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Local fishing entrepreneur launches new business

Local fishing entrepreneur launches new business

The word “launch” is universally understood by anglers as the act of casting off a raft into the river for a fun-filled day of fishing. However, local Delta fishing equipment provider and entrepreneur, Chris Mortimer, is ready for another kind of launch—one where he introduces his new business and a line of unique gear specifically designed for the “wilderness athlete.”

On Saturday, February 27th, from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm, a soft opening for Mortimer’s new business, MortBuilt, will take place at the Delta County Economic Development (DCED) office located on 145 W. 4th Street. Attendees can pop in to view the equipment and meet the creator.

Mortimer will unveil his distinctive line of products, including a one-of-a-kind, light weight, aluminum-framed folding rafting chair that is durable and built to last in the most rugged environments. In addition to the fly fishing world, Mortimer’s multipurpose products are branded for other outdoor enthusiasts.

With over twenty-five years of expertise, Mortimer has been providing equipment for fishing enthusiasts through his primary business, Gunnison River Pro. After decades of fishing all over the world—from Colorado to New Zealand—he noticed a specific need that the current marketplace was not meeting: rafting equipment that is both collapsible and comfortable.

Mortimer’s concept snowballed quickly from a weekend project in his Peach Valley shop to a full-blown business venture. His first chair prototype became wildly popular with local fly fishing outfits. Over time, Mortimer adjusted and refined the concept through the trial and error of the river.

As demand for this product grew, Mortimer needed to reach out to other businesses and organizations to develop his own capacity. This led him to partnering with Recla Metals in Montrose, who were able to mass produce the parts needed for his equipment on a larger scale. Mortimer also sought capital and guidance from Region 10 and Delta County Economic Development (DCED), who were able to provide a loan and technical assistance in developing his business idea.

After several years of hard work and equity invested in his product, Mortimer is now officially ready to introduce MortBuilt to the public at large. The end result is a “community built product,” as Mortimer likes to call it, made entirely from materials and craftsmanship of Western Colorado.

Mortimer designed and fabricated a chair that is not only comfortable, but also highly functional. Its fabric backing provides the needed support that anglers demand, but also provides the flexibility needed to fit into a tighter space in comparison to traditional products. In addition, Mortimer’s product can be modified to fit any raft, so that it can easily swap out older equipment. In fact, the MortBuilt chair is designed for rugged environments, including white water rafting.

Mortimer envisions this chair finding use outside of the raft as well. The chair can be used as comfortable alternative to the bench seating traditionally available for high school sporting events. Its light weight, folding design, and built in shoulder strap make it easy to transport to all types of events, from outdoor musical festivals to camping sites.

The soft opening on February 27th is open to the public and RSVPs are not required. For more information about the event, visitors are encouraged to contact DCED at (970) 874-4992. Questions about MortBuilt can be directed to Chris Mortimer at (970) 318-2509 or

Small Changes Grant funds numerous valuable projects for local communities

Small Changes Grant funds numerous valuable projects for local communities

Often times, it’s the little things that matter most.

For several years, the Colorado Department of Local Affairs (DOLA) and Region 10 have helped local governments achieve those little things through Small Changes Community Development Grants. With annual awards of $5,000, local communities have used these funds for a variety of small scale projects, from Main Street beautification to town signage.

Below are just a few examples of Small Changes projects and testimonials from local governments.

Town of Ridgway: Townie Tuesday Picture Show

townie tuesday

The Town of Ridgway leveraged Small Changes to purchase and install an outdoor movie system. The system includes a console, sound system, inflatable screen, projector, and projector stand.

Prior to this purchase, the town staff used a large bed sheet as a screen for the films.

With some wise budgeting and gathering of local in-kind donations, Ridgway was able to leverage a total of $11,000 with the Small Changes Grant to make this project come to fruition. The end result: A fun-filled local event that encourages local residents to spend an evening downtown, not only attending a community event but also patronizing local businesses during their visit.

Town of Norwood: Beautification Project

norwood2The Town of Norwood was in need of creating a downtown atmosphere that local residents could take pride in. Town staff created a phased plan to enhances the visual appeal of Norwood’s downtown corridor.

