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Sandy Walker Joins Region 10 as Long Term Care Ombudsman

Sandy Walker Joins Region 10 as Long Term Care Ombudsman

She has met the most interesting people–a nuclear physicist, a chemist, and a mother of 14 are just some of those who come to mind. For Sandy Walker, who has stepped into the role of Region 10 Long Term Care Ombudsman, people are what the work is all about.

“I love sitting and hearing the history of a person,” Walker said. “I have met all kinds of people over the years–people who have worked all of their lives. And I have found that there is always someone young inside, though the shell is old.”

Walker has spent much of her career with seniors and adults in care facilities, both as a nurse and social worker.

“I have always enjoyed working with the geriatric population,” she said. “I spent 12 years with Valley Manor Care Center as a floor nurse and social worker, and have been a home health nurse as well. I have also provided respiratory care and worked in a doctor’s office. Between social work and nursing, I have dealt with many issues.”

As ombudsman Walker’s experience will prove invaluable; her role is to oversee quality of care and advocate for residents of long term care facilities throughout a six-county region. She joins a team of volunteer ombudsmen coordinated through Region 10 Community Living Services.

“I am tickled pink to be back with the senior population, and working with the frail elderly,” she said. “I like to think, what if this was my mom, my grandma or me? It is important to bring a personal touch. The people we represent have worked hard all of their lives, and have the right to respectful care.”

Walker said she looks forward to being “the boots on the ground,” and to spending time in regional care facilities.

“It is a proven fact that when there is community oversight–somebody watching–that care will improve,” she said.

“Sandy is very well-qualified, and will be a great asset here,” Region 10 Community Living Services Options Counselor Amy Rowan said.

For more information regarding the ombudsmen program, please contact Region 10 at (970) 249-2436 or visit our the Community Living Services site

Broadband and transit RFPs issued

Broadband and transit RFPs issued


Region 10 League for Economic Assistance and Planning is pleased to announce the issuance of two requests for proposals — one for transit implementation, the other for broadband implementation. Both RFPs are regional in scope and cover six counties — Delta, Montrose, Gunnison, Hinsdale, San Miguel, and Ouray. Region 10, in conjunction with countless community stakeholders, is seeking the knowledge and expertise of highly skilled consultants to provide highly detailed implementations plans for these two critical topics — both of which can greatly improve economic development on the Western Slope.

Supported by an Energy and Mineral Impact Assistance Fund (EIAF) grant provided by the Colorado Department of Local Affairs (DOLA), the first RFP seeks to address the regional demand for broadband access. As the Western Slope strives to compete economically, the lack of adequate and affordable broadband continues to surface as an impediment for development. A great deal of legwork has already taken place to address this issue. The goal of the implementation plan is to bring all of the key activities, personnel, and organizations together for the sake of developing a level of preparedness to allow the region to move into a final design and construction phase for broadband expansion. The shared goal of the region is to provide abundant, redundant, and affordable internet service to our citizens, businesses, and visitors.

The second RFP seeks to expand upon the recommendations of Region 10’s transit study —  “Four County Study Update” — completed in April 2013. Transit drives economic development; the ability of a workforce to remain mobile within a geographically expansive region enables people to better connect with employment opportunities without complete relocation. A detailed implementation plan will be necessary to connect our communities within the region by expanding existing services and identifying unmet needs. Specific “shovel ready” projects will need to be identified to prepare the region for future expansion and funding.

Piece by piece, Region 10 is striving to work towards the improvement of infrastructure and the expansion of services that allows our communities to compete not only nationally, but globally. These two broad projects represent some of the biggest steps toward a lasting and enduring progress.

For more information on these RFPs, please check out the following link:

For more information about our current efforts in both broadband and transit, please feel free to contact our office at (970) 249-2436.


