Author: Kristi Arellano

Boettcher Foundation Press Release

25 May Boettcher Scholars volunteer at Denver’s GrowHaus

By Beth Baker Owens Boettcher Scholar Alumni Board As part of our annual spring service project, 17 Boettcher Scholars and friends gathered at the The GrowHaus in north Denver’s Elyria-Swansea neighborhood on a sunny, cool Saturday in April to lend a hand and learn what’s happening there. The GrowHaus is a nonprofit community center that combines hydroponics, aquaponics and permaculture farming with a daily market, food pantry and education. The nonprofit is pioneering food access in a neighborhood that is known as a “food desert,” meaning there are no food stores for miles. Also, the soil in many places is contaminated from earlier industrial wastes, making traditional gardens problematic in the neighborhood. Inside the warm greenhouses is a paradise of edible plants. Some plants grow in water, others in ecosystems with fish in ponds that feed and water the plants. Others are in raised beds and hanging baskets. The Boettcher Scholar volunteer group planted, tended and watered plants. The worm beds needed new materials, so we shredded paper and mixed it into the worm bed for a tactile adventure. We also tore apart an old shed cover. While we worked, a group of about 15 kids and parents had an experiential class on growing food. The areas inside and outside were full of conversation and laughter. As the kids’ class ended, the market opened in the front of the building. A steady stream of neighbors came in to purchase fresh vegetables and herbs. The GrowHaus then became a quiet oasis where we finished with a potluck and sandwiches provided by the Boettcher Foundation. Many thanks to alumni board member Kelley Ritz and Boettcher staffer Marisa Pooley for their capable planning and implementation of this fun and educational event....
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Boettcher Foundation Press Release

16 May Alumni Board Scholar Profile: Q&A with 1992 scholar Mary Margaret Knudson Hesse

Members of the Boettcher Scholar Alumni Board are interviewing their fellow Boettcher Scholars to help the community get to know one another better. The following Q&A was compiled by Boettcher Scholar Gergana Kostadinova. Name: Mary Margaret Knudson Hesse Scholar Year: 1992 Hometown: Colorado Springs College(s), Degree(s) and Graduation Year(s): University of Colorado at Boulder, B.A. in Spanish and English, minor in Mathematics, 1997; M.A. Georgetown University, Security Studies and International Security, 2004 Tell us about your current work and how long you’ve been doing it. What is your favorite aspect of your current occupation? My primary focus in recent years has been on raising my children. I currently also work part-time with a local nonprofit, Raising a Reader, promoting early childhood literacy for low-income, at-risk and immigrant families on Colorado’s western slope. I formerly served as a foreign service officer with the U.S. Department of State overseas and in Washington, D.C., as a civil servant with the U.S. Department of Defense and for a defense contracting company working for NATO and the U.S. Joint Forces Command. I continue to serve as a senior foreign affairs consultant for a global defense company. What role has being a Boettcher Scholar played into where you are and what you are doing now? Receiving the Boettcher Scholarship was life-changing. The freedom from financial pressures that came along with the scholarship allowed me to pursue international study and work experiences as well as a heavy course load in college, helping to jump-start my career in foreign affairs. I appreciate the Boettcher Foundation’s ethos of service and community and believe we all have roles to play in supporting and uplifting our communities. Tell us about your involvement in activities, organizations or groups outside of work. I support my children’s school as a weekly volunteer providing math enrichment, serve on the school’s accountability board, and enjoy speaking with high school students about the college scholarship and admissions process as a Boettcher Ambassador. I serve periodically as a volunteer interpreter on international medical brigades, and am working to expose my children to the broader world through Spanish instruction at home and annual language/immersion trips to Guatemala. Living in rural western Colorado, I enjoy participating in many outdoor mountain activities. In the summer I coax a few vegetables out of a community garden plot. What’s the best advice you’ve received and what advice do you have for new graduates entering your career field? Concise, incisive writing and speaking are highly valued skills in many careers, including the Foreign Service. A mentor once counseled me to always consider the question, “So what?” (why does this matter?) in my writing. I would advise students to keep this question in mind in life in general as well as in work. It is useful periodically to take stock of what we are doing and to consider, “So what? How is who I am and what I am doing making the world, or the day, better for someone? Is this the best way to use my time and talents?” If you could have dinner with one person or a few people from history, whom would you choose and why? I recently read Guatemalan human rights activist and Nobel Peace Prize recipient Rigoberta Menchu’s autobiography, and I admire her work to support the rights of women and indigenous people. She came from an extremely humble background and had very little education and few resources. Despite suffering though persecution as well as the torture and murder of several family members at the hands of the military regime, through her tenacity and dedication she drew worldwide attention to the plight of indigenous Guatemalans and has supported an international movement for peace, justice and equality....
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Boettcher Foundation Press Release

