Leadership


Chairman

Paul Machmuller, Chairman, of  Walsenburg, has been with the southern Colorado branch of Fuller Western Real Estate since the beginning of his real estate career back in 2004.

Paul graduated Front Range Community College with an AS Degree in Marketing and Sales. He also has sales training from the Dale Carnegie course.

Rising through the ranks, Paul has distinguished himself and risen to the position of Regional Manager of the southern Colorado office of Fuller Western Real Estate, where he oversees an office of eight people . Paul holds an Employing Broker license through the Colorado Real Estate Commission. He has extensive experience in most sections of the real estate market. Farm, ranch, land and recreational real estate are his preferred areas of  interest, but has participated in numerous residential, commercial and investment properties. Staying up-to-date on market trends and education, he is fully versed in contracts, 1031 exchanges, tax and legal requirements of real estate.

He has been married to Jeana Machmuller since 2000, raising children Bradley, Breanna and Nicole. Enjoys outdoor activities, hunting, fishing, hiking. Lives on a small property in Huerfano County and loves the area and community.


Vice Chairman

Keith Varner, Vice-Chairman, has been in professional executive management for over 29 years. A graduate of Fowler High School in 1978, he attended Otero Junior College in La Junta and majored in Business Administration and Accounting. He topped off his education at the Colorado Graduate School of Banking in Boulder in 1987.

Varner began working in the banking business in 1983 in Rocky Ford. He trained in all aspects of the banking operations and in 1995 was the Senior Vice President / Director of First National Bank of Las Animas. He also served as Mayor of the City of Las Animas from 1992 – 1995.

From 1995 to April of 2001 he was the President/CEO of The First National Bank of Walsenburg. In 2001 Varner became the Chairman of the Board and President/CEO of SCNB, Inc., and Vice-Chairman and President/CEO of SCNB, Inc. in Pueblo until 2009. In February 2010 he became a financial advisor for the Edward Jones financial services office in Pueblo. Varner has been an active community leader in the areas in which he has lived . Varner has served on many nonprofit boards in southern Colorado, including the Bent County Memorial Nursing Home, the Huerfano County Correctional Facility Authority, the Board of Directors of the Independent Bankers of Colorado and Parkview Hospital Foundation Board of Directors. Varner has been tasked by several Colorado Governors to serve on such task forces as Governor Romer’s Conference on Small Business tour and John Hickenlooper’s TBD Colorado program in 2012. Bringing jobs to the southeastern part of Colorado has been foremost in Varner’s volunteer efforts on both the Bent County Economic Development Foundation in Las Animas and the Economic Development Board in Walsenburg, as well as the Pueblo Development Foundation.

He believes in many good things going on in Walsenburg and helped formulate the Spanish Peaks Community Foundation where he serves as the Vice-Chairman. Varner has two daughters Erica and Michelle.


John Galusha, Director, a native of Pueblo, has long time roots in the Pueblo and Custer County area. His great grandfather moved to the area in 1884 with the railroad, his grandfather was born on the St Charles Mesa and worked for C F & I most of his life, and his father worked at the Pueblo Army Depot until retirement.

Galusha went to Pueblo County High School graduating in 1973, attended CSU-Pueblo and graduated in 1988 with a Bachelor of Civil Engineering Technology degree. After classes in Phoenix, Salt Lake City, Indianapolis and Oklahoma City Galusha graduated in 2005 from Oklahoma University’s Economic Development Institute.

Galusha was an equipment operator in the US Navy SeaBees. He worked as the District Engineer and Public Works Director at the Pueblo West Metro District from 1992 to 1998. He was the Assistant Director for the Southern Colorado Economic Development District (SCEDD) from 1998 to 2006. He became the County Administrator for Huerfano County in 2006 and remains in that capacity today.

Galusha has been associated with the Friends of the Pueblo Library District from 1998-2000, the Pueblo West Metro District Board of Directors 2001-2005, was a State representative to the Colorado Business Retention and Expansion International 2004-2006, and currently has been appointed by Governor Hickenloooper to the 3rd Judicial District Review Committee. He is on the Board of Directors for the Walsenburg Golf Course. He holds mining interests in the Custer County area.


Gretchen Sporleder Orr, Director, has deep roots in southern Colorado, her great-grandfather having come to Huerfano County in 1874. She graduated from Dartmouth College with degrees in Geography (emphasis on rural economic development) and Native American Studies, followed by graduate study in Geography at the University of Waikato, New Zealand. She returned to the U.S. and became a field editor and sales representative in the college textbook division of Prentice Hall, first in Salt Lake City, then in Boston. In 1989, Gretchen returned home to realize her dream of editing and publishing with Western Spirit, a glossy, four-color travel and tourism magazine promoting southern Colorado and northern New Mexico (1991-2000). While raising four small children, she continued work as office manager, advertising director and financial manager for several local, national, and international companies. She and her husband, Brian, launched the Huerfano Journal newspaper in 2007 and eventually purchased the Huerfano World newspaper, the oldest business in the county, to create the Huerfano World Journal, an employer of 20-25 part time local writers.

Gretchen is involved in many community organizations. She is on the Re-1 School District Accountability Committee, the John Mall High School Accountability Committee, and spent 13 years as a Girl Scout leader. She is co-director and dance instructor for Huerfano County’s 75 year old El Fandango Folklorico group.

She was involved in a grassroots effort that stopped the demolition of Walsenburg’s historic Huerfano County High School building, and helped arrange for the Spanish Peaks Library to take ownership. The facility has been extensively remodeled and has received statewide recognition for Walsenburg.

Gretchen is married to co-publisher and business partner, Brian Orr. Mother of four children, aged 11 to 19, she is chief cook and bottle washer.


Staff

Mike Peters, Executive Director

Your participation with the Spanish Peaks Community Foundation will make a big difference in the lives of people in Huerfano County and in the future of our economic health and vitality. Become a member today!