Matchmakers.

About Us

We create powerful community partners

The Community Foundation serving Southwest Colorado facilitates the growth and effectiveness of philanthropic contributions and expands the culture of giving to meet the needs of our communities.

The Community Foundation serving Southwest Colorado inspires hope, leadership, and generosity in the region by bringing economic stability, professional development, and collaboration to the nonprofit sector.

As a community facilitator, the Community Foundation works to increase efficiency, resiliency, and success for nonprofits, while maximizing effective grantmaking for philanthropists, to make Southwest Colorado a better place to live. In 2020, the Community Foundation infused $4 million into the region. We invite you to create, grow and give funds through our careful management.

What is a Community Foundation?

WHAT IS A COMMUNITY FOUNDATION?

The concept of a Community Foundation is as ingenious as it is simple – it is a means to build, over time, substantial funds for the community through contributions. The Community Foundation is a hybrid. Unlike our cousin, the private foundation (whose financial base typically comes from a single donor, family or company), the Community Foundation garners its support from the public. It grows because individuals, corporations, other nonprofits and even government entities believe in it.

The Community Foundation is unlike other nonprofits that focus on specific areas of interest, such as health care, disaster relief and the arts, or specific causes such as poverty, heart disease and classical music.

The Community Foundation looks to the well-being of the total community, not just a part of it.

ANNUAL REPORTS, FINANCIAL DOCUMENTS & GOVERNANCE

2020 Annual report

2019 Annual Report

2018 Annual Report

HISTORY

During the mid-1990s, individuals involved with several nonprofit organizations in Southwest Colorado had become aware that the “traditional” forms of funding on which they relied to support their various causes were becoming strained. Federal and State governments had reduced or eliminated funding for many programs local community members needed and desired, and local businesses and citizens were growing weary of being asked to contribute to numerous community fundraisers. Many of these organizations were successfully generating some revenue through fundraisers, but their efforts to do so were requiring a larger amount of staff time than they could commit – and they were still struggling to pay the bills. Therefore, the concept of the Community Foundation was introduced to the local community. Nonprofit professionals were encouraged to learn that donors of large gifts are often more willing to contribute to a foundation that is developed primarily to ensure that community assets are managed according to donor wishes and invested to maximize their earnings potential than they are to donate directly to a nonprofit organization which could experience frequent changes in management and board governance.

In the fall of 1997, various avenues for creating or joining an existing community foundation were researched. After many long discussions and public meetings, the decision was made to create the Community Foundation serving Southwest Colorado as a Colorado 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Currently, the Community Foundation serving Southwest Colorado manages more than $5 million.

Who We Serve

The Community Foundation serving Southwest Colorado serves five counties, each with their own needs and unique services to offer. Learn More about these counties.

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

President

SHAWN CANDELARIA

Shawn is Market President for Four Corners Community Bank (FCCB) in Durango. Shawn is a native of the western slope of Colorado and has deep family roots in Southwest Colorado.

Shawn Candelaria is Market President for Four Corners Community Bank (FCCB) in Durango. Shawn is a native of the western slope of Colorado and has deep family roots in Southwest Colorado. He started his banking career in 1991 after graduating from Mesa State College (now Colorado Mesa University) with a Bachelor’s in Business Administration with an emphasis in finance. For the majority of his career, he has specialized in commercial real estate lending and business financing. Since 2015, Shawn and the Durango staff have significantly grown FCCB’s presence in local loans, deposits and supporting many local nonprofits through donations and sponsorships. He is a current board member of The Hundred Club of Durango, HomesFund serving Southwest Colorado, Durango Wine Experience, and past board member of Trails 2000 and the United Way of Southwest Colorado. Shawn feels strongly that our community’s appeal to those who live and work here is a direct result of the many nonprofits that support us. Serving on the Community Foundation Board gives him the opportunity to help ensure that we also continue to support the amazing philanthropists in our region. He and his wife, Tamra, are blessed with one daughter and her four-legged brother. He enjoys entertaining family and friends, cycling of all sorts, skiing, golfing, hiking, traveling, and mostly hanging out with his family.
Vice President

NANCY BONNETT

Nancy has been a part-time resident of Durango for 20 years. She is a published author and speaker for organizations including the American Bar Association, Arizona Bar Association and Western Pension and Benefits Conference.