The first phase of the project, which was financed by Small Changes, involved purchasing 12 flower baskets, 30 banners, and hardware to install everything. Flowers were planted. The multiple banners presented seasonal messaging that could be easily swapped each quarter.

norwood3“The ‘Small Changes’ funding was instrumental in getting the Norwood Beautifucation project going,” states Patti Grafmyer, Town Administrator. “And once Phase 1 was in progress, we could see the community pride begin to grow and blossom, just as the flowers did in the baskets.”

Town of Cedaredge: Grand Mesa Trail enhancement

cedaredgesmallchangesTown of Cedaredge has leveraged the Small Changes Grant several times. Most recently, they used funds from the program to improve their Grand Mesa Trail head. Adding landscaping and a benches for walkers to rest, the Town of Cedaredge has received many compliments on these improvements.
Town staff found the application process to be user friendly. “The process for the application is fairly simple,” adds Town Administrator Katie Sickles. “The amount is perfect to take a community idea, build on town goals, and develop a plan or complete a project citizens have requested.”

Town of Olathe: Town Signage Project

olathe5The Town of Olathe needed to be visible to the passing travelers and valued by its community members. What better way to do this for Olathe than to build a sign stating that there is an actual town right off Highway 50, not just a traffic light to slow your travel? The Town of Olathe and many dedicated community members and businesses helped in designing and erecting a new Town sign at its entrance. This sign brings a community to the otherwise traffic light that slows commuters and sight-seeing travelers.

For more information and details of eligibility, please visit

“Catch the Wave” Conference was a success!

“Catch the Wave” Conference was a success!

Over 40 people from Montrose, Delta, and Gunnison Counties came together to spend day learning about the Colorado Choice Transitions (CCT) Program. This program offers Medicaid residents of nursing homes the opportunity to explore moving back to the community.

The day’s activities began with an opportunity to “try on a disability”. Willing participants were assigned a disability and given items to wear that partially replicated what that disability might feel like. The feedback was no surprise: Anything that changes your ability to do the things you want and need to do create discomfort. Those who participated in the experience said it was powerful.

The day was designed to help long term care providers better understand the program and the many benefits it offers the residents who really want to leave the nursing home. Housing, home care, and other support organizations were also invited to join the Regional Transitions Committee to help move the program forward. One of the barriers to these discharges is the lack region-wide affordable and accessible housing. The Montrose County Housing Authority attended and learned about some of the difficulties faced by low-income disabled and older adults.

Eva Veitch Community Living Services Director for Region 10 helped with the conference and was pleased with the turnout and the level of enthusiasm for Colorado Choice Transitions. Horizons Care Center and Paonia Care Center were given awards for their dedication to supporting resident choice. Each facility had a good contingency of staff at the conference to learn about the program. Montrose and Delta County Single Entry Point and Adult Protective Services also brought many of their key staff.

“We understand how difficult it is to pull staff away from their normal work for this kind of training,” states Veitch. “And we wanted to acknowledge this commitment to learning more about how to best serve the residents.”

Special guests were Jennifer Shook, a disability rights advocate, and Sharleigh Revis, a young lady who successfully transitioned back to the community over a year ago. Both ladies were truly inspirational, their stories are powerful reminders that we should never give up on our dreams.

The next meeting of the Regional Transitions Committee will be held at Region 10 at 11 Feb 9th. For more information about Colorado Choice Transitions contact Eva Veitch at (970) 249-2436 x 207.

cct2 cct3 cct4

New small business classes for 2016

New small business classes for 2016

Region 10’s Small Business Development Center hit the ground running in 2016. With a robust schedule of businesses classes already scheduled for the new year, SBDC is striving to provide valuable content that small business owners and entrepreneurs are demanding.

Classes will take place at Montrose’s new coworking facility, the Proximity Space (210 E. Main), and Delta County Economic Development’s new office (145 W. 4th St.). Prices are the same for all courses: $5 for Chamber and Proximity Space members, $10 for non-members.

Google Analytics and Basic Web Design

SBDC introduces a new, highly requested topic: Google Analytics. Google Analytics helps website owners better understand the traffic that is finding their page—who they are, where they live, when they visit, etc. Facilitated by Jay Stooksberry, a local freelance writer and marketing consultant, this course serves as a beginner’s course for those who are interested in learning more about this unique platform. Stooksberry will cover the basics of the platform and provide helpful tips on how to improve search engine optimization (SEO). The class is scheduled for February 9th in Montrose and February 16th in Delta (12-1 pm).

