Board of Trustees
The Community Foundation receives gifts in many forms. Among the most precious gifts are time, knowledge, skills and hard work donated by our volunteer trustees. The Board of Trustees governs the Yampa Valley Community Foundation, sets policy and makes final grant decisions. Members of the board serve three year terms.
In 1992 Kelly graduated with a degree in Financial Planning and Counseling from Purdue University, packed up her little red car and headed to Steamboat Springs. The idea was to ski powder and figure out how to stay. Thirty years later with 2 children, a home in downtown and a wonderful husband Kelly’s dreams have come true.
Kelly’s professional journey started with waiting tables at the Steamboat Yacht Club, transitioning to marketing for the Steamboat Ski & Resort Corporation. In 1999 Kelly opened the Creekside Cafe. Her husband Jason joined her as the chef in 2002, and they ran it together for the next 16 years. Along the journey was Creekside’s prestigious Business Philanthropist of the Year Award from the Yampa Valley Community Foundation, recognizing them for giving back to the community which had supported them and that they truly love.
Kelly has served on several boards including MainStreet Steamboat, Steamboat Chamber, and the Ski Town Rotary. After her career in restaurants Kelly found her next passion as the Development Director of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Northwest Colorado; she was recently named Outstanding Development Director for the BGCA Southwest Region. Kelly stays busy as a Girl Scout Troop Leader, Soccer Referee, Strings Music Festival Guild Member, SSWSC Mountain Bike and Ski Coach, Bike Ambassador and avid powder skier!
Rob graduated from Middlebury College (1978) in Vermont with a BA in Economics. He worked as a reinsurance executive with 39 years of industry/management experience; at his retirement in 2017, he was Managing Director at Guy Carpenter & Company in Boston, MA, the world’s largest reinsurance intermediary. Rob has been coming to Steamboat since the early 1990’s with his wife of 40+ years, Ellen, and their two daughters, moving full-time to Steamboat following Rob’s retirement. They enjoy the outdoor activities available in the valley and have now become involved with many local nonprofits. When Rob and Ellen lived in Topsfield, MA, he served on the Topsfield Athletic Association Board for many years including President, and he coached both daughters in soccer and basketball. Rob has been serving as Chair of the YVCF Grants Committee since 2018 and joined the YVCF Board in March 2021. Rob and Ellen have two daughters and two granddaughters who they dote on as often as possible.
Nancy arrived in the Yampa Valley in 1989 with her husband CJ. She worked with a local law firm for 15 years as a paralegal and operations manager. With a B.S. from Colorado State University in Textiles & Clothing/Merchandising, Nancy demonstrated her passion for locally grown products by working to start the local blanket company, Routt County Woolens from 1997 until 2012. While they were raising their two sons Andy and David, Nancy was active with the Parent Information Committee at all of the local schools and enjoyed helping as a lacrosse team supporter. As part of a pioneer family, Nancy’s agricultural roots have led her to volunteer with 4H, CSU’s Master Food Safety Advisors, the Routt County Fair and the Routt County CattleWomen.
After her youngest son graduated from high school, Nancy jumped full force back into Girl Scouts, serving on the Girl Scouts of Colorado Council Board and Membership Connection Committee and ultimately as local coordinator for all of the Steamboat Springs Girl Scout troops. She has been active with Girl Scouts since 2nd grade and currently enjoys her role as a Senior/Ambassador Troop leader and Girl Scout Gold Award Mentor. She has been honored with the Thanks Badge and Thanks Badge II for her deep level of commitment and activity with the Girl Scout movement.
Nancy’s other volunteer roles have included serving on the Chamber Resort Association Board of Directors, many positions with the Heart of Steamboat Methodist Women, as well as the Routt County United Way Board, helping to start the Women United philanthropic arm of RCUW. She is proud to have been honored with the Hazie Werner Award in 2022. Nancy is excited to serve on the Yampa Valley Community Foundation Board to bring a longtime local’s perspective to the important work being done in our Yampa Valley.