Healthy Employees Mean a Healthy Business

Healthy Employees Mean a Healthy Business


(MONTROSE CO, 4-25-2014)—On May 21 from 9 to 11 a.m. at the Enterprise Center, Region 10 teams up with LiveWell of Montrose-Olathe, Healthlinks, Pinnacol Assurance and the Region 10 Small Business Development Center to host a presentation on the importance of employee health in the workplace, and how it can impact the health of your business or organization. Featured speakers will be Strategies Manager Abbie Brewer of LiveWell Montrose-Olathe, and Counselor Susan Bony of the Region 10 SBDC.
“Everything begins with good health,” Brewer said. “Please plan to attend, and learn how keeping your workers healthy can build well-being and a brighter future for your company.” Topics will include:
How Employee health and risk factors impacts workers’ compensation claims.
How workers’ compensation fits into Employee Health promotion.
How to foster health promotion at your Work site.
How to receive kick starter funding to promote health and wellness at your Work site.
LiveWell Montrose Olathe / HealthLinks:
Organizations that foster health and safety at work have healthier, happier employees—and healthier bottom lines, too. This is more than good business, it’s good business strategy. LiveWell Montrose Olathe is a local non-profit organization dedicated to helping small businesses find resources to implement and improve work site wellness programs. A new partnership has emerged between LWMO (LiveWell Montrose Olathe) and Health Link Colorado to help kick start worksite wellness programs in our area ; LiveWell Strategist Abbie Brewer will share more information about the Health Links program and identify what resources might help your employees stay healthy.

Pinnacol Assurance:
American employers contend with a perfect storm of conditions that can collectively wreak economic havoc on businesses large and small. An aging workforce, escalating obesity rates and corresponding chronic conditions are driving up health insurance and workers’ compensation costs, while driving down productivity. Pinnacol Assurance has been providing a comprehensive worksite wellness program health risk management (HRM) to policyholders since 2010. The HRM program is structured as a study to determine the impact of wellness on workers’ compensation. Pinnacol believes this is the first large scale initiative to look at the potential for wellness originating from the workers’ compensation perspective side of the benefits equation to have a significant impact on the health and productivity of a workforce.
Learn more about how workers’ compensation fits into the overall spectrum of health promotion, how health and risk factors of employees can impact workers’ compensation claims, and the preliminary study results of Pinnacol’s worksite wellness program.

Region 10 SBDC Consultant Susan Bony will also be present.
“I plan on giving an overview of the C4HCO program for small businesses, and discussing why health insurance through C4HCO is affordable and an employee benefit every business should consider including in their budget,” Bony said.

Welcome Jay Stooksberry as Regional Development Coordinator

Welcome Jay Stooksberry as Regional Development Coordinator

As a successful small business co-owner with an extensive professional background in both the non-profit and educational sectors, Jay Stooksberry has a keen interest in maintaining quality communities. As of April 7, Jay will use those skills on behalf of the West Central Region as he joins Region 10 League for Economic Assistance & Planning as the non-profit’s new Regional Development Coordinator.

“We are very excited to have him,” Region 10 Executive Director Michelle Haynes said. “His experience in academics, non-profits and small business will be a great addition to our team.”

Stooksberry, who just completed a year working with the Black Canyon Boys & Girls Club, also helped start the popular CB’s Tavern on Main Street in Delta with his wife Carrie Boyd. He plans to spend time familiarizing himself with regional development efforts as he moves forward in his new role at Region 10. The position is newly-created and full-time, funded by a grant from the Colorado Department of Local Affairs, allowing Region 10 to strengthen its efforts to serve member communities throughout the six-county West Central Region.

“I am very excited to have the opportunity to be a part of projects that will bring great benefits to the Western Slope,” Stooksberry said. “We have already started working on an effort involving both Delta and Gunnison counties, looking at the impact caused by the loss of coal mining jobs.

“Now that I am here, I will be learning who the key players are, building rapport, and making progress.”

Prior to moving to Delta with his fiancé two years ago, Stooksberry earned both his Bachelors and Masters degrees from Denver’s prestigious Regis University. He also worked for the university for a time, as well as for other, youth-focused non-profit organizations such as the Boys & Girls Club of Metro Denver. Jay can be reached at 970-249-2436, ext. 211.

Taking the Lead on Regional Broadband Effort

Taking the Lead on Regional Broadband Effort

REGIONAL—As an agency charged with promoting and facilitating economic development within our six-county region, Region 10 is currently taking the lead to develop a regional Broadband Improvement Plan for the benefit of our communities.