In March, Stooksberry will also host another beginners’ web class titled “Is Your Business Website Worthless?” This course is designed to help those with an existing page consider what it will take to save their page or start all over. Stooksberry will deliver best practices and provide a series of questions that website owners need to ask themselves, such as “Is my page ‘mobile friendly’?” or “Should I make this website myself or pay somebody else to do it for me?” The class is scheduled for March 8th in Delta and March 15th in Montrose (12-1 pm).

Crowdfunding, Small Business Law, and Employment Law

Presenting a three part series that focuses on small business law, Anthony D. Edwards from the San Juan Law Office in Silverton, CO returns with his expertise in legal advice. Edwards also specializes in crowdfunding, and has presented all over the region on this topic. His first class titled “Regulation A+” addresses the federal law that allows small businesses to raise up to $50 million per year from both accredited and non-accredited investors. This class will be available on February 16th in Delta from 11:30 am to 1:00 pm.

Edwards will return on March 3rd to present on small business legal considerations and April 13th to share his insights on employment law. All same time of day and location as his first course.


Also, back by popular demand is Juniper Phillips and her steadfast knowledge of QuickBooks. Phillips will lead an intensive, four part series of hands-on workshops—all related to the finer details of QuickBooks management. As a small business consultant, Phillips is well equipped to help business owners track the money coming in and out of their QuickBooks accounts. She will open the series with her kickoff introduction on March 9th in Montrose from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm and 1:00 pm to 3:30 pm. On the very next day (March 10th), Phillips do it all over again in Delta (same time of day). Participants are highly encouraged to bring their QuickBooks equipped laptop and a lunch in preparation for the class.

Phillips’ future classes will cover banking and customizing with QuickBooks (April), accounts receivables and accounts payable (May), and inventory and balance sheets (June). Interested parties should watch the Region 10 website for future information and registration details.

Social Media

To provide some added insight into the realm of social media, Heidi Hudek of Vista Verve Networking returns with a couple of courses targeting the new online world of marketing. Hudek’s first course, “3 Tools to Save Time on Social Media”, will aid participants better manage the time spent posting content on Facebook, Twitter, etc. This class is tentatively scheduled to take place in May.

Hudek will also present on HootSuite, which is a multi-platform marketing tool that allows individuals and businesses to post content to multiple social media accounts with the click of one button. This class is tentatively scheduled to take place in June.

All class registration information is available on the Region 10 website: Any questions about classes can be directed toward Vince Fandel at

JOB POSTING: ADRC Options Counselor (Delta County)

JOB POSTING: ADRC Options Counselor (Delta County)

Region 10’s Community Living Services Program has a position opportunity for an Adult Resource Options Counselor serving older and disabled adults in Delta County.  Program services will include providing information and assistance for consumers, options counseling, and required program reporting.  Applicants must hold a minimum Bachelor’s degree in a Behavior Science field or have relevant life experiences, and have minimum of 2 years work experience in the field of social work or public services, or combination of education and experience. Bilingual preferred. Position is 32-40 hours/week; compensation varies dependent on experience, and includes competitive benefits

Please email resumes to or send to 300 N Cascade Ave Ste 1 Montrose, Co 81401.

Our favorite 15 stories from 2015

Our favorite 15 stories from 2015


2015 was an eventful and successful year for Region 10. Here is a list of 15 of our most popular achievements in 2015, based on unique website views by our audience. Happy New Year, and we look forward to further achievements in 2016.


#1 – Region 10 helps brings a new microbrew to Gunnisonhighalpine2

With the recent closure of two breweries in both Gunnison and Crested Butte, Gunnison County has been without this traditional Colorado staple since last fall—a big no-no for a destination that boasts being a tourist hub and college town. With the help of a teammate and local brewmaster, Bryan Wickenhauser plans to open a new brewery on Gunnison’s Main Street named High Alpine Brewing Company. High Alpine’s tagline—“Where beer meets tree line”—aptly characterizes the close relationship this business will have with its location. Read more about how Region 10 and Gunnison Bank & Trust Company helped finance this crafty enterprise.


broadband-internet-providers_800x600#2 – Region 10 secures big grants for broadband

