The Roy Williams Foundation
Meeting 15 Minutes 11/13/2020 4:00pm MST
In-Person Meeting Poncha Springs Town Hall

 

Roll Call:

 Chairman: Zach Crevier- Present

 Vice Chairman: Dave Newton- Present

 

Board Members:

Zach Krause- Zoom Attendee

Alhaji Bangura- Zoom Attendee

Kit Steimle- Present

 

Alternates:

Matthew White- Present

Matthew Anderson- Absent

 

Secretary/Treasurer:

Bret Collyer- Present
 

Assistant Secretary:

Hailey Steimle- Absent


Other Departments or Organizations with Representatives in Attendance: Chaffee County
Sheriff, Salida PD, Salida Fire Dept, Colorado State Patrol, Chaffee County EMS, Chaffee County
Fire Protection District, Vuena Vista PD, Salida Elks Lodge, Solvista Health, Veterans
Administration (Zoom), Angel Wings Community Medicine, Veterans of Foreign Wars/Marine
Corps League, Chaffee County Commissioners, The Mountain Mail (newspaper)

 

Note: Meeting attendees were capped at 35 for COVID-19 compliance precautions. Social
distancing and masks were encouraged

 

Call to Order.
*Pledge of Allegiance:
*Greetings/Introductions:
Chairman Crevier addressed the group by thanking them for coming, especially with all of
the challenges the Covid-19 global (pandemic) has created. Crevier then shared the basic back-story
about what led to the Founding of the Roy Williams Foundation and how we got to this point.
Each member of the RWF then introduced themselves and gave a brief statement about why
they chose to help the organization. After Board Members in attendance introduced
themselves, the Zoom attendees, Bangura and Krause introduced themselves and gave an
opening statement.
Dr. Villareal from the VA attended via Zoom and introduced himself: “(I am) the Program
Director for suicide prevention for the VA, Eastern Colorado Health Care System, heading up an
8-person team of Mental Health Providers catering to the highest risk veterans. We are willing
to listen, learn and partner in any way possible to help you with your mission. Please don’t
hesitate to contact me for any reason as your team progresses”.

 

Please note: that the majority of attendees in the room already knew each other, so few
introductions were made as the meeting began. Largely, when a member had a question or a
comment, he or she introduced themselves to the Board.

 

Please also note; that the remote connections were not great and not everyone could clearly
hear the remote attendees, likewise, the remote attendees struggled to hear those present.

Chairman Crevier informed attendees that the Board will need to briefly conduct some general
business, then will open the meeting to discuss with everybody in order to receive their
input as to how the RWF may refine their mission to help the most people in crisis. Vice
Chairman Newton added that since we are a new organization and have met remotely since our
founding, that this was our first in-person meeting, he thanked all attendees for their patience
and understanding as we learned to conduct an official in-person meeting. Secretary Collyer
added that in an effort to be COVID safe, we have supplied everyone with a personal sign in
sheet so that everyone was not signing the same sheet. These sheets are also intended to be
used as scratch paper to keep notes and will be collected after the meeting. He encouraged
participants to use the paper to add information, such as websites, organizations and resources
that would be of benefit to the RWF as we refine our mission and our plans. Collyer also added
that due to the absence of our Assistant Secretary, that he will ‘have his hands full’ attempting
to accurately document and record the meeting contents and that the (aforementioned)
scratch paper will help him a great deal. Alternate Director White reiterated briefly his
appreciation for the attendees as they ‘bear with us’ as we learned to conduct a meeting,
noting that this is our first in-person meeting.

 

Additions, Deletions or Changes to the Agenda? None announced
 

Adoption of Meeting Minutes, Meeting #14 held on 10/18/2020
Vice Chairman Newton made a motion to adopt the meeting minutes; seconded by Director
Steimle. The minutes were unanimously adopted by the board.

 

Old Business:
Website update: Chairman Crevier reported that the Website traffic has increased 432% this
week due to advertising and outreach efforts and there has been a large spike in fundraising
activity.

 

Financial Report:
Crevier reported that as of this morning, our checking account balance is: $394.72
Savings account balance of: $4,521.13
Total monetary assets: $4,915.85
We will transfer appropriate funds to pay bills for this event.
Expenditures for the month are as follows:
Catering: $918.75 plus tip $81.25 =$1000.00
Reimburse Kit Steimle for business cards: $166.22
Newspaper Advertising: $378.00
Total projected expenditures for the month of November event: $1544.22

Leaving projected balance of: $3,371.63
Alternate Director White made a motion to pay the bills as outlined; seconded by Vice-
Chairman Newton. The vote to pay the bills was unanimous.

 

New Business:
Chairman Crevier then opened the discussion with the guests, noting that the general questions
are noted on the agenda in an effort to facilitate the conversation. Alternate Director White
addressed the group at length, his words expressed gratitude to all attendees, most of whom
are first responders who may experience PTSD because of the turmoil, extreme stress and
occasional violence they experience on a daily basis. Although, many former soldiers go into
law enforcement after discharge, many others find a different line of work when they return
home and only experienced a high level of violence for the relatively short period of time they
spent in the warzone(s). Vice Chairman Newton concurred and spoke about his admiration for
those in attendance noting that his family has a long history with being on the Volunteer Fire
Departments in their hometown. Adding that even that level of service can include a great deal
of stress.

