MEET THE TEAM

Emily Bell, Managing Director

Emily Bell, Managing Director

Originally from Phoenix, Arizona, Emily Bell brings her experience working with both locally-owned, independent businesses and non-profits, as well as her passion for community-based solutions, to the her role as Managing Director of Local First.

Sarah Tober, Executive Director of Local First Foundation

Sarah Tober, Executive Director of Local First Foundation

As a nonprofit leader with almost 20 years in communications and business, Sarah Tober is focused on meaningful work that enhances the world for the the next generation.

Louise Snodgrass, Communications Manager

Louise Snodgrass, Communications Manager

With hands-on experience in digital strategy and communication for small businesses and nonprofits alike, Louise uses their skills to amplify Local First's mission of shaping a thriving, self-reliant, and resilient La Plata county.

Natalie Martin, Program and Membership Coordinator

Natalie Martin, Program and Membership Coordinator

Born and raised on the east coast, Natalie made her move to the beautiful Southwest seven years ago. Natalie brings her experience in sales, marketing, as well as her passion for the community's local business community and enviromental conservation to the Local First Team.

OUR BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Tim Wheeler, Board Chair

Tim Wheeler, Board Chair

A serial entrepreneur Tim has owned a consulting firm, the Durango Coffee Company retail store, and the Durango Compost Company. Over his career, Tim developed a passion for shaping the positive parts of our capitalist economy towards an environmentally and economically sustainable future.

Mary Oswald, Vice-Chair

Mary Oswald, Vice-Chair

Mary believes we all have a responsibility to create a community that values people, the planet, and prosperity.... the mission of Local First! Mary continues to own and operate San Juan Hand Therapy (est. 1996) while also serving as a Durango Nordic Ski Club board member, a member and past president of the Durango Daybreak Rotary Club, as well as a volunteer with many other Durango organizations that emphasize environmental stewardship.

John Lopez, Treasurer

John Lopez, Treasurer

John brings over twenty years of experience in public accounting, auditing nonprofit organizations as well as common interest realty associations, and as a board member of Local First, John supports the growth and development of local Durango businesses.

Lisa Mastny, Secretary

Lisa Mastny, Secretary

Lisa has devoted her career to advancing a more sustainable and equitable world, providing communications consulting to a variety of organizations including Food & Water Watch, the International Renewable Energy Agency, and New Dream. As a member of the Local First board, she welcomes the opportunity to support sustainable economic development in her community.

Peter Schertz

Peter Schertz

Peter has lived in Durango since 1989 with his wife, Andrea Avantaggio. Together they owned and operated Maria’s Bookshop for nearly 20 of the independent bookshop’s 33 years. Locally owned independent bookstores are often cornerstone members of Independent Business organizations and Peter has exhibited his passion for Local First, both as a business owner and a community member. Maria’s Bookshop is a founding business member of the Local First organization.

Ted Wright

Ted Wright

Ted moved from Phoenix to Durango in 1981 and has been a local attorney here ever since. With a focus on business and real estate during his practice, the perspective of the law has given Ted a unique look at our La Plata County economy and people. He was excited to join the Board in the summer of 2016 and was attracted by the truth of localism and the mission of Local First.

Kristen Muraro

Kristen Muraro

Kristen Muraro, the Sales & Marketing Director at Ska Brewing Company, and brings her 15+ years-experience in the event planning industry and 10 + years in the craft beer world to the Local First Board of Directors. Kristen also currently serves on the Conference and Events Committee for the Colorado Brewers Guild and the Market Development Committee for the Brewers Association.