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Alliance Staff & Board Meet the 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.

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

Chair
 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 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 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 cattle at his home. 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, a nonprofit that provides business lending to entrepreneurs across a five-state region in the Southwest.

Jameson D. Bobbin

Chair

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 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 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 cattle at his home. 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, a nonprofit that provides business lending to entrepreneurs across a five-state region in the Southwest.
Vice Chair 
Dan 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.

Dan Korman

Vice Chair

Dan 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 
Joe Theine, MBA, joined Animas Surgical Hospital as CEO in 2019 and has been an active leader of the Durango healthcare community for more than a dozen years. Joe was the Executive Director for San Juan Basin Public Health Department from 2011-2013 and worked at Mercy Regional Medical Center from 2008-2011. 
Joe is passionate about the how local, independent healthcare providers improve access, quality, and cost of care. In addition, he has a special interest in how healthcare providers contribute to economic stability and growth in many sectors of the economy. It is through a combination of experience, passion for our community, and helping those who call La Plata County home that he is seeking greater involvement in the La Plata Economic Alliance as a Board member.

Joe Theine

Secretary

Joe Theine, MBA, joined Animas Surgical Hospital as CEO in 2019 and has been an active leader of the Durango healthcare community for more than a dozen years. Joe was the Executive Director for San Juan Basin Public Health Department from 2011-2013 and worked at Mercy Regional Medical Center from 2008-2011. Joe is passionate about the how local, independent healthcare providers improve access, quality, and cost of care. In addition, he has a special interest in how healthcare providers contribute to economic stability and growth in many sectors of the economy. It is through a combination of experience, passion for our community, and helping those who call La Plata County home that he is seeking greater involvement in the La Plata Economic Alliance as a Board member.


Commissioner



Matt Salka was born in Portsmouth, VA. A son of a military family, he moved to La Plata County in 2000. His grandfather served in the Navy during WWII, and his father served in the Navy for 25 years. Matt attended Fort Lewis College for his Information Systems degree; he started a small IT business and a second business in Pest Control.



As County Commissioner, Matt will serve as the Board Liaison for the Sherriff’s Office, Coroner’s Office and District Attorney’s Office, as well as the County representative on the La Plata County Economic Development Alliance, Housing Solutions for the Southwest and the Durango-La Plata County Airport Commission.

Matt Salka

Commissioner

Matt Salka was born in Portsmouth, VA. A son of a military family, he moved to La Plata County in 2000. His grandfather served in the Navy during WWII, and his father served in the Navy for 25 years. Matt attended Fort Lewis College for his Information Systems degree; he started a small IT business and a second business in Pest Control.

As County Commissioner, Matt will serve as the Board Liaison for the Sherriff’s Office, Coroner’s Office and District Attorney’s Office, as well as the County representative on the La Plata County Economic Development Alliance, Housing Solutions for the Southwest and the Durango-La Plata County Airport Commission.




Treasurer, Town of Ignacio Trustee


Sharon 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 on 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.

Sharon Craig

Treasurer, Town of Ignacio Trustee

Sharon 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 on 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.
City Council
 When I moved here in 2009, I wanted to participate in City activities, so I applied for and was appointed to the Natural Land Preservation Board. After my term on the NLPB, I joined the Multi Modal Board. Having the opportunity to serve on the Planning Commission gave me the chance to use what I knew about the Land Use Development Code and the Comprehensive Plan to inform decisions about development in the City. My career and education focused on Finance – both in the hospitality industry (hotels & restaurants) and as a consultant to numerous, diverse businesses. Being elected to City Council is an honor and I deeply appreciate that the community feels that I can and will represent their values to the best of my abilities.

Kim Baxter

City Council

When I moved here in 2009, I wanted to participate in City activities, so I applied for and was appointed to the Natural Land Preservation Board. After my term on the NLPB, I joined the Multi Modal Board. Having the opportunity to serve on the Planning Commission gave me the chance to use what I knew about the Land Use Development Code and the Comprehensive Plan to inform decisions about development in the City.

My career and education focused on Finance – both in the hospitality industry (hotels & restaurants) and as a consultant to numerous, diverse businesses. Being elected to City Council is an honor and I deeply appreciate that the community feels that I can and will represent their values to the best of my abilities.


Dr. Steven Elias is the Dean of the Business School at Fort Lewis College and the founder and Director of the Fort Lewis Center for Innovation. Steven holds a doctorate in applied social psychology from Colorado State University, along with a master’s degree in applied psychology from Auburn University Montgomery and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of South Florida.

