January 16 - Judy Michalski
Judy Ann Michalski was born in St. Cloud, Minnesota and grew up on a small family farm with 7 brothers and sisters. She attended a Catholic school until fourth grade then finished her elementary, junior high and high school at Annandale, Minnesota. After graduation, at the town’s annual 4th of July celebration, she was selected to represent the town for a year with the title of Miss Annandale. She received her B.S. degree, comprehensive Social Studies with a history emphasis, from St. Cloud State University. During her undergraduate years she was chosen to participate in a University of Minnesota program, Student Project for Amity among Nations (SPAN). That program sent her to Quito, Ecuador, South America for a summer to write thesis on the Role of the Woman in Ecuador. During that summer there was a government overthrow and the university in Ecuador was forcefully closed by the military. In 1970, she moved to Austin, Texas to teach history at Burnett Jr. High. During the summer Judy attended the University of Texas at Austin. She received her Master’s Degree in Curriculum & Instruction.
In 1975, Judy returned to Minnesota to work at the Education Cooperative Service Units in Mankato then Fergus Falls, Minnesota as a curriculum consultant for 50+ school districts in southern & west central Minnesota. During that time she started work on her Ph.D. in Educational Administration at the University of Minnesota. She was awarded her Ph.D. in 1986 upon finishing her thesis on The Future of Educational Regional Service Agencies.
From 1980-82, she worked at the Colorado Department of Education in Denver as the curriculum/technology consultant to the 176 districts in the state. In 1982 until her retirement she worked at Durango 9-R School District in various roles – K-12 Curriculum, Secondary Curriculum, Grant Writer, Federal Program Coordinator, Assistant Superintendent.
Judy joined Kiwanis in 2008. After attending a Kiwanis Convention explaining the Dollywood Imagination Library Program, she asked the Board to initiate the program in Durango. With the financial support of The Kiwanis Club of Durango, every child age 0-5 whose parents signs up for the program and live in the Florida Mesa Elementary School area boundaries, receives a book sent to their home each month. The program is currently being expanded to the Park Elementary & Fort Lewis Mesa Elementary School areas.
Judy has been active supporting our annual Pancake Day, bell ringing with the Salvation Army at Christmas, served as club president & secretary. She is married to Claude E. “Bud” Deering; they live in Hermosa with the bears & lots of fruit trees.
January 9, 2018 - Jim Bolen
Jim Bolen was born in Chicago in 1945. He grew up in Glenview, Illinois and he went to Glenbrook High School, where he played football and was on the wrestling team. Jim went to University of Wisconsin, Northern Illinois University and Metro State in Denver. He received a Business degree and Economic minor from Northern and an Accounting minor at Metro State.
He was in the Navy from 1965 to 1967 and he moved to Denver in 1974 with his first wife, Linda. They moved to Durango in 1987 and he joined the Kiwanis club in March of 1987. He has been in banking most of his working career and Linda was in Accounting at Mercy Hospital. Unfortunately, Linda passed away in 2005.
Jim met his current wife Judy in 2007 and they were married in 2011. He has two step children, Jeff and Kelly. Currently, Jim’s household consists of Judy and their dog Sadie. In his spare time, he loves hiking, mountain biking, skiing, traveling, and going to musical events.
Jim is retired, but he serves on several organizations – including the Board of Directors for Salvation Army, Housing Solutions, and Soccoro Senior Housing. He just left the Kiwanis Board of Directors. Jim is very active with the Kiwanis Club of Durango. He is the Pancake Day chairperson and he is also the co-chairperson for the Program committee. In the fall of 2016, Jim received the Lusche award. Bolen was recognized for his efforts and unwavering support of Pancake Day, Salvation Army bell ringing, club director, assisting with the Bill Mashaw Golf Tournament, and starting the Kiwanis team for the Adaptive Sports Association’s annual Dave Spencer Classic.