“With the approval of the Region 10 Board of Directors, we are pursuing a grant through the Department of Local Affairs (DOLA) to improve this essential component of economic success,” Region 10 Executive Director Michelle Haynes said. “We intend to use the funding to create a methodology for providing affordable and adequate broadband services throughout our territory.”

In today’s world, the ability to access and transport information over the Internet is essential to doing business, whether your company serves the local market or an international clientele, she noted.

“Both our local communities and our region have identified a lack of adequate broadband resources as the primary obstruction to economic and community growth,” Haynes said. “To address this longstanding issue, we have developed a Scope of Work through the grant process that details options, costs and funding opportunities on both a local and regional basis.”

The plan is to provide abundant, redundant and affordable Internet service to citizens, businesses and visitors within a six-county region, through an assessment of needs for infrastructure and services; a strategy that includes surveys, public meetings, and asset mapping; educational workshops to provide information regarding the regulations, economics, and technology needed to develop a realistic plan; identification of the public and private projects already underway to address these needs; identification of gaps in the network and development of a blueprint to fill these gaps; and by addressing the sustainability and maintenance of the network into the future.

The grant application cites a 2011 study noting that, “Recent studies have demonstrated that bandwidth to community anchor institutions in the Denver metropolitan area is significantly higher than in rural southwestern Colorado. In sum, bandwidth is less available and more costly in southwest Colorado than in Denver and more costly and less available in the US than in other advanced countries.”

“The required match for the requested DOLA funding is 25 percent,” Haynes said.  “Because we understand the need for this important service, Region 10’s counties and municipal members have agreed to provide the cash match funding that will be needed to proceed with the project.”

Take a Tax Break!

Take a Tax Break!

Region 10 Can Help You Take a Break—a Tax Break!

REGIONAL—Tired of paying higher and higher taxes? There may not be a cure for what ails you, but Region 10 can help ease the burden with some exciting savings strategies.

One rewarding way to save money on your taxes is to make a contribution to an approved Enterprise Zone Contribution Project. These projects are pre-approved by the state so that donors who qualify can obtain a Colorado state tax credit.

“When I started at Region 10, there were just four approved projects,” recalls Region 10 Enterprise Zone Administrator Rhona Keckler. “Today, there are 34 contribution projects receiving a total of $2.6 million in donations, and $600,000 in tax credits—that’s a lot of tax credits. And as the word has gotten out, more and more organizations are asking to become projects, because it really helps them generate donations.”

Keckler has worked hard over the years to educate financial professionals throughout Region 10’s six-county territory (Montrose, Delta, Ouray, San Miguel, Gunnison, Hinsdale), who in turn educate their clients about the benefits of donating to approved Enterprise Zone Contribution Projects and about Business Tax Credits for new and expanding businesses within the Enterprise Zone, which can claim state tax credits for investing in their own startup companies or expanding existing businesses, Keckler said.

“We want everyone to know about this,” Keckler said. “Every new business has cash flow issues, and this is when you are buying equipment and hiring employees. These tax credits get your business off to a good start and help it develop in a healthy way.”

Keckler also advises that there are changes to the law that take effect in 2014; the credit for each new, qualified employee hired for a new business is raised to $1,100 beginning tax year 2014; the credit for employer sponsored health insurance is being raised to $1,000 beginning in 2014, and the Enterprise Zone Investment Tax Credit limit will be raised to $750,000, beginning tax year 2014, though credits above the limit may be carried forward for fourteen years. The Economic Development Commission has the authority to waive the limit.

Those investing in a qualified job training program will able to claim a tax credit on 12 percent of their investment beginning in tax year 2014.

Credits carried forward from tax years prior to 2014 are exempt from the $750,000 limit.