Nancy Bonnett has been a part-time resident of Durango for 20 years. She has lived and practiced law in Phoenix with the firm of Pietzsch, Bonnett and Womack, where her focus is employee benefits and executive compensation. She is a published author and speaker for organizations including the American Bar Association, Arizona Bar Association and Western Pension and Benefits Conference. Believing that volunteerism is key to a balanced and fulfilling life, Nancy has served as President of the Phoenix Valley of the Sun Kiwanis, Board member of Phoenix Valley Leadership, and as a participant in Arizona Town Hall. Thanks to advances in technology and the ability to serve her clients from virtually anywhere in the world, Nancy now lives full time in beautiful Durango. The active, outdoor lifestyle suits her perfectly, and she considers the opportunity to serve Southwest Colorado through her involvement in the Community Foundation a privilege. The Foundation’s vision for Southwest Colorado of giving everyone a chance to thrive, and facilitating that vision through support of philanthropists and nonprofits, is why Nancy serves on the Board of Directors.
Treasurer

AMY MOODY

Amy is the finance manager at Hillcrest Golf Club. She is originally from Albuquerque and is a Fort Lewis alumna.

Amy Moody is the finance manager at Hillcrest Golf Club. She is originally from Albuquerque and is a Fort Lewis alumna. She left Durango after graduation and returned to Durango in 2000. After a long and rewarding career in accounting as a certified public accountant, financial analyst, and corporate controller, Amy temporarily retired in 2016, until she joined the team at Hillcrest in December 2019. She joined the finance committee of the Community Foundation in April 2018 and was happy to join the Board when asked. Amy is proud to help the Community Foundation, which provides so much help for the community she lives in. She enjoys many activities in the outdoors year-round, including golfing, hiking, mountain biking, kayaking, alpine and Nordic skiing, paddle boarding and scuba diving. Amy is a long-time photo hobbyist and an accredited Tai Chi Chih instructor.
Secretary

DEBBIE PFEIFER

Debbie is a communications consultant with more than 25 years of experience helping companies with media and analyst relations, corporate positioning and community relations.

Debbie Pfeifer is a communications consultant with more than 25 years of experience helping companies with media and analyst relations, corporate positioning and community relations. She began her career at a Los Angeles-based public relations agency, headed communications at companies including PowerBar and Wesabe, and served as a consultant for numerous start-ups and established corporations. She has volunteered and provided strategic counsel for nonprofits focused on literacy, food security, gender equality and education. A recent Durango transplant, Debbie joined the Community Foundation to better understand the issues facing Southwest Colorado and to support the nonprofits and philanthropists that are meeting those needs and enriching life for residents. She and her husband, Tom, enjoy hiking, paddle boarding, and trying to keep up with their twin boys on the ski slopes.
Past President

MICHAEL FRENCH

Michael is the Executive Director of the La Plata County Economic Development Alliance. Mike is the former CMO of a multibillion dollar IT firm in the US.

Michael French is the Executive Director of the La Plata County Economic Development Alliance. Mike is the former CMO of a multibillion dollar IT firm in the US. He was the founder and principal of his own IT integration company and has been part of several successful mergers and acquisitions both public and private. Mike was a founding member of the nonprofit Norawas de Rarumari and started the Young Leaders Society for the Central New Mexico United Way. Mike serves on the Community Foundation Board because he believes that the strength of the community is based on its service to those in need.
Board Member

JOHN ARMS

John is an experienced investor with more than 25 years of experience in capital investments in land, minerals and energy.

