Alliance Staff & Board

Our staff and board are vital to accomplishing the Alliance’s vision and mission.

Meet the Alliance Board

The Alliance Board consists of nine representatives.  Five representatives are from the private sector and are elected for three year terms by Alliance members.  The four public sector representatives are appointed by their respective jurisdictions.  One public sector representative serves from each of our three communities (Durango, Bayfield, and Ignacio) as well as La Plata County to ensure that the Alliance represents all of La Plata County.

The current Alliance Board members are:

CHAIR:  Jameson D. Bobbin, SVP, Durango Market President, Vectra Bank Colorado. Jameson moved from Colorado Springs to Durango in 2012 to continue his Banking career with Vectra Bank. Having grown up in Albuquerque and lived on the Front Range he is familiar with the Four Corners economic influence to the surrounding areas and has a passion to see La Plata County be a great place for businesses to thrive. With 19 years of experience in the financial industry, 12 of which have been at Vectra and 7 with J.P. Morgan Chase, Jameson has a well-rounded perspective on what it takes to help businesses grow. When Jameson is not meeting with business owners, he is hard at work raising hay and cattle at his home in southern La Plata County. Jameson is also a First Responder volunteer with Durango Fire & Rescue, serves on the Durango Fire Volunteer Pension board and serves as a loan committee member for Dream Spring, which is a nonprofit that provides business lending to entrepreneurs across a five state region in the Southwest.

VICE CHAIR: Dan Korman is a Realtor and entrepreneur in Durango, CO. After graduating from Fort Lewis College with a BA in Marketing in 2004, Dan learned the real estate business from his father in Colorado Springs then moved to New Orleans to open his first real estate company. After seven years in the south, Dan and his wife Hannah decided that the mountains were calling and sold their business to pursue the Durango dream. Dan is the owner/broker of Alpenglow Properties, a full service real estate firm that specializes in residential sales, commercial tenant rep and sales, as well as property management. He volunteers for a variety of local organizations, loves spending time with his daughter Haven, and playing in his amazing backyard called Durango. Dan Korman was elected to join the Alliance Board of Directors in 2020.

SECRETARY: Brian Kimmel, a Colorado native, has lived in the Durango area since 1982, owns and manages Southwest Land Services, Inc. that deals with the Red Tape of land use permitting and planning as well as property analysis and project management since 1995.  Brian has served on La Plata County and City of Durango advisory committees and believes in practical and creative solutions to regulatory issues. As an Alliance Board member he plans to promote development of a local county and city advisory committee composed of private sector entities to advise on and assist with the current issues before the community — particularly land use regulations but also affordable housing, infrastructure management and all that associated stuff. He loves traveling and goofing off whenever he can. Brian Kimmel was elected to the Alliance board of directors and currently serves as the Secretary.

TREASURER: Sharon Craig, Town of Ignacio Trustee. She and her husband, Clark, returned to the area in January 2017 and purchased the Meadow Brook Mobile Home Park in Ignacio. They met and were married in Durango 27 years ago. They have 3 daughters, two still in college.  Oil and Gas took them to different cities in New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma and Alberta (Calgary). After 25 years, they are thankful to be back “home”. Through many moves, Sharon’s focus was creating family stability and community service.

She is very excited to be back in SW Colorado and living in Ignacio. She joined the Ignacio Chamber of Commerce early in 2017. She was elected as an officer in the spring of 2018. In March, she ran for and was elected as a Town of Ignacio Trustee. Sharon was appointed as the Town of Ignacio representative for the Economic Alliance in August 2018.

Picture of Clyde Church - La Plata County CommissionerClyde Church, La Plata Board of County Commissioners. Born in Minneapolis and grew up in Phoenix from the age of seven. He is a father, husband, grandfather, engineer, teacher, and volunteer. He paid his way through Phoenix College and Arizona State University working during summers at Motorola Semiconductor and local livestock auctions and stables. He is an Arizona State University graduate with BA in chemistry and secondary education. Resident of La Plata County since 1999. He is an Industrial Extension Consultant to Region 9 Economic Development Area. He is the Chair of the Southwest Colorado Rural Workforce Board. He is part of the Durango Planning Commission; Dolores County; Economic Developer, Pre-Disaster Mitigation Planner; Falls Creek Ranch Homeowners Association: Board of Directors, Firewise Chainsaw Crew Chief, Post-Wildfire Recovery Team Co-Chair; Rotary District 5470 Governor; representing southern 2/3rds of Colorado; Rotary Club of Durango; Board Member, Past President.

Picture of Matt Salka (Mayor of Bayfield and Board Secretary)Matt Salka, Owner, Absolute Rodent Control and Absolute Computer Solutions, Bayfield. Matt moved to Bayfield in 2000 and attended Fort Lewis College. Matt is a Town Trustee for the town of Bayfield and is currently serving his first four-year term. Matt is involved with working on a branding initiative for the Town of Bayfield, as well as a committee to help bring local growers together and help establish more community events for the town. Matt has been an Alliance Board member since 2015.

