Chamber Board and Staff

The Carbondale Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors meets the second Thursday of every month at 8:00 a.m. in the Board Room at the Third Street Center.

Click here to view the Carbondale Chamber of Commerce Bylaws.

 

President: John Runne, Runne & Associates Inc.
John Runne is a seasoned business executive and advisor with over thirty years of engagements with Fortune 1000 companies working with CEOs, exec teams and boards on strategy, M&A, organizational structure and corporate planning. Mr. Runne’s experience includes engagements with a host of public and private companies where he served in executive positions and as Chairman of Strategic Advisory Councils and Boards devising and driving corporate strategic objectives. Mr. Runne has also been actively involved in events leading to acquisitions and sales of companies. He has guided organizations on their respective marketing, packaging, and positioning of brand products.

Mr. Runne’s deep and wide corporate experience at the CEO, executive, and board-level has provided the foundation for establishing significantly effective and unique solutions to short-term and long-ranging opportunities and challenges.

In between corporate engagements, Mr. Runne has painted professionally for three decades. He has created hundreds of original works and has published books, greeting cards, and lithographs for major national accounts. Mr. Runne has resided in Colorado since 1992 and along with his wife and grown children enjoys all it has to offer. He is a graduate of The University of Texas School of Business, Austin. You can find out more about him and his expertise at www.bzadvice.com and www.northcreekgallery.com.

Vice President:

Treasurer: Erkko Alm, Alpine Bank
Erkko is originally from Finland, and his primary focus is lending. He went to school at the University of Colorado in Boulder and graduated with a degree in Marketing and International Business. He enjoys serving on the Chamber Board because he wants to be part of making Carbondale a successful and fun community, and believes the Chamber contributes to that goal.

Secretary: Brittney Rippy, White House Pizza
Born in Glenwood Springs, Brittney Rippy worked as the Kitchen Manager and Head of Catering at Bonfire Coffee for over two years.  In the evenings, she works as a personal trainer and runs small group strength and conditioning classes in the valley.  She is actively involved in the community throughout the fitness and restaurant scene.  Throughout the last 20 years, Brittney has worked at several of the popular restaurants in the area and has been involved as a coach for many of the local gyms. Brittney Rippy has a degree in Culinary Arts from Le Cordon Bleu.  She graduated at the top of her class from Mesa State University with a degree in Elementary Education.

Past President: Kelcey Nichols, Garfield & Hecht, P.C.
Kelcey grew up in the Roaring Fork Valley and opened a law practice in Carbondale in 2012. She joined Garfield & Hecht, P.C. in 2020 to open the firm’s Carbondale office. Her practice focuses on providing sound legal advice to clients on real estate, business, and estate planning matters. Prior to practicing law, she worked at Backbone Media in Carbondale, and in publishing and website development in New York. Kelcey currently works with local property owners, businesses, and nonprofit corporations. In addition, she led a pro-bono project with the Acequia Project to help low-income community members in southern Colorado maintain their water rights. Kelcey is a graduate of the Roaring Fork Leadership program. She obtained her law degree from the University of Washington School of Law and is a graduate of Barnard College, Columbia University. Kelcey joined the Chamber in order to help our local businesses prosper and see Carbondale continue to establish itself as a wonderful place to live and work, stepping up as a leader among Colorado towns.

Sandi Kister, At Large Representative
Sandi Kister is an attorney in the Roaring Fork Valley.  She relocated to Colorado in 2011 in order to work with the Ninth Judicial District Attorney’s Office, where she works as a Special Deputy District Attorney.  Since that time, she has also worked for the Garfield County Public Library District as the Executive Director and as a Special Assistant County Attorney for Garfield County.  With Masters degrees in both Library and Information Sciences and the Administration of Justice, as well as her law degree, Sandi has been involved in public service for most of her career.  

Originally from New England, Sandi is thrilled to live in a state with plenty of days of sunshine, which allow for bluebird ski days, whether uphilling or alpine.  She would cross country, too, if she could find equipment.  In the summer, she enjoys road biking, hiking, and rafting.  Sandi is married to a wonderful partner, Mark Kister, who has lived in the valley since 1978. Sandi is thrilled to be on the Board of the Chamber of Commerce in order to learn about the culture of our business community and in order to support our local businesses.

Brendan Matthias, FirstBank
Brendan Matthias is the Executive Vice President of the Roaring Fork Valley Market for FirstBank, and he has worked for the bank since 2005.  In this role, he has experience in many areas of real estate lending, including commercial projects in the multi-family, office, and retail sectors, plus construction and renovation. He relocated to the Roaring Fork Valley in 2012 in order to open and establish a new Market for FirstBank.  He previously worked at locations in Downtown Denver and the flagship in Lakewood.

Brendan currently serves on the board of Community Builders, and the Carbondale Chamber of Commerce, and is the President of the Mark Ross Montessori Foundation.  Prior involvement includes service on the boards of Windwalkers, Advocate Safehouse Project, Del Norte Neighborhood Development Corporation, the Glenwood Springs Downtown Partnership, and Community Educational Outreach.

Brendan received his undergraduate degree in Business Administration in 2002 from the University of Colorado and his MBA with a concentration in Real Estate from the University of Denver in 2009. He also received his Graduate Banking Degree from the Graduate School of Banking in Madison, Wisconsin.

