Leadership Fort Collins graduates 35th class

May 4, 2017 | Chamber News

The 2016-2017 Leadership Fort Collins class will receive their diplomas on May 11 at the Rio Grande Agave Room.  Leadership Fort Collins, a program of the Fort Collins Area Chamber of Commerce, is designed to educate and motivate leaders who are committed to shaping the future of our community while encouraging inspired and active involvement that contributes to the betterment of the community.


Thirty-five current and emerging leaders from throughout the Fort Collins area were selected to participate in the 2016-2017 program, which began in September 2016 and will conclude on May 11.  Participants came together on the second Thursday of the month for a day-long session to learn more about Team Building, Government and Transportation, Economy and the Environment, Education and our Community, Social Capital, State Government, Health and Emergency Service Providers and Social Infrastructure.  The graduating class is a diverse mix of professions with representative from education, large and small business, not for profit and government.


In addition to attending eight all day educational sessions, members of the class were also challenged to complete a service learning project in the community.  The 2016-2017 Leadership Fort Collins Class has planned and produced seven different class projects benefiting the Fort Collins area.


The Leadership Fort Collins graduation will include recognition of individual class members and a keynote addresses by Horse & Dragon Brewing Company Founder Carol Cochran.  The graduation event, sponsored by Austin’s American Grill, Baseline Engineering and Vern’s Liquor, will be held May 11 at 5:30 p.m. at the Rio Agave Room.


Graduating members of the class include:

Alex Alvarez, C3 Real Estate Solutions

Alison Aristoff, PVH and MCR Foundation

Valerie Arnold, Windermere Real Estate

Rick Behning, Baseline Engineering

Savanah Benedick, Larimer County Community Development Division

Erik Berlin, Construction Business Development

Emily Birdsall, Jolly Events

Ryan Cassidy, Colorado Business Bank

Jess Dyrdahl, Colorado State University

Alex Falloon, Wells Fargo Advisors

Jill Foster, Belfor Property Restoration

Megan Griffith, CSU College of Agricultural Sciences

Eric Hansen, The Group, Inc.

Marva Hewett, Caliber Home Loans, Inc.

Beth Higgins, Poudre School District

Natalia Infante Caylor, Thrivent Financial

Angela Johnson, Blue Ocean Enterprises

Miles Kailburn, Old Town Media

John Kloster-Prew, Audubon Rockies

Christopher Lowe, UCHealth

Nick Morris, Bond & Morris

Tiffany Paulus, Deltek, Inc.

April Peterson, Blue Federal Credit Union

Jennifer Ray, Woodward, Inc.

Colan Scheidenhelm, Schure Consulting, LLC

Alaina Squires, Brinkman Construction

Zachary Sumner, BW Container Systems

Mary Beth Swanson, Voices Carry Child Advocacy Center

Abe Theiss, Brinkman Construction

Jessica Torres, FLEXX Productions

Melissa Venable, American Red Cross

Jessie Willard, UCHealth

Meghan Willis, UCHealth

Chris Wood, Platte River Power Authority

David Young, City of Fort Collins


The program was produced by the Fort Collins Area Chamber with assistance from a steering committee:

Melinda Brown, Melinda Brown Events

Heather Buoniconti, Food Bank for Larimer County

Jennifer Cooper-Miller, SummitStone Health Partners

Mark Culloton, Austin’s American Grill

Maryann Fillingim, UCHealth

Shannon Hein, City of Fort Collins

Lauren Ives, Heath Construction

Nalo Johnson, City of Fort Collins

Diane Jones

SeonAh Kendall, City of Fort Collins

Amy Kolczak, University of Colorado Health

Heather Matz, The Group

Jennifer McLain, Alpha Center

Emily Peddicord, Mortenson

Teresa Sedlak

Brad Ward


Applications for the 2017-2018 Leadership Fort Collins program will be available in late-June.  Anyone interested in learning more about the program or applying should contact Ann Hutchison at (970) 482-3746 or [email protected].



About the Fort Collins Area Chamber

The Fort Collins Area Chamber of Commerce is the leading membership-based organization in northern Colorado, dedicated to helping businesses succeed. Investing in the Fort Collins Area Chamber of Commerce puts members in contact with more than 1,200 business owners and managers in the market. For more than 100 years, the Fort Collins Area Chamber has influenced efforts to maintain and grow the business community in Fort Collins. For more information about the Chamber call (970) 482-3746 or visit www.FortCollinsChamber.com.