Carol Newman

Program Manager

For an art immersion, Carol Newman left a corporate career at Time Warner Cable where her tenure culminated as Senior Manager, Employee Relations. Her interest in art began at an early age, and as an adult, mosaic art became a passion after attending classes at Colorado Free University, Denver, CO, and Ciel Gallery, Charlotte, NC.  In 2016, Carol combined her business and art knowledge by accepting an offer as Executive Director of the Blue Sage Arts Center, Paonia, CO.  The thriving arts community enticed Carol’s move to the western slope. Her advocacy continues after leaving the Blue Sage by becoming board secretary of the North Fork Valley Creative Coalition (NFVCC), and now as Program Manager.


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

Patti is a Full-time Broker with Premier Partners @ Needlerock Realty in Paonia. She’s also as a writer, photographer, artist and excursionist.  Patti has a degree in International Marketing from San Francisco State University. Patti brings a passion for the arts and curates artists for art openings for Premier Partners at the Needlerock Realty office in Paonia.

image of NFVCC

Josh Paigen

Board Secretary

Josh was born and raised in Paonia and received his Bachelor’s Degree, with an emphasis in Studio Art, from Lewis & Clark College in Portland, OR.  After many years traveling the globe, Josh returned to Paonia to found Wild Feather Farm, a local organic hemp farm.  In addition to farming, he is a mixed-media artist, moonlights as a local DJ, and has extensive experience working in event production.  He is passionate about public art, freedom of expression, art as activism, and community building through creative industries and events!

Heidi Hudek

Board Treasurer

Heidi is a musician as a singer, percussionist in addition to being a photographer, dancer, actress and dual media artist – mostly watercolor and pastel. She also loves to cook with the wonderfully fresh food our valley offers.

Mary George

Board Member
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.

Kaspar Keil

Board Member
Kaspar Keil is an entrepreneur, artist and family man.  He has divergent life experience from USA distributer of Biomega Danish life-style design products to owner operator of Redstone Records, a studio boutique.  Kaspar is a self taught maker, hacker, automotive slacker, that personifies the mantra “if you build it they will come”, he looks forward to cultivating the awareness of local creators.

Sara Rodriguez

Board Member
Sara is one of the originating founders of the North Fork Valley Creative Coalition, and we welcome her back to the Board of Directors!


Elaine Brett
Consultant & Space to Create Executive Team


Mary Hockenbery
Hotchkiss Town Trustee