AKA Colorado Rusty
I grew up near Chicago and moved to Colorado to finish high school. From there, I graduated at Colorado State University with a Bachelor's and Master's Degree in Consumer and Family Sciences.
I have over 30 years of experience as an Executive Director for a nonprofit organization providing affordable housing and a private family foundation supporting local nonprofits. I also served a decade as the Denver County Extension Director for Colorado State University. Most recently, I was serving as the Deputy Director for Broomfield County's Library Services and Cultural Affairs Division until COVID required furloughing the position and eventual elimination due to low tax receipts.
Along with my talented staff and teams, I have raised over $25 Million for nonprofits through grants and major gifts, and I have served on numerous grant-making committees for foundations and community initiatives. I have become fairly well-versed in facilitating community meetings, convening conversations, managing wicked problems, and organizing partnerships and collaboratives.
Over the years, I have served on over 100 committees related to affordable housing, urban agriculture, diversity and inclusion, affinity groups, Board of Directors, higher education, professional development, and more, and continue to work closely with nonprofits and their Boards of Directors helping them move from good to great.
Along with my higher-ed colleagues, I was fortunate to help co-found and formerly serve as Co-Chair for a national research center based out of Washington State University, the Western Center for Metropolitan Extension and Research. Here, I was able to publish an article in the Journal of Extension titled, "Hot Shots and Project-Based Extension.
Through this 30 years I have also been a real estate broker, owned my own firm, and worked for a reputable real estate company.
My kids and I also set up an LLC to own and operate a mobile hot dog cart, which we did for three years before selling the cart.
I am passionate about helping people in the community. This website is intended to teach people tricks from the trades that I have learned over time, both from observing and from personal experience. I have survived high's and low's in the industry and wish to share what I have learned.