John Arms is an experienced investor with more than 25 years of experience in capital investments in land, minerals and energy. Having worked for several large public and private companies in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, John worked with acquisition analysis and mergers totaling over $7 billion in his career. He has a technical background in engineering and has managed budgets, personnel and human resources. He has volunteered for the local school district, Habitat for Humanities, and as a Board Member for his local Temple. His family recently moved to Durango after falling in love with southwest Colorado. The family has spent many years vacationing and working in the area. John joined the Community Foundation of Southwest Colorado to give back to his community and to support local nonprofits with direct impact for the residents of Southwest Colorado. He, his wife and four children enjoy the outdoors and the all the tangible benefits of Colorado living.
Board Member

WENDY BARNEY

Wendy is a real estate broker with Sotheby’s, and through her work, gets to highlight all the amazing people and places we are so blessed to live amongst every single day.

Wendy Barney, originally from New York, made the move in 2015 to join family in Durango. She is a real estate broker with Sotheby’s, and through her work, gets to highlight all the amazing people and places we are so blessed to live amongst every single day. Wendy volunteers her time for many organizations, including the Durango Area Association of Realtors’ Community Service Committee, Trails 2000 Auction Committee, Know Your Dough, and Durango High School Booster Club. Wendy joined the Community Foundation to expand her ability to make a difference for the residents of Southwest Colorado. She and her husband, Tom, an avid volunteer, have six kids between them, which keeps them on their toes! They enjoy running, skiing, hiking and pretty much anything that gets them outside and into the mountains.
Board Member

BETHANY BIETH

Bethany is a lender with the Pagosa Springs Branch of Bank of Colorado. She was attracted to the family-run bank for their culture of integrity and their commitment to community.

Bethany Bieth is a lender with the Pagosa Springs Branch of Bank of Colorado. She was attracted to the family-run bank for their culture of integrity and their commitment to community. Prior to entering banking, Bethany taught high school English Language Arts. Service to community and relationship building are just two of the reasons she is excited to serve on the Community Foundation Board and serve as chair the Archuleta Committee. A third reason Bethany is excited to join the Board is that she is the fifth generation of her family to call the Upper San Juan Basin home, so the work of the Foundation to support nonprofits in all five counties is particularly meaningful. Her other nonprofit involvements include the Spring Creek Community Association Board and the St. Paul’s Lutheran Preschool Board. Faith and family are the underpinnings of Bethany’s life, learning and new challenges are her motivators, and literacy is her soapbox passion. Any given weekend will find Bethany and her husband, Lee, along with their standard poodle, Stella, enjoying the outdoors: gardening, backpacking, flat-water kayaking, snowshoeing, skiing, and road tripping.
Board Member

CHERYL NIXON

Cheryl serves as provost at Fort Lewis College, bringing a commitment to shared governance and transparency to her work with Academic Affairs leadership.

Cheryl Nixon serves as provost at Fort Lewis College, bringing a commitment to shared governance and transparency to her work with Academic Affairs leadership to implement student-centered strategies, launch new programs, and continue to build FLC’s academic reputation. Nixon earned her bachelor’s in English and political science from Tufts University and her master’s and doctorate in English from Harvard University. Prior to her role at FLC, she was an Associate Provost and Professor of English at UMass. She served as Chair of the Department of English for five years and English Graduate Program Director for three years. The author of books, articles, and textbooks, her research examines the invention of the novel in the eighteenth century, comparing literature to legal cases featuring family conflict.
Board Member

KIM OYLER

Kim is the Durango Chamber of Commerce Manager with more than 25 years of career experience developing and executing strategic and dynamic communications plans.

