CMC Spring Valley Alumnus (2007)
Yesenia Arreola graduated from Colorado Mountain College in Glenwood Springs-Spring Valley in 2007 and went on to pursue a Bachelor of Science in accounting from Regis University in Denver. Since 2013, Arreola has served as the youth outreach coordinator at Colorado Mountain College. Her role provides a resource for minorities and first-generation students wishing to pursue higher education.
Arreola is currently enrolled in the Western Colorado Master of Social Work Program through the University of Denver. She has had the honor of meeting President Barak Obama and continually serves as a source of inspiration to the students she mentors. In addition to her studies and busy career, she balances being a wife and mother, striving to serve as an example.
Colorado Alpine College Alumnus (1969)
Brian Allen has held a variety of roles in his 31 years as a real estate professional, from agent to trainer to manager to co-president of the Windermere Real Estate Services Company. He is currently president and co-owner with his wife Joan, of Windermere Stellar, Oregon’s largest Windermere real estate agency. He has 375 agents in 11 offices in the Portland metro area, Vancouver, Wash., and two offices on the northern Oregon coast.
Allen fulfills Windermere’s principle of community service through active leadership and volunteer work for various local nonprofit organizations, including New Avenues for Youth, and helps oversee the local Windermere Foundation, which supports organizations that help low-income and homeless children and families. In addition, Allen has served six years on the board of directors for the Regional Multiple Listing Service, was the 2005 chairman of the RMLS, and has a leadership role in the Windermere Owners Council serving Oregon and southwest Washington. Allen served three years on the Portland mayor’s Operation HOME committee to increase minority homeownership.
In addition to parenting eight children, Allen has created a thriving business and supported the community around him. Allen’s success and outstanding community service set him apart as a CMC alum.
I was one of Christine’s outdoor leaders on the Mountain O trip. She had just moved out from Connecticut to begin college at CMC. I am from the Roaring Fork Valley and was a “multi-year” student at CMC when we met. We both felt a friendship connection on that trip as we did with most of our trip members. It was a few months into the school year that our friendship began to deepen.
In addition to her other studies, Christine also became an outdoor leader. For the next two years, CMC became the foundation to not only our relationship but it fostered our love and understanding of our natural and wild places.
Bob Kelley, Gary Zabel, Jay Zarr, and Len Trusedale were all incredibly influential and highly talented teachers and mentors to both of us. These staff members showed they were at CMC because they LOVED what they taught and it showed in their classes and actions. It is because of these individuals, educational stewards, that Christine and myself developed such an intrinsic passion for science and wild places.
We finish our studies at CMC and both enrolled and began classes at Colorado State University in Fort Collins. Christine began her pursuit of a bachelor’s degree in wildlife biology, and I embarked on a path that would lead to a bachelor’s degree in exercise and sport science with an emphasis on sports medicine.
During the summer break, Christine became involved with the Student Conservation Association (SCA) and she landed a summer internship with the Ranger Naturalists of Glacier National Park in northwestern Montana. This became a regular summer gig for her except it mutated into a paid seasonal position with the National Park Service as a Ranger Naturalist.
I remained in Fort Collins for the most part, except for the occasional 2,000 mile round trip to visit her in Glacier! But during one of my summertime rambles around Fort Collins, I came upon a home brew supply store and wandered in. The home brewing bug bit me, hard! Soon I was home brewing almost every weekend. In Christine’s words “stinking up the entire apartment!”
I was fortunate enough to land a job at a small microbrewery in Fort Collins, the H.C. Berger Brewing Company. I started as the weekend keg washer and, a few years later, left as their gold-medal winning head brewer. Christine, all the while was continuing her career with the Park Service at Glacier National Park as well as being a Ranger Naturalist in Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado.
We married in 1996, moved to Windsor, Colorado, and had our first daughter. I was taking a break from the brewing world and working with an old brewing buddy at his residential and commercial remodeling company while Christine was a stay-at-home mom. The remodeling work was financially rewarding, but we both began to feel more and more like strangers in a flat land. We knew we had to get back into the mountains.
An opportunity dropped from the skies in the form of a job offer to brew for a small brewpub in Telluride, Colorado. We jumped at the chance and, a handful of weeks later, we had our town home on the market, moving van loaded up and we headed to our new home, Norwood, west of Telluride.
The three of us settled into a happy life in our 110-year-old miner’s house above 7,000 feet, feeling very much like the characters from the novel “Tom Boy Bride”. I was brewing away and Christine was working as an executive assistant to a high-end property developer. We both, however, continued to feel the pull northward from Montana.
Years before, during one of those road trips to Glacier when I would drive Christine up for the summer, I experienced an epiphany in broad daylight between Rock Springs and Pinedale, Wyoming. “The Glacier Brewing Company”.
In a flash, I knew the brewery’s look, the beer names, location, everything! I filed this away until one fateful day in Telluride when Christine and I were having lunch with her brother Bob. Bob was stopping by on his way out of Colorado to move to Flathead Lake, Montana. He knew about the “Glacier Brewing Idea” from previous discussions and we began to talk about it again at this lunch. One of us finally said “We should either build this brewery or never speak about it again!”. A hush fell over our table; we all knew we were going to build this brewery.
