Susan Connelly, Executive Director
Susan Connelly became Executive Director of the Colorado Chautauqua Association in September 2003 after a career that included being a land use and real estate lawyer in Florida and Illinois (1982-1995), Community Development Director for the Town of Vail, CO (1995-98), Deputy Commissioner in the City of Chicago Department of Planning and Development (1998-99), and Vice President for Community Design at McStain Neighborhoods in Boulder (2000-2003). Susan serves on the Boulder Convention and Visitors Bureau Advisory Board (including two terms as chair) (2005-) and the Boulder Chamber's Community Affairs Council (2010-), served on the Boulder Chamber Board of Directors (2009-2010) and on the Boulder Urban Renewal Authority (2001-2010). She was honored as the Chamber's Key Contributor in 2011.
Sue Brophy, Director of Finance and Administration
Sue Brophy became Director of Finance and Administration of the Colorado Chautauqua Association in April 2005. She is responsible for accounting, finance, human resources, risk management, information technology and administration of the Association. She is a licensed CPA and has worked in finance and accounting in both the private and public sectors for 20 years. Sue brings valuable expertise from previous experience working with seasonal, entertainment and other nonprofit businesses.
Ann Obenchain, Marketing and Development Director
Ann Obenchain was named Marketing and Development Director in March of 2010. Prior to joining CCA, she served as vice president of marketing and member services for Outdoor Industry Association (OIA), the premier trade association for companies in the active outdoor recreation business. At OIA, Ann led the strategic planning, direction and implementation of all association and member program activities related to marketing and communications, as well as market research, industry-wide educational and sustainability programs and fundraising for the national association. Prior to her time with OIA, Obenchain led the corporate marketing initiatives for brand leaders such as Kelty and Atomic Ski USA. She served on the Advisory Panel of the National Forum on Children and Nature, a program launched by The Conservation Fund dedicated to reconnecting kids with nature. She also served on the board of directors of the Outdoor Industries Women's Coalition from 2001 to 2005. Ann's expertise and interests align perfectly with CCA's mission to build community through unique cultural, educational, recreational and social experiences.
Jeff Medanich, Facilities and Preservation Manager
Jeff Medanich has been building, remodeling, restoring and preserving residential buildings for 35 years. For the 14 years before joining CCA in May 2008, Jeff was involved in the construction of new homes, working with Harvard Communities, a leading high-performance home builder, and with McStain Neighborhoods, a pioneer in the Green Building industry. Jeff has been a featured speaker at numerous national conferences including the U.S. Green Building Expo, the International Builders Conference, and the Urban Land Institute's national conference. He is certified by the U.S. Green Building Council as a LEED Accredited Professional, by Colorado State University as a Green Building Professional, and by Naropa University as a Permaculture Designer. He is a contributing editor for the Green Building Advisor. Jeff was inducted into the Colorado Built Green Hall of Fame in 2005. He is currently a member of the Berthoud Historic Preservation Commission and formerly was a member of the Lafayette Historic Preservation Board. He lives in a 110 year-old farmhouse.
Steve Watkins, Facilities and Preservation Associate Manager
Steve Watkins had his own construction company focusing on concrete flat work, residential home building, and general handyman work when he came to Chautauqua in 1986 to rehabilitate cottages, funded by a major CCA capital fund drive. He has held a City of Boulder Class C General Contractor license for more than 20 years. Steve has overall responsibility for the preservation, rehabilitation and maintenance of CCA's 26 acres of historic facilities and landscape. He has managed the capital budget and projects including the complete rehabilitation of 46 of CCA's 61 rental cottages (through 2006), various rehab/winterization projects on CCA's three "public" buildings (Community House, Missions House and Columbine Lodge) along with the three City-owned buildings (Dining Hall, Academic Hall, and Auditorium), and various grounds projects totaling $4.9 million. Of this total, $1,250,000 has been funded through grants from the Colorado Historical Society's State Historic Fund. During Steve's tenure, CCA has received several preservation awards from the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the Colorado Historical Society, and Historic Boulder, Inc., not to mention National Historic Landmark designation.
Bert Farin, Lodging Manager
Bert Farin joined Chautauqua in June 2002. He has worked in hospitality virtually his entire adult life, most recently at The Antlers at Vail hotel and condominium. Bert oversaw the total refurbishing of the Chautauqua cottages in 2003—all new beds, couches, tables, chairs and lamps—to create an entirely new look and comfort for Chautauqua's second century. During Bert's tenure, CCA has increased significantly the number of cottages rented on a nightly basis from September through May, moving from just eight cottages in 2003 to 16 in 2004-05 to 30 by fall 2006.