December 19 - Steve Schlageter
Steve Schlageter is a native to Durango, Colorado and has been involved with the Kiwanis of Durango for 28 years. He worked in law enforcement after leaving the military. He was with the Sheriff’s office, private security, and he was also a correctional officer. He has 1 daughter, who is now a state patrol officer in the front range of Colorado. Steve plans to move to Denver to be closer to his daughter and son-in-law.
Steve joined the Kiwanis of Durango joined May of 1988 and he was sworn in by the Kiwanis International President Norris Tucker. He was in a negative environment, so he wanted something positive and fun in his life. He went to a bible study event and he ran into 3 Kiwanis members. Right away, he became active in the club. He’s been on the Board of Directors for several years, he’s attended the National Kiwanis Convention at the Kiwanis headquarters. Steve was President of the club and then he became Lt. Governor. The Durango club used to be a part of Division 5 (Denver) and when people got tired of traveling to Denver from Durango or vice versa, Division 18 was created. Steve was the first Lt. Governor of Division 18. Steve was also honored to become a Lusche fellow.
One of Steve’s big achievements is the Child ID program. Child ID is a free of charge program where Durango and Bayfield elementary schools can get a packet of information in case something were to happen to them. The packet of information consists of fingerprints, swabs of DNA, dental records, body identifiers, and a current photo. Steve worked hard to get this program started and he received the first sponsorship of $1,000 from the LPEA Roundup program. Steve would like to see this program to become a legacy to the Kiwanis Club of Durango.
Another program that Steve was involved with is Safety Day. This is an event where 2nd graders learn about different items in their community and how to stay safe – how to call for help, staying away from strangers, how to approach dogs, etc.
Steve enjoys being a part of the Kiwanis and he hopes he’s made an improvement on local children’s lives.
December 12 - Drea Pressley
Drea Pressley is a financial advisor, serving individuals, families, and small businesses in the Durango area. She was born and raised in Albuquerque, NM. During her childhood her parents took her and her brothers to just about every national monument in the state and they took every opportunity they could to go hiking. Drea spent time as she was growing up deciding she was going to be an astronaut and then a paleontologist and then an animator and then finally, as college approached, she decided upon pursuing a career in music. She attended Loyola University New Orleans where she studied vocal performance and performed with the New Orleans Opera Association and with the Operafestival di Roma.
She then moved to Los Angeles where she continued her professional career as a musician. She performed with the Los Angeles Master Chorale and the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and is still a film studio musician. Her voice can be heard as part of the choir on soundtracks to films that include Avatar, X-Men: Apocalypse, Transformers: the Last Knight, and many others.
During those years in California, she also appeared as a guest artist with Santa Fe Pro Musica and performed with the Santa Fe Desert Chorale and the Santa Fe Opera, enjoying the opportunities to be close to family. As time went by, Drea decided she wanted a more stable future for her family than that of a musician and she entered the financial industry, becoming a financial advisor.
Her husband, Andreas had lived in Durango for a decade and left for a job opportunity, wanting to come back almost as soon as he left. They kept their eyes and ears open for several years for an opportunity to return to beautiful Durango and it finally arrived! They spend their free time hiking, snowshoeing, and watching or riding the Durango Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad with their six year old son, who happens to be a train fanatic. Drea enjoys being a member of Kiwanis and is also very active with the Durango Choral Society, serving on their board and performing with them as often as she can.
December 5 - Robert Whitson
Robert Whitson graduated from Metro State in Denver, CO with studies in business administration, and also received his accounting certificate from Barnes Business School in Denver.
July 1993 to May 2014 - Chief Financial Officer for Ballantine Communications, Inc., General Manager of Directory Plus, the company’s phone directory unit, and general manager of the Four Corners printing, which printed the company’s four newspapers and outside commercial printing jobs from. Also oversaw Durango Herald Small Press, which published niche books covering the Southwest. Human Resources Department reported to me also.
I had been involved with all aspects of the company’s accounting and finances, including annual budgeting, quarterly budget and P&L reporting to the board and business unit forecasting for the long- and short-term. Robert has initiated and led efforts to streamline operations, along with initiating financial efficiencies and cost containment.