View a complete list of qualifying projects

Seeking Regional Development Coordinator

Seeking Regional Development Coordinator

Region 10 L.E.A.P. Inc. is seeking applications from qualified applicants for the position of Regional Development Coordinator.  Examples of Duties include: grant application and administration, meeting/community facilitation, project development, regional planning, outreach and community coordination.  Qualifications: A degree in related field, and/or equivalent experience in rural economic, community and/or business development, and experience with federal and state programs associated with the above field.  Submit letter of interest and current resume to Region 10, 300 North Cascade, Suite 1, Montrose, CO 81401 or via email to



General Statement of Duties

An exempt position that is responsible for the coordination and implementation of community, economic and business development activities for member communities.


The Development Coordinator position reports directly to the Executive Director.

Examples of Duties

  • Facilitation of community processes related to community, economic and/or business development, including convening of appropriate parties and/or resources.
  • Assistance to member communities and non-profit agencies in grant resources, application and administration, and assistance in Region 10 grant projects.
  • Coordination of community activities related to areas of community interest.
  • Project Development as may be identified by Region 10 and member communities.
  • Regional Planning in the areas of land use, transportation, economic development, growth and other subject areas as may be identified.
  • Assistance in administration of Enterprise Zone projects.

Statement of Experience & Education

  • Knowledge for socio-economic and demographic data and sources and the application of information.
  • Working and demonstrated knowledge of government.
  • Working and demonstrated knowledge of state and federal grant programs
  • Demonstrated experience in rural community, economic and/or business development.
  • Ability to take a vision and initiate an activity, product, or service.
  • Degree in a related field.

Travel Requirements

Position requires travel throughout the six-county service area and the state of Colorado, with potential for limited overnight trips.  Personal Vehicle required.

Region 10 Reflects Accomplishments, Looks Ahead to 2014

Region 10 Reflects Accomplishments, Looks Ahead to 2014

As we look ahead to a New Year and new opportunities, it seems fitting to reflect on the past 12 months and on our goals for the future. Over the past year, Region 10 has continued to break new ground by increasing the number and quality of the programs that benefit our member communities in Montrose, Delta, Gunnison, Hinsdale, Ouray and San Miguel counties. Region 10’s accomplishments in 2013 include:

  • Adding the Small Business Resource Center (SBRC), an educational resource that provides needed and affordable classes to business owners and employees. Our classes have been well-attended and draw very positive reviews;
  • Expanding the Small Business Development Center (SBDC)  to include an office based at Region 10, thus expanding the availability of no-fee small business counseling and counseling on the small business impacts of the Affordable Healthcare Act;
  • Adding the Connect2Dot program, which matches local contractors with Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) projects;
  • Providing loans to start and expand regional businesses;
  • Developing the Regional Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy in cooperation with a six-county team;
  • Completing an up-to-date study of transit needs within the region;
  • Hosting the 2040 CDOT transportation and transit planning meetings;
  • Expanding our Community Living Services division, adding Options Counseling to the Area Agency on Aging and expanding the population we serve from those over age 60 to all adults in need of community living support;
  • Increasing the number of contribution projects in the Enterprise Zone, which in turn increases investment and creates tax savings for investors in our region.

In 2014, we plan to accomplish even more, building on our 2013 projects as we:

  • Continue to expand the services and offerings of both the SBRC and SBDC, and continue offering loans to new and expanding small businesses;
  • Build regional development support services based on the information incorporated in the 2014 Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS), to include project development and grant support services to our members as we implement the CEDS plan strategies with our regional partners in economic development;
  • Develop, with the Three Rivers Regional Coordinating Council, an implementation plan based on recommendations for improving regional transit;
  • Work with CDOT to complete the 2040 transit and transportation plans for the region;
  • Expand our Community Living Services with additional grant funding to support those under age 60 who need support services to continue living independently in the community rather than in an institution;
  • Continue the expansion of our Ombudsman program, which advocates for residents of long-term care facilities;
  • Continue to support and expand the number of Enterprise Zone projects.

Region 10 wishes you and yours a warm and safe Holiday season and a happy and prosperous 2014!

