Basalt Chamber Staff
Kris moved to the Roaring Fork Valley from Boston, Massachusetts in late October 2016, following years of visiting Colorado and a summer working in Buena Vista. She received her undergraduate degree in graphic design and multimedia studies from Northeastern University and a Master’s degree in integrated marketing communications from Emerson College. During her 13 years in Boston, she worked in marketing and communications roles at higher education institutions at advertising agencies, as well teaching social media at the undergraduate level.
Kris is fascinated by the intersection of community, technology, society and the digital space, and how it can be leveraged to build personal connections and tell great stories. She moved to the Valley due to its great mix of job opportunities, recreation, culture, mountain town charm and natural beauty. Kris has found Chambers of Commerce to be the lifeblood of mountain communities. “Every day I feel so lucky to live here and have the opportunity to work and play in a beautiful postcard.”
Her interests include running, skiing, hiking, camping and being outside as much as possible. She loves traveling, especially visiting National Parks and adding stamps to her NPS passport. As a native New Englander and runner, she is back in Boston every Patriot’s Day, where she has volunteered for 10 years at the Boston Marathon, and is now the team captain for food distribution at the finish line.
Missy Morgan Hagen
Director of Events & Community Relations
Missy Morgan Hagen moved to the Roaring Fork Valley from Sunflower, Mississippi after receiving her BFA in Graphic Design & Commercial Art from Delta State University. Her resume encompasses jobs all over the Valley; among them Stonebridge Condominiums, Orthopaedic Associates, Rocky Mountain Institute and Fleisher Land & Homes. Missy is a regular volunteer for BASH, the Food & Wine Magazine Classic in Aspen, the Roaring Fork Conservancy and served on the Chamber Board of Directors from 2012-2014. She is also a member of the Bishop’s Committee for St Peter’s of the Valley Episcopal Church and of the Basalt PAC (Public Art Council). Missy’s interests outside of work include horses, art, books, movies and a fierce loyalty to Duke Men’s Basketball and Coach Krzyzewski. She lives in Lazy Glen with her husband, Marty, an independent computer consultant, and their two French Bulldogs, Coco Chanel and Roux. Missy and Marty travel to Iceland as often as possible.
“Working for the Basalt Chamber of Commerce is the perfect job for me as far as using everything I’ve learned over my career. Basalt is truly the jewel of the Roaring Fork Valley. How blessed I am to have a job for which I’m paid to brag about Basalt not only to visitors, but also to everyone who lives here!”
Bennett A. Bramson, MPA
Director of Business & Community Development
Bennett is a past Chairman of the Board of both the Basalt Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and the Aspen Board of Realtors and was named the Aspen “Realtor of the Year” in 2012, Basalt “Citizen of the Year” in 2013, and Pitkin County’s Greg Mace Award Winner as “Volunteer of the Year,” in 2013. He is an EcoBroker® with Aspen Snowmass Sotheby’s in Basalt. His book, BASALT: Images of America, was published by Arcadia Publishing in 2013.
Bennett holds a Master’s Degree in Public Administration and a Bachelor’s Degree in Parks & Recreation Administration, both from Florida International University. He has been honored by numerous organizations and universities, including being named as Colorado Mountain College’s 2016 Aspen campus, Faculty of the Year; Hands-On Miami of United Way of Miami-Dade County’s Volunteer of the Year in 2002; the Rotary Club of Aspen’s Tom Sardy Award winner; Honorary Rotarian and Paul Harris Fellow; Johnson & Wales University Faculty of the Year in 1997-98; and the Florida International University Alumni Association’s prestigious Torch Award recipient for Community Leadership in 2007, just to name a few.
Bennett resides in Basalt, Colorado.
2017 Chamber Board of Directors
Charles Spickert : Board Chair
Touchstone Business Advisers
Charlie uses his experience in start-up, management and the purchase/sale of businesses ranging in size from Main Street to $20 million, to build programs for small business members with whom he especially enjoys working. “I’ve always been involved in my community and professional industry,” he wrote, “and enthusiastically support the mission of growing the Basalt area as a destination for businesses, locals and visitors.”