Under my leadership, Directory Plus revenues grew from $890,000 to $7.8 million by 2012 while maintaining competitive market positioning. I also led the transitioning of the phone directories into the digital space.
I assumed responsibility for Four Corners Printing in 2011 and has successfully increased revenues which cutting expenditures. He reorganized the production staff and recruited qualified individuals, thereby improving productivity and print quality. He also instituted an ongoing training program and supervised revitalizing the Goss Urbanite printing press from poor condition to very good.
In June of 2014 my wife Nancy and I decided to make a career change and we opened Express Employment Professionals on September 8, 2014. In the short time we have been open, we have exceeded our original expectations, and the company continues to grow.
“Our customer service is what really sets us apart. We take a very specific profile of all our associates and do a full vetting. We know their skills, education, prior employment history and pay - our staffing consultants review all applicants and conduct full-fledged interviews. Then we put them to work.”
“There are challenges every day - but we like to meet those challenges. The most rewarding thing is putting people to work. We get ‘thank you’s from both clients and associates."
I am active in several organizations, including Vice Chair of the Boys and Girls Club of La Plata County; Kiwanis.
November 28 - Ken LeRoy
"A very long time ago (prior to WW2) I was born in Long Beach California. I grew up in the town of Compton, which in those days, was rural. I was a good student until I got to high school and junior college, when I became more interested in cars, and "socializing". I married my wife Pat, in 1958, and with specter of Universal Military Training looming, I joined the US Army...spending a year of a three year hitch in the exotic Aleutians Islands.
After discharge, I went to work for State Farm Insurance where I worked for 38 years in five different offices in four different states. While employed full time, I went back to college (University on Northern Colorado) using the GI Bill, getting a B.S. In finance. Along the way, we had three children, Kate, Greg, and David. Sadly, David was killed accidentally at age 15; a very difficult time for all of us. Kate and Greg have given us two grandchildren, boys ages 22 and 19.
The day after I retired in 2000, I started hiking the Appalachian Trail. Because of several falls in Maine, I had take time off, but ultimately completed the almost 2,200 miles in 2001. It was an experience that I savor almost every day since.
We moved to our little two and a half acre of Paradise on the Pine River in 2003. We travel (I think we have been in almost 30 foreign countries and every state except North Dakota. Now we share ownership of a small self-contained R. with Kate and her husband Fred who live in Three Springs (yea!) I still hike fairly regularly, play golf, and ride a road bike.
I have been a Kiwanian for 40 years, going through chairs to presidency. I also volunteer at the Wildlife museum and fish hatchery. I am on the Salvation Army Board, and help organize Christmas bell ringing efforts here in Bayfield. I was on the VOA Advisory council, which is an organization which I continue to support."
November 14 - Sarah Doane
Sarah Doane was born and raised in south Denver. From the age of 4, Sarah has gone on several summer road trips. Her grandparents have an RV and every summer, they’d take her on a two week road trip. Sarah has explored the west and has been to more than 15+ National Parks.
Sarah’s family nicknamed her the “animal whisperer.” Sarah has a passion to give every animal a chance. She volunteered for Denver’s Dumb Friends League for 1 year and learned how to approach animals in need. To this day, she has a way with animals – she’s a dog/cat magnet.
Sarah made the long haul to Durango to attend classes at Fort Lewis College. She graduated in 2011 with her Bachelor’s degree in Art with a Business Option (perfect for Marketing!)
Shortly after she graduated Fort Lewis College, she worked for the Home Builders Association of Southwest Colorado. She was involved in the planning process of two Parade of Homes. Sarah is presently employed by Buena Vista Builders, Inc. – who saw her dedication to the HBA.
Sarah is involved with the Kiwanis Club of Durango, along with the Durango Elks Lodge. Sarah updated the Kiwanis website and continues to post on the Kiwanis Facebook page.
When Sarah isn't working or volunteering her time, you can find her spending time with friends. One of her hobbies is photography.
