy and commitment to the community are only two reasons she ”Rocks.”
Mary McConathy says Linda directs Noteables and You've Got Male choruses. Gives music/ singing lessons to community members. Coaches singers Involved in community arts events. Proactively involved in our community in many ways. Great role model for others. I sing in Noteables and my husband sings in YGM and also takes private lessons. I have seen how dedicated she is to helping g everyone achieve their personal goals. She is more than a director and coach. She is a friend d to all.
Luz Stella Diaz
Terry Porter says you all know Luz and how she works through many avenues, (The Alliance, FYI, Rotary, the Homeless Shelter, etc.) to help the underserved in our community. What you may not know is she has become the de facto advocate/advisor for many in our Latino community. Some known and some that cannot be.
Casey Goehl says Madelyn is a mother, grandmother, great grand mother, foster mother, pianist, hunter, former school bus driver, mentor, seemstress, Baker, charity giver, worlds best hugger, baby whisperer, grand Yahtzee champion of the world. Some call her Madelyn, some call her Grammie- but regardless of what you call her she is a woman that rocks! Madelyn has lived in Buena Vista for around 60 years but was born and raised in Cotopaxi. She has dedicated her life to her kids, grandkids, and 4 great grandkids. She is also a key member in her church community and was the proud wife of the late Jerry Parsons in which they spent many years involved with the Buena Vista School district, fostering countless children in their home, and mentoring countless over generations. Not only does this woman rock in life but she quite literally rocks when she plays the piano and her accordion. She can get you up on your feet dancing and singing in no time. A couple years ago she was diagnosed with cancer but decided that she still had too much to do so she beat cancer and is living life to her fullest. When Madelyn has a short break from helping with the church, cooking casseroles, and reading to her great grand kids, you may find her quilting or knitting a masterpiece. Madelyn is also a pro fisher and hunter. Growing up she hunted for her food and was even spotted hunting a month before her daughter was born. She can skin a buck faster than any man in the Upper Arkansas River Valley. She is truly a woman who rocks and deserves the moon and stars.
Marny Danneberg says Marilyn is a retired registered nurse with a background in public health. I dare you to find a non-profit that she has not been involved in in this community! Ok, that’s a little bit of an exaggeration but it is how I felt when I first moved here. I connected with her through our mutual work with the Red Cross. It went on from there. She has been on the board at the hospital, had her own radio show, started the Engaging in Aging event, help start Helping Hands and those are just the things that come to my mind at this moment. On top of that she is an avid hiker who hiked 70 miles of the CT before her 70th birthdays well as occasionally working internationally as a teacher. She’s an amazing woman all the way around and I feel blessed to call her a friend as well.
JD Longwell says MaryAnn is a Mental Health Counselor. LCSW and EMDR Specialist. Community Supporter. I know this seems like blatant nepotism (well, actual it IS blatant nepotism!) but I just wanted to put in a plug for MaryAnn. She may not be as visible in the community as many of the great women who will be nominated, but she's helped so many individuals and families during the nearly ten years she's been in practice here in Salida. Her business - Chipita Counseling Services - has been a consistent financial supporter of many of our community organizations, including The Alliance, F.Y.I., Full Circle Restorative Justice, Boys & Girls Club, Salida Spartan Athletic Booster Club and others. All I can say is MaryAnn rocks MY life and I know she's rocked quite a few others along the way. Thanks for considering my heart-felt nomination. JD
Dvora Kanegis says beloved Merry Cox is a Salida artist and devoted protector of pollinators and our environment through permaculture. Merry’s unflagging devotion to protecting our rich environment through teaching awareness of the value and beauty of pollinators: bees, birds and insects, has touched thousands of children and adults. She created a prayer project last year where children and adults here in Salida and all over the country made pollinator prayer flags which fly illuminating our imaginations and awaken our awareness of the importance of pollinators in sustaining our gardens, farms and habitat.
Andy White says In 2013, after years of undiagnosed illness in Monica's family, She became alarmed at the realization that the degradation of her health was due to multiple tick-borne infections, including Lyme disease. Who knew that the bite of a single tick could cause so much damage? How is it that she wasn't aware of the risks, prevention measures, and the signs and symptoms of disease? Monica had worked as an outdoor professional (Wildlife Biology and Wildland Fire Fighting) for her entire career. She was routinely exposed in tick habitat through both work and recreational pursuits, as well as travel. Why wasn’t this information being shared in our schools, workplace, medical offices or communities? Why weren’t there better diagnostics or access to care from knowledgeable professionals in our state? She discovered that the issues surrounding Lyme and other tick-borne diseases affect far too many Coloradans and that risk, prevention and recognition of these diseases is not common knowledge in our region of the country. This lack of knowledge led to years of pain and suffering that changed her life and the lives of her husband and children. She is determined to make a difference for others!