Access to high speed internet has been identified as a necessity for economic development, and Region 10 has been tasked with coordinating a regional wide effort to bring broadband to the area of Western Colorado. Region 10 was awarded two significant grants—one from the Colorado Department of Local Affairs for $5.2 million and the Partnerships for Opportunity, Workforce, and Economic Revitalization (POWER) for $1.2 million—to jump start this effort. Learn more about Region 10’s continued efforts to bring high-speed internet to region.


gunnyriverpro8#3 – Small Changes Loan helps finance Gunnison River Pro’s unique product

Give a man a fish, and he’ll eat for a day. Give a man a comfortable seat that is easy to pack into a remote part of the Gunnison Gorge so that he can fish comfortably, and that man’s day just got even better. And that’s exactly what Chris Mortimer of Gunnison River Pro, based in Delta, Colorado, is trying to do. Mortimer designed a raft chair that is both comfortable and easy to store. After designing and fabricating the seat concept in his own garage, he ventured out to find outfitters who would be interested in purchasing the item. Read about how this microfinancing program helped bring Mortimer closer to achieving his goal.


grandparent3#4 – Kinship Connections finds home with Region 10

There is a large demographic of grandparents who are responsible for the care of their grandchildren. Kinship Connections for Kids—a support group formed a few years back to support this demographic—recently found a new home with Region 10’s Community Living Services department. Learn more about Region 10’s efforts to support grandparents who are raising their grandchildren.



amazingglaze#5 – Amazing Glaze finds support from Region 10 and Montrose DDA

Cherie McPherson learned about the custom pottery painting business while visiting family in California. Her family stopped in to a small shop to try their hand at this fun pastime – and it was love at first glaze. The concept is quite simple. Customers paint a unique design on a piece of pottery available at the storefront, and then the store fires and finishes the piece for the customer to take home. In her hunt for financial resources to make Amazing Glaze a feasible business enterprise, she came across Region 10 and Montrose’s Downtown Development Authority. Learn how this partnership buoyed this local gem of a small business.


medicare-logo#6 – Medicare counseling sets up shop with Region 10

A new partnership to improve Medicare access has been formed on the Western Slope. Region 10 and the State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) are teaming up to offer services and counseling for Medicare recipients living in the six-county service. SHIP counselors, who are volunteers with years of extensive training, have made themselves available for one-on-one appointments and information seminars throughout the year. Learn more about Medicare counseling services recently made available.


54B2TTIV9T#7 – DMEA becomes a vital partner in broadband

Region 10 recently gained an important partner in the push to bring faster and affordable internet to the Western Slope. Delta-Montrose Electric Association(DMEA) has agreed to be listed as a partner for the beginning phase of a regional broadband network in the six-county region of Delta, Montrose, Gunnison, Hinsdale, Ouray, and San Miguel. Last month, the DMEA board voted unanimously to participate in an upcoming grant application with Region 10 by offering its available fiberoptic cables as a valuable contribution to the project. Read more about why DMEA was so crucial to the development of broadband in our region.


caregiversummit#8 – Caregiver Summit makes its triumphant return

Community Living Services successfully coordinated the second annual Caregiver Summit and Retreat. The event was a celebration of those who selflessly dedicate their lives to providing care for others. Thought-provoking workshops and a vendor fair capped off a successful day for those who attended. Be sure to watch for next year’s Caregiver Summit and Retreat. Relive this informative and fun-filled day.



IMG_0745#9 – Economic Diversification Project in Delta and Gunnison Counties

Region 10 was awarded a $245,000 grant by the EDA to develop a strategic analysis designed to build the economic resiliency and sustainability of Delta and Gunnison counties following closure of the Oxbow and Elk Creek coal mines.

Better City—a consulting firm based in Ogden, Utah—was hired to develop an in-depth, data-driven analysis to broaden the economic bases of both counties. After working closely with the State Demographers Office, Better Cities compiled and analyzed economic indicators about potential opportunities for growth. Their analysis fed into proposals focused on leveraging local assets, building upon the communities’ natural strengths, and developing vision for a variety of potential economic development projects. Matthew Godfrey of Better City encourages communities to “think big” when it comes to envisioning future prosperity. In April, Better City—in conjunction with DCED, City and County of Delta, Region 10, and Gunnison County—presented their findings and recommendations to the public. Learn more about this ongoing project.

