STAFF

Doug McCarthy, Interim Executive Director and Healthcare Advocate

Doug McCarthy, M.B.A., is a longtime resident of La Plata County, a local business owner, and a healthcare policy expert. As Healthcare Advocate and member of the Healthcare Steering Committee, he supports our efforts to promote affordable local healthcare solutions in partnership with the Peak Health Alliance.

Doug has more than 30 years of experience in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors. He previously directed the Commonwealth Fund’s Health System Tracking team, which produces scorecards and case study research on promising practices in health care delivery. He was a public policy fellow at the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs and a leadership fellow of the Denver-based Regional Institute for Health and Environmental Leadership. He serves on the board of Colorado’s Center for Improving Value in Health Care and the advisory committee for the San Juan Basin Health Department’s Community Health Needs Assessment.

Please contact him at doug@local-first.org to learn more about local health insurance options for individuals and businesses, such as Individual Coverage Health Reimbursement Arrangements (ICHRAs). Through these options, local businesses are saving money and offering health insurance to their employees for the first time.

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Photo taken by Scott DW Smith

Ted Wright, Chair

Ted moved from Phoenix to Durango in 1981 and has been a local attorney here ever since. With a focus on business and real estate during his practice, the perspective of the law has given Ted a unique look at our La Plata County economy and people. He was excited to join the Board in the summer of 2016 and was attracted by the truth of localism and the mission of Local First.

Ted believes in unity without uniformity and diversity without division — seemingly contradictory things that form a dynamic and healthy tension essential for a thriving community. We are part of the rich mosaic of this planet, but we are nurtured right here where we plant our feet. Localism calls you to think like a mountain and act like a neighbor. See you in the mountains, neighbor!

Photo taken by Scott DW Smith

Tim Wheeler, Vice-Chair

With 18 years experience in engineering and management positions in the high-technology industry, a former Director of Marketing with Apple Computer in Hong Kong, in 1994 Tim moved to Durango with his family. A serial entrepreneur Tim has owned a consulting firm, the Durango Coffee Company retail store, and the Durango Compost Company. Over his career, Tim developed a passion for shaping the positive parts of our capitalist economy towards an environmentally and economically sustainable future.

Tim brings this perspective into his involvement in many Durango area activities. He is a Leadership La Plata Graduate (1996-97), served on the Board of Durango Natural Foods, the Durango Business Improvement District, Sunrise Credit Union, and the Durango Farmers Market. He is a founding Board member of the Southwest Colorado Renewable Energy Society, 4CORE, Local First, and participates in other economic development activities in La Plata County. He has an Advanced Management Certificate from the Wharton School of Business at U-Penn and an Electronics Diploma from DeVry Institute of Technology. Tim lives here with his wife of 34 years, Ann.

Photo taken by Scott DW Smith

John Lopez, Treasurer

John is an owner and Tax Manager at FredrickZink & Associates. He handles tax preparation, audits, accounting, and consultation for the firm. John brings over twenty years of experience in public accounting, auditing nonprofit organizations and common interest realty associations, along with the preparation of business, nonprofit, and individual tax returns. John grew up and attended school in Texas. He entered the field of public accounting in the mid-90’s when he relocated to Southwest Florida, prior to his move to Durango in 2012.

John and his partner enjoy hiking, skiing, and biking with their three dogs. As a board member of Local First, John supports the growth and development of local Durango businesses. “It all adds up to people partnering with people to achieve results.”

Kip Koso

Kip grew up in Durango as a Riverview Eagle, Smiley Saint and Durango Demon before moving away for undergraduate and graduate school. He and his family had to move away at times for school or work, but always knew they would be back to live in La Plata County.

Kip has been in the health and wellness industry for over 30 years starting at a health club folding towels to his current work as a consultant. He spent 9 years as Director of the SunUte Community Center for the Southern Ute Indian Tribe where he and his team embraced a community focused perspective that he still uses to this day in his work. In 2016, Kip moved back to Durango for the final time (fingers crossed) and currently works remotely as a consultant for UPMC which is a large medical organization based mostly on the East Coast. He works consulting with large companies to help them develop programming in health and wellness as well as health plan design and overall benefits design for the improvement of their employees. Impact rather than just participation drives his benefits work and personal philosophy when it comes to people and organizations. He firmly believes organizations need to be changing lives for the better from the work they do, or we are all just using up budget and time that we cannot afford.

Frank Lockwood – Board Member