our members

MAKE A DIFFERENCE

Leadership Montezuma, Continuing Education and Peer Networking

Steering committee

Rebecca Samulski

Rebecca Samulski grew up in Montezuma County where she lives with her husband and two sons south of Summit Ridge. She received a B.A. in Anthropology from Fort Lewis College and an M.A. in Political Science from CU Denver. She is a Leadership Montezuma alumna circa 2006 and has served and worked for many non-profit and government boards in Montezuma County, including serving as a board member for MLN’s fiscal sponsor, Onward! A Legacy Foundation.

She manages a statewide nonprofit network for wildfire resilience professionals, Fire Adapted Colorado, from an office at Dolores Volunteer Fire & Rescue. It was an interest in community organizing and engagement that drew her into wildfire work as a neighborhood volunteer coordinator in the first place, but, through this lens, she has gained extensive nonprofit and collaborative management experience. She brings experience in building professional networks and is passionate about weaving our local network of community ‘leaders’.

Jessica Thurman

Growing up in the rural community of Beulah, Colorado, Jessica recognized early on in life the importance and capabilities of community collaboration. Drawing from her desire to help others along with her professional experience with nonprofit organizations and child protection, Jessica appreciates the vital role dedicated and effective leaders play in the over well-being of the community. Jessica is committed to addressing mental and behavioral health barriers, housing shortages, and the development and enhancement of business and educational opportunities to support a prosperous economy for those living and visiting Montezuma County.

Jessica holds a Master’s degree in Social Work and is the Montezuma County Community and Economic Development Coordinator. In her free time, Jess enjoys housing renovations, photography, and leading her Girl Scout Troop on fearless adventures.

Leigh Reeves

Leigh Reeves recently retired from conventional employment. She continues to cater under the business Zoe the Tail. It helps her express her creativity and take care of people through good food and fun.

Leigh has 35 years of business experience in companies large and small. Managing teams in healthcare, manufacturing and telecommunications. Her skills include:

  • Building consensus around critical issues
  • Listening
  • Working with diverse teams to tackle big problems
  • Training teams to optimize efficiency
  • Running effective meetings
  • Analyzing budgets and developing financial objectives
  • Developing consensus around a vision
  • Executing plans in a focused environment

Leigh’s Education:

  • Bachelor of Science in Hotel and Restaurant Management from the University of Houston, Houston, TX
  • MBA from Keller Graduate School, Chicago, IL

Vision:

To change the hearts and minds of people one person at time. Connecting with people using humility, empathy, and strong listening skills while lifting the lives of all through equity, diversity and inclusion.

Jason Armstrong

Jason moved to Denver from his home state of Indiana in 1996. He has worked extensively in non-profit settings supporting youth and families, serving in a variety of roles that have included program management, evaluation, grant writing and executive leadership. Jason volunteers his time to local non-profit organizations on boards and has served on local committees across the region since moving Durango in 2008, and then on to Mancos in 2018. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Public Relations and a Masters of Public Administration. Jason currently works for the Town of Mancos as the Community and Economic Development Director. In his spare time, he enjoys mountain biking, trail running, backcountry snowboarding, carpentry and hanging out with friends, his amazing partner of 20 years and of course, his dogs.

Jason’s leadership philosophy is driven by an authentic desire to foster collaboration and celebrate those around him while modeling actions that come from a commitment to integrity. He values humility above all else, and a spirit of inclusion that supports the well-being of the entire community.

Program Manager

Vanessa Malloy

Born and raised in Montezuma County, Vanessa brings a variety of experiences to the Program Manager position. She previously worked for the Montezuma County/CSU Extension office and at City Market. Vanessa has served as the Administration Director for the K-9 Search and Rescue Team since 2013 and as the Executive Program Director for Onward! A Legacy Foundation since August 2022. She is working on a Bachelor of Science in Business Management at Northern Arizona University. Vanessa is the proud mother of one child who is currently attending Fort Lewis College.

Community Involvement Coordinator

Mary Jo Standard

Mary Jo moved to Cortez in 2013, after spending a year in Gunnison and a year in Durango. During her time in SW Colorado, she has had a variety of jobs, including para-educator in Durango and Cortez and Director of School Community Youth Collaborative (SCYC). Most recently, Mary Jo worked for Tony Grampsas Youth Services (TGYS), a program within the Colorado Department of Human Services, managing the Colorado Positive Youth Development Training system, the Statewide Youth Development Plan, and a one year youth and community partnership grant.

Outside of work, Mary Jo enjoys getting outside with her partner and 3 little ones. They spend lots of time camping, hiking, and climbing.

Mary Jo’s leadership philosophy is to use your head to lead with your heart. She feels strongly that the power of connection drives community building and prosperity within communities.

Leadership Montezuma

Matt Keefauver

Nicci Crowley

Arlina Yazzie

Amala Posey-Monk

Jason Armstrong

Continuing Education

Nancy Schaufele

Leigh Reeves

Meghan Higman (not pictured)

Laurel Schafer

Christine Dorcheus

Rose Jergens (not pictured)

Angie Beal (not pictured)

Katie Kelley (not pictured)

Peer Networking

Derek Streeter

Carly Wolf

Rebecca Samulski (not pictured)

Claire West

Eli Brock

Emily Spahn (not pictured)

Jack Hotvet

Abby Nuetzel