Ms. Phanny Jones
Dave Ward says Phanny Jones rocks! She and her husband Mike Jones have just reopened Little Cambodia in the former Bongo Billy's location on Sackett Street next to Absolute Bikes. Having started her career on the second story of an F Street apartment, she and Mike regularly celebrated their many friends by preparing and serving her own Cambodian food to them. In fact, one such occasion was in celebration of Phanny's receipt of her U.S. citizenship in 2003 at which my wife and I were present. From the lobby dinners, Phanny expanded her business and opened Little Cambodia at the Farmers' Market in Alpine Park. After three successful summers of serving her delicious food to farm market customers, Phanny "She Rocks" Jones opened Little Cambodia in the skinny space on the south end of the Victoria Tavern building. Seven years later, she has moved her restaurant to a premier, river front property in Salida on Sackett Street. Little Cambodia is now four times larger than the skinny space and will undoubtedly become that much more successful as Salida and her customer base continue to grow, Phanny Jones and Mike are in their 15th year of marriage having raised Phoebe, age 8, and Levon, age 6, both of whom attend Longfellow Public School, Since her arrival in Salida in 1997, Phanny has befriended and served this community. She earned her citizenship in 2003, then 30 yrs old. This Rockin' Woman was displaced in Cambodia when she was 10 years old, and came to Rochester, New York as a war refugee with her mother, brother and sister. Salida became her home after all of this and a stop in Steamboat Springs working as a nanny for three children. Her introduction to Salida was as a rafting guide trainee. This woman rocks! Phanny and Mike were married at Stoney Springs Ranch in 2005. Their reception was hosted by the Victoria Tavern; was open to the public; and her relatives came en mass from Cambodia to hoist a beer to this Rockin' Woman, my nomination for Rockin' Woman , KHEN Radio, 2019. Dave Ward
Schuyler McAllister says Nancy is a teacher. She taught Special Education students for 35 years, 23 of those years in Salida at Longfellow Elementary School. After retirement, Nancy continues to be a teacher: a strong advocate/example of community interaction and physical movement/awareness that improves not only health, but quality of life. Nancy is the former Chaffee County Coordinator of A Little Help which connected community volunteers with seniors that need a little help in their homes, enabling them to remain independent. Little Help volunteers did small household tasks, changed light bulbs, went grocery shopping, etc. A Little Help has evolved into Ark Valley Helping Hands and Nancy continues to be an active volunteer shoveling snow, shopping, and making friendly phone calls, reaching out to seniors who might otherwise isolate. The Embrace Aging Fair (last year's Engaging in Aging) will be held May 18, 2019 for 10 - 3:00 at the Chaffee County Fairgrounds. Nancy is currently serving on the committee to identify activities of interest to seniors and to locate presenters. Proposed offerings include such topics as Zumba, tai chi, Qi Gong, among others. I hope anyone reading this will attend the fair. As Nancy says, "We are all aging." Combining her interest in seniors with a desire to improve quality of life, Nancy became a certified yoga instructor. She merged course work and experience to bring yoga to the water. Aqua yoga is low-impact and ideal for folks with joint pain. It improves strength, flexibility, and range of motion. Nancy is an instructor at Salida Hot Springs Pool, teaching Aqua Yoga, Cardio Splash, and Aqua Pilates. She is a substitute teacher for the Water Arthritis class. You will find Nancy at Mt. Princeton Hot Springs Resort teaching Aqua Yoga and Aqua Stretch, too. In addition, Nancy is a voluntary instructor of Strong Women Strong Bones, a strength-training program offered twice a week in Salida. Love of the outdoors is something many of Salida's residents share. Nancy often snowshoes, rides her bike, and hikes. As a maintenance volunteer for Salida Trails, Nancy has adopted the section between 5th and 7th Streets. Nancy has been an important part of my post-retirement life. She has helped me see the wisdom of aging with intention. With Nancy's encouragement, I have been attending Strong Women Strong Bones sessions. Nancy has been an instructor of this program for two years, while I have been physically inactive much longer. Now I'm building bone density, improving my balance, and feel stronger. As my confidence grows, I just might start hiking again! Nancy "rocks" for many of us in our community with her active commitment to leading a productive, healthy lifestyle as we age. She not only leads this lifestyle by personal example, she shares, teaches, and encourages others. Nancy "walks the talk" and she wants others to do it, too. Thank you, Nancy, for motivating me and many others to get moving!