16 May Boettcher Foundation seeking skilled alumni volunteers

In an effort to expand the responsible stewardship of Boettcher Foundation resources, the foundation is seeking to engage skilled volunteers willing to use their talents to help us expand our mission. The following positions are currently open to alumni members of the Boettcher Scholar community. SKILLED VOLUNTEER POSITIONS ANNOUNCEMENT: At Boettcher we believe in the promise of Colorado and the potential of Coloradans. Every day we champion excellence across our state by investing in our most talented citizens and high-potential organizations, because supporting their hard work and leadership will enable them to give back for years to come. We are seeking highly qualified Boettcher Scholars and alumni to support us in this work through our new volunteer pilot program. Specific positions will be crafted around the areas of need described below in alignment with volunteer interest and experience. OPPORTUNITIES: Successful candidates will actively support foundation programs and operations, will receive project-specific training and will have the opportunity to work with Boettcher Foundation Staff and stakeholders on a variety of projects. Volunteers will also gain insight into the foundation’s mission and values, as well as its brand personality and leadership characteristics. Additionally, foundation staff will work with successful candidates to create further opportunities within the foundation for the volunteers to gain additional experience in areas of particular interest as they contribute to strengthening the Boettcher community and assist us in better meeting our mission of supporting the residents of the State of Colorado. Volunteers will also have the opportunity to attend public events as foundation representatives. EXPECTATIONS: While these part-time, unpaid positions will be designed to accommodate the volunteers’ individual schedules, the foundation will typically require a minimum duration of three months. Hourly commitments will vary by position. As these volunteer positions are specifically designed for volunteers to make meaningful contributions to the foundation, we will be relying on those selected to commit to the agreed-upon schedule and to inform their supervisor(s) of any upcoming changes to that schedule or work commitment with at least two weeks’ notice. Some work can be project-specific and may be done remotely. We assume that those seeking to work with the foundation desire to give back to their communities in meaningful ways, to have a positive impact on the foundation and on our stakeholders throughout Colorado and to do so in a manner that produces real outcomes worthy of their investing their time and energy. As such, we will be depending on successful candidates to be reliable, accountable and proactive in communicating with foundation staff. We also assume those seeking to volunteer with the foundation want to leverage their natural talents and professional skills and that they will look for every opportunity to take initiative and contribute. In turn, we will endeavor to co-create projects for volunteers that provide opportunities for them to put their leadership into action, to deepen their learning and to have a fuller impact on the foundation and the state. GENERAL SKILLS: The Boettcher Foundation is seeking candidates who possess the following: Excellent organizational skills with the ability to prioritize tasks and work independently Team-orientation and a willingness to learn and contribute to the success of the Boettcher Foundation Strong communication skills – written, in person and on the phone, depending on the role Computer proficiency (internet/e-mail and general computer skills) Reliable transportation for those positions requiring in-office work and staffing off-site events AREAS OF PARTICULAR NEED: Administrative Support The foundation has a variety of different priorities depending on the time of year, and each is underpinned by sound administrative practices. A volunteer in this position will have the chance to support staff and processes across the foundation by Assisting with the creation, formatting and word processing of materials, briefings and presentations to prepare for and then document various meetings Coordinating, scheduling and managing responses for internal meetings, retreats and other offsite functions and events Maintaining files and assisting in the maintenance and organization of permanent records and data management Drafting emails and talking points for pertinent staff phone calls or events Occasionally responding to and following up on telephone and email communications on behalf of staff Optimally, this position would be 8-12 hours/week in the office Data Entry Support Data entry support is essential to the foundation’s work in operations, finance, scholarship and grants. The following strengths are highly valued in providing support across all departments: Ability to quickly and consistently follow data entry processes to update and maintain foundation contacts and program tracking Specific strengths in accuracy and attention to detail Assist in maintaining files and assisting in the maintenance and organization of permanent records and data management Schedule and location for this position can be flexible. Some projects will require in-office hours Event Management The events coordinator will make sure that all the details are in place for our events, big and small. This individual will: Provide support for internal and external meetings, including logistical set-up, catering, location and any other needs that arise Staff offsite events to provide support for registration and event coordination Prepare materials and order supplies for both internal and external events Work location and hours for this position will vary according to season. Multiple large events are scheduled for August 2017 Finance and Accounting We are seeking a skilled volunteer to conduct a process flow analysis of our finance/accounting function to increase efficiency and effectiveness long-term. This includes, but is not limited to, reporting, transaction processing, private foundation regulatory compliance, accounting, tax, investment administration, treasury and insurance Work includes mapping out processes and making recommendations regarding efficiency and effectiveness, best practices, best use of resources and related internal controls Knowledge and experience with organizational structure, finance, accounting systems and project management is required Optimally, this position would be 8-12 hours/week in the office Receptionist The receptionist is critical in establishing a sincere, friendly and welcoming greeting for our guests. We are a very high-touch organization, so making sure we welcome people warmly is incredibly important in our office. This individual Serves as the primary point of contact for all office operations Conducts professional and warm interactions with both internal and external stakeholders (greets, welcomes and assists all visitors) Responds to all incoming telephone, email and mail communications, handling them or forwarding them to appropriate staff, as necessary Ideally, this would be one day per week in the office NEXT STEPS: To be considered for one of our pilot positions for skilled volunteers, please email the documents listed below to Lynnea Louison (Lynnea@boettcherfoundation.org) by 5:00 p.m. on June 1. Interviews for selected candidates will be scheduled on an individual basis. If you are interested, please forward: A cover letter that explains your interest in a volunteer position the particular area of need that you’re interested in filling for the foundation the skills and qualifications that make you a compelling candidate A current resume If you have any questions, please contact Lynnea via email or at 303.285.6206....
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Boettcher Foundation Press Release