With more than 25 years of career experience, Kim Oyler has had a vast array of unique opportunities. She is currently the manager at the Durango Chamber of Commerce. For eight years at Purgatory Resort/Mountain Capital Partners, Kim developed and executed strategic and dynamic communications plans and key messaging for marketing efforts. Prior to joining Purgatory, Kim was the director of the Colorado Tourism Office (CTO), overseeing a $20+ million marketing budget, managing advertising and public relations agencies, publishers, web designers, and CTO staff. She has worked with dignitaries and advised public/elected officials in a variety of capacities while at the Governor’s Office of Economic Development & International Trade, Colorado State Senate as press secretary, U.S. Senate as a policy advisor, and U.S. House of Representatives as a legislative aide. She also holds her Series 7 and 66 financial securities licenses. Kim has served on the Wine Experience board of directors, is a Leadership La Plata graduate, a member of the Women’s Professional Network and the Durango Chamber of Commerce. She is honored to serve on the Community Foundation Board of Directors so she can help strengthen the organization and advance its mission. She’s excited to learn more about ways to help the region grow and connect through the support of the area’s nonprofit organizations. Kim is married to Kris Oyler, largest owner & CEO of Peak Food & Beverage, which owns and operates Steamworks Brewing, El Moro Spirits & Tavern, and Bird’s. She has two step-children and a beloved goldendoodle. She enjoys the Durango lifestyle, where she can be found skiing, snowshoeing, hiking, and paddle boarding.
Board Member

TRENT PORTER

Trent is a Certified Financial Planner, a CPA and the founder and president of Priority Financial Partners, a local wealth management firm.

Trent Porter was born and raised in Southwest Colorado and lives in Durango with his wife and two boys. His strong roots in the community and passion for giving back and helping others do the same, makes the Community Foundation a perfect fit. His other passions include spending time with his family, vinyl records, hiking 14'ers and playing the guitar.
Trent is a Certified Financial Planner, a CPA and the founder and president of Priority Financial Partners, a local wealth management firm. He is frequently sought out by the national media for his financial expertise, such as a column in the Wall Street Journal, co-hosting the Your Money show on Sirius XM radio, interviews on NPR's Morning Edition and All Things Considered.

STAFF

Executive Director

BRIGGEN WRINKLE

Briggen focuses on increasing generosity in our community by matching philanthropists with nonprofits that meet their strategic giving goals.

Briggen Wrinkle is the Executive Director of the Community Foundation serving SW Colorado. She focuses on helping our funding partners maximize strategic lifetime investments, now and into the future. In addition, she concentrates on bringing professional development, capacity-building opportunities and new grant prospects to nonprofits.
Briggen moved to Durango in 2003 with 2 ½ year old twins. In 2005, she had another set of twins. She is very active in her children’s education and with the 9-R school district as a whole. She enjoys hiking, biking and watching her kids grow up in this amazing corner of the world.
Finance & Operations Director

ERIN MCGUINNESS

Erin manages our Foundation finances and oversees our fiscal projects.

Erin McGuinness is the Finance & Operations Director of the Community Foundation. Erin is a sixth generation Southwest Colorado native. She even has a street named after her family in Durango! She is passionate about giving back to the community and is proud to be raising her two boys with her husband here. She has been a part of the Community Foundation team since 2013.
In her spare time, Erin can be found writing historical fiction novels, backpacking or skiing with her family, or tending to her honeybees.
Marketing & Grants Director

TRACY POPE

Tracy heads up our marketing and grant management efforts.

Tracy Pope is the Marketing & Grants Director of the Community Foundation. Tracy has lived in Durango for 25 years and has been actively involved in many nonprofits in our area. She holds bachelor’s degrees in journalism and economics, with a background in communications and management. Tracy enjoys the opportunity to serve the nonprofit sector of Southwest Colorado in this role, expanding the culture of giving to meet the needs of our community.
She and her husband, Matt, have raised three children in Durango and are grateful for the many blessings Southwest Colorado has offered their family.

Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much.

Helen Keller

News & Updates

June 18, 2021 in News

Community Ambassador Award goes to our own Briggen Wrinkle

Congratulations to Briggen on her Community Ambassador award, recognizing her innovative, impactful work in our region.   https://youtu.be/y9bU-mNC1Ys
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June 16, 2021 in News

Community Concerts return to the Secret Garden in August

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May 19, 2021 in News

PRI Primer

How PRIs Work: A Basic Primer for Nonprofits PRI (Program-Related Investments), a low-interest loan, might be a good fit for your organization, especially if you have a project that requires…
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