 

County Commissioner Keith Baker voiced his appreciation for Veterans with PTSD noting his
military career as a Naval Commander. “Compared to you all, my career was pretty easy”. He
talked about how PTSD has always been an after effect of violence and the terminology about it
has evolved; for instance, it used to be known as “Shell-Shock”. He stated that though he could
empathize with combat veterans, it was difficult for him to sympathize with them because
although he was involved in conflict, from a command structure post, he never personally
experienced the horrors of battle. He mentioned the rising suicide rate amongst Veterans and
First Responders and speculated that these statistics were most likely growing rapidly due to
the added stresses of the necessary isolation due to the Pandemic. He added that he was very
interested in the subject of mental health care and crisis intervention and was willing to help in
any way possible.

 

   1) How can we find and complete Crisis Intervention Training either in-person or online?
Mandy Kaisner with Solvista Health spoke about a “Mental Health First Aid” program that
she can direct us to and facilitate, the program can be completed in 8 hours or less. She
referred to another de-escalation and referral training strategy known as “Question-
Persuade-Refer” (QPR) that can be completed in about 90 minutes. Many of these and
similar programs can be completed online, especially now with Covid precautions. She
expressed that she is willing to help our organization in any way that she can. Including
finding and applying for grants.
Leo Flores (Salida PD and Angel Wings) and Dr. Michelle Flores (Angel Wings Community
Medicine) Spoke about the issues and mentioned multiple websites and resources that
would help us out. They spoke (some inaudible) about their practice with Angel Wings
Community Medicine and counseling services they provide. And their love and appreciation

for their colleagues. Noting that it takes a certain type of person to take on these stressful
professions.

 

   2) Recruit people willing to undergo training and furthering their education? There was a
general discussion about formal “Peer Support Groups” with Director Steimle stating
that we ‘need to look at local police departments and find a way to help them organize’.
Leo Flores (Salida PD/Angel Wings CM) replied that, ‘We have tried to keep one going,
but there wasn’t that much participation, we are willing to keep trying’. Steimle noted
that he came from a very large PD and that most likely made it easier due to the fact
that there were more people available
   

   3) How to merge civilian Crisis Intervention Specialists in good standing with First
responder and social service organizations?

A general discussion was had about the current situation, since these are trying times in
our country with the pandemic and social unrest. Director Steimle stated that Defund
the police is becoming a national movement. Though the sentiment is understandable,
in practice it can easily go awry. If you have a mentally troubled person in the middle of
the street, high on PCP with a butcher knife, you have to have police officers deal with
the situation before it is safe for a social worker or mental health professional to
interact with him. Commissioner Baker spoke about the need to have more qualified
people who care and have basic Crisis Intervention Training. And the will and desire to
further their education. Secretary Collyer asked Commissioner Baker whether the
County would be interested in helping the RWF financially. Baker replied that will
remain to be seen based on what the future holds and how the organization evolves. He
added that the County could most definitely be counted on to help write letters of
support and advocacy to aid the RWF. Mandy Kaisner spoke (inaudible) about how she
aided the county in writing a grant for a co-response program and reiterated that she
would be willing to help as needed. Dr. Michelle Flores spoke in agreement and offered
to help (but mostly inaudible). There was then some discussion about how hard it can
be for some people to admit that they are struggling and need some help. Josh Hadley-
CCEMS Director said “We are supposed to be tough and we are tough, but sometimes
we all need some help, we need to be strong enough to admit it”. Director Steimle
spoke about the more training you have and the more peer support you engage in, the
easier it is spot someone in trouble. Adding, that in a lot of ways, like many of you, I
have been closer to some of my coworkers than I am with members of my family
because of the experiences went through together at work. For example, if you go out
drinking with a friend on the weekend and he gets so drunk that he passes out
everytime; that is an unmistakable sign that something is wrong. Leo Flores agreed and
spoke to his colleagues about how ‘It starts with us, we need to watch out for each
other like we do everyday. We need to be saying to each other, ‘Come talk to me,
anytime you need to’. If you want to laugh, laugh. If you need to cry, cry. That’s where it

starts.’ A general discussion was had about how attendees need to look out for each
other.
   

   4) How can we make it ok for people to laugh again?
Reference to “Ted-talk and Sebastian Junger episode” posted on our website.
Other comedic content will be added very soon.

Secretary Collyer spoke at length about the need to re-claim laughter in our society.
Stating that “Nothing can just be funny anymore, if even one person gets offended, you
must shut-up! This has been very damaging to our society as a whole. If you take away a
people’s ability to laugh, it is only a matter of time before society begins to disintegrate.
We have to be able to laugh again”. He then referenced the content on our website and
stated that we are looking to add more comic content, “Because, sometimes people just
need a good laugh to help them calm down, it is then easier to talk them down from the
ledge. It used to be ok to laugh at every race, religion or creed and it is a sign of maturity
to be able to laugh at yourself on occasion”. Josh Copelan CCEMS-Paramedic added that
it’s not ok to laugh at somebody, the person has to feel like they are laughing with
someone as opposed to laughing at them. All present agreed with the sentiment.
Stephen Jones with Chaffee County Fire spoke about a website/resource/group known
as mantherapy.org that he has found very useful with “Bridging the gap between humor
and these (darker) issues surrounding PTSD generating events”. He added that CCFPD
will be happy to help with any aspect of training, safety certifications, the Board,
response teams and brainstorming etc. Copelan concurred that both ‘mantherapy.org’
and Foundation1023 have personally benefitted him a great deal. He added that
Foundation1023 provides therapy and counseling, noting that the first four sessions are
free, which is sometimes enough counseling for an individual. But they can also help set
up funding and payment plans if further help is needed.

 

   5) How can we seek out grant funding to support our mission? The Mental Health
Professionals and Government officials in attendance reiterated their commitment to
help the organization to find and pursue grants. Dr. Villareal typed-via Zoom “Also look
into