03 May Kim Alsip joins Boettcher Foundation team

DENVER, May 3, 2017 — The Boettcher Foundation is pleased to announce that Kim Alsip has joined the staff as administrative assistant. Kim recently moved to Colorado from Washington, D.C., where she worked in government relations. With her she brings more than 20 years’ experience as an executive assistant and office manager. “We’re happy to have Kim join the Boettcher Foundation team,” said CEO Katie Kramer. “Her background and willingness to jump right in and keep the office running smoothly make her a great addition.” Kim is originally from the small town of Chandler, Oklahoma. In D.C. Kim was a Girl Scouts troop leader and a Race for the Cure volunteer, and she is eager to get involved and give back to the Colorado community.   About the Boettcher Foundation: At Boettcher, we believe in the promise of Colorado and the potential of Coloradans. Every day we champion excellence across our state by investing in our most talented citizens and high-potential organizations, because supporting their hard work and leadership will enable them to give back for years to come. Contact: Kristi Arellano 303.285.6208 kristi@boettcherfoundation.org...
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Boettcher Foundation Press Release

15 Mar Denver Post: Colorado Business Committee for the Arts reveals 2017 award winners

By John Wenzel  The Denver Post There are few places in Colorado — or anywhere, for that matter — where an energy company and a community organizer take the same stage to accept an award, or a philanthropist and a hotel company share equal honors. That was the case Wednesday at the Seawell Ballroom at the Denver Performing Arts Complex, where 700 local arts, business and civic leaders assembled for the 30th annual Colorado Business Committee for the Arts statewide lunch.    ...
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Boettcher Foundation Press Release

