Brad Harding, President - Brad is a fifth generation resident of Delta County, graduating from CSU with a B.S. in Fisheries Biology. His entrepreneurial side took over in 1998 where he began a six year career in the investment and securities field. Brad started his trek home to Western Colorado where he started work for US Bank in Aspen as the VP of Commercial Banking. He was fortunate to return to Delta County as a member of the ownership group that purchased The First National Bank of Paonia-Delta in April, 2007. The bank was renamed to First Colorado National Bank where he serves as President.
“I love Delta County. My natural interests in the recreational opportunities and the beauty of this area make it an ideal fit to call home. I believe our local communities can be more than they currently are. Having been a part of healthy businesses in the past and with my entrepreneurial nature, I believe I add value and insight into what is good for our community. The local background knowledge I’ve obtained by being a community banker, gives me further insight into our community. I’m committed to doing what it takes in building a strong, thriving economy in Delta County.”
Tom Huerkamp, Vice President - Thomas H. Huerkamp is one of Delta County’s most senior continuous business operators. He has been and continues to be the president and active CEO of the company he and his wife formed over 46 years ago. In 1967 he came to Delta County and was employed by the DELTA COUNTY INDEPENDENT, at the time a bi-weekly publication, as a reporter and photographer. In late 1968 they founded THE SENTRY, a weekly newspaper in Cedaredge. That paper won several Press Assn. Awards in the areas of community service, photography and advertising. While still operating the newspaper, the Huerkamps founded Grand Mesa Office Supply in 1969. In 1971 they disposed of their newspaper interests and committed full energy to the office machine, supply and furniture venture. Active in community affairs Huerkamp has served on the Board of Directors and as President of the Chamber of Commerce in both Cedaredge and Delta, former mayor of Orchard City, and was active in the founding of the Delta County Economic Development, Inc. “Economic development is about a lot more than large employee parking lots. It is about the ability to sustain, while preserving the lifestyle which is why we live here.”
Phil Schmidt, Treasurer - Phil Schmidt is the General Manager of Phillips Machine Service, Inc. “DCED was helpful in bringing Phillips Machine to Delta in 2008. Also, once Phillips committed to becoming a member of the Delta area business community, DCED assisted our efforts as we established the business. Phil is a native to Western Colorado, born in Grand Junction. Grew up in Salt Lake City. Graduated from high school in 1976. Graduated University of Utah in 1980 with BS in Mining Engineering. He returned to Colorado in 1990 and went to work for Colorado Westmoreland, worked there until 1988 in various positions and went to work for Coastal States Energy Skyline Mine, central Utah, in 1988 and worked there for 3 years. In 1991 he moved back to the North Fork Valley and went to work for Arco Coal as Project Manager at West Elk Mine. Worked at West Elk Mine (under both Arco Coal and Arch Coal ownership) for 17 years. Held a variety of assignments including engineering, maintenance, permitting, governmental affairs, process improvement, etc. 9 years ago Phillips Machine Service (headquarters in Beckley, WV) talked to Phil about opening a new business in Delta. Phillips opened for business in Delta in late 2008. He is married a local girl, Christi, in 1982 and started a family. Two children, Cara and Kyle, were both born in Delta.Christi runs her own business in Hotchkiss in addition to selling real estate on the western slope. Hobbies include racquetball, golf, snowmobiling, boating at Lake Powell, hunting, fishing, traveling the world and spending time with friends and family. Works hard/plays hard.
Larry Traubel, Secretary - A native of Arizona Larry graduated from Glendale High in 1974. The next step was a dual major in Agricultural business and Agronomy from the University of Arizona. He has spent his entire life involved in production agriculture. His career trail started in Arizona, then Idaho and Washington, back to Arizona with the last move to Cedaredge Colorado in 1993. Along with his move to Cedaredge in 1993 came the purchase of an orchard. This, combined with the position as a horticultural advisor at Hi Quality packing firmly established Larry in the Western Slope orchard industry. In 2000 a job offer from Grand Mesa Discount located in Eckert to be their orchard salesman set the stage for Larry to buy the business after six years of employment. In late 2012 Larry changed the name of the business to Cropworx. Married to Angela in 1980, they have three children Lindsay, Brian and Whitney and so far, four grandchildren. His favorite forms of therapy are fly fishing, racquetball and traveling the world.
