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Women of the San Luis VAlley

Women of the San Luis VAlley

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  • 1.  
  • 2. Dedicated to the wonderful women whose lives are an inspiration to all of us and a gift to this Valley
  • 3. Beverly Mozetti
    • Born in Chicago, Illinois.
    • At age 14 received a full scholarship for the Edna McRae Studio. Graduate school at Columbia University. She was part of the American Festival Ballet and a member of Radio City Ballet Company.
    • Moved to the Valley in 1971. She taught at Adams State College and established the Mountain Valley Dance Studio. Choreographed for Adams State College and the Creede Repertory Theatre.
    • The Vail Valley Foundation hired Beverly as a supervisor of students for their six week intensive workshop with the Bolshoi Ballet Masters.
    • She enjoys reading dance history among other subjects. She likes to travel and playing with her twin grandchildren.
  • 4. Mettje Swift
    • Cheerful is better than morose. Watch little birds take showers in the lilac bushes, they actually raise their wings to wash their little feathery armpits. How cool is that?
    • Use sarcasm sparingly, make people laugh if you can, it's ok to tease, just be gentle. Use water sparingly, but keep the garden growing.  Tears are good, just keep only one 40 watt light bulb over the sink in the bathroom. 
    • Laughter about our bizarre human condition frees us from the doldrums.  Eat some melty-cheesy dish as needed without guilt. Get a dog or a cat or a man, as needed.  Praise god for your talent.
    • I am my work, but I also have one son and 3 grandkids, ages 14, 10 and 15 months. I adore being a g'ma. See my g'daughters and a box  (moving day).  I have very good women friends who keep me laughing or else this Valley would have sucked me dry. I have had some epic men in my life.  Four corners is my geographic heartland, but I also have family here in Alamosa,. I maintain a sport of some kind and presently it is tennis which we play all year as we can play in the Nazarene Church gym in the winters. This Valley has a lot of tolerance as most of the women I play tennis with are bible studying Christians and yet, they are wonderful and supportive tho' it has to be obvious I believe in evolution, abortion and Obama.
    • Mettje began making fabric art banners in 1978.
    • She moved her business to Del Norte in 1995. She is a Rotarian and volunteers in the not-for-profit sector stumping for the Arts and Arts Education. She helped create the Theater Entrance Players in Mancos in the 70’s, The Durango Arts Force in the 80’s and 90’s and La Vereda in Del Norte since 2002. She worked for many years statewide for the Colorado Arts Consortium, a partner organization to the Colorado Council on the Arts, to create and support community art councils. She has taught banner making and community celebrations workshops to children and teachers in Brazil, Mexico and the USA, bringing communities together under their own banners.
    •  
  • 5. Charlotte Ledonne
    • I am ageless and constantly evolving. I am the nurse coordinator at the SLV Area Health Education Center, clinician at the SLV Mental Health Center and part time faculty at Trinidad State Junior College.
    • The San Luis Valley has been my home since 1979 when my husband and I moved here from Tennessee, where he was stationed in the military.
    • I live for the joy of it and trying to make the world, or at least my corner of the world, a better place in the process.
  • 6. Elizabeth Mattis-Namgyel
    • I have been living in Crestone, CO
    • for about 16 years. I love it here. I am originally from California.
    • I lived in Nepal and India for about 7 years. I have a degree in
    • anthropology and an M.A. in Buddhist philosophy.
    • I edit Buddhist books and travel throughout the world and teach.
    • My first book, "The Power of an Open Question", was released by
    • Shambhala publications. In 2011
    • I am interested in what it means
    • to be a human being! I am interested in basic human challenges and how we
    • work with them practically...which is what the Buddha's path is about for
    • me. People say I am a "teacher"...but actually, I feel like a student. When
    • I travel and 'teach' I am more interested in dialogue, simply sharing my
    • inquiry and learning from others. This is the way I have found I can serve
    • others, which means a lot to me. Aside from this, I love to ride my horse.
  • 7. Georgia Parment
    • Georgia Parment
    • Monte Vista, Colorado
    • I am a native Coloradan. I grew up in Greeley and Denver
    • We moved to the valley the summer of 2009. I found La Puente and they had a position open for a Community Education Coordinator. I could not have written a more perfect job description. I was very excited when I was offered the job. I promote all of La Puente’s programs through the stories of our guests and clients. I work to change the negative connotations about homeless individuals and those living in poverty with the hopes that they would be moved to action through compassion.