14 Mar Boettcher Scholar, historical reenactor helps museum with Viking exhibition

Chelsea Carr lives three lives. A 2006 Boettcher Scholar and recent graduate of the University of Colorado Law School, Chelsea is working as a law clerk in the 19th Judicial District. After hours and on weekends, however, Chelsea becomes either Svara or Sveni, twin brother and sister from the Viking-age trading town of Birka, circa 850 to 900 AD. Chelsea is an active member of the Fjellborg Vikings, a historical reenactment group dedicated to the accurate portrayal of the Viking age. The group conducts reenactments at festivals and educational events throughout the state. During those events, Chelsea dons hand-sewn clothing and historically accurate battle gear as she teaches visitors about the backstories of her two characters. The Fjellborg Vikings will be on one of their biggest stages soon as the group has been called on to assist with the Denver Museum of Nature and Science’s upcoming exhibition “Vikings: Beyond the Legend,” which runs March 10 through August 13. ”It’s a recognition of how far we have come as a group and that we are committed to this level of historical accuracy,” said Chelsea, who also serves on the Fjellborg Viking executive board. The group, which includes approximately 30 members, will perform at VIP opening events and family days, and they have contributed their own handmade, historically accurate materials, including a lute and Viking boat, to expand the exhibition. They are also helping to prepare the museum’s on-staff historical reenactors for their own roles in the exhibit. “We are helping them to create their own historically accurate ‘kits’ that will include everything from clothing to shoes to the details of their lives,” Chelsea said. While historical reenactment may seem like a fun opportunity to get dressed up and play a role, participants are obsessively committed to historical accuracy and setting the record straight when it comes to misconceptions about the Vikings A big one for Chelsea is the fact that Vikings didn’t wear the horned helmets frequently associated with them. “The beards are real; the horns are not,” she said, explaining that a pamphlet promoting an opera in the 1800s is responsible for popularizing the false characterization. Chelsea’s connection to the Fjellborg Vikings started when she was an undergraduate at CU, majoring in English and journalism and minoring in geology and Nordic studies. The Fjellborg Vikings would visit campus to participate in a Nordic market day and conduct occasional combat demonstrations. Chelsea stayed in touch with the group and joined after graduation, but she wasn’t able to commit significant time to the pursuit until she graduated from law school. “It was a way to stay active in something I really loved and keep doing something I enjoyed even though my life was taking a different path,” she said. In addition to maintaining a connection to her Nordic studies minor, Viking reenactment provides a link to Chelsea’s youth. “I grew up in the country in a small town,” she said. “I grew up making butter and sewing things.” One part of Viking life that wasn’t part of Chelsea’s youth: combat. The Fjellborg Vikings have twice-monthly training sessions where they work on their battle techniques. They are frequently assessed on their battle styles and have to pass tests before they are allowed to practice combat in front of people. The bows and arrows used by the Fjellborg Vikings are modified so they’ll never strike their target with force harder than a paintball. The group also uses handmade shields and swords that are not sharp but are heavy enough to inflict serious bruises. For her part, Chelsea prefers to do battle with an axe, and she’s hoping to become certified as an archery instructor for other historical reenactors. As Chelsea contemplates the path her life has taken since becoming a Boettcher Scholar, she’s certain that her life as Svara and Sveni – or as a law school grad – wouldn’t have been possible without the Boettcher Foundation’s support. “Getting a Boettcher Scholarship changed my life,” Chelsea said. “I came from a big family in a small town that did not have the money to send me to college. While Chelsea figured she’d find a way to pay for college, she had her sights set on a less expensive college, and she certainly didn’t consider law school a possibility. The Boettcher Scholarship also allowed Chelsea to study abroad in Sweden, helping to cement her interest in Nordic studies and the Viking Age.  ...
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Boettcher Foundation Press Release