maxarchery5#10 – Max Archery partners with Region 10

Heath and Jesse McComb’s love of archery stuck with them through high school and after their time in the military. Returning to their home of Montrose, the McCombs brothers saw a unique opportunity to pursue their lifelong passions. Their hometown lacked an adequate archery retail option, so they created their own business: Max Archery. Learn more about this fledging business and how Region 10 helped finance the dreams of the McComb brothers.  


businessman hand touch virtual graph,chart, diagram#11 – Small Business Resources launches Small Changes Loan

Do you need just a little financial assistance to take your company to the next level? Perhaps it’s time to consider making some “Small Changes!” If you need funding to buy equipment, pay for advertising, build a new website or enhance your existing web presence, or even purchase inventory, the Region 10 Small Changes Loan Program was designed with you in mind. If you think the Small Changes Loan is the right thing for your business, click here to learn more.


bennett2#12 – Powerstop/Hammer—a gas station for a new generation

How much time do you spend at your local gas station? 10 minutes? 5 minutes? You probably spend just enough time to fill up the tank and grab a bag of chips, right? You might be inclined to spend more time at your local gas station if you are passing through Gunnison – especially if you visit the Powerstop and Hammer at 905 North Main Street. Whether you plan to scarf down a peanut butter-bacon burger, drink a local craft brew, or peruse a colorful assortment of snowboards, you will want to budget more time when visiting this local gem. Read more about how Region 10 helped expand this unique business concept in Gunnison.


seniordrug#13 – Options Counseling now available in all 6 counties

The goal of options counseling is to connect those in need—specifically the elderly and disabled—with the services and benefits that will help them become self-sufficient. Region 10 and Aging and Disability Resources for Colorado (ADRC) have provided options counseling for Montrose residents for years, but will soon be expanding into the further into neighboring counties. Read more about the expansion of options counseling throughout the region.


region10Slider#14 – DCED and Region 10 share new office space in Delta

Delta County Economic Development (DCED) and Region 10 are partnering to create a new business center and community hub for Delta. To kick off this collaboration, these two organizations moved into the former Bank of Colorado building located at 145 W. 4th Street. The goal is to create a unique space that provides an array of services from small business services to healthcare counseling. Learn more about how this new community hub is benefitting the Delta community.


coworking_groupshot#15 – We celebrate the future of coworking

You might have heard a little buzz around town about “coworking” and “coworking spaces”. If not, coworking is an innovative approach to attracting talent to coalesce into one physical space with the goal of supporting and spurring on entrepreneurial activity in the community. Region 10 is fully embracing this concept and supporting a variety of startup and ongoing efforts to bring coworking to our region.Region 10 proudly partnered with two coworking facilities in our region: The Hive in Paonia and the Proximity Space in Montrose. Learn more about this unique concept and how it is redefining the modern workplace.


“Catch the Wave” Conference

“Catch the Wave” Conference

Catch the Wave

Colorado Choices Transitions Conference

Montrose Christian Church – 2531 Sunnyside Road, Montrose

January 14, 2016
9:00 am – 3:00 pm
(Continental breakfast available at 8:30 am)

Who doesn’t want a day at the beach on the middle of winter?
If you believe in resident choice, this conference will help you understand the CCT program, process, and referral guidelines. Attendees will be inspired by our keynote speaker Jennifer Shook, a seasoned advocate. Colorado Choice Transitions is a community-centered program that only works when human service agencies, local landlords, the medical community, and others come together to support choice.
$10 registration fee is due by January 8th!
The conference will be informative and fun with a Hawaiian theme–so dig out your favorite shirt, lunch, refreshments, and prizes throughout the day.

You can register by mailing in your registration form and payment (download by clicking here) or by filling out the form below.

Sandoval Construction: How Region 10 and SBDC helped my business

Sandoval Construction: How Region 10 and SBDC helped my business

Selvin and Carmen of Sandoval of Sandoval Construction began working with the West Central office of the SBDC in 2013. The economy on the Western Slope was bad. New construction was basically dead and remodels were hard to come by. Selvin didn’t want to lay off any of his crew, so he asked for help with marketing his firm. His counselor helped him identify his target markets and an afforadable plan to reach them. The plan included ads, participating in area Home Shows and reaching out to specific target markets.

