In a World Where There is Always More Good Work to be Done, Five Nonprofit Leaders Reflect on the People Who Inspire Them Most
Name: Kyle Crawley
Organization: Executive Director, Stepping Stones
Who Inspires You? The Dalai Lama
I find myself constantly amazed and inspired by the Dalai Lama. Over the last couple of years I have read many of his books and watched countless speeches and interviews. I have done my best to incorporate many of his values and philosophies into my daily practices both personally and professionally. I work to focus my energy on kindness, intention, and compassion. The Dalai Lama has taught me what it means to lead by example and has inspired positive personal growth that I’m grateful for. I believe everyone has value, talents, and love to share with the world around them. This has become one of my personal tenets and a belief I hope to instill in each youth I serve. I still make plenty of mistakes and I’m far from a perfect leader, but if at the end of the day I can reflect and know that I let those around me know they are loved and deserve love, then I have succeeded.
“As long as we observe love for others and respect for their rights and dignity in our daily lives, then whether we are learned or unlearned, whether we believe in the Buddha or God, follow some religion or none at all, as long as we have compassion for others and conduct ourselves with restraint out of a sense of responsibility, there is no doubt we will be happy.” -Dalai Lama
Name: Scott Gilbert
Organization: President, Habitat for Humanity Roaring Fork Valley
Who Inspires You? Our Teachers
As a former educator, I am inspired every day by the teachers within our community who are tirelessly giving back to our youth. Teachers have touched every member of the community at some time in their life. We all remember our favorites; their impact is great and should be respected and appreciated by the community that they serve. The reality is that so many of the educators in the Roaring Fork Valley are struggling with debt, working multiple jobs, or living several to a home just so that they can make it within a valley that they know and love. Our community needs the support of our teachers who can inspire our youth to grow and thrive. It is an honor and privilege to help galvanize the community to create affordable homes for our teachers.
Name: Rick Lofaro
Organization: Executive Director, Roaring Fork Conservancy
Who Inspires You? My Daughters
My daughters Ruthie (11) and Francesca (8) are my inspiration. Why? As I wind down the remaining months I have in my 40’s and prepare for the big Five-O, I realize what the past 50 years have meant for me and for the world. In a relatively short time (which also represents my entire life) cumulative human impacts have negatively affected the earth. Saving the earth, or at least saving the rivers for my kids, may sound cliché—but they are the reason I do what I do. I returned to the valley 22 years ago after a stint as a Montana fishing guide and landed at Roaring Fork Conservancy. Over the past two decades I have learned much about myself, my community, and my watershed. Perhaps the most valuable thing I have learned is the importance of the legacy I leave behind: for my kids and all kids who deserve clean water, thriving habitat, and opportunities to explore, value, and protect the Roaring Fork Watershed. Nothing compares to a day on the river with my girls; time evaporates, worries melt away, and magic unfolds around every bend. Rivers are a precious gift that must be shared and protected for current and future generations.
Name: Angela Mills
Organization: Executive Director, LIFT-UP
Who Inspires You? My Grandmother
I am most inspired by my grandmother, Josie Pintarelli. She embodied love, grace, and loyalty. Born in 1919 to a traveling salesman and a housekeeper (supermom), she led the life of an adventurer in rural Mississippi. Grandma told wonderful stories of hiking, crawfish hunting, and hanging onto train bridges as the trains whizzed by. She could shoot, fish, and climb better than the strongest boys around. At the age of 17 she traveled to California to visit her older brother, and on the last day she met John Pintarelli. He took her out on one date and begged her to stay, but she insisted she had to go home and finish her education. John sent her a penny postcard every day she was away, and their love blossomed. Over the course of 59 years my grandparents, Johnny and Josie, raised 12 amazing kids. My grandmother was brave, smart, and creative. She loved everybody and everything. She rejoiced in children’s laughter, cherished her time with family, and made every single one of her 35 grandchildren feel special and doted on. She instilled in us a great sense of appreciation for our planet, its animals, humans, and natural resources. She made us feel safe and raised us to believe we could do anything and make the world a better place. She still inspires me every day; I hold each one of these lessons close to my heart and work to make them a part of my daily life.
Name: Genna Moe
Organization: Executive Director, The Art Base
Who Inspires You? Lifelong Learners
I am inspired by students of all ages at the Art Base. Watching their motivation to learn and to engage with a new subject brings me great joy. I am inspired by the new immigrant students at Basalt High School and their bravery. Mostly I am inspired by individuals of all ages who are committed to lifelong curiosity and keeping love in their hearts.