Ed Marston, Board Member - Ed Marston has lived in Paonia since 1974, except for a 1990-1991 sabbatical at Stanford University as a John S. Knight Journalism Fellow and the spring 2001 semester, which he spent teaching journalism at UC Berkeley. With Betsy Marston, he founded and ran a Delta County weekly newspaper, North Fork Times, from 1975 to 1980, now part of the Delta County Independent. The couple also founded and ran a regional biweekly, Western Colorado Report, from 1982 to 1983. From 1983 to 2002, Ed was the publisher of High Country News, a regional newspaper covering the Western United States for 23,000 subscribers. The paper had subscribers in all 50 states and employed 23 people in Paonia and scores of free-lance writers around the west. Ed has written or edited several books: The Dynamic Environment (John Wiley and Sons, 1975); Western Water Made Simple (Island Press, 1987), Reopening the Western Frontier (Island Press, 1989), and Ranching West of the 100th Meridian (Island Press, 2001). His 35,000-word “Colorado Memoir” is in Colorado: 1870-2000, by W.H. Jackson and John Fielder (Westcliffe Publishers, 1999). Ed is president of the board of Solar Energy International, a not-for-profit Paonia outfit that has trained 35,000 people so far in solar design, installation and financing. He also served for 18 years on the board of Delta-Montrose Electric Association. The Marstons own two commercial buildings on Paonia’s Grand Avenue. Betsy and Ed raised two children, Wendy and David, in Paonia and have two grandchildren, Maude and Bruno. Ed thinks economic development is important to Delta County to create and maintain the vitality of the county. He believes the rough patch we are currently in will be overcome as the county comes together to solve its problems and create new opportunities.
John Gavan, Board Member - In addition to DCED, John is a board member of Delta Montrose Electric Association, Tri-State Generation and Transmission and Solar Energy International. Until recently, John was the IT Manager for the Delta County Library District, where he brought nearly thirty years of general management and Information Technology experience to the Library District. Under his tenure, the library’s public use computers, network and software systems were upgraded to improve service and reduce cost. Prior to joining the Library District, John was the Director of the Project Management Office at GXS Inc. GXS is one of the largest B2B services companies in the world. John was responsible for the management of key programs, integration of acquired businesses and the technical due diligence associated with an aggressive M&A program. Before this, John was the IT Manager at NASA Headquarters in Washington DC on a multi-year contract administered by SAIC, Inc. For eighteen years, John was a system engineering and IT director at MCI Telecommunications Corp. and later WorldCom after its acquisition of MCI. In this role John was responsible for leading software engineering teams in creating new products and services. John led the team that developed MCI’s web portal, which was the one of the first B2B web platforms fielded in the telecommunications industry. Prior to this, John was involved in the development of many of MCI’s enhanced services such as MCI Mail, one of the first public e-mail services as well as network fax, calling card and voice mail services. John received a BS degree in Engineering from the State University of NY Maritime College. He served in the US Navy aboard a guided missile destroyer as an engineering and communications officer. John also has an MBA in Finance from NYU’s Stern School of Business. John lives in the North Fork Valley where he is designing and building a new house that is striving to meet a near “Net Zero” energy use profile.
Scott Thomessen, Board Member - Scott Thomassen was born in Pella, Iowa and grew up in Golden, CO. He attended Western State College in Gunnison and worked on a geophysical crew for oil exploration in Pratt, KS. In 1982, Scott moved to Cedaredge for the quality of life and outdoor opportunities, where he owned and operated a live fishing bait business for almost 10 years. He also worked for Skyland Food Co. until 1995 when they closed. Together with his wife Gynee, they opened Classic Computers in Delta in 1995 which remained open until the end of 2016. They currently offer services in computer repair, rebuilding and customizing for their clients needs. Gynee and Scott have two aughters. Scott joined the DCED Board in 2009.
Ron Austin, Delta City Council Representative - Ron Austin is currently the City of Delta’s Mayor Pro Tem.
Bruce Hovde, Board Member - Bruce Hovde, as County Commissioner, has represented the Board of Delta County Commissioners for four years. Bruce was raised on the family farm in Mesa, Arizona where they grew cotton and alfalfa. In addition to farming he was a partner in a farm equipment dealership, commercial real estate and was a custom home builder. Bruce and his wife Nancy moved to Cedaredge 30 years ago. Since living in Cedaredge, he has been very involved in many community organizations including: The Cedaredge Public Library Foundation, Delta County Memorial Hospital Foundation, DCED, Littlest Angel Adoption Agency and is past President of the Cedaredge Chamber of Commerce. Bruce is looking forward to many more years of being on the Board of DCED, the preservation of existing businesses and bringing new business into Delta County.