13 Mar Alumni Board Scholar Profile: Q&A with 2015 scholar Suraj Renganathan

Members of the Boettcher Scholar Alumni Board are interviewing their fellow Boettcher Scholars to help the community get to know one another better. The following Q&A was compiled by Boettcher Scholar Gergana Kostadinova. Name: Suraj Renganathan Scholar Year: 2015 Hometown: Fort Collins College(s), Degree(s):University of Denver, International business and public policy/leadership What are you currently interested in pursuing after graduating? I am currently considering several different options upon graduation. On one hand, I would like to pursue a career in government relations and serve as a liaison between the public and private sector. Specifically, I would like to perform economic and market research in investment or corporate banking, thereby functioning as an advisor for policymakers, other businesses and interest groups. However, I am also considering applying for post-graduate fellowships and pursuing a master’s degree abroad. Tell us about what activities, groups and/or organizations you have joined in college and why you joined them. Rather than focusing on a few activities and going “all in,” I have always preferred to involve myself in a wide variety of pursuits. Right now, I am the president of the University of Denver Roosevelt Institute, which is an undergraduate policy think-tank. The Roosevelt Institute attempts to promote a cause dear to me, namely youth engagement in politics. In addition, I am also a research assistant at the Pardee Center for International Futures. Perhaps one of my more “surprising” extracurricular endeavors is acapella, where I sing bass and beatbox for the DU Idiosingcrasies. Tell us about an important mentor you have had. Probably the most significant mentor I have had in my life was my AP U.S. history teacher, Ms. Matthie. Not only was her class my favorite course throughout high school, but Ms. Matthie played an important role in shaping my goals and ambitions. She instilled in me a confidence to stretch myself beyond my comfort zone and tackle issues which initially seem daunting. Though I am now a couple of years removed from high school, I still consider Ms. Matthie to be a strong influence in my life. What's the best advice you've ever received? Regardless of what you achieve, always remain humble. This saying, which was constantly repeated to me by my mother throughout my life, is the most meaningful piece of advice I have received. It serves as a personal reminder to avoid the pitfalls of complacency or arrogance. Despite whatever successes I may have gained, this piece of advice helps to keep me grounded. It also functions as a motivator to constantly try and improve myself and not feel satisfied with the status-quo. If you could have dinner with one person or a few people from history, whom would you choose and why? Ronald Reagan and Alexander Hamilton. Reagan because “The Gipper” was a transformational figure in American history and Hamilton because Lin-Manuel Miranda can spit some serious rhymes about our founding fathers!...
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Boettcher Foundation Press Release

13 Mar Alumni Board Scholar Profile: Q&A with 2000 scholar Ruthie Lestikow

Members of the Boettcher Scholar Alumni Board are interviewing their fellow Boettcher Scholars to help the community get to know one another better. The following Q&A was compiled by Boettcher Scholar Gergana Kostadinova. Name: Ruthie (Martin) Lestikow Scholar Year: 2000 Hometown: Dolores College(s), Degree(s) and Graduation Year(s):Colorado College BA in biology graduated 2004; Loma Linda University, master's in physician assistant sciences, graduated 2008 Tell us about your current work and how long you’ve been doing it. What is your favorite aspect of your current occupation? I have been a physician assistant for eight years and have worked in beautiful places like San Diego and Washington, D.C. I have practiced in pediatrics, geriatrics, house-call medicine and internal medicine. For the last four years, I have worked in Highlands Ranch at a small private practice in internal medicine, and not a day goes by that I don't learn something new. Being a primary care PA is very rewarding. You are helping people be healthy and stay healthy while getting to know them and their families personally. I also feel great about being a part of a solution to the problem of a primary care provider shortage in our country. What role has being a Boettcher Scholar played into where you are and what you are doing now? Being a Boettcher Scholar has helped to instill philanthropy and service into my daily routine and mindset. It helped me to find a way to use my love of biology and science to give back to my community by working in the medical field. Turns out being a Boettcher Scholar also helped me to find the love of my life, my husband Greg. Without the scholarship I would have not been able to attend Colorado College where I met my great husband! Tell us about your involvement in activities, organizations or groups outside of work. Outside of working as a physician assistant, I also precept physician assistant and nurse practitioner students from many universities and programs from across the United States. I am also a Boettcher Alumni Ambassador and recently took on heading up the Boettcher Class Champion project as part of the outreach committee of the Boettcher Scholar Alumni Board. For fun, I love playing ice hockey and being with my family outdoors backpacking, telemark skiing, snowboarding, mountain and road biking, hiking and really just being outside all year long. What’s the best advice you’ve received and what advice do you have for new graduates entering your career field? Some of the best advice I received when considering going into the medical field was to take time and shadow, or at least talk to, multiple different people who worked in jobs or fields that I was interested in. My advice for current graduates wanting to go into medicine is to take a year or more off after undergraduate school. Allow yourself the opportunity to travel or gain experience in the field you would like to work in. When you go back to school you will be refreshed and can bring so much more experience to the table. If you could have dinner with one person or a few people from history, whom would you choose and why? The first two people from history that come to mind that I would love to have dinner with are the physicist and chemist Marie Curie and the Dali Lama. I would love to pick Marie Curie's brain about her experiences as one of the first females in science to make significant discoveries. I also like to think that just by sitting next to the Dali Lama I would gain more mindfulness and patience. For a person to still be so loving, kind and thoughtful after all the pain and persecution he has suffered is truly inspiring....
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Boettcher Foundation Press Release