Region 10 Health Coverage Guides Help Business Owners Meet ACA Requirements

Region 10 Health Coverage Guides Help Business Owners Meet ACA Requirements

MONTROSE–As part of her education to become a certified Health Coverage Guide, SBDC Consultant Susan Bony received intensive training on the Federal Affordable Care Act and the Connect for Health Colorado program. The more she learned, however, the more Bony realized that much of the information circulating about the ACA and about Colorado’s insurance marketplace, Connect for Health Colorado, has been aimed at individuals and families rather than business owners.

“I could find very little information on the impacts to small business at first,” Bony said, adding that her training has since prepared her to share vital information about health care coverage with small business owners throughout the region.

“It is more important than everyone thinks,” she noted. “The Federal Government has deadlines—small business owners cannot ignore what is going on. They must act by December 15th for health insurance to become active for their employees on January 1st. If you are a business owner who employs between two and 50 full-time employees, you do not have to complete an application. However, it will be a nice benefit to their employees, in most cases will save the employee money, and the employer will get a tax credit.”

On Oct. 1, 2013 the new Federal guidelines took effect, and individuals and small businesses in Colorado were able to sign-up for health care through the Connect for Health Colorado marketplace. Health care insurance purchased through the Colorado marketplace by December 15th becomes effective starting Jan. 1, 2014.

The national media frenzy concerning the problems associated with the Affordable Care Act can be misleading to insurance clients in Colorado, Bony said, because the marketplace here is up and running.

“Colorado is one of the states that wanted to control its own health care marketplace,” she said, “and the online system here is working just fine.”

Now, local business owners have a resource tailored specifically to their needs. The Region 10 Small Business Resource Center and the Small Business Development Center at Region 10 are partnering with Connect for Health Colorado to educate small businesses about the new health care marketplace. Certified Health Coverage Guides are available at no charge to meet privately with small business owners regarding the ACA and the Connect for Health Colorado.

Call Region 10 at 970-249-2436 (extension 201) to schedule an appointment with a Certified Health Coverage Guide, and to learn more about what the Federal ACA guidelines mean for your business and your employees. Region 10 is located at 300 N. Cascade in Montrose.

Region 10 Enterprise Center— Serving Non-Profit and Emerging Business Since 2009

Region 10 Enterprise Center— Serving Non-Profit and Emerging Business Since 2009

Region 10 League for Economic Assistance & Planning

MONTROSE—Though the Region 10 League for Economic Assistance & Planning has been around since 1972, the non-profit organization completed renovations to the Region 10 Enterprise Center at 300 South Cascade Avenue in 2010. Completed at a cost of $500,000 without the use of public funding, the Enterprise Center continues to serve its original purpose of providing low-cost office space for non-profit and emerging businesses (which are allowed to remain for three years.)

“The Region 10 Enterprise Center is just one example of the many ways Region 10 facilitates economic development and leverages resources for stronger communities,” Region 10 Small Business Development Center Vince Fandel said. “Not only do we offer office space at “break-even” rates, the building has WIFI, and two conference rooms for use by our tenants as well as local non-profit and community groups.”

Past Region 10 SBRC course offerings have included seminars on branding, social media, accounting software and technology. On Oct. 29, Region 10 will host a seminar on Constant Contact, one of today’s most effective marketing tools.

In years past, the building that houses the Enterprise Center has served as a nursing home, and the location of Montrose County Health and Human Services. By transforming the facility into a community resource, Region 10 has contributed to the health and vitality of the surrounding neighborhood, and to the health of the regional business community.

Among the original 2009 tenants still located in Region 10’s Enterprise Center is the Western Regional Emergency Medical Services Council.

“We like being located in the Enterprise Center,” WREMSC Special Projects Coordinator Robyn Funk said. “The office is easy to find, and there is a synergy that comes from being located in a building with other community non-profits and small businesses. We feel fortunate to have a resource like this in our community, and to have such easy access to the resources and information available through Region 10.”

To reserve your space for the Oct. 29 Constant Contact seminar, call Claudette at 970-249-2436 ext. 11. Region 10 is currently offering classes on “Starting Your Own Business,” “Quickbooks”, “Creating a Business Plan” and more. All classes are supported with individual counseling sessions. To learn more about Region 10’s programs and services, call Vince Fandel at 970-249-2436 ext. 17.

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