Non-Profit in the Spotlight

Every month, Aspen Public Radio picks a non-profit in the Roaring Fork Valley that is focused on service and improving the community for all. Each week, you'll hear a different aspect of our Non-Profit in the Spotlight as they explain their mission, challenges, and successes.

Renee Solari is the Program Manager for Education Services at SunPower, a solar company that designs and manufactures high-efficiency photovoltaic cells and solar panels out of California. The company has a mission to provide tools and promote education to students around the country. Energetics Education, based in Carbondale, is a recipient of donated solar panels from SunPower. These panels are used by high school students in the Roaring Fork Valley to design and build solar-powered cars, or Solar Rollers. 

Jon Fox-Rubin is on the board of Energetics Education, a non-profit focused on inspiring kids to study, learn, and develop new methods of clean energy today and in the future. Fox-Rubin shares his personal history in engineering and his passion for Energetics Education.

Visit to learn more about Energetics Education and the Solar Rollers program.   

Noah Davis is the Executive Director of Energetics Education, a non-profit organization that brings energy education to high school students through the Solar Rollers program. High school teams comprising of six students sign up to participate in Solar Rollers. The teams are given a solar-powered car kit which they must design and build, and eventually race against other teams. The third annual race was held in the Big Horn Toyota parking lot in Glenwood Springs in May 2015. 

Energetics Education is a young non-profit organization based in Carbondale that works to bring energy education programs into high schools. Established in 2014, the organization has one program - Solar Rollers - that gives solar car kits to high schoolers and hosts a competitive race for the school teams in the spring.   

Noah Davis is the executive director of Energetics Education and shares his personal history in energy and education, and what inspired him to start the organization.

Mike Simmons, Chairman of the Aspen Science Center board, and Jackie Francis, Executive Director of the Aspen Science Center, share their vision for the future of the center. The organization hopes to build a science museum where visitors (both locals and tourists) can explore, interact, and discover. 

Learn more about the Aspen Science Center and their summer programs at

This summer the Aspen Science Center is offering a new program in conjunction with the Aspen Music Festival and School. The Science of Music is a four-part series of lectures and demonstrations. Alan Fletcher, President of the Aspen Music Festival and a board member of the science center, is leading the project. He gives listeners a sneak-peak into this exciting new series.   

Mike Simmons is the Chairman of the Aspen Science Center Board. He explains why hands-on experiments are the best way to educate and inspire people who are interested in science and learning about the world around them. Joining Simmons is Jackie Francis, the center's Executive Director. This week, we discuss the center's multitude of summer events for all ages and interests. 

Learn more about the Aspen Science Center's summer programs and events at

 In 1990, the Aspen Science Center was created as a horticultural project at the Aspen Community School. First known as The Verena Project, the idea soon blossomed into a larger, science-focused non-profit organization. George Stranahan is a co-founder and board member of the center, and shares the history and evolution of the organization. 

Learn more about the Aspen Science Center at

Improving access to dental healthcare for communities between Aspen and Parachute is no small feat. So it's safe to say that the Aspen to Parachute Dental Health Alliance has plenty of work ahead of them. Among with their strategies and goals are some challenges. Cristina Gair, Executive Director of the Dental Alliance, and Kelly Keeffe, the Regional Oral Health Consultant for the Dental Alliance, discuss the challenges and future of the organization. 

Learn more about the Dental Alliance and their programs at

Executive Director of the Aspen to Parachute Dental Health Alliance (APDHA), Cristina Gair, and Regional Oral Health Consultant, Kelly Keeffe, discuss the Smiles for Seniors program. The organization works with local dental hygienists to bring affordable preventative oral exams to senior centers in the Roaring Fork Valley. Gair and Keeffe also discuss the socioeconomics of tooth decay rates, and how the valley parallels the national trends. 

There's no denying that dental health care is expensive - it's often overshadowed by other health care needs and expenses. Carrie Godes, board member of the Aspen to Parachute Dental Health Alliance, explains why so many people overlook oral care and how the Dental Alliance is working to bring affordable care options to the Roaring Fork Valley. 

Learn more about the Aspen to Parachute Dental Health Alliance at

Although the Aspen to Parachute Dental Health Alliance is young, they have a handful of successful projects that are helping to bring education, prevention and access to oral healthcare from Aspen to Parachute. Carrie Godes is a member of the Dental Alliance board of directors and works for Garfield County Public Health. She shares the organization's history and programs. 

Learn more about the Aspen to Parachute Dental Health Alliance at

The Wilderness Land Trust grew from the small town of Aspen to the Western United States. In its 25-year history, the organization has turned thousands of acres of private inholdings into designated wilderness.  Executive Director Reid Haughey shares some of the organization's recent projects in California and their goals for the next 25 years. 

Learn more about The Wilderness Land Trust at

The Wilderness Land Act was created 51 years ago in order to "establish a National Wilderness Preservation System for the permanent good for the whole people, and for other purposes"  (1964).  

Jean Hocker has an extensive history in land conservation. She's the Chairman of the board of The Wilderness Land Trust and discusses the organization's current project of cleaning up The Painter Mine on Idaho's Salmon River. Hocker also shares the organization's challenges and goals. 

Twenty-five years ago, Jon Mulford, a lawyer from Aspen, was driven to start The Wilderness Land Trust after the purchase of a large private inholding, which the buyer intended to develop. The organization buys inholdings and sells the purchased land to the U.S. Government to be protected as wilderness. Since its founding in 1992, the organization has expanded from the Roaring Fork Valley to seven states in the Western U.S. 

Mulford discusses the history and progression of the organization. 

Meghan Hurley is the Mental Health Therapist at River Bridge Regional Center. She discuses her work with survivors of child abuse and how talk therapy can be the best method for healing. And Kerry Ach, the Community Outreach Coordinator, give details about Imagine 3, the organization's annual fundraiser on April 4th. 

Learn more about River Bridge at, and Imagine 3 HERE

Scott Turner is the Assistant District Attorney of the Ninth Judicial District in Glenwood Springs. He works with River Bridge Regional Center on child abuse cases. In this episode, Turner talks about the challenges and rewards of his job, and Mental Health Therapist, Meghan Hurley, shares statistics on local cases and offenders.  

Learn more about River Bridge at

Survivors of child abuse come to River Bridge after an allegation has been made, there's suspicion, or maybe they come years after an incident. The colorful little building is designed to make kids feels safe and give them the opportunity to share their stories and experiences. Kerry Ach is the Community Outreach Coordinator and Forensic Interviewer at River Bridge. She describes her job (both the rewards and the challenges).  

Blythe Chapman, the Executive Director of River Bridge Regional Center, discusses the center's history and importance in the Roaring Fork Valley Today. The nationally-accredited child advocacy center helps survivors of child abuse in Pitkin, Eagle, Garfield, and Rio Blanco counties. It is the only child advocacy center on the I-70 corridor between Denver and Grand  Junction.