Spencer Lightfoot

Program Manager

In 2018 Spencer Lightfoot became  Program Manager for the North Fork Valley Creative Coalition. Spencer has a background in arts non-profits and has previously been employed by the Phoenix Art Museum, Museum of Northern Arizona and Blue Sage Center for the Arts. She holds a BA in Art Studies from Arizona State University. Spencer is also a watercolor artist, working and showing at Second Story Studios in Paonia, Colorado.

Kate Rawlinson

Grant Writer

Kate Rawlinson, recently became the owner of Plowed Table Farm in Paonia, Colorado, where she grows produce, fruit, flowers, herbs, and pasture raised eggs. Prior to her move she was assistant director for education and public programs at The Wolfsonian-Florida International University, an art and design museum located in Miami Beach. She led multiple research-based, arts education initiatives, including Teen Thoughts on Democracy; the Artful Truth-a Healthy Propaganda Arts Project; Artful Citizenship (U.S. DED funded arts-integration curriculum for grades 3-5); and Page at a Time (bookmaking curriculum focused on conflict and resolution). She has a BFA in printmaking and a MFA in painting, and has benefited from several artist residencies in her painting career. She taught at both university and high school levels. Forty years of art-making, teaching, and curatorial experience inform her practice as a farmer, manager, artist, and new board member at Elsewhere Studios.


Susie Kaldis Lowe

Board President

Susie Kaldis Lowe has worked with the NFVCC since 2011. She was the founding Executive Director (2012-2014) and is thrilled to now serve as the Board Chair. Susie has a Bachelors Degree in Fine Art media from the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, CA. Professionally, Susie freelances as a graphic designer and is principal designer for her jewelry company, Theoni Designs.

Patti Kaech

Board Vice President

As resident of Paonia, a mother of three, and a grandmother of four grandchildren, my family keeps me busy. When I was eleven years old my family immigrated to the Bay Area in California from Switzerland. It’s wonderful to have called some of the most spectacular places on earth home; Switzerland, California, Islamorada in the Florida Keys, Crested Butte and Paonia.

In my free time I enjoy volunteering. I am a past board member of Friends of Montessori in Crawford, The Western Slope Conservation Center and the Lead Curator of TEDxPaonia. I spend my free time hiking, wildcrafting and searching for mushrooms. My youngest daughter and I often venture out camping in the surrounding mountain valleys and going to hot springs. My favorite mode of transportation is my trusty 1974 Schwinn three speed. I love cross country skiing on the ditches surrounding Paonia and on the Grand Mesa.

Mary George

Board Treasurer

After studying Zoology at University of New Hampshire, Mary has been self-employed for the past 27 years. She started a small café/bakery, which grew into a significant wholesale bakery operation, and is now operating as a commercial kitchen cooperative for small start-up food businesses. She moved to Paonia in 2011, opened a small coffee shop and grew it into a popular evening bistro. She is an artist working in glass, ceramics, jewelry, and fabric arts. She also works as an energy worker/healer, educated in plant spirit medicine and Mayan spiritual healing, as well as practitioner of cranial sacral work. Mary is currently working on a certification in French Aromatherapy. She is a lover of projects and new ideas.

Dave Mitchell

Board Member

Dave moved to the North Fork Valley from Atlanta, Georgia in 1993 to become a Realtor and the people, the beauty and the quality of life in the North Fork have made him never regret his decision to do so. As a Realtor, many times he introduces people moving here to what he loves about NFV and has become very aware of how talented and creative many of our residents are. He feels like developing economic opportunities for the Creative People in our area is a special privilege and takes pride as we see the North Fork Valley’s reputation grow everyday throughout Colorado and even beyond.

Nadine O’Brien

Board Member

Carol Newman

Board Member


Elaine Brett
Consultant & Space to Create Executive Team


Mary Hockenbery
Hotchkiss Town Trustee