Paula Cooper Black
After two years of commuting to Steamboat from Denver, Paula Cooper Black moved to Steamboat Springs in 1973. She served three consecutive four-year terms on the Steamboat Springs City Council, six years as President pro tempore, and represented the Council on various local, regional, and state committees. Paula was on the Yampa Valley Medical Center Ethics Committee for nine years and on the board of the Medical Center’s Foundation for two years. Since 1995 she has sat on the board of YVCF, serving as board chair three different terms. She continues to participate as Board Member Emeritus and is chair of the Nominating Committee. Paula has also been involved with the SSWSC, the Rotary Club of Steamboat Springs, and several other community organizations. Like many other community members, Paula has been a small business owner and also worked for a number of years for the Steamboat Ski and Resort Corporation, retiring in 2005. Paula and her late husband Jack raised two children in Steamboat Springs. Paula continues to be politically active on local, state and national levels.
Jim graduated from the University of Michigan and received his law training at Northwestern University, culminating with a Ford Foundation Fellowship to supervise an indigent defense program and teach at the law school. He and 3 other young lawyers started a law firm (the law firm with which Barack Obama chose to practice), after which his career evolved to developing commercial recreation facilities and then to representing professional baseball players. The representation business grew significantly, presenting Jim and his partner the opportunity to represent hundreds of major league players, including eight who have now been elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame. By 2001 it was time to sell the business and spend substantial blocks of time in Steamboat. Having first visited and acquired property in Steamboat in 1970 with his wife Barbara, the move to Steamboat gave the couple greater opportunity to focus on community organizations and programs that matter to them. For Jim that has meant long term board service at Catamount Ranch and Club, Strings Music Festival, the Boys and Girls Club of Northwest Colorado, and the Yampa Valley Community Foundation where he served a term as Board Chair and is now an emeritus board member. Jim also just completed his nineteenth season volunteering as an assistant basketball coach with the Steamboat Springs High School varsity boys’ basketball program. If there were a mileage award program for miles traveled on a yellow school bus, he would have lifetime status. Beyond his professional and coaching associations with sports, Jim is an avid golfer, still competing in senior amateur championships, as well as enjoying the skiing, snow shoeing, hiking, and biking so accessible in Steamboat. Nothing brings him more pleasure, though, than spending time with his 4 grandchildren.
Cathrine is a fifth generation NW Colorado resident. She is a commercial loan officer with Yampa Valley Bank where she has worked for nearly 16 years. She has a BS in Business Administration specializing in Finance from Regis University and a dual MBA from the University of Colorado and the Graduate School of Banking at Colorado. She is a member of the NW Loan Fund Committee through the Northwest Colorado Council of Governments and also serves on the Board of Directors for the Boys & Girls Clubs of NW Colorado.
Paul Ferguson grew up in Los Altos, CA but was introduced to the charms of the Yampa Valley during his first ski vacation to Steamboat in 1968. He moved to Steamboat permanently after graduating from San Diego State in 1971 and has been a tremendous contributor to the area ever since. He has served on numerous boards and committees such as the Board of Adjustment, the Bob Adams Airport Steering Committee and the Arnold Barn Committee and he volunteers for various nonprofits including United Way and the Soda Creek Homework Club. You may recognize him from his monthly ProDo Food Drive duties for the benefit of LiftUp of Routt County! In acknowledgement of his generous and giving spirit, he and his wife Bridget were recognized as Philanthropists of the Year by YVCF in 2022. He enjoys biking, hiking, skiing, golfing, and ceramics and looks forward to contributing to YVCF’s Board of Trustees.
Maren grew up in Fort Collins, graduated from Colorado State University, and moved to the Yampa Valley in 2011. A seasoned communications professional with a decade of experience in brand storytelling, driving communication strategies, and fostering a positive company culture, Maren lives in South Routt County with her husband Anthony, son Joey (3), Bernedoodle Harry, and will welcome a daughter in spring of 2024. Maren is the Communications Manager at Steamboat Resort and previously worked in Public Relations, events, and membership relations at the Steamboat Springs Chamber. Serving on the Young Professionals Network board for five years, Maren is passionate about honoring the heritage of the Yampa Valley and bridging vibrant community connections for longtime locals and newcomers alike.