Charlie is the Founder and Managing Broker of Touchstone Business Advisors, a full-service business brokerage and commercial real estate company. Prior to forming Touchstone, Charlie founded, grew to 55 employees, and eventually sold a medical education company. He has held corporate CEO, COO, Marketing and Product Management positions in the education, healthcare, internet/e-commerce, manufacturing, publishing and real estate sectors, and has served as a director of public, non-profit and private companies.
In addition to serving as Board Chair of the Chamber, Charlie serves on the Roaring Fork Valley Regional Planning Commission. He is a Colorado native with generations of family who settled in Delores, Cedaredge, Idaho Springs and Denver. Moving to Basalt in 2012 to a river property near Willits with his wife Diane, son Andrew, and Australian Shepherds, Tiva and Kona, Charlie enjoys working on his property, chasing bears out of the orchard, fishing, hiking, skiing and visiting his other son Cameron in New York City. (Term ends 12/31/17)
Catherine E. Markle : Vice Chair
Alpine Design & Planning, Inc
Cathy is President of Alpine Design & Planning, Inc., a local landscape architecture and land use planning firm serving the Valley since 1991. She is a licensed landscape architect with extensive land planning experience in the private and public sectors. She also provides pro bono assistance to various community organizations to help bring their voices to the elected and appointed officials. Cathy moved from California to Denver in 1972, then to Steamboat Springs during college at C.S.U., followed by Vail, Aspen and now, Emma. She is also proprietor of Emmadale Farms, a small farm producing greens for restaurants and the public.
With her background in land use planning and landscape architecture throughout the Colorado mountain resort communities, Cathy will help develop and enhance collaborative program between Eagle and Pitkin counties and the Town of Basalt and support the revitalization of the historic downtown core. She states: “This ambitious goal will involve a broader scope than just the downtown area, and will need to encompass our community needs and issues as a whole, to create and maintain a vibrant business and social community while assuring the most pleasant living circumstances we have.”
Cathy serves on the Roaring Fork Valley Eagle County Planning Commission, has also volunteered on the Wheeler Opera House Board, the Aspen-Pitkin County Housing Board, the Colorado Association of Homebuilders, and was former president of the Hunter Creek Phase II Board, representing 82 employee housing units in Hunter Creek. Cathy is an avid biker, hiker, skier, and Zumba-lover. (Term ends 12/31/17)
Elizabeth (Beth) Albert : Board Member
Elizabeth is Sales Manager for KSNO Radio having anchored in Basalt after 10 years as marketing director for Snowmass Tourism. Beth enjoys working with community stakeholders and developing branding, marketing and tourism programs. She was instrumental in developing the Snowmass Merchant Association, helped increase Snowmass Village sales tax revenues and occupancy to record levels and received numerous radio advertising awards. (Term ends 12/31/18)
Tim Belinski : Board Member
Tim is founder and president of Independence Ventures, a local real estate development company. Tim’s history includes having been a CPA with a national accounting firm and CFO of local skiwear company, Sport Obermeyer. Since 2007 he has overseen the local development activities for Willits Town Center in Basalt. Tim serves on The Wyly Art Center board as treasurer and has served on the board of trustees of Aspen Valley Ski and Snowboard Club and Valley View Hospital in Glenwood Springs. (Term ends 12/31/17)
Tracy Bennett : Board Member
Tracy owns Midland Shoe in Downtown Basalt. Currently in business of selling Sole for 23 years, Tracy has been in the Roaring Fork Valley for 36, landing in Snowmass Village from Edina Minnesota during Winterskol 1980. Needless to say, a lot has happened since those days. Tracy moved to Basalt in 1987, served on the “Chamber Board” in its early days, (mid 1990′s) and has seen it grow and mature into the talented organization it is today! Tracy served on the Basalt Town Council from 1998-2006 and is currently a member of the Town of Basalt Planning and Zoning Commission, President of the Basalt Downtown Business Association, and of course, the Basalt Chamber Board. She has a 23 year old daughter, Taylor Bennett, and is married to Robert Bennett. (Term ends 12/31/17)
RJ Gallagher : Board Member
RJ attended the Leeds School of Business at the University of Colorado in Boulder and graduated with a Bachelors Degree in Marketing and Finance before coming to the Roaring Fork Valley in 1980. RJ’s varied career has span upper management positions in radio, TV, hospitality, airlines, sales/marketing and real estate development. In 2009, RJ formed Forte International with Steve Laver. Forte is an Aspen and Denver based marketing, sales, creative, design, and communications firm. Forte provides their professional services for high-end real estate development projects and select clients in the resort, entertainment, hospitality, non-profit and travel industries on a global level. RJ is responsible for all of the day-to-day operations of Forte and its overall performance. RJ has been an active participant of the Roaring Fork Valley community for the past 35+ years, serving on many local organizations and boards. RJ also pens “Philantopia” a column for the Aspen Times on philanthropy and community involvement. He lives in Basalt with his wife Nancy and two adult children, Reilly and Bo. (Term ends 12/31/18)
Rob Martin : Board Member
Isaacson School for New Media
Rob is director of the Isaacson School for New Media at Colorado Mountain College (CMC), has a Master of Fine Arts in new media from Penn State and a Bachelors of Science in photography. He taught high school in Eagle County before and was an adjunct instructor at CMC before stepping into the role of the Isaacson School’s visionary new director. He’s worked in the forefront of new media for more than 20 years in such areas as photography, graphic design, web design and some programming. (Term ends 12/31/18)
Phillip Ring : Board Member
Ring Development Services
Phillip is the principal of Ring Development Services and member of the Town of Basalt’s Green Team. A graduate of Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University with a degree in Geography and Urban Affairs and Planning, Phillip worked for eight years for the City of Aspen/Pitkin County and Aspen Skiing Company. He looks to build community collaboration and business vibrancy, increase the Chamber’s support of young entrepreneurs and connect with the next generation of Basalt leaders. (Term ends 12/31/16)
Haley Eagers Thompson : Board Member
Haley is a freelance film editor and member of the MidValley Visionaries. Having grown up in Basalt, Haley looks forward to giving back by supporting Basalt events, leading community video projects and helping to increase local pride and vitality. A contributor to Basalt-based Eco Systems Design, Haley hopes to foster a stronger identity for local farming and permaculture in Basalt’s future. (Term ends 12/31/18)
Tony Thompson : Board Member
Tony has been president of Alpine Bank, Willits since 1993, specializing in commercial, construction and consumer lending. Tony has an MBA in Finance from Colorado State University. A former Basalt Chamber board member and secretary/treasurer, Tony is a long-time Basalt softball/baseball coach and supporter of such community organizations including the Colorado 500 and Basalt Education Foundation. (Term ends 12/31/17)
Schuyler Van Gorden IV, DDS : Board Member
Elevate Dental Wellness, PC
Schuyler is a practicing dentist and co-owner of Elevate Dental Wellness in Willits. Committed to educating the next generation and helping under-served populations he’s both an adjunct professor at the University of Colorado School of Dentistry and part-time practitioner at the Mountain Family dental clinic in Rifle. Schuyler wants to apply his leadership, organizational and fundraising skills to help the Basalt Chamber better serve the local community. An avid angler, Schuyler is a member of Ducks Unlimited and Trout Unlimited. (Term ends 12/31/16)
Amanda Wagner : Board Member
Amanda is Executive Director at the Aspen Clinic and an adviser to Health Links Colorado. A Valley native, Amanda’s passion is promoting comprehensive workplace health and wellness programs. A certified health coach and former manager at the Roaring Fork Club for eight years, she is the president of My Community Health Foundation and chair of the Basalt Chamber’s Well Workplace initiative committee. (Term ends 12/31/18)
Ex-Officio Board Members
Bank of Colorado Mortgage
Cole sat on the Basalt Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors from 2012 to 2014 serving as Secretary/Treasurer, Chair-Elect and Chair. During this time he was instrumental in building the Chamber as an advocacy organization for local businesses and encouraged leadership to take political positions in support of its members and the business community. He helped then CEO Heather Smith to maintain the Chamber’s strong financial position in the years following the 2008 economic downturn, helped secure a Town grant in 2014 to support marketing, chaired the committee for the Fly Fishing Team USA National Competition, and at times served as a liaison between various developers and the Town.
Cole has worked in the banking industry since 2002 and has been with Bank of Colorado since 2005. After moving to Basalt in 2010, he quickly built strong ties to the Basalt community and was a dedicated volunteer. Now living in Grand Junction, CO, Cole enjoys skiing, running and hiking and is all geared up and ready to go for the upcoming ski season!