November 7 - Pat Barrett
Pat Barrett has been a member of the Kiwanis Club of Durango since September 7, 2006. Pat grew up in the Scranton Pennsylvania area and moved to Greeley, Colorado, (for the skiing – but that’s another story in and of itself), in 1981 to pursue an accounting degree, after realizing he didn’t have the charisma to follow in his father’s footsteps and become an Undertaker. He obtained his accounting degree from the University of Northern Colorado in 1985 and was awarded a CPA certificate in the fall of 1987. He spent the first five years of his career working for two local CPA firms in Greeley and Denver, CO servicing the accounting and tax compliance needs of individuals and small business owners.
In the summer of 1985 he met his beautiful wife of 31 years, fellow Kiwanian, Lisa Mahan Barrett, at a wedding of all places. They were married in the fall of 1986. Together they have raised two beautiful daughters who are both young adults with college degrees and gainfully employed in their chosen fields. Their eldest daughter was recently married to, as Pat likes to say – “a fine young man”!!! Lisa and Pat couldn’t be prouder of their daughters and count their blessing every day.
Building on the experience he gained in public accounting, he spent seven years working as a tax accountant and then tax manager for a closely held oil and gas company in Denver, CO. When the family he worked for sold their investments in the oil and gas industry, he was given an opportunity to serve as Controller/Tax Manager in the Family Office and oversaw the accounting and treasury functions of the family’s investments.
Then in July of 2001 he relocated along with his family from the Bailey/Conifer area in the foothills outside of Denver to Durango, CO to join the accounting firm of Brown Wheeldon and Associates PC. In February of 2002 he was given the opportunity to become a partner in the firm. Over the course of the next several years along with his current business partner Brad Tafoya, he bought out two retiring CPAs. Since January of 2005 he has been a 50% owner of the Durango, CO local CPA firm, Tafoya Barrett and Associates PC, focusing on providing quality accounting, tax and financial planning services to small business owners and individuals.
Pat has strived over the years to be an active member of his community and tries to do what he can to make a positive impact on his little corner of the world. He is currently an active member of the Kiwanis Club of Durango, serving on its Board of Directors and has previously served as, you guessed it, - Treasurer. He is also one of the founding members of the Board of Directors of the Boys and Girls Club of La Plata County where he served on the Board for 10 years and continues to serve on its Finance, Investment, and Audit Committees. He is a member of the 2003-04 Leadership La Plata class, (best class EVER). Pat is also a member of the Durango, CO local council of the Knights of Columbus, serving previously as Grand Knight for a 2-year term.
In his pastime Pat enjoys spending time with his wife Lisa, camping, hiking, mountain biking and downhill and backcountry skiing whenever he can.
October 31 - Mark Simon
They tell me I was born in Omaha, Nebraska. Since most of my early memories are from there I must assume this fact is true. My parents owned a small grocery store across the street from the projects. I had two (much) older brothers. They had both left home by the time I was six, leaving me to fend for myself in the mystical ways of growing up.
I had the great fortune to attend one of the greatest high schools in the country—Omaha Central. Notable alumae include Henry Fonda, Gayle Sayers and Peter Buffett. I graduated in both the 100th graduating class, and the Bi-Centennial class.
After high school I stayed home for two years attending Creighton University. Although there was a very good journalism program there, I realized that not being Catholic at a Jesuit university was not for me. So, I packed up my Chevy Vega (the second lemon car I owned), and headed for the coast. I spent two years surfing and finishing my degree at Cal State Long Beach. Then it was back to Nebraska and life.
I ended up working at a radio station in the central Nebraska city of Columbus. It was there I met my future bride. My radio career, before it abruptly died, took us to Lamar, Colorado, a place I wouldn’t suggest anyone move to as a career booster. But, moving there got us to Colorado. We eventually moved to Colorado Springs where I pursued my marketing career with little success, but eventually did get into radio again, selling advertising. After that went nowhere I hired on to sell newspaper advertising with a combination of four small weeklies that were distributed to the military bases in the area.
