CHA BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Board Chair, Chaffee County
As a twenty-year plus resident of Salida and Chaffee County, I'm excited to join the talented and diverse CHA team to address the critical housing needs facing our communities. Starting in the early 1990's I had a 20-year career in regional planning, community development and affordable housing and have founded two successful housing non-profit organizations. Since 2005 I have owned and operated Green Edge Design, a green building architectural design studio focusing on sustainable housing.
It's hard to name just one favorite place.
My favorite mountains in the county are the "Ute Peaks" (Mount Ouray, Chipeta Mountain, and Phalone Peak), named in honor of family members of the Ute Tribe, the valleys' original inhabitants. As a rock climber, my favorite places to climb are the crags around the tunnels on CR 371. That area and the amazing backcountry of Browns Canyon National Monument, where the high desert meets the alpine, are also high on the list.
Board Vice-Chair, Town of Buena Vista
I bring over 20 years of construction, community development, organizational development, and project management skills to CHA. Born and raised in Chaffee County, so this place is my home in the deepest sense of the word and I am committed to doing everything I can to make it a better place to live for everyone. Currently, I work as Planning Director for the Town of Buena Vista and live in town here with my wife Ashley and two kids.
My favorite place in Chaffee is an old fire access road off of Cottonwood pass - I love hiking there with my family and pups.
Board Secretary, Chaffee County
I believe housing is the linchpin issue for so many of our equity-related social challenges here in Chaffee, and I want to be on a team that’s helping address the problem. My background and day job are focused on supporting social change organizations in their policy, advocacy and communications efforts. I’m also a speechwriter and public engagement strategist. I enjoy holding up people and causes that make the world a better place.
My favorite place in Chaffee County is my back porch, looking at the beautiful 14k-foot peaks that surround us and remind us how small we really are.
I have more than 23 years’ experience in management in both the for-profit and non-profit sectors. For seven years I provided direct mental health/substance abuse treatment services and housing services for the homeless population in Aurora, Colorado. I was on the board to end homelessness in Colorado for the Governors' offices for 5 years. I not only provided direct services to families but also provided clinical oversight for families and individuals that struggled with our housing options daily. My main focus has been high risk families and adolescents, the most common topic is lack of affordable housing in our community. What better way to support the families I serve than to help impact the problem in a positive way through community collaboration and support.
My favorite place in Chaffee County is outdoors with my family. I love to spend time with my family and we live in this great place so we enjoy it, mountain biking, fishing, skiing, etc.
I want to help keep the Chaffee County community that I’ve fallen in love with over the years the way it is, as one of the most wonderful places I’ve ever lived due to the beauty and uniqueness of both the mountain scenery and the rich tapestry of diverse people and small businesses that are here. I’m currently working in account management in the tech industry. A former real estate attorney for nearly a decade, I also have the real estate and legal expertise to help in partnering with local developers, evaluating what land to purchase, and developing housing policies. Additionally, I previously served as a former nonprofit leader and teacher in low income communities for 11 years.
My favorite place in Chaffee County is the back patio of our newly purchased home in Buena Vista where my husband Dirk and I enjoy taking in the peaceful presence and amazing views of Mt. Princeton.
At Large Alternate
The local workforce is what keeps the community strong. I want to be part of the solution that helps keep housing attainable for the heart and soul of the community. I have a unique view of the housing in Colorado from the perspective of a participant in the Boulder County Homeownership Programs. My background is in graphic design and communications.
One of my favorite places in Chaffee County is my garden. It has been a long dream of mine to work with the earth to produce food to eat and share.
I moved to Salida, CO fifteen years ago and am very fortunate to have grown up here and continue living in this wonderful community. After graduating from Salida High School, I spent that next summer acquiring my insurance licenses and started my career as an account manager and producer for GKS Insurance specializing in commercial lines. After over six years in the insurance industry, I decided it was time for a change and took on a position as a commercial loan officer for High Country Bank. Over the years I have been lucky enough to meet and work with some of the greatest people and local businesses, as well as build long lasting relationships with them. After a little over three years with High Country Bank, I was given a tremendous opportunity, and am now employed by Collegiate Peaks Bank as a commercial loan officer where our main focus is supporting the communities we live and work by emphasizing personalized service. Having worked professional sales and customer service positions in Salida for ten years now, I have gained extensive experience and knowledge in this community.
My favorite spot in Chaffee County is Fooses Creek, where I enjoy camping and fishing it’s numerous beaver ponds for Brook Trout.
City of Salida
I was born and raised in Salida and moved back about 15 years ago. So much has changed with many of those changes being positive, and Chaffee County still feels like home. I learned about leadership through my role as the director for the Greater Arkansas River Nature Association (GARNA) and through a Masters in Environmental Management degree with a focus on Sustainable and Resilient Communities. My first lessons in decision-making were as a raft guide in Browns Canyon many, many years ago. In late 2021, I joined the Salida City Council as a Councilmember, and my focus is affordable housing as the City’s liaison to the Chaffee Housing Authority. I’m also excited to represent points of view that don’t always have a seat at the table: youth, agriculture, wildlife, and the underrepresented human sectors of our community.
My favorite place in Chaffee County is my daughter’s face. Most of what I do is for her, the next generation, and the youth of this community.