Rebecca Kemper Poos
Clarke Poos says Rebecca Kemper Poos is not only the pastor of the Congregational United Church of Christ in BV, but also the President of the Collegiate Peaks Forum Series and the Director of the Collegiate Peaks Chorale.
Tony Roman says Sarah is a badass in the restaurant and mother industry. In a town where culinary arts are quite minimal, she steals the show as I want to in this town. Her food made me once cry, it was so good.
Angie Jenson says Sarah is a family coordinator, working with underprivileged families in our community. Single mom, circus extraordinaire, amazing best friend, improve teacher, amazing attitude/energy, always smiling, inclusive of all walks of life, non-judgmental, and best jogging partner around! Sarah has been my mentor in keeping spirits high. People feel a special bond of acceptance when they are around her. Sarah rocks!
Robert Massine says Scarlett lived primarily in Dallas, Tx, where she owned and ran Dallas International Travel. In 2001 she came to Colorado to be near her nephews and met and married Robert Massine. They moved to Salida in 2014, where her life changed dramatically by becoming an enthusiastic community volunteer. Salida and it's people have become the love of her life.
Kimi Uno says Shae is the badass entrepreneur of Dram Apothecary, a wild foraged bitters, syrups, and hemp products company based in Salida. She is a master mushroom hunter, is crazy passionate about farming and a fantastic road trip partner.Shae rocks my world by always giving it to me straight! I admire her foresight as a business woman and look to her for inspiration. Everything she touches is beautiful. We took a week long road trip together and came away closer than ever. I love her for being a wonderful friend!
Julie Hardy says Shawn Waggoner ROCKS my life just by being herself. Her natural disposition allows her to be open and loving, supportive, and just the best friend anyone could have. We first met soon after I moved to Salida--there was an instant affinity. Not long after hearing of my musical aspirations, Shawn began to encourage me and continues to do so. Because of her, I have done things I never thought I would in this life. My life is so much better because she has become a part of it. She is easily the best friend I have ever had! Shawn is a treasure to her community. Her always positive nature and energy resonate with everyone. It's genuine and never faked. Her zeal for life is palpable to all who interact with her. Salida is a more wondrous place because of Shawn Waggoner.
Carolyn Barnett says Shawntel Shawn is the lead singer of the band, Blue Recluse. Her voice is better than many of the famous blues singers and the band frequently plays at local venues to a huge crowd of fans and locals. She is one of the outstanding local singers and musicians. She has played concerts that benefit local charities too and brings in lots of money to local venues where the band plays. She definitely rocks Salida in all the positive ways. The above description tells about how she plays such an important role in the local music scene. When my husband first came to visit and heard the voice of "Shantel" with The Blue Recluse he started to cry. She is better than one of his favorite singers, Lucinda Williams. He couldn't believe that a town the size of Salida could have such a talented singer. I'd like to think he moved here because of me but I know Shawn and the band were a contributing factor. We are celebrating our 50th wedding anniversary in June and the first reservation last Nov. was to book Blue Recluse to play at our party. We sent U tube videos to out of state friends so they know what a special treat they will hear when they come to our party. Salida definitely rocks to such a special talent in the local community!
Chris and Barbara Glenn say Shawn is the lead singer with Blue Recluse (and The Tumblyweeds and Fembot), editor/writer for Glass Art Magazine, host of podcast "Talkng Out Your Glass", community volunteer, extraordinary wife, mother, walker of dogs, and friend to all! To understand why we believe Shawn Waggoner should be KHEN’s Woman Who Rocks, a bit of history: We met Shawn in 1995 at one of Austin’s famous Happy Hour residencies, where the band played blues, country, rock, old R&B, bluegrass- truly American music with no boundaries, which certainly defines who Shawn is as a musician. Once she formed the first version of Blue Recluse, and we heard her sing, we were hooked! As one who had grown up musically in places like Antone’s, I had learned much about American Blues. But I did not know that much about the great female blues artists, like Etta James, Katie Webster, or Big Mama Thornton. Hearing Shawn sing those songs was a real musical education;dancing to them was even better! Beyond that, the bond of friendship, and then love, that we formed with Shawn became so strong. And how could it not? She is passionate and fearless about her music, and she can sing and play ANYTHING! (Listen to her great album Goodbye Raven, and you’ll hear for yourself) She also knows the power of music, not just to inspire and teach (that’s important), but to also let throw off our worries and cares and just DANCE for a few hours (and that’s REAL important!). When Shawn moved to Colorado, we were saddened; but we also knew that our loss was Colorado’s gain! And our friendship never lost a beat-in fact, it strengthened through the years. When Shawn’s son Slaid was born, Barbara pulled an all-nighter in the hospital as Shawn’s Lamaze coach! And when we got married in 2009, Shawn and Chris Hudson, (husband, musical partner, outrageous bass player, and true friend) packed their instruments, came to Austin and reconnected with former bandmates to play for us! No one else would do! And when we were looking for a few special songs, they dug deep and brought us Little Willie John’s amazing “My Love Is” (check it out!), Just an upright bass and Shawn’s powerful voice, it was (and still is) the best wedding present we ever got!