His counselor helped them design a brochure to hand-out at the Home Show. She also recommended offering a drawing for a gift card from Home Depot to encourage people to stop and talk with them. Attending his first home show in Montrose as a vendor was a bit intimidating but with his counselor’s support he knew it would be a success. He asked if his SBDC counselor would stop by as they set up their booth and give them feedback. She did and provided some valuable suggestions as viewing the booth when no one was there was going to be different than with people filling the walkway.

The next day, opening day, the people came. He found that his SBDC counselor was right about how the show would work. He had to greet people and encourage them to talk with him about their needs and his business. Many people just wanted to sign-up for the drawing prize and weren’t interested in construction. However, the show ended a success with several people asking for quotes for projects. In the long run, the expenses for the show were paid for by several construction projects he received because of talking with people at the Home Show.

Selvin has been in the construction business since 2000 and has built beautiful homes and remodels all over the western slope. He just needed to get the word out about what he could do and how reasonable his prices were.

“I don’t know where I would be today without the help of the SBDC,” adds Selvin. “Now they are helping me apply for my DBE certification with the state of Colorado so that I will get preference as a minority business owner. The SBDC has provided my wife and me with good advice. If I have a problem I cannot solve, I know where to go for help.”

Oh, what a year it has been for Community Living Services

Oh, what a year it has been for Community Living Services

Wow! What an amazing year the Community Living Services Program at Region 10 has had.

Community Living Services encompasses the Area Agency on Aging (AAA), Aging and Disability Resources for Colorado (ADRC), Long Term Care Ombudsman, and State Health Insurance Program (SHIP) Medicare Counseling. 12,000 clients were served in the 9,800 square mile six county service area (Montrose, Delta, Gunnison, San Miguel, Ouray and Hinsdale County).

Here is a list of our team’s most prominent accomplishments.

The release of our Four Year Plan. The Area Agency on Aging Four Year Plan was completed and made available online: . This plan outlines the direction the AAA headed and addresses the expressed needs of older adults in the region.

The ADRC expanded Options Counseling services to all six counties. Options Counselors work with older and disabled adults to help them acquire and understand resources and support which may help them stay in their community. Open houses were hosted in Gunnison, Delta, North Fork Area, Hinsdale County, Ouray, and the West End of Montrose. These Open Houses were visited by over 400 seniors.

We continue to enhance our staff expertise and knowledge. Region 10 staff attended over 200 hours of professional training.

Our work was recognized by the State of Colorado. The ADRC was asked to present at the State Unit on Aging ADRC conference on Agency Collaboration in August. Region 10 had the largest number of attendees at the conference with 10.

New office space in Delta. Region 10 added an office in Delta located at 145 W 4th St. This office is shared by Delta County Economic Development (DCED), Region 10 Small Business Development, the Medicare SHIP Counselors, and the ADRC Options Counselor.

Caregiver Summit and Retreat was a success. The second annual Caregiver Summit and Retreat in April honored over 130 family caregivers with a day of education, fellowship, and recognition. The 2016 Summit is in the planning stages with some excellent speakers and topics.

We continued our support of local caregivers. Caregiver Support Network added an educational component to the support group. Thirty consumers were served in the Support groups. A peer mentoring program will be added in 2016.

Kinship Connection for Kids was added. A new program—called Kinship Connections for Kids—was created to serve as a support group for parents and other kin who are raising children of relatives. This group also has an education component along with resources, services, benefits, and peer support.

Our team launched REACH. REACH Resources Enhancing Caregiver Health was added as a new program in 2015. Amy Rowan, Danielle McCarthy, and Sandy Walker were certified as REACH Caregiver Coaches.   Amy Rowan also attended the Rosalyn Carter Institute Caregiver Summit in October.

Our team coordinated the first ever ADRC Awareness Month in August. This event was full of fun activities designed to get the word out about available programs and services. The ADRC regional team includes over 40 area partners and consumers helping determine how to best fill the needs of people in the region.

The Snow Bash Challenge was a success despite a mild winter. The Snow Bash Challenge invited our local community to support the elderly and disabled by shoveling snow from their driveways and walkways during last year’s winter season. The Montrose High School National Honor society won the contest.

We added Medicare Counseling to our ever-expanding list of services. SHIP was added this year, and it has proven to be a vital component that compliments the CLS mission. This program is supported with six, well-trained, and dedicated volunteer Medicare Counselors who can assist with a wide variety of Medicare questions including helping consumers find the best part B & D plans. They also help with benefit questions and potential Medicare fraud concerns. SHIP counselors will be located in each county throughout the month. Since the SHIP office has been at Region 10 they have counseled over 700 clients.