Jason Clecker, Board Member - Jason Cleckler is the CEO for Delta County Memorial Hospital (DCMH). He received his BSN degree from California State University at Humboldt with a focus on rural healthcare. Throughout his career Jason worked in a variety of nursing positions to include inpatient psychiatry, ER/Trauma and ICU. He taught psychiatric nursing at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs for a short time. He moved to Colorado in 1995 to Colorado Springs and then moved from Colorado Springs to the Western Slope in 2005. Jason began working at DCMH in 2008 as the Trauma Coordinator and moved from that position to being the ER Manager/Trauma Program Manager. He then assumed the role as the Chief Clinical Officer and as of October 2012 the CEO. His interest outside of work include road and mountain biking, rock and ice climbing, mountaineering, fly fishing and skiing.
Caryn Gibson, Board Member - Caryn Gibson is a skilled educational leader with 26 years of experience in public education. Ms. Gibson became the Delta County School District Superintendent in 2012. She leads the District’s mission of “Caring, Challenging, Learning . . . Every Student, Every Day!”. Ms. Gibson oversees all aspects of the District, which includes over 5,000 students, 750 staff and a budget of over $35 million. She began her career in education as a high school business teacher and coach. Then she moved into administration where she was an Assistant Principal, Financial Aid Director and then Director of Delta Montrose Technical College. In 2010 she moved to the District Office for Delta County Schools where she has served as the Human Resource Director before accepting the position of Superintendent. Caryn joined the DCED Board in 2012.
Glen Black, Board Member - Glen is the Community Development Director for the City of Delta.
Jack Graff, Board Member - Jack
Graff comes from a dairy background and is a local commercial farmer.
He has been a leading force in the Western Slope Soil Health Conference
for six years. Jack is the owner of "Better Compost", a totally
natural fertilizing product that focuses on good soil health.
John Angelo, Board Member - Owner, Angelo Business Advisors. John is the owner of Angelo Business Advisors, LLC which helps business owners with financial management, planning and direction of their company. He was born and raised in Gunnison, CO (1993 graduate from high school) attended CSU and received a Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural Business and also holds a Certificate from Texas Christian University in Ranch Management. He is currently attending the Graduate School of Banking at CU. He has lived in Delta County since 2004 and currently serves on the Great Beginnings Early Childhood Center Board, is a member of Kiwanis, HopeWest Planned Giving Council and the Community Advisory Council for Volunteers of America. He is interested in continuing to serve on DCED because he is completely vested in Delta County. His four children attend Delta County schools, he lives, works and plays in Delta County and wants to contribute to making Delta County a better place.
Chris Cox, Board Member - Chris is the Market President for Bank of Colorado. Chris oversees the operation of the Bank of Colorado Delta market. He is also responsible for developing new and maintaining current customers, providing them with financial products including loans, deposit products and services for his community. Cox holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Eckerd College in St Petersburg, FL. He is also a Graduate of the Colorado Agricultural Leadership Program and National School for Experienced Ag Lenders. Chris’s priority is serving his customers and community with a common sense approach. His strength lies in relationship banking with an emphasis on meeting the unique needs of his customers.
LaDonna Gunn, Board Member - LaDonna Gunn is the Regional Library Manager for Delta County Libraries. She loves to learn, is passionate about history, and enjoys interacting with people. LaDonna grew up on a ranch in Rifle and graduated from the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs, with a BA and MA in history. She and her husband, Tracy, who grew up in Fruita, have lived in several places in Colorado and Nevada due to Tracy’s mining career, but they have always returned to Western Colorado. LaDonna has been involved in her community, serving on several boards related to libraries, local history, and historic preservation. In addition to her “day job,” she has taught environmental history at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs, and American history at Colorado Mesa University, Montrose Campus. Thanks to a lifetime in Colorado, LaDonna has watched local economies change and develop significantly over the years. She has a strong understanding of the way community needs reflect these changes and recognizes the important role that libraries play in helping to respond to those needs. In Delta County, the Libraries offer our communities an incredible variety of valuable services, from summer reading programs for youth to ESL and basic education classes for adults. Our seed library is one of many examples that reveals the ability of Delta County Libraries to respond to the changing needs of our residents. Serving on the DCED board provides great opportunity for Delta County Libraries, through LaDonna, to participate in the development and enrichment of Delta County and its residents.