Frank McSwain, Compass Real Estate
Frank and his wife, Rosie, have lived in the valley since 1999 and been an active and involved couple in the community and various organizations. Frank established and built the foundation for Valley View Hospital. He directed the efforts to raise the funds to build the Heart Center and the Calaway-Young Cancer Center. Frank has been in real estate here in the valley for 8 years and associated with Compass. He is a graduate of the University of North Carolina and received his MBA from the Kellogg School at Northwestern University. Frank spent 5 years in the U.S. NAVY as an officer in the Supply Corps. Most of his business career was spent as a packaging industry executive.

Frank and Rose are fortunate to have all three of their children and their spouses here in Colorado plus 8 grandchildren that live here in the Roaring Fork Valley. For activities, Frank is committed to being fit and working out. He enjoys running, biking, skiing, and golf, but his first love is his wife, Rosie!

Frosty Merriott, J. Frost Merriott, Inc. CPA
Mr. Merriott received his B.S. in accounting from Louisiana Tech University in 1970. He has extensive experience in tax planning and compliance, Internal Revenue Service examinations and management advisory services. He gained valuable tax expertise as the Corporate Tax Manager for Country Pride Foods, Ltd; a multi-state food processing conglomerate, and subsequently became partner in charge of the tax department at Roberts, Cherry & Company, a large local CPA firm in Shreveport, Louisiana. Mr. Merriott coordinated the accounting services function in the Lakewood, Colorado office of Gordon, Hughes, and Banks, LLP before beginning the firm of J. Frost Merriott CPA in Basalt in March of 1998. He specializes in the areas of taxation, attestation and accounting services for closely-held companies in the industries of insurance, financial services, oil and gas, cannabis, real estate, construction and manufacturing.

Mr. Merriott has completed all required AICPA Peer Reviews as administered by the Colorado Society of CPA’s. The reports state that on a representative sample of selected engagements Mr. Merriott conformed with the requirements of professional standards in all material respects and the documentation on these engagements conformed with the applicable requirements of Statements on Accounting and Review Services (SSARS) and Statements on Standards for Attestation (SSAEs).

Mr. Merriott is a member of the AICPA Institute, the Tax Section of the AICPA, the Colorado Society of CPAs and the QuickBooks Pro Advisor Program. Mr Merriott is presently licensed in Colorado (18114), Louisiana (16-15132), and Texas (TP1741-01).

Frosty, his wife Carly and Golden Bentley live at River Valley Ranch in Carbondale where they are members of the Orchard Church. Their daughter Shiloh is now working as an RN on the Cardiology Floor at St Anthony’s in Lakewood, Co. Frosty was elected to 3 terms as a Trustee for the Town of Carbondale after he had served on Planning and Zoning Commission, the Town Tree Board, the Town Environmental Board, and the River Valley Ranch Executive Board. Frosty is presently serving on the Garfield County Board of Adjustments, the Carbondale Chamber Executive Board, the Town Environmental Board, and the Carbondale Arts Planning Committee. Frosty was named as an Everyday Hero by the Colorado Society of CPA’s for the difference he makes in others’ lives.

Kiko Pena, Sopris Liquor & Wine

Lauri Rubinstein, Step into Great

Steve Skadron, Colorado Mountain College

Tourism Council of Carbondale Chair: Michelle Marlow, Ascent Events

Erica Sparhawk, Town of Carbondale Trustee/Liaison

Marty Silverstein, Town of Carbondale Trustee/Liaison

 

Chamber Staff

 

Andrea Stewart, Executive Director/Marketing & Tourism and Member Services

Andrea is the Executive Director of the Carbondale Chamber with 13+ years of Chamber experience.  She graduated from the University of Wyoming with a degree in Communication and a minor in Marketing Communication.  Andrea also has an associate degree in Resort Management & Hospitality from Colorado Mountain College.  She specializes in member relations and communications, and proudly serves on a number of advisory councils and boards, including the Association of Colorado Chambers of Commerce as Chair-Elect.  In 2015, Andrea was recognized by the Small Business Development Center as an Emerging Business Leader and was named Colorado Association of Commerce & Industry’s Chief Executive Director of the Year in 2017.  Outside of the office, Andrea is an accomplished runner, and in 2015, ran the Boston Marathon.  She takes pride in family, and enjoys spending time outdoors, and cheering on the Wyoming Cowboys with her husband and their two boys!

Heather Beach, Bookkeeper

Heather Beach joins the Chamber staff with over 16 years of accounting and office management experience, having been the CFO of Beach Resource Management for 12 years before she and her husband sold the business in 2015. Heather also served as volunteer Treasurer for the Chamber for two years and has several years of volunteer experience as treasurer for other nonprofits, including her church, Snowmass Chapel. A native Texan (born and raised in Houston), Heather attended The University of Texas at Austin and graduated from UC Berkeley, where she was a member of the Phi Beta Kappa academic society. She enjoys skiing, hiking, gardening, and reading fiction in her spare time. Heather’s 2 adult children live outside Colorado, and she resides in Castle Pines with her husband, Gary.

Katie Montie, Office Manager

Katie grew up visiting Carbondale throughout her childhood and quickly felt at home in the Roaring Fork Valley after moving from Michigan 7 years ago. She finds joy in hiking, backpacking, yoga, cross-country skiing, being a couch potato, and petting all the puppies. She is delighted to be working for the Chamber and is enjoying increased connectivity and involvement in her adopted hometown. 

 

  • caverns.carbdale_w18 thumbnail
  • PROMO Ad Spot 3 thumbnail
  • True Nature Healing Arts thumbnail