New educational programs were presented in 2015. Over 30 educational seminars on topics related to health, safety, financial security, insurance, legal issues, and end of life issues we help in Montrose, Delta, and San Miguel Counties. Also our team facilitated the Education Collaboration, which is a group who works together to make sure educational programs do not overlap in the community. Over 1,000 community members attended the educations component in 2015.  The ADRC will be expanding educational programs to all 6 counties in 2016.

We were fortunate to leverage new funding to expand our efforts. The Telluride Foundation added additional funding to the West End Senior Services Partnership, increasing services and support options for residents of West Montrose County and San Miguel County. Also, the Colorado Senior Dental Grant was awarded to Region 10 allowing more dental services options to low-income people who are uninsured.

Fiscal year 2015 was a busy one for our Material Aid program. This program is funded with Older Americans and Older Coloradoans Act dollars and provides technical assistance to people 60 years of age or older or people 18 to 59 years of age with a disability. Direct funding is reserved for people 60 years of age or older but often times funding can be obtained for those under 60 years of age through grant proposals to other organizations and foundations. Services offered include dental hygiene, restorative/other dental, hearing aids, eyeglasses and adaptive devices (i.e. grab bars, bath benches, ramps, etc.). 188 people were directly assisted through the Material Aid Program with the average expenditure being $212.  Devices and services that were funded included: 71 dental hygiene treatments, 39 restorative/other dental procedures (i.e. extractions, filings, etc.), 20 sets of dentures, 23 hearing aids, 21 eyeglasses and 14 adaptive devices. In addition to direct funding, many projects are co-sponsored by other organizations such as A.V. Hunter Trust, Friends of Man, Starkey Hear Now and others.

With an increase in requests and funding challenges on the horizon the Material Aid program will rely more and more on co-sponsorships and targeting criteria to help as many people as possible benefit from the MA program.

We welcomed Colorado Choice Transitions. Colorado Choice Transitions (CCT) is a program funded by the State of Colorado that allows residents in skilled nursing facilities on Medicaid stays to consider options for living in a community setting.  If the resident commits to the program a team of experts and interested parties is formed to identify needs and challenges that resident would face and to determine if a transition is a safe option.  Even with and initial period of intensive case management and in-home services available participants are required to do self-evaluations to ensure that they understand the personal responsibility determination required to meet challenges in an independent setting.

Region 10 accepted a contract to provide options counseling to residents interested in the CCT Program. Region 10 staff meets with residents who have been referred to the Program to discuss what the program entails and how the program may or may not be a viable option for them. Not all residents who are provided options counseling decide to pursue the CCT option. Reasons for not participating may include the resident’s satisfaction living in a skilled setting or the resident’s desire for an option that takes less time or has fewer regulations on the type of housing that qualifies. Since August of this year Region 10 has had 12 referrals for options counseling, 10 of which were forwarded to a transition organization for consideration. Participation is in the program is voluntary and can be ended at any time during the process.

The Ombudsman program has also had a very busy year. Sandy Walker became the Lead Ombudsman with one volunteer Barbara Ward. They answer questions and provide advocacy efforts in seven assisted living facilities and seven long term care nursing facilities. October was Resident Rights month with “Care Matters” celebrations in all facilities and Mayoral Proclamations at two nursing homes.

Highlights for the Ombudsman program include:

  1. Powerful Tools for Caregivers training completed October 2014.
  2. Training completed for Ombudsman Volunteer Barbara Ward January 2015 with independent visits by her to facilities starting March 2015.
  3. REACH training completed April 2015.
  4. Orientation to nine Community Solutions volunteers including one “volunteer” volunteer coordinator who has since resigned.
  5. Completed two Powerful Tools for Caregivers 6 week classes in Delta County and one in Montrose County.
  6. 339 documented Ombudsman Activities, which includes 105 resident council meetings, 98 direct resident visitations. Additionally, Walker participated in 10 facility surveys, 10 resident care conferences and provided information and consultation to 14 facilities and 9 individuals. She also provided 16 training events to facilities or Ombudsman volunteers, and filed 16 complaint cases on behalf of residents to solve problems with 95% of cases resolved to the resident’s satisfaction.
  7. Provided a Powerful Tools Class to participants at the April 2015 Caregiver Summit.
  8. Completed six week webinar training course in dementia presented by Rowan University.
  9. Coordinated Resident Rights Month activities, which included a series of events at 14 facilities for October 2015.