That was in 2002. Since, we have had a second daughter and have moved to Polson, Montana, on the southern shores of Flathead Lake. It was also in late 2002 that we did, in fact, open the Glacier Brewing Company.
Christine has become a well-respected, much-loved, fourth-grade teacher at our local elementary school. I am currently guiding our brewing company through its 15th year in operation. Our oldest daughter is heading off to Washington State University in the fall (we pushed HARD for CMC with her!) and our youngest will be rocking her high school as a sophomore.
From our formative years at CMC to the present, the two of us had sought out the wild lands to explore and have raised our daughters to recognize and appreciate the beauty and importance of these places. The four of us roaming over, around, and through enchanted places like Zion, Arches, Hunter/Fryingpan Wilderness, Glacier National Park, Arcadia National Park, and hundreds and hundreds of similar places. Including just last week when the four of us awoke at 12:30am to climb the glacial moraine behind our house so we could watch the Aurora Borealis dance across Flathead Lake!
It truly has been our experiences at CMC that have shaped our life decisions and directions as well as forged us into the people we are today. Our love for the wild places, our respect for our natural world, and our commitment to one another all began with our lives at Colorado Mountain College.
When Sue Daley started with Colorado Mountain College in the early 70’s, the college’s footprint in Summit County wasn’t more than a small studio condo.
“I moved to Breckenridge where my brother and his friends were working as carpenters,” recalls Sue. “And I didn't know what I was going to do.”
But when she saw a newspaper ad for a director of continuing education at CMC, she jumped at the chance. Well, more like she ran to the nearest payphone.
“I found a payphone and called and arranged an interview and, actually, I got the job because I was the only person that had any experience in Continuing Education,” says Sue, who retired in 2015 after 42 years with CMC as a full-time staff member, contractor, and finally regional development officer in west Garfield County for the CMC Foundation.
Through the years, as the college’s footprint continued to grow in the High Country it only brought the community closer together. Continuing education had caught on in a big way and Sue looked to find a permanent home for CMC in Breckenridge.
She set her sights on an old brick building built at the turn of the century that had served as the public high school, the fire station, and most recently, the town hall.
Money was tight, so she called on community members, who volunteered their time to work on the building and who also donated furniture.
“It was just a high energy, fun, great way to put a college together,” notes Sue.
“And the cool thing about it was the community was so invested, not only from teaching there, helping, or whatever; but physically washing windows and laying carpet.”
People would bring things by and “leave them on the doorsteps,” she said. Sue managed the remodeling work with the contractors and even varnished the gym floor herself.
“Everything that we could do anything with, we either turned into cash or we put it in the new center,” she says.
But the strangest request came from Copper Mountain when they ask Sue if the college wanted a cement mixer.
“So I thought, ‘well, we could certainly maybe use it to mix clay,’” recalls Sue. “We had a big ceramics program.”
Come to find out, it was a 1949 Autocar cement mixer truck with a big, tumbling cement mixer on the back of it.
And it didn't run.
“But we did advertise it, and we were able to sell it,” Sue says. “I can't remember how much money we got for it, but that went into the pot.”
The building was finished in 1977 and named for then CMC President Elbie Gann. The CMC center boasted dance, ceramics and photography studios, an art department, classrooms and the Breckenridge Branch of the Summit County Library.
Sue retired from CMC in June 1982, and went on to publish Summit Magazine and form an advertising agency, Cope, Daley, McCrea, that marketed Breckenridge. She later moved to a ranch near Silt and worked for the CMC Foundation, where she was instrumental in securing several million dollars in gifts to support students and a new facility in Rifle.
CMC Made My Life!
In 1979, working as a janitor after graduating from high school in Denver, I had an epiphany one day while eating lunch in my janitor's closet: "I need college!" Having been a thoroughly disengaged student to that point, I hoped to find a school that could inspire, guide, and help me find my passions (as well as accept my poor high school transcripts). CMC to my rescue!
I loved the mountains and skiing so enrolled in a ski conditioning class.
Day One: Instructor Roger Paris (pronounced Rogeé Pareé) rides up on his ten-speed bike, sporting a Speedo and running shoes, to the waiting 15 or 20 students. "Dis is zee ski condition class and we get in shape for zee ski— follow me.” We ran five miles, off-trail, in the hills surrounding campus.
Day 2: Six or seven students wait for Mr Paris. "Okay, we have weed out zee slow one, today we really go- follow me." At mile ten, struggling to keep up with the French Apparition, I knew I had found my inspiration. The next two years were filled with chasing Roger, deciphering algebra, acting in theater productions, and learning to love to learn. Graduating from the then two-year junior college program, I went on to Fort Lewis College, in Durango, to complete a Business Administration Bachelor's Degree with a finance minor, graduating cum laude.
Thirty-seven years later, with many years of US Kayak Team memberships, three National Champ titles, and several sales and marketing jobs in my wake, I find myself as an entrepreneur with several successful businesses, living in a great community, with a wonderful wife and family, and friendships that extend back decades. Most importantly, I'm still inspired. Inspiration that was sparked in those first days at Colorado Mountain College. CMC not only changed my life, it made my life. Thanks CMC!
Listen to the Radio CMC interview with Andy's mentor/tormentor Roger Paris and current Outdoor Education Faculty Johann Aberger: