Our Mission

To strengthen community through purposeful collaborations and partnerships that create authentic connection and fortify our local economy and the living systems that sustain us.

 

Our Values

Keeping it Collaborative. We believe that we’re “better together.” We actively work with members of the community on matters of common interest and shared values.

Keeping it Local. We believe that the core of a restorative and resilient economy is a commitment to place. We actively support local businesses, local farmers and local households.

Keeping it Positive. We believe in seeking out the best of the best. We look for positive examples, methods and ideals around our community and around the world to emulate and share.

Keeping it Innovative. We believe that the true test of an idea is in its implementation. We believe in continual learning and continual improvement through action and work that exemplifies the kind of world we want to live in.

Keeping it Fun. We believe in good friends and good times. We strive for balance with a playful spirit and open hearts and minds.

Keeping it Real. We believe in speaking from the heart and honoring the innate value in everyone. We listen to each other and we stay honest, candid, positive and flexible. 

 
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KRISTINA CASH - FOUNDER & CHIEF CONNECTOR

While growing up in rural southern Colorado, Kristina’s family and farming connection gave her a sense of connection and stewardship that has motivated her lifestyle and work to this day. After earning her Bachelor’s in Language Arts and Cultural Anthropology, Kristina worked for an Alaskan fishery, spent time on the West Coast and backpacked through Europe before landing in Fort Collins. Furthering her education by achieving a Teaching Certificate and Masters in Education Administration, she then jumped at an opportunity with a new company in town, New Belgium Brewing. Kristina wore many hats during her seven years with New Belgium before she started work with the Rocky Mountain Sustainability Fair. In three years, she grew fair attendance from 6,000 to 12,000 and built the event into the premiere sustainability fair in the West.

Kristina’s work as a community advocate and leader takes many forms. She has served on the boards of the Fort Collins Food Coop, Bike Fort Collins, Global Visionaries and The Growing Project. Before founding Fortified she served as Outreach and Fundraising Coordinator at Be Local Northern Colorado and worked closely with the national Local Living Economies initiative.

 
 
 

CONNECTOR CONTRACTORS

 

AMY ALCORN - MARKETING DIRECTOR AT ASPEN GROVE MARKETING

Amy Alcorn is the marketing addict, social media nerd and queen of collaboration and connection that makes Aspen Grove Marketing the premier Northern Colorado digital marketing superstar that it has become.
A social butterfly with a heart of gold and a mind like a steel trap, it’s Amy’s affinity for creating and fostering connections and her love for good people and local business that give depth and heart to a realm primarily powered by RAM and algorithms. There is nothing she would rather do than help local businesses connect with their customers and target markets through social media and email marketing… except maybe go for a run, take a stroll through Old Town or enjoy a tasty beverage and a local band.
In addition to her kind, colorful, and entrepreneurial spirit, Amy is also dedicated to volunteering her time and efforts to local causes that she is passionate about. She has been the Social Media Coordinator with the Sustainable Living Association since 2008 and is also the Co-Founder and Director of Marketing and Events at the NoCo Rebuilding Network.
Her love for the Northern Colorado community is palpable as is her desire to provide Aspen Grove’s customers with the utmost in digital marketing services, creating new connections, and promoting businesses in her network. The life of the party and enterprising powerhouse, you’ll definitely want Amy in your business’ corner.

 
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Jesse Anne Lee (Goin) - Jesse Anne Lee, LLC

Jesse Anne Lee (Goin) is a full-charge bookkeeper, specializing in small businesses and non-profits in Northern Colorado.

When she's not crunching numbers and helping local businesses with their day-to-day financials, she can often be found strolling around Old Town, heading up the Poudre, or hanging out on the front porch playing music.

 
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EMILY ZAYNARD - ART AND DESIGN

Emily is a creative director and a graphic, print, and web designer. She is the Creative Director for Rocky Mountain Publishing; producers of RM Parent magazine, 50 & Better magazine Bounty magazine and Ride magazine. She also works with Fortified Collaborations using print design to unite and engage lovers of local food, farms and all things Fort Collins.

Emily never begrudges herself a visit to a museum and is passionate about bringing a creative flavor to local community.