    • I live to discover new things, new ideas, new people and new communities! I never lose hope because once you do there is nothing left. I also love to read, run, bike, hike, ski, spend time with my husband and family, eat good food, enjoy a good bottle of wine and travel.
  • 8. Peggy Godfrey
    • Peggy has been ranching for 38 of her 64 years. The last 23 of those have been in the Northeastern San Luis Valley. She is a performing poet and a story teller.
    • “ What I Believe…
    • … When I am living from my truest self, the energy of the Holy which suffuses all creation can flow through me in any of its myriad forms, whether I am baking bread, midwifing triplet lambs, being a poet, or trying to expose an injustice”
  • 9. Kathy Rogers
    • My mission statement or what I live for:  To live every day as a servant leader treat my family, friends, work, city, and all I believe in with dignity and respect leaving whatever I care about
    • Mayor for the City of Alamosa after having fulfilled two terms on City Council, is a lifelong resident of the San Luis Valley. She works for the San Luis Valley Regional Medical Center as the Director of Marketing, Public and Patient Relations. Her husband Mike recently retired and turned their family funeral home business’ over to their son, Kevin. Mike and Kathy have 5 grown children and 11 grandchildren.
  • 10. Tamar Ellentuck
    • Founding director of Veterans Green Jobs and presently serves as the Executive Director of VGJ”s Weatherization Agency in the San Luis Valley. She comes to VGJ from a career in natural resource protection and community consensus building around land use issues involving multiple private, non-profit, and public land-users and owners. Tamar has a passion for creating actionable social awareness around the true cost of energy development and use.
  • 11. Aubrey Lucero
    • I am 32 years old. “ What do you live for? ” TO DANCE. For me to dance means much more than the verb implies. As a teacher, I must not only teach the steps but grace, poise and humility. It is these virtuous gifts that the audience notices when they see greatness in a dancer. When a young girl sees a ballet for the first time this is what she really sees but does not yet realize. She may think it is the beautiful tutu or perhaps the sparkling tiara but in reality it is, this is the something ‘ more ’ in a dancer that we all wish to accomplish and what I live for every day.
    • When a self-conscious teenager balances with her head held high accomplishes her goal with a bright smile…that is what I live for! When you show someone they can be something more than they ever imagined for themselves… When you push someone beyond the limits they have placed around themselves… When someone says “I didn’t know I could do it,” and you respond with an “I always knew you could…” That is what I live for.
    • I always had people believing in me and my dreams and it meant the world to me. I now need to return the favor. Can you imagine what the world can be if we push people to be their best? They may not always like it…but in the end…they sure will appreciate it more than apathy. As Judith Jamison once said “Dance is never ending aspiration.” May our aspirations never cease.
  • 12. Anna Louise Stewart
    • Anna Louise Stewart, 42 of age. Colon Hydro Therapist, Massage Therapist, Chi Nei Tsang practitioner. Works with educating and
    • supporting families in home based funerals. Works for the Crestone End of Life Project. Has lived in theValley for the last 7 years (wow!)
    • “ I live to expand and explore within. Because only through my own presence, my own joy, my own healing can I be of true service to
    • anybody and anything.”
  • 13. Donna Wehe
    • Donna is 45. She is the Director of the SLV Small Business Development Center. She is married to David and has two boys, Ryan and Haden
    • “ What do I live for?  I don't live for the end, but for the journey.  I
    • feel it's important to try to get the most out of every day.  Some
    • days I lose focus of this, but for the most part, I'm happy to answer
    • the phone and e-mail all day long while planning the next event and
    • checking on my kids.  I'm currently a student again, with ASC's online
    • MBA program.  It is very anachronistic to learn the academic side of
    • my current career and relate the work back into the classroom
    • discussions.”
  • 14. Ashley Lopes
    • Ashley Riley Lopes, 31
    • Executive Director of Tu Casa, Inc.-Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault Victim Services Center.