10 Mar Eastern Colorado Boettcher community gathers to celebrate 1952 scholar

By Tracy Wahl Boettcher Scholar Alumni Board Eastern Colorado is one of the most sparsely populated parts of the state of Colorado, especially as you move closer to the Kansas and Nebraska borders. But, Boettcher Scholar alumni have an outsized impact in those places – serving a variety of community and business leadership roles in the small rural towns, surrounded by wheat, corn, alfalfa and sorghum fields. In February, the Boettcher Scholar Alumni Board hosted a meetup in the Eastern Plains community of Sterling to honor Dr. William Buchanan, a 1952 Boettcher Scholar, who recently retired after serving as an eye doctor in Sterling for more than 50 years.  Eleven scholars attended the gathering. The retirement celebration was spurred by Boettcher Scholar Landan Schaffert, who was one of Dr. Buchanan’s patients for years. Landan is legally blind, and he credits Dr. Buchanan with making it possible for him to achieve his goals. Landan is a high school science teacher in Otis (population estimated 475 in 2015). Joining us to honor him were Boettcher alumni from all over the eastern part of the state. Carl McGuire is a district judge for the 13th Judicial District. He lives in Akron (population 1700 in 2010). Lindsey Paulson is a doctor, specializing in family medicine in the town of Wray (population 2342 in 2010) near the Nebraska, Kansas state lines. She is one of only five doctors practicing family medicine at the Wray Community District Hospital. Meghan Neumann, Kaitlin Neumann Johnson and Charlie Johnson -- all have connections to the rural part of the state. Sisters Meghan and Kaitlin are both from Wray. Kaitlin's husband Charlie Johnson, also a Boettcher Scholar is from Kit Carson (population 233 in 2010) and now manages his family's ranch and sells drought insurance. Beth Baker Owens, who now lives in Denver, has family in Sterling, and used the event as an opportunity to visit the area while reengaging with the Boettcher community. Beth noted that her mother was a patient of Dr. Buchanan’s as well. Cinde James lives in Frederick but her family’s roots in Iliff, which is east of Sterling, go back more than hundred years. She works as a seamstress, specializing in wedding dresses and other complex projects. Another small world connection: her dad is the brother to my aunt. JulieMarie A. Shepherd Macklin made the drive from Aurora, which is just on the edge of the agricultural part of the state. She is a member of the Aurora School Board and a talented baker who brought some thematically appropriate sugar cookies to the event. My own family roots go back in Akron to the late 1800s, and both my maternal grandparents were born there in the early 1900s, so the event was a welcome opportunity to return to my home base. It was a great gathering and provided the opportunities for the small town stars in the sparsely populated part of Colorado to meet and greet with one another. I was very proud of the way that Boettcher leadership exists in all parts of the state. At a time when the national story has been the divide between urban and rural America, the Boettcher Foundation has clearly made it a priority to be geographically diverse. I can’t wait for us all to meet up again....
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