City of Salida
Somewhere in the mid-80’s, after teaching in several public schools in low income areas, my interest in the need for affordable housing motivated me to get involved. I participated in the planning and construction of the first Habitat for Humanity homes in Colorado Springs. A few years later several of us initiated the birth of the organization, Greccio Housing, starting with the rehabilitation and preservation of one building. Greccio currently owns and manages more than 600 affordable rental units and continues to expand. During the last two decades similar Chaffee County housing needs became obvious and enticed me to participate in the work of the Housing Policy Advisory Committee (HPAC), the Chaffee Housing Trust (CHT) and now as a board member of the Chaffee Housing Authority (CHA). It’s in “my blood!”
Cottonwood Lake, west of Beuna Vista, holds a special place in my heart. It’s where my children and friends often camped during their “growing up” years. The scenery against a blue sky and autumn leaves along with the beaver, ducks and geese on the water — heavenly!
Town of Buena Vista
I am a political strategist and government affairs professional based in Buena Vista, Colorado. I have over 12 years of experience in environmental policy, rural affairs, electoral strategy, and housing policy. I formerly served as an elected city councilor for the City of Edgewater, CO, and on the affordable housing council for Durango, CO. I was appointed to the Chaffee County Housing Authority in 2021. I am a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley.
My favorite spot in Chaffee County is Cottonwood Lake, where I cross country skis in the winter and forage for mushrooms in the summer.
CHA STAFF & CONSULTANTS
Chaffee Housing Authority Director
I’ve worked in the affordable housing field for over 15 years and am motivated by my belief that a safe, stable home is a human right and absolutely necessary for a vibrant and health community.
My home is my favorite place in Chaffee County; it’s a safe refuge surrounded by pinon and juniper trees and provides my family a gathering place where we can deepen our bonds through joyful experiences.
Willa Williford is principal of Williford LLC, located in Crested Butte, Colorado. Williford LLC provides strategic planning, technical assistance, analysis, and project management for affordable, workforce, and attainable housing. Willa’s experience includes housing development, finance, and asset management in the public and private sectors. Prior to becoming a consultant, she served as Housing Director for Boulder County, where she provided leadership for 500 new affordable homes and developed financially sustainable, results oriented programs and policies. She previously worked for Boulder Housing Partners and US Bank Community Development Corporation. Willa holds a Masters of Urban and Regional Planning from University of Colorado at Denver, and a BA from Reed College in Portland OR.
In addition to her work, Willa is passionate about being involved in her community. She currently supports and volunteers at the Crested Butte Land Trust, Stepping Stones Children’s Center, and Crested Butte Mountain Bike Association.
After an up-ending year and a half of covid, I was looking for meaningful and fulfilling work that excercises my wide range of experience and skills. In my life, I've been both a homeowner and looked down the barrel of homelessness. I know the blessing and relief of home security and am grateful to have such impactful work.
Twenty years ago, I'd have said my favorite place is anywhere above treeline. Now that I'm in my 50's, my favorite place is anywhere I can see treeline . . . most often that place seems to be my front porch.
I joined the Chaffee Housing Authority to use my skills and talents to help Becky Gray build out the organization. I also wanted to find a role that allowed me to become more involved with the community that I live and to give back to it and make a difference.
Monarch. I love the small family-oriented feeling of running into local friends on the slopes like you are at the grocery store.
My house IS my home, where I spend the majority of my day—it is where I feel safe, nurtured, fed, and warm. Everybody deserves to have that kind of space. My talent is supporting all the behind-the-scene and background processes and systems for those shining stars that are on the ground, doing this important work -- making sure every Chaffee County resident has the opportunity to secure safe, affordable and equitable housing.
Right outside my front door is immediate access to winding, county roads with open, agricultural vistas. As I ride on another beautiful clear and sunny Colorado day, I call out Hello horsies and moo moos. Hello river. Hello hawks. Hello Vicunas. My joy, my favorite place.
Chaffee County Public Health
My interest in housing issues started during my time as a Presbyterian pastor. In many interactions with people experiencing homelessness, I found myself feeling the stress of their lives and wondering how I could help, especially on cold winter nights. Since retirement, and now working with Chaffee County Public Health, I have continued my interest by helping to start a men’s and women’s winter shelter, a shower program for those without houses, as well as connecting this vulnerable population with other basic services that many of us take for granted.
One of my favorite places in Chaffee County is on top of Tenderfoot Hill in Salida, where I enjoy looking out over the town that I have called home for over thirty years and praying for its wellbeing.
We Are Chaffee Coordinator
Throughout my career, my passions led me to create healthy environments for current and future generations. This work began in the environmental field and, through a maze of interconnected opportunities, led me to my current work supporting advocacy in equitable housing and health in Chaffee County. I strive to work with individuals and community groups to strengthen efforts in creating a better tomorrow together.
"Home” is Lisa’s favorite place. It where she feels safe, secure and loved.
I have been crafting visual messages and designs for both private and non-profit organizations for over two decades. I am so honored to be a part of this amazing team of housing experts, directors and coordinators.
The river is what drew me to Chaffee County 20+years ago. I love spending time in the river or quietly sitting beside it.