    • Almost 2 years in the SLV (Originally from Dallas, TX, but spent last 6 years in Brazil)
    • What do you live for? - I live for using my talents towards worthy
    • causes, making our community stronger/better, and for my family; I am an inherent problem solver who loves challenges.
    • A quote Ashley Likes:
    • "Courage in women is often mistaken for insanity."  unknown
  • 15. Mary Trujillo Young
    • Age: 43
    • Chief Operating Officer of San Luis Valley Mental Health Center – have been employed at the Center for about 17 years (left for a few months – have been back for 14 years and worked in many different capacities at the Center during that time)
    • Born in Del Norte, CO – graduated from DN High School – attended Colorado State University for Bachelors, Masters, and PhD in Counseling Psychology – then returned to the Valley in 1994
    • What do I live for / what makes me tick: 
    • ·         Laughter every day with my wonderful husband of 25 years
    • ·         Being quiet in nature – listening to the sounds of life, whether it be in the mountains, on my patio, during a walk at the park, or by the ocean
    • ·         Hearing people’s stories about their lives – triumphs, challenges, joys, interests
    • ·         Helping people learn about themselves and achieve their dreams
    • ·         Enjoying the energy, excitement and never-ending love of my two dogs
    •  
  • 16. Jane Jacobs
    • A mission statement for Jane:
    • "Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts."  Rachel Carson
    • Signature Member of the Southwestern Colorado Watercolor Society, Western Colorado Watercolor Society and Arizona Watercolor Association, of which she is a Juried Member with Coatimundi Honor Status.  Her animal artwork has been featured in juried exhibitions and invitationals such as the American Dog Art Exhibition in New York, NY; The Dog Museum in St. Louis, MO; and "Animals in Art" at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, LA.

A versatile and talented artist, Jane has also been invited to participate in juried shows including the Rocky Mountain National Watermedia Exhibition 2008; ISAP Online International Open Acrylic Exhibition; Watercolor Art Society - Houston, 31st International Exhibition; Western Colorado Watercolor Society National Exhibitions; and the Museum of Fine Porcelain Art in Oklahoma City, OK.  She is the Commission Master Artist for Dirty Elegance in New York.
  • 17. Trudy Kretsinger
    • I am fifty seven - old enough to know better, but young enough to still get in trouble.  I have been farming in the Valley for twenty years.  We raise organic grassfed beef.  The longer I live here the more I love living here.  It makes possible connecting with every aspect of life I love:  Spirit and Nature, community, family, working with my husband, dirt, food, solitude, mountains, the sky.  I even love the wind.  Not.
    • Picture by Linda Relyea
  • 18. Virginia Sutherland
    • Born on ranch 6/29/25. Widow,one child. Hobbies: Violin,Viola, Sociology, Psychology, Anthropology                          Historical research/writing.
    • Cattle Ranch Owner,Operator,Manager (60 years horseback!)
    • Grew up on local Sheep & Cattle Ranch ,Pioneer Family. Operated Ranch with husband (Vinis H.Sutherland) forty years. Following his Death 1990, manage operation in Partnership with Daughter, Lynn.We have no borrowing history; always remained solvent. We have 2  ranches, base ranch 4 miles West of Moffat, on County Rd. T. Summer Ranch on Jacks Creek 15 miles West of Saguache, daughter resides there in  Summer and manages cattle on Forest and BLM lands. Total operation requires financial management; feeding ;breeding; irrigating; haying; Govt.& State grazing leases ,machine maintenance; records, and marketing management.
    • Motivation? to live a productive life !
  • 19. Perla Kopeloff
    • Perla was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina where she graduated as an architect.
    • Escaping a military takeover, Perla immigrated to the United States in 1974 where she discovered her talents as a fiber artist.  
    • Lured by the greater freedom of expression in the American Southwest, she moved to Taos where she became a familiar voice in weaving circles and explored a wider range of fiber in paper, wearable art, felt, and now felted jewelry.. 
    • In her latest work, she has created a unique line of necklaces and earrings combining a variety of selected ethnic beads with the warmth and lightness of her own hand crafted felt. In her pieces there is a timeless aesthetic that shapes fiber into an almost iconic ancient museum piece.  
  • 20. Elizabeth Kinney
    • I am a family practice physician who currently works at the San Luis Valley Planned Parenthood and also the Emergency Room at Conejos County Hospital. I have lived in the valley since 1993.  I am getting older....
    •  
    • I have included two pictures of me doing things I love.  One is hiking in Utah, where I go every spring to unwind.  The other is cuddling my dog Zoe, who is almost a year old now.
    •  
    • What do I live for?  I guess my constant mission is to always do my best and to help people in whatever way I can.
    •  
  • 21. Karla Shiver
    • Age 55
    • Farmer for more than 20 years and real state broker for more than 25 years. Living in the Valley for 25 years
    • I am a person who loves a challenge.  I believe strongly in values such as family, honesty, strong since of ethics, integrity, and hard work.  I believe that we all must  contribute to our community in some manner, and I enjoy civic opportunities. I feel we can accomplish a lot if we will only try.
    • Mission statement:  "We make a living by what we get.  We make a life by what we give.”
    • First woman to serve as County Commissioner in the Rio Grande County
  • 22. Lillian A McCracken
    • Immersed in the study & practice of extraordinary states of being since the
    • early 60's. Co-founder of Green Earth Farm, in Saguache, with her husband Tom in 1987.
    • Nature Cure Healer, Shamanka, Master Herbalist , Astrologer Master Gardener,
    • Plant Spirit Medicine Woman.
    • Lillian chose to be represented by her beautiful garden at the farm.
  • 23. Chris Canaly
    • Director San Luis Valley Ecosystem Council (SLVEC)
    • Bachelor of Science, Ohio University, Writing and Production Planning
    • EPA Environmental Stewardship Award 2006
    • Chris mobilized key local and regional constituencies to support legislation for the Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve Act of 2000 and received congressional recognition for that work. In Coordination with EPA Region 8, she organized SLV Community leaders to form the SLV LEAP HIGH Project that has engaged over 800 households in education forums to protect their drinking water through regular household well maintenance and water quality testing. She has voluntarily written grants and developed organizational infrastructure for a number of Valley non-profit restoration and conservation organizations. Before moving to the SLV in 1988, she worked as a Production Engineer with CNN Headline News in Atlanta, Georgia and NBC News in New York City.
  • 24. Carol Darnell Guerrero-Murphy
    • I turned 60 this year; I have been a professor at Adams State College for 16 years.  I am a poet, author of Table Walking at Nighthawk and Birth, Death, and Other Pastures.  I've lived in this part of Colorado for the most part since 1975.
    • I live for learning and sharing that learning; I really can't think of something I'm not curious about or interested in. I'm extremely family-oriented, and passionate about animals and gardens and students.  At my age, I know that every minute alive is a great gift. 
  • 25. Robin Blakenship
    • Robin Blankenship owns and operates Earth Knack and has been working in the outdoor field since 1978 when she began leading horse packing trips into the Collegiate Peaks Wilderness for Adventure Unlimited Ranches, eventually directing their mountaineering program. She began teaching for Larry Olsen's School of Urban and Wilderness Survival in 1984, the National Outdoor Leadership School and Outward Bound
    • She is the author of Earth Knack Stone Age Skills for the 21 st Century published by Gibbs Smith publisher in 1996. Robin made a friction fire for Katie Couric on the Today’s Show, has been featured in publications like Outside Magazine, The Chicago Tribune, The New York Times, The Denver Post and appeared on Channel 4 news programs in Denver featuring self sufficiency and sustainable lifestyles.
    • She lives in Crestone.
  • 26. Suzanne Quintana
    • Age 64
    • I farm with my husband Arturo in San Pablo. I have been farming in Colorado for 18 years. I was raised on a large ranch in Nebraska.
    • I am the president of the Rio Culebra Agricultural Co-op in Costilla.
    • My mission is to keep our land grant for agriculture and provide clean, wholesome food for our people and members of our CSA.
    • I know that I live in the best place in the world with the most wonderful people for friends, neighbors and customers.