Dr. Tom Stritikus,President of Fort Lewis College. His focus at FLC is helping students achieve success in their educational and professional careers, building FLC in a positive economic and social force in the Four Corners region, and continually evolving the campus’ facilities and offerings to meet the needs of students today and into the future.

Previous to FLC, Dr. Stritikus was a deputy director of education at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. He served on the Global Learning Initiative, building a strategy to improve education in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. Dr. Stritikus spent three years leading work in improving education in the United States.

As a scholar, his work examined the effects of bilingual education policy and teacher practice on the academic lives of Latino and Asian immigrants. His articles have appeared in top-tier education journals such as the American Educational Research Journal, Journal of Teacher Education, and Teachers College Record. He is the author of the book, Immigrant Children and the Politics of English Only.

Raised in an immigrant household, Dr. Stritikus began his teaching experience with Teach for America in Baltimore. He earned his Ph.D. at the University of California, Berkeley in Language, Literacy, and Culture.

Patti Zink has been in Durango for 32 years. She came to Durango with a “telecommuting job” in 1987. At the time she was a “home-based” business, as the other descriptions were not created yet. She was a marketing consultant and brought some of her clients from Ohio. The first house she bought, the owner bragged about the “private phone line” and how that would be “nice” if she needed the phone for her own business. Having only heard about party lines — she wondered, what has she done moving to the wild west. In 1994, She married husband Ed; he owned Mountain Bike Specialists, Handlebar Cycle and Waterfall Ranch Outfitters. For 12 years she operated a marketing business while working with Ed. He would say, “if you put the energy you put into other people’s business into our business, I think you would be less stressed, more fulfilled and we would make more money.” She finally did just that and stopped being a marketing consultant — in the last 13 years they created two businesses, Animas River Wetlands, and Animas River Top Soil, they sold Handlebar Cycle, it is now Handlebar Motor Sports, we sold Waterfall Ranch Outfitters, it is now Western Sky Outfitters. These transactions were both an exit strategy.

Currently, they own Mountain Bike Specialists, Animas River Wetlands, Animas River Top Soil, and some real estate. Patti is a business consultant with the SBDC, serves on The One Hundred Club board of directors and is the Secretary-Treasurer of the Durango Fire and Rescue District. Patti was the co-chair of the fundraising committee for the Durango Public Library and she was on La Plata Electric Association’s Round-Up Board of Directors. Patti Zink was elected to join the Alliance Board of Directors 2020.

Meet the Alliance Staff

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR: Michael French He started his own IT Infrastructure Service company at the age of 28 and grew it until it was sold to a public entity 8 years later in 2005.

He stayed with that same organization in executive roles through various mergers and acquisitions for the next 11 years exiting as the Chief Marketing Officer of a $3B company.

He went on to run a leadership development consulting firm for a couple of former Blue Angel pilots and Navy Admiral as Vice President of Operations.

Has been heavily involved in local and regional not for profit organizations including Mountain Studies Institute and is and current President of the Southwest Colorado Community Foundation Board of Directors.

He has been small business owner, advisor and investor.

Has been a Durango resident for 12 years with his wife Celestia and his two children Bodhi and Aila.

Michael French’s contact information is (970) 259-1700.

Please feel free to reach out to Michael if you have any questions or your business is in need of assistance.

PROGRAM MANAGER: Emily Meisner was the Alliance’s Board chair in 2015. She has a can-do attitude and a penchant for getting things done. She has repeatedly demonstrated her business acumen and entrepreneurial spirit as a resident of La Plata County.

Devoted to fostering business in La Plata County Emily has contributed considerable time and resources to promoting and encouraging Business activity throughout the County.

Emily ran a successful restaurant in Ignacio for 20 year, which sold in early 2019. She also volunteers for the La Plata County Fair Board, as well as coordinated the Ignacio Bike Rally each year.  Emily has shown her willingness to get involved wherever she is needed, and has a unique ability to relate to a wide spectrum of people and customers.

Emily has the experience and expertise to make the executive level decisions and think through complex issues. She is also willing to roll up her sleeves to chip in when the hard work needs to get done.

Emily’s experience includes:

  • Owner and Operator of the Patio Restaurant for 20 years.
  • La Plata County Fair Board Member for 15 years.
  • Ignacio Chamber of Commerce Board Member for 12 years
  • Ignacio Bike Week Coordinator for 6 years
  • La Plata Electric Roundup Board 4 years
  • Region 9 Economic Development leader for a year in 2009.

Emily Meisner’s contact information is (970) 259-1700 or email at info@yeslpc.com.

 

Please feel free to reach out to Emily if you have any questions or your business is in need of assistance.

Working as a Team is critical to the success of La Plata County.  If you would like to know more or meet us, please stop by our office at 2301 Main Avenue, Durango Colorado or call us at 970-259-1700.