Previously, he was the Robert O. Anderson Distinguished Professor in the College of Business at New Mexico State University, where he was also a 2010 Bill Daniels Fellow in Ethics. While at NMSU, he held several administrative positions, including NMSU Director of the Woodrow Wilson MBA Fellowship in Education Leadership program, Interim Associate Dean for Research, Head of the Management Department, and PhD Program Director. Steven is very active in both the local business community and the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. Although Steven is interested in several areas of organizational behavior, his primary interests revolve around leadership, managerial influence, social power, self-efficacy, job attitudes, and deviant workplace behavior.

Dr. Steve Elias

Dr. Steven Elias is the Dean of the Business School at Fort Lewis College and the founder and Director of the Fort Lewis Center for Innovation. Steven holds a doctorate in applied social psychology from Colorado State University, along with a master’s degree in applied psychology from Auburn University Montgomery and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of South Florida. Previously, he was the Robert O. Anderson Distinguished Professor in the College of Business at New Mexico State University, where he was also a 2010 Bill Daniels Fellow in Ethics. While at NMSU, he held several administrative positions, including NMSU Director of the Woodrow Wilson MBA Fellowship in Education Leadership program, Interim Associate Dean for Research, Head of the Management Department, and PhD Program Director. Steven is very active in both the local business community and the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. Although Steven is interested in several areas of organizational behavior, his primary interests revolve around leadership, managerial influence, social power, self-efficacy, job attitudes, and deviant workplace behavior.


Business Owner
Patti came to Durango in 1987, at the time she was a marketing consultant and brought some of her clients from Ohio, making her an early adapter of the home-based business. 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. — currently they own Mountain Bike Specialists, 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.

Patti Zink

Business Owner

Patti came to Durango in 1987, at the time she was a marketing consultant and brought some of her clients from Ohio, making her an early adapter of the home-based business. 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. — currently they own Mountain Bike Specialists, 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.
Town of Bayfield Mayor

Ashleigh Tarkington was elected as Mayor of Bayfield in 2020. She served as Trustee for two years prior and has served on the boards of Bayfield Chamber of Commerce, Pine River Library, and Region 9. Ashleigh Tarkington is a graduate of Fort Lewis College (2000) with a Bachelor’s degree in exercise science. She attended graduate school at California State University Long Beach before returning to the Bayfield area. She has owned and operated the Billy Goat Saloon since 2003.

The Billy Goat Saloon has been an island for thirsty travelers, a refreshing watering hole for touring motorcyclists and a live music hot spot for the Four Corners area for 30 years. The building that houses the Billy Goat Saloon was originally built in 1952, and has served as a rock shop and a café in the aptly named Gem Village before becoming a bar in the late 1950's. It went by the names the Coloradoan, the Westerner, the Last Chance Saloon, and then finally the Billy Goat Saloon in 1982. The Goat celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2012.

Ashleigh Tarkington

Town of Bayfield Mayor

Ashleigh Tarkington was elected as Mayor of Bayfield in 2020. She served as Trustee for two years prior and has served on the boards of Bayfield Chamber of Commerce, Pine River Library, and Region 9. Ashleigh Tarkington is a graduate of Fort Lewis College (2000) with a Bachelor’s degree in exercise science. She attended graduate school at California State University Long Beach before returning to the Bayfield area. She has owned and operated the Billy Goat Saloon since 2003.

The Billy Goat Saloon has been an island for thirsty travelers, a refreshing watering hole for touring motorcyclists and a live music hot spot for the Four Corners area for 30 years. The building that houses the Billy Goat Saloon was originally built in 1952, and has served as a rock shop and a café in the aptly named Gem Village before becoming a bar in the late 1950’s. It went by the names the Coloradoan, the Westerner, the Last Chance Saloon, and then finally the Billy Goat Saloon in 1982. The Goat celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2012.


Meet the Staff 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.

Mike French Executive Director

Michael French 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.

Michelle Furi Director of Operations

Michelle has a solid background in public and private partnerships and operations. In her career, she has served as a town administrator and a town clerk for several years and also worked for the Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management.

Michelle has recently overseen operations at Mountain Studies Institute in our community, solidifying large contracts with the Federal, State, and local governments. She is an accomplished administrator of personnel and program management and has expertise in grant-making and strategic planning.

Michelle graduated from Adams State University and has second degree from University of New Mexico. She has a daughter attending Fort Lewis College and another daughter in high school. Michelle is an avid outdoor enthusiast and was a certified EMT for 6 years and has training in Avalanche Safety and Swift Water Rescue.