There’s so much more I could talk about! For years, Shawn has written about, and championed, the world of glass art through her work with Glass Art Magazine. She has always had a strong sense of justice and what’s right, and has never shied from standing up to power, or expressing her views. Above all, she has a heart that is as true as you will ever find. Put all this together and you get the COMPLETE definition of a Woman Who Rocks!
Amanda Williams says Shelby is the Manager of the Jewelry Department at Walmart. She is a Mother, a Fiance, Daughter, and sister. She was even homeless for a bit when she first moved out to CO. She found love and her true self and got her crap together. Shelby amazes me. She is the hardest working young lady that I have ever known. She worked her way to a Manager at Walmart in a very short time. She works fulltime but still manages to be an amazing Mom to Silas, her 2yr old. 5 minutes with Silas will show you how loved he is. She keeps house and her fiance fed and happy. Shelby's Dad has recently been diagnosed with kidney cancer and I (her stepmom) know I can count on her for any thing even with all she has on her plate. Her Mom, the same month was diagnosed with Chiari Malformation. Shelby helps her to and from appointments also. She is the Mother Theresa of our family. Shelby's smile is infectious and her heart is as big as Salida's beautiful Rockies. She is a woman who kicks ass and takes names but loves and cares for everyone while she does is. That is a woman who Rocks!
Diane Hiebert saysSheree is a Physician’s Assistant who specializes in Dermatology. She started her own practice 5 years ago. She has also (with her husband, Kurt) started A Church in Salida. Sheree’s belief that medical care should be available to all, has provided dermatology care to those on Medicaid and those without insurance. Patients come from as far away as the New Mexico border because this is offered. Her quality of care and high standards have made her practice well respected. The development of A Church has been a great benefit to the community. Non denominational services and programs for teenagers, movie nights, game nights and low income housing are just a few things being offered. She works with The Alliance against Domestic Abuse and multiple other organizations in the community.
Anonymous says since I moved to Salida near 4 years ago, Terry had always stood out by her activity in the community. She is a crucial part of managing her family owned local business, she has given much if her personal time to improving our area’s economy by volunteering on the Chamber of Commerce, being on work crews to improve & expand our trail systems for recreation and helping with FIBArk year after year. Terry impressed because she had raised a family while being so involved and working tirelessly on so many aspects of our community needs. There has been times she is working 3 jobs per day & still has the personal character to be inviting and caring to people when she is exhausted. Salida is a community of strong women & Terry Deveney is at the top of the list of it all. There isn't a more deserving person for these awards.
Tessie Jo Ortega says Tina is an artist (muralist, chalk artist, photographer, painter...), early childhood educator, choreographer, stage combat professional, director, volunteer, mom, and community organizer! She's probably a few more things too! Tina is a renaissance woman! Her art inspires and engages citizens of ALL ages in our community. Her chalk art, window paintings, murals, watercolors and photographs bring smiles to everyone. Tina feels the pulse of our town and reflects the best of who we are, today and tomorrow. Kids and parents adore her. Narwhals and unicorns anyone? Hundreds of kids and family members have been spoiled by Tina's inspirational work. Here's a short list: Chinese New Year Dragon Parade, plays- Flying with Peter and The Lion King, window paintings celebrating our town's heritage, culture and beauty; Asian Barbie in Rural Colorado photos.... Everything Tina creates is unique and special.
Tina's is passionate about inclusion, openness, respect. She is also passionate about diversity and celebrating different cultures. As an educator, few professionals have worked in so many different settings giving so many the joy of her engagement. Tina has worked with kids from early childhood to high school. She has helped kids at the Boys & Girls Club, Head Start, Montessori, Crest and more.
TINA!!! You'll hear kids, parents, neighbors and friends call out her name wherever they see her. What's not to love about Tina? Nothing, she's a woman who rocks!