Advisory Committee

Cindy Williams – Committee Chair

Cindy is Co-lead of Envision Chaffee County and was instrumental in funding, planning and advancing Envision’s community outreach that led to the passage of Ballot Issue 1A, which generates revenues for the Chaffee Common Ground Fund.

She currently facilitates and leads community convener programs for Envision that address quality-of-life concerns identified by residents: Community Wildfire Protection Plan implemented by the Envision Forest Health Council; and the Chaffee Recreation Plan led by the Chaffee Rec Council and developed through the Envision Recreation in Balance program. She also serves on the Dean’s Council, Warner College of Natural Resources, Colorado State University.

Cindy was named Heart of the Rockies Chamber of Commerce Woman of the Year in 2019, nominated by Chaffee County Commissioner and Envision Co-lead Greg Felt, who called her a “Force of Nature” in her volunteer work. She has extensive leadership and community engagement experience across 17 countries as the former vice president of Newmont Mining’s global exploration and business opportunity creation division.

Rick Hum – Committee Vice-chair

Rick is a former deputy director of Great Outdoors Colorado, where he worked to develop conservation easements and open space grants across the state. As a former Summit County Commissioner, he is experienced in land use, planning and community development, and wrote that county’s trails plan. 

He served as chair of the Marijuana Excise Tax Advisory Board (METAB) until his appointment to the Chaffee Common Ground Community Advisory Committee and served on the Chaffee County Community Foundation board of directors. His experience in water quantity and quality management is employed as chair of the Water Quality Control Commission and president of the Mesa Antero Water Association. The WQCC regulates quality on all waters in Colorado. The Mesa Antero Water Association provides a central water system for 110 homes in the subdivision. 

Rick worked on ranches in New York, Illinois and Washington state as a hand until he was 30 years old. He taught business and computer classes at Colorado Mountain College for 15 years. He has lived full-time in Chaffee County since 2015. He participated in all phases of the Envision process and assisted in advocating for the 1A tax initiative.











Michael Hannigan

Michael is a fourth-generation Colorado native who served for 18 years as CEO of the Pikes Peak Community Foundation, where he oversaw grant distributions totaling nearly $100 million. He has nearly 40 years of experience in the nonprofit sector and served as the interim executive director of the Chaffee County Community Foundation.

Michael founded and served as managing director of Aspen Valley Ranch in Woodland Park. The 300-acre ranch is a wildfire training center for professionals and homeowners, among many other activities. He helped preserve and manage the historic Venetucci Farm in Colorado Springs, gaining experience in water rights, private land conservation, and support for local food-oriented entrepreneurial efforts.

He managed the Emergency Relief Fund that aided the Pikes Peak Region after the Waldo Canyon and Black Canyon fires and resulting floods in Manitou Springs and Colorado Springs. He is a member of Chaffee County Search and Rescue-North, and has lived full-time in Chaffee County since 2017.












Kit Kuester

Kit was born in Salida to a 7th-generation pioneering and ranching family. She graduated from Salida High School having served as only the second female Student Body President. She attended the University of Colorado in Boulder as a member of the President’s Leadership Class and graduated with a B.A. in Anthropology.

After moving back to Salida, Kit worked as a Real Estate Broker for SkiCo and United Country Real Estate offices. She was elected to the Chaffee County Board of Realtors. She served on the Board of Directors and on event committees for the Alliance for over twenty years, and served two terms on the Board of Directors of the Heart of the Rockies Chamber of Commerce.

Kit is a member of Ascension Episcopal Church in Salida, and her three children graduated from Salida Schools. As a long-term resident of Chaffee County, she enjoys having a part in how the future looks for the county as a member of the Chaffee Common Ground Citizen Advisory Committee.


Ben Lenth

Ben has worked in the field of land conservation for nearly 20 years, including 10 years with nonprofit land trusts including his current role with Colorado Open Lands. Prior to that, he served as executive director of San Isabel Land Protection Trust in Westcliffe. Ben has worked with hundreds of landowners on conservation planning, and has raised and managed more than $7 million for land protection, forest and stream restoration, and other conservation and nonprofit capacity projects across the state.

Ben has lived in Chaffee County with his family since 2015, after moving from Westcliffe where he served as vice-president of the Custer County Conservation District and managed a working ranch. Ben has a master’s degree in ecology from Colorado State University, has worked as a wildlife biologist for the US Forest Service, and served in the Peace Corps in Mexico, where he focused work on quantifying and marketing ecosystem services. 

Brinkley Messick

Brink has been employed in the outdoor recreation and conservation fields since 2003. His experience includes positions with Volunteers for Outdoors Colorado and Colorado Mountain Club. He has worked to expand trail-based recreation in Chaffee County for more than a decade, and he also participated in the Envision Recreation in Balance Task Force.

Brink’s volunteer work includes the Monarch Community Outreach board, where he managed small community grants. He also was a board member of San Luis Valley Great Outdoors, a recreation, land management and tourism initiative launched in 2012 to provide residents and visitors accessible outdoor opportunities and to encourage stewardship.

He has worked on ranches in Colorado and North Carolina as a head wrangler and farmhand. He lived in several small rural agricultural communities in Honduras while working as an intern for the United Communities Organization. He has lived in Chaffee County since 2006.

Andrew Richardson

Andrew is an agricultural operator and fifth-generation Colorado rancher who has served as president of the Chaffee County Cattleman’s Association and Farm Bureau Chaffee County Mid-Mountain District. He and his family have been farming and ranching in Chaffee County for nearly 20 years, producing hay and running a cow/calf operation and a grass-fed beef program.

Andrew is an active member of Salida Grace Church. He holds a degree in landscape architecture from Colorado State University, is a former commercial rafting guide, and an avid hunter, fisherman, and whitewater boater.

Commissioner Greg Felt – Liaison for the Citizens Advisory Committee

Greg Felt is Chairman of the Chaffee County Board of Commissioners and liaison to the Common Ground Citizens Advisory Committee. He also serves as Co-Lead of Envision Chaffee County and was a driving force behind the ballot measure which authorized funding for the program.

A fly-fishing guide and outfitter for over 30 years (co-owner of ArkAnglers, LLC), Greg has had a deep and lasting involvement in natural resource issues and water planning. He has served on the state’s outfitter licensing board, the Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area Citizen’s Task Force, and the Colorado Advisory Board for the Trust for Public Land. In the water world, he is Vice Chairman of the Board for the Upper Arkansas Water Conservancy District, represents Chaffee County on the board of the Southeastern Colorado Water Conservancy District, and was appointed in 2020 by Gov. Jared Polis to serve as the Arkansas River Basin representative on the Colorado Water Conservation Board.