Lori Livingston is so excited and proud to be a part of the Yampa Valley Community Foundation. Born and raised in a small rural town in New Jersey, Lori found Steamboat Springs through a circuitous path. Lori is a dedicated retired business professional who spent many years in the foodservice industry and is now enjoying her retirement years running an equestrian center and giving back to this incredible community we live in. Over 20 years ago Lori started a successful ovarian cancer non-profit foundation in memory of her mom. To date they have raised over $1.5 million dollars which has been donated to ovarian cancer research. Lori and her husband moved to Steamboat over 16 years ago for a healthy, outdoor, peaceful lifestyle to raise their 5 children. She has served on the Rotary Club of Steamboat Springs Board along with serving on the JCC Board in Birmingham, Alabama for many years. She loves volunteering in the Yampa Valley and finds the personal rewards to be a cathartic experience. Some of her volunteer endeavors have been: Food Bank, Reading Buddies for SSMS, Partners, Interact Leader, United Way, Integrated Community and many others. Lori looks forward to serving the YVCF with her heart and soul and to see the Yampa Valley unite as one community.
Kirstie McPherson is a serial entrepreneur, behavioral economist, and an economic development professional in Craig, CO., where she was born and raised and returned after graduating from Montana Tech University with two Bachelors of Science degrees in Management and Marketing. She owns multiple businesses including Blanco Cellars Wine and Whiskey Bar in Meeker, 518 Wine Bar, The Find, Co., Edeveco, and others in Craig, and the Behavioral Economics Co. in D.C.
In addition, she works for the CO State Office of Just Transition as the Community and Economic Development Manager serving transitioning coal communities across the state. McPherson has a Masters in Behavioral Economics from the Chicago Institute of Professional Psychology, serves on multiple local community boards including the Craig Chamber of Commerce and the Moffat County Junior Affiliated College District Board, and state organizations such as the Wright Foundation.
Gillian moved to Steamboat Springs in 1999 to be a ski bum for 6 months after graduating from UMass Amherst. Just like so many, the Yampa Valley kidnapped her and, all these years later, she and her husband, Michael Morris, are raising their two sons, Kane and Olson, in Steamboat while also running TALON Grips, Inc. Gillian has been actively involved with Rotary for the past 12 years, including serving on the board for several years and as President in 2020/2021. She was awarded the Rotary President of the Year for District 5440 and she and Michael were honored to receive YVCF’s Individual Philanthropist of the Year award in 2021. Gillian is passionate about all things community and is excited to be part of such a vibrant and dynamic board.
Harry graduated from the University of Colorado, Boulder in 2010, where he earned Bachelor’s Degrees in Political Science and Economics. He earned his Master’s in Business Administration from Duke University Fuqua School of Business in December 2019.
Harry worked for three and a half years in New York City for Fogel Neale Partners, a wealth and institutional management firm, where he was an associate portfolio manager focused on fixed income and equity management. Harry joined Deer Park Road in November of 2012. His role includes active oversight of the portfolios, monthly quantitative analysis, quantitative reporting, and individual security analysis for valuation purposes. Mr. Murray earned the Chartered Financial Analyst® designation August 2017, and was brought on as a DPR Partner in 2019.
Harry has been deeply involved in the Yampa Valley community since arriving in 2012, volunteering with LiftUp, Integrated Community, Holy Name Catholic Church, Impact 100 Steering Committee, and most recently joining the board of the Community Foundation in 2022. He and his wife Kelly have a son, Brooks (1), and a labradoodle, Mattingly; they are passionate about affordable housing, immigration, childcare, and land use/conservation amongst other issues affecting the Valley. In his free time, Harry enjoys all that the area has to offer from skiing, fishing, hiking and generally enjoying our great outdoors.
Rob is president and chief operating officer of Steamboat Ski & Resort Corporation and central regional chief operating officer of Alterra Mountain Company overseeing the company’s resorts in Colorado and Utah. Perlman’s 30-year plus tenure in tourism and the ski industry includes leadership positions with some of the nation’s top resorts including Winter Park, Vail, Beaver Creek Resort and Mammoth Mountain. Prior to his time at Steamboat, Rob was president and CEO of Colorado Ski Country USA, the trade association representing Colorado’s $4.8 billion ski industry. Rob currently serves on the boards of Colorado Ski Country USA, National Ski Areas Association (NSAA), Yampa Valley Community Foundation, the Yampa River Fund, Yampa Valley Airport Commission, and Yampa Valley Bank. Previously, Perlman served on the boards of Visit Denver, Snowboard Outreach Society (SOS), Steamboat Springs Chamber, Colorado Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame and Museum and the Colorado Tourism Office where he was twice elected Chairman. Rob lives and enjoys the mountain lifestyle in Steamboat Springs with his family.
Every day we meet with partners, new and longstanding, to pass on our passion to build a better Yampa Valley. If you have a passion, we can help you find the best way to pass it on.