Opportunity tantalized me again when I was looking for a management job in media and found one at a radio station in Durango. Didn’t work out a planned, again. So, back to the newspaper business until I was offered a position as a Financial Advisor, which, in a round-about way, led me to working in banking. And here we are today.
I’ve been adventurous enough to have worked in many positions in many industries in my life, each giving me memories and life lessons. I’ve worked for the postal service, been a camp counselor, been in retail too many times to count, worked at newspapers, and once, for two days, sold Persian rugs.
It’s been a ride, and I’m glad to have been on mine.
October 24 - Lisa Barrett
Lisa Barrett is a native of Colorado. She was born in La Junta. When she was 3 years old her family moved to Golden so her Dad could work for Coors. She grew up in the mountains west of Denver and graduated from Evergreen High School. She attend the University of Northern Colorado where she received her degree in Elementary Education. After meeting and marrying, Patrick Barrett, they settled in Arvada, and eventually moved to Bailey where she taught school at Deer Creek Elementary.
In 2001, Lisa moved with her husband and 2 daughters to Durango. Lisa taught at Park Elementary for a short time and then took a job with the Early Childhood Council of La Plata County. During this time, she decided to go back to school and earn her Masters in Education from Lesley University. She then begin teaching at Southwest Colorado Community College where she was the Director of Student and Academic Services. Lisa left there in 2012 and began working at the local public health, San Juan Basin, where she was the Prevention and Population Health Director. Just last year, she decided to return to her roots and is currently working as the Assessment Specialist for Fort Lewis College.
Lisa’s hobbies include Jazzercise, hiking, fishing, camping and playing the piano. She spends her summers camping with her husband Pat in their pop-up camper. She also loves spending time with her daughter, Caitlin and son-in-law, Ryan in Denver and her daughter Megan in San Francisco.
Lisa has served as the membership chair, Pancake Day Chair and President of the Kiwanis Club. She received the Distinguished President Award in 2012 and also is a Lusche Fellow.
Lisa is a Durango Diplomat for the Chamber of Commerce, serves on the Leadership and Curriculum Committees for Leadership La Plata, will be serving on the board of the Woman’s Resource Center, and is a member of the Catholic Daughters of America.
October 17 - Jack Llewellyn
Jack Llewellyn has a degree in English Communications from FLC, and has been a morning drive DJ, advertising sales rep and manager for local radio and television groups. In 2000, he was hired as the "fundraising guy" for FLC athletics. In 2007, his diverse background landed him the Executive Director position for the Durango Chamber of Commerce.
Jack is married to Cherie Morris-Llewellyn owner of Durango Olive Oil Company. Jack was passionate about watching Avery, his son, play football (kicker and punter) at Colorado School of Mines, Avery is now working for Liberty and oil and gas company out of Denver. He has two step sons, Blake Morris, US Coast Guard helicopter pilot stationed in San Francisco, and John Morris graduate from Johnson and Wales culinary school and lives in Durango.
Jack was inducted into the Fort Lewis College Athletic Hall of Fame on October 15, 2017. His contributions to FLC has earned him this distinct honor.
October 10 - Scott Shadid
He moved to Colorado in 2004 from Wichita, KS following his parents and 2 sisters...and has lived in Durango since 2007 along with wife Monica and three children, ages 8, 13 & 15.
Scott is a Financial Planner in Durango with a focus on business retirement plan management and individual goals based wealth planning. Previously, he was owner of Southwest Waste Solutions, a financial auditing and consulting business in waste and recycling.
Scott’s hobbies include skiing, biking, running, golf, hunting & fishing. Family trips include the beaches of Mexico and California, and camping in Utah or the Rocky Mountains.
Volunteering includes youth baseball, football and basketball coaching. Many evenings and weekends are spent watching kids gymnastics, theatre, track or Lacrosse games around Durango.
Scott is serving as the newly elected President for Kiwanis club of Durango, a volunteer service organization benefiting Boys and Girls Club, Adaptive Sports, Women’s Resource Center and many, many others.