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Meet your Chamber of Commerce board candidates

Erin Jeansonne — Cloud 9 Chiropractic and Wellness Center.

I am originally a Midwest girl, born and raised in Bettendorf, Iowa. I have been in Colorado for 10 years, moving to Pagosa in 2007 from Durango when I bought Asay Chiropractic Center. I have a B.S. in sports medicine from CSU and a Doctor of Chiropractic from Palmer College of Chiropractic in Davenport, Iowa.

I am married to Mark Jeansonne and we have a 3-year-old son, Finley. As both a chiropractor and mother, I have a deep passion for prenatal and children’s health and love to play where I work including numerous outdoor activities such as hiking, camping, biking and many other activities that include my family.

As a Chamber board member I believe as a fair newcomer to the area I can bring a fresh perspective to the board as well as vitalistic ideas and enthusiasm. I have a drive and ability to bring people together and in today’s economy and environment, we must look at working together as a business community. Through wellness centered thoughts and attitude, we can work towards this goal. I look forward to bringing my talents to the board of directors if elected.

Madeline Lyon — Wild Spirit Gallery.

I was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, where after high school I entered the convent. I left after eight years and was married eight years after that. I have two children, John who lives in Silver Spring, Md., and a daughter, Anne who lives in Mechanicsburg, Ohio. My family here consists of two dogs and four cats — all adopted.

With a background in education: a Master of Arts in English, a Master of Education in counseling with a concentration in family therapy, I came to the Pagosa Springs area in 2005 where I taught at the St. Francis of Assisi Elementary School in Lumberton, N.M. Prior to my stint in New Mexico, most of my teaching was in Ohio. I also served as president and co-founder of Ashland Anodizing, Inc. in Ashland, Ohio. Through this experience and my work with McDonald’s Corp., I have honed my customer service skills and relationships and know what it is to build a company, manage a company and identify customer needs to enhance your business. While living in Lumberton, I discovered Pagosa Springs and would come up just for a change of scenery and reliable running water! I came upon the Wild Spirit Gallery, which was closed. I wanted to see this type of business succeed in Pagosa and had a yen to get back into business so I bought it. I have owned the gallery since 2007 and moved here full time in 2008. I am also on the board of the Pagosa Springs Arts Council, I am a Rotarian, and I am the chair of the school board of St. Francis of Assisi School in Lumberton. As a downtown business owner, I have a vested interest in doing all I can to enhance the community of Pagosa Springs. I have taken the Marketing for Smarties course to support my current retail endeavor. I believe we business owners need to be forward thinking and moving, open to new ideas, and constantly looking for opportunities to try new avenues of commerce. I hope to bring this business knowledge and enthusiasm for the future to the Chamber board for the next three years.

Paul Boyd — Wells Fargo.

I was born in the Bay Area of Northern California and grew up in Omaha, Neb. As an adult I’ve been a career banker and have worked in the financial services industry well over 25 years. I’ve worked in Oklahoma, Nevada and California, and spent the most of my career in Salt Lake City. In December of 2007 I moved to Pagosa Springs to work for a local bank as a senior commercial relationship manager. I feel the move to Colorado was the best opportunity I’ve ever had and the best decision I’ve ever made.

Recently I was asked to become a candidate for a board post with the Pagosa Springs Chamber of Commerce. This is a great honor and privilege to be even considered for this type of position. As a relative new comer to Pagosa Springs I feel I still can bring sort of a fresh point of view to the board. There is absolutely nothing wrong with the people of Pagosa Springs or the Chamber as it is today.

All we need is a stronger economy to help us meet our goals. I believe our community is only a couple years away from real economic recovery. Traditionally, resort areas such as ours are a year or two behind the curve when it comes to turning the economic corner. As board members we have to do our best to keep our local entrepreneurs here and bring in more. All my career I’ve tried to be a unifying voice in my community and propose to bring this attitude to the Chamber board. I’ll pledge to do whatever it takes to work with the town of Pagosa Springs, Archuleta County, PAWSD, AEDA and anyone else who truly wants to build a better society for us all.

Please remember: An entire community working together in truth and honesty, can’t lose.

Jon Zissman — Mountain Eye Care.

I was born and raised in Florida and moved to Colorado when I was 20 years old. Over the last 15 years, I have done a lot of skiing, a lot of schooling and finally found this amazing place to settle down, when I moved here three years ago to open Mountain Eye Care. This has been a wonderful place to get involved; I am a mentor with Big Brothers Big Sisters and also an active participant in the Rotary Club of Pagosa Springs. My wife, Alissa, and I have truly enjoyed being part of this community, getting to know so many great people, and taking advantage of almost everything Pagosa Springs has to offer. We have opened and grown a successful business — Mountain Eye Care, the only locally owned optometry office here in Pagosa Springs. Outside of work, I enjoy skiing, tennis, mountain biking and spending time with my family.

Lauren Cohen — Life Expansion Center.

I grew up in New York, just north of NYC. I moved to Atlanta for Chiropractic school and moved to Colorado 12 years ago. I spent the first 9 1/2 in Longmont north of Denver, and moved to Pagosa 2 1/2 years ago when I discovered that I was a small town girl at heart. I have built my practice helping people to restore their health by introducing a more empowering health care model and helping them reconnect to internal resources that allow them to have a greater experience of their life. Education is a foundation principle in my work and I write educational articles and lecture frequently in the community.

My educational background includes a degree in marketing and advertising in addition to my degree as a Doctor of Chiropractic. During my time in Longmont I was on the board of directors for the St. Vrain Valley Parenting Center, which was instrumental in bringing a “safe exchange” program for families in crisis to the Longmont community. I organized several in-office as well as community events such as Kids Day America, and I was awarded the Family Practice Excellence Award.

Running my own business for the past 12 years has brought me a wealth of knowledge about the needs of small businesses. I have honed my skills in many areas including business visioning, marketing, systems, team building, community outreach and events planning.

Todd M. Starr — Archuleta County Attorney

Prior to being appointed Archuleta County Attorney, Mr. Starr served as the President of the Starr Law Firm, P.C. and before that as President of Dyer, Dilts & Starr P.C.

Mr. Starr earned his B.S. in business administration from Graceland College, his Juris Doctorate from Creighton University and his LL.M in American Banking Law from Boston University.

Todd has served on the Board of Directors of the Lamoni National Bank and First Bank, NA as well as the Ken Caryl National Bank. He was active in starting the Lamoni Area Chamber of Commerce and has been an active member of the Cortez Area Chamber of Commerce. In addition, Mr. Starr has been selected for and completed Leadership Training programs with the Omaha Nebraska and West Jeffco (Lakewood) Chamber.

Mr. Starr is running for the board of directors because he believes that as the Pagosa community emerges from the current economic crisis and organizations such as AEDA redefine their mission and objectives, his experiences with other chambers and as a small business person will help lead the Pagosa Springs Area Chamber of Commerce in a manner that creates value for and return on the individual members’ investment.