  • 27. Mary Richards
    • I have lived in the San Luis Valley since April of 1996.  I came here as an agriculture lender, within the Farm Credit System.  After a couple years, Community Banks hired me to open their new branch in South Fork.  Meanwhile, being recently married to a SLV rancher, Jim Swanson, we expanded our cattle herd and I “went home” to work.  I supplemented my income with substitute teaching at Sangre de Cristo Schools.  I now had time to re-visit my musical skills, and began to teach violin locally.  After being convinced by a fellow musician, I obtained my Masters of Arts from Adams State College, with a teaching certificate.  I am licensed in Business and Music.   I began teaching in the public schools in addition to my private students.  With the state cut-backs, I have expanded my lessons, now teaching violin, viola, cello, guitar and piano from my home in Alamosa.  I have been blessed a full time job managing properties and promoting solar installations. 
    • I have always loved serving others.  I encourage and help people reach their potential with their musical talents.  In all I do, I want to help others and show others Christian love.
  • 28. Janet Woodman
    • Age 60
    • Architectural designer (30 years), editor (22 years), radio DJ (16 years).
    • Resident of the San Luis Valley for 23 years.
    • Natural beauty has been a lifelong love, and being close to it daily is important to me.  Well-designed homes that not only use natural elements to conserve fuel and water, but are a pleasure to live in.  The garden and greenhouse are passions of mine, as are conservation of resources: water, undeveloped land, household recycling, living lightly upon the land.  Good music that gets my feet tapping and body moving.  Laughter with friends.  Well-prepared food.
  • 29. Carly Triz
    • Age: 32
    •   General Manager at Sand Dunes Recreation.   I run my family-owned hot springs located in Hooper, CO.  We also have an on-site restaurant called The Mile Deep Grille.  I have been back at Sand Dunes Recreation for 6 months.  Previously I lived in Colorado Springs and was Managing Partner of Rock Bottom Brewery Colorado Springs.  I was raised in the San Luis Valley, moved away for 10 years and now I am back to run the family business after lots of restaurant management experience in Colorado Springs.
    • What do I live for? 
    •    To be happy and live each day as each one is a gift.  To be surrounded by the people I love and make the things I do count-I try to push myself to continue to learn and grow.
  • 30. Debbie Gullet
    • I am 60 years young and own a Ranch in Moffat for 9 years. Besides ranching I drive a School bus from Moffat to Crestone, My most important job! Previously I drove in Woodland Park and have been loving it for 18 years. When I am not in a bus I clean professionally and have been for 40 years. My clients include some private  residents, Moffat Clinic and more recently Dharma Ocean. In my spare time I clean and manage our Ranch.
    •        I live to live life to the fullest, and get great fulfillment out of spending time with family and friends especially Grandchildren. My mission is to be the best I can be, including helping the Old and the Young to be their best! 
  • 31. Cindy Medina
    • My mission in life is to honor the beauty of the Feminine: The intuitive, relational and spiritual aspects of the psyche. Working with dreams has been my passion since my encounter with the Black Madonna in1986. Listening to the feminine has inspired my work in the restoration of the Alamosa River watershed.
    • I believe in order to achieve a balanced life, one must create a dance between the inner world of dreams and the outer world of family, friends, and profession.
    • The question we need to constantly ask ourselves is: Are we listening to our dreams’ healing and creative path?
    • A San Luis Valley native, I was raised with six sisters on farm between La Jara and Capulin
  • 32. Julie Mordecai
    • “ I live to be true to myself everyday; to not let the little things get in the way of making a difference in the lives of my family, my friends, my community and my world. “ 
    • Executive Director of the Colorado Alliance of Boys & Girls Clubs. She has been with the Boys & Girls Club movement for over 8 years, first serving as the Chief Professional Officer of the Boys & Girls Clubs of the San Luis Valley. She owned and operated the Cottonwood Inn Bed & Breakfast in Alamosa for over 10 years selling the inn in 2000. Julie is currently the board president of the Alamosa Live Music Association, past president of the Alamosa Rotary, and she volunteers for KRZA community radio. She has a BA in Environmental Studies and an Elementary Education Credential from the University of California, Santa Barbara.
    • Ms. Mordecai has lived and worked in Alamosa for 25 years, and has been married to her husband-George Sellman who is a professor of Computer Science at Adams State, for the same amount of time. She has a daughter Sarah Sellman , who just graduated in Film and Television from NYU this May and a son Noah Sellman, who will be a junior at Alamosa High School. Julie enjoys making and collecting art, the outdoors through cycling and hiking, as well as traveling.

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