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We Are Chaffee

We Are Chaffee is designed to be a safe place for nonprofits, community institutions and others to share and engage in each other stories. The hope is that through listening, sharing and engaging in local stories, our community will become more aware of our neighbors stories and ultimately more compassionate and resilient. The We Are Chaffee initiative grew out of the Chaffee County Public Health and Housing grant-funded Housing + Health Program, along with the Chaffee County Community Foundation and others who were inspired to create We Are Chaffee to be a catalyst for community dialogue and learning.



Paul Alexander is a fifth generation Colorado native with roots in both Lake City and Trinidad. He served as Director of the Institute on the Common Good at Regis  University and has extensive experience in facilitating community dialogue and collaborative processes. He served for eight years as the Degree Chair for the Master of Nonprofit Management Program (MNM) at Regis and taught in both the College of Business and Regis College. He has over twenty-five years’ experience in the nonprofit and public sectors, serving on multiple boards and as the Executive Director of two different Colorado nonprofits. 


He has traveled extensively and lived and worked in Spain and Latin America. He lives west of Salida where he helps manage his small family farm/ranch operation. He also serves on the board of Guidestone Colorado and is a Colorado Master Gardener with the Chaffee County Extension Office. 

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After working in various student affairs roles spanning thirteen years and three states, Amy is currently serving as the Assistant Dean of Student Affairs at the Colorado Mountain College Salida Campus. Having lived in Chaffee County six years, joining the WAC is a great way to deepen ties in the community and make a meaningful contribution. Amy enjoys traveling, teaching Sociology and Anthropology classes for CMC and watching local wildlife.


Heather has been crafting visual messages and designs for over two decades. A BA in liberal arts from the University of Michigan paired with classes in art and design created the foundation for her career. Heather has worked with a variety of engaging projects for both private and non-profit organizations, designing visual assets and branding that drive engagement to each specific project. 


The spirit of the river and the outdoors drew Heather to Salida, the place that she has called home for over 20 years.

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Throughout Lisa’s career, her passions led her to create healthy environments for current and future generations.


As Parks Manager for the city of Boulder, Colorado, Lisa focused on creating healthy ecosystems for all life within public areas that included banning pesticide use in public areas, expanding the smoking ban for the City, and partnering with a nonprofit to create a work program for people who are experiencing homelessness.  
Natural landscapes guided Lisa to Chaffee County and she fell in love with the place because of the people.

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Mike Orrill has lived in Salida for over 30 years and is married to Bev with three children and five grandchildren.  For 27 years, he served as senior pastor of the First Presbyterian Church in Salida before retiring in 2017, after which he began his work with Chaffee County Public Health as Special Projects Coordinator.  In this capacity, he has been involved with several projects ranging from LGBTQ awareness, homelessness, mental health, and efforts to address addiction and recovery. 


He enjoys many outdoor activities as well as reading and photography, trying to learn Spanish and anything chocolate.  He’s involved in the We Are Chaffee storytelling project because everyone has a story to tell and that is worthy to be heard.  Sharing our stories with one another is one of the things that nurtures a healthy community and that makes us human.


Nick has been working in the marketing industry for the last 10 years, with experience in small business development and corporate branding. His passion lies in storytelling, inside and outside of his “day-job”. Locally he serves on the board of the Community Equity Coalition, working to bring attention to the inequities in Chaffee county.


As a newer resident of Salida, Nick is excited at the opportunity to make an impact in the community he calls home.

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