Homemaking, Personal Care and Caregiver Respite. The Area Agency on Aging served 95 clients for homemaking, 79 clients for personal care, 55 caregiver clients for in home services, 10 caregivers received individual counseling, 260 people are receiving transportation services totaling 22,000 rides, 350 clients are receiving on going case management. 38 people participated in the evidence based classes, Powerful Tools for Caregivers and Living with Chronic Conditions. 500 seniors were served 32,000 meals at the congregate meal site, and 295 homebound seniors were delivered 16, 000 meals. 352 clients also received legal aid services.

Bringing hot meals to the homes of those in need. Region 10 has partnered with Christ Kitchen to deliver hot meals. Volunteers have been dedicated to delivering meals 5 days a week to 20 homebound seniors, totaling more than 6000 meals delivered.

ADRC is growing, and continues to grow. The ADRC received over 6,000 calls, consumers received over 8,000 referrals, 450 people received options and benefits counseling. Over 40 agencies have become active members.

As you can see Community Living Services has a lot going on and volunteers are needed to help us keep up and create some new solutions. If you are interested please give Eva Veitch a call 970-249-2436 ext. 207. We are always in the market for more SHIP Counselors, volunteer Ombudsman, drivers and people interested in providing some in home support, so our older friends can remain in their homes. We also have two advisory groups and numerous support groups and special events that need volunteers. Join us in this great work and become part of the solution.

We are always looking for new opportunities that allow us to help more people.

SBDC adds two new advisors to better serve Delta businesses

SBDC adds two new advisors to better serve Delta businesses

Region 10 and the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) continue to expand services in the Delta area.

Using a new shared space with Delta County Economic Development (DCED), SBDC recently added two locally-based business consultants—John Angelo and Jay Stooksberry—to support small business owners and entrepreneurs in Delta and surrounding municipalities. Angelo and Stooksberry will provide consultation on variety of fundamental business strategies—writing a business plan, developing a marketing strategy, etc.—to local Delta residents. The service is free to participants.

Separate from their work with SBDC, Angelo and Stooksberry are both established business owners with diverse sets of skills and expertise.

Angelo is seasoned financial expert, who brings over a decade of experience to this new role. “I have a passion for helping people in business,” states Angelo. “It’s what drives me every day.”

After 11 years in the banking and financial industry, he branched out on his own, creating Angelo Business Advisors, LLC. His business specializes in financial advising and planning for businesses and agricultural producers of any size.

“Business owners are faced with many challenges and just keeping up with the day to day operations is difficult. The often lack the time or resources to deal with the strategic financial planning of their company,” Angelo continues. “My business provides them a resource to bring in on a level and cost that is customized to their specific needs.

Angelo is involved in the community. He is a board member for DCED, and contributing member of Kiwanis and HopeWest. Signing on to SBDC is a continuation of Angelo’s charitable side.

“I feel it is important to give back to the community,” he concludes.

The other SBDC addition, Jay Stooksberry, also possesses a diverse professional background to be leveraged by local businesses. He has worked in a variety of industries, ranging from small startup nonprofits to a brief stint in the Fortune 500 corporate world.

Stooksberry moved from Denver to Delta with his wife, Carrie Boyd, to start CB’s Tavern on Main Street.

“I’m very familiar with the struggles of small business owners and what it takes to thrive,” states Stooksberry. “I look forward to helping other businesses navigating through some of the trials and tribulations that we faced when we opened our business.”

Stooksberry’s specialty is marketing—particularly online, content-driven marketing campaigns that improve search engine optimization.

“Now, more than ever, companies need an online presence,” he adds. “Without it, many businesses are losing potential leads to other businesses that do.”

As a freelance writer, he works closely with clients to craft messaging that can be used for either website copy, social media, e-newsletters, press releases, or blogs.

“With so much technology around us these days, it is really easy to get your company’s message out,” Stooksberry adds. “It’s just a matter of finding the right combination of words and the right avenue for your message.”

Those who are interested in more information about SBDC or to sign up for a free consultation session are encouraged to visit

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