Around Town 15

Colori Gallery Opens in Basalt

The new Colori art gallery welcomed more than 100 enthusiastic guests to its recent ribbon-cutting. Basalt Mayor Jacque Carpenter Whitsitt performed the ceremony while Robin Waters and Missy Hagen of the Basalt Chamber of Commerce organized and hosted the event. More than 30 talented Colori artists have joined the new gallery, which is located at 132 Midland Avenue. In addition to the gallery, Colori also includes an in-residence arts studio. Gallery owner Von Fumetti said, “We have seven in-residence artist studios. We are looking to expand to around 70 artists.” Fumetti said that she opened the gallery because she believes in Basalt, in artists’ community and in bringing artists together so that they can engage with each other.

Glenwood Chamber Resort Association Recognizes Local Luminaries

At a recent gala, the Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association recognized a handful of deserving locals. Mogli Cooper was named DECA Entrepreneur of the Year and she also figured in a second award when Iron Mountain Hot Springs was honored as Tourism Business of the Year. (See related stories: Mogli Cooper’s Climb to Success and award photos in Good Times.)

YouthZone’s Director of Mentoring, Patty Schaffner, received the annual Athena Award, which honors an individual who has opened doors for women to succeed. Glenwood Springs native Amber Daniels Wissing received the Athena Young Professional Award. Suzanne Stewart was honored as Volunteer of the Year while Steve Vanderhoof, a banking executive, was honored as Citizen of the Year. The award for Top Brass Business of the Year went to D.M. Neuman Construction while honors for Philanthropic Business of the Year went to Sweet ColoraDough.

Midvalley Women Leaders Honored with Awards

The northwest region of the U.S. Small Business Association recently gave its inaugural Mountain Town Business Awards to recognize women business leaders, and numerous Roaring Fork Valley women garnered honors. Robin Waters, executive director of the Basalt Chamber of Commerce, was honored with The Legacy Business Women’s Award and commented, “In Basalt, I’ve been fortunate to join a community of passionate, dedicated and creative people at a tremendously exciting time. It says so much about Basalt and our Valley that three other women in our area—Amanda, Andrea and Denise—have also been honored with U.S. Small Business Association recognitions.”

Amanda Wagner, executive director of the Basalt-based Aspen Clinic was recognized as the Emerging Health & Wellness Champion and Denise Latousek, owner of the Burn Fitness studio in Basalt, was recognized as a Distinguished Health & Wellness Honoree. Andrea Stewart, executive director of the Carbondale Chamber of Commerce, who was recognized with the Emerging Leadership Award, commented, “Each day I wake wondering who am I going to touch today, and how can I make a difference.”

In separate events, Basalt’s Judi Tippets was honored with the 2016 Assistant Town Manager of the Year award, given by the Colorado County & City Managers Association, and Basalt High School teacher Leticia Guzman Ingram was chosen as Colorado’s 2016 Teacher of the Year.

CASA of the Ninth Welcomes 
New Leader

CASA of the Ninth, a nonprofit that provides well-trained, court-appointed volunteer advocates to abused and neglected children in Colorado’s Ninth Judicial District has hired Patti Cummings its new executive director. Cummings, who recently moved to the Valley from the Front Range, brings to the job more than 20 years of experience in youth development and six years of service as a volunteer Court Appointed Special Advocate, or CASA, in the Denver area. Cummings background includes an undergraduate degree in business administration as well as a master’s degree in social work. Those interested in volunteering as a Court Appointed Special Advocate may email her at or visit CASA’s website:

Meals on Wheels Celebrates 40th Anniversary

This month, the River Meals on Wheels program of Grand River Health is celebrating its 40th year of providing meals on wheels out of Rifle, Colorado. Kaaren Peck, Director of Grand River Meals on Wheels, said, “The services that we provide the seniors, disabled and hospice patients of western Garfield County are critical and the need is rapidly increasing. In 2015, we delivered over 17,000 meals which is a 30 percent increase over the previous year.” In 2015, the nonprofit broke its delivery record, delivering over 17,000 meals from New Castle to Parachute.

Grand River Meals on Wheels, which is affiliated with Meals on Wheels America and was recently named nonprofit of the year by the Rifle Area Chamber of Commerce, serves over 1,300 meals a month to home-bound neighbors and seniors in need. Says Peck, “Together, we can keep seniors living independently, healthier at home and feeling more connected to their community as they age.”

Basalt Signage Ready to Point the Way

The Basalt Chamber of Commerce’s Sign Committee is placing wayfinding signs at the Basalt roundabout, along Emma Road and on Midland Avenue this spring. Nick Aceto, owner of Terrain Land Architects, creator of the monument sign in the roundabout at Basalt Avenue and Highway 82, designed the signs and says that the design goal for the new signs was to utilize materials similar to the monument sign in the roundabout. The new wayfinding signs use a combination of weathering steel and stainless steel with tone-on-tone patterning. The smaller ‘bollard’ elements in the signs are designed as a continuation of the two rivers fishing theme. The patterns on the bollards replicate the different skin patterns on the four most-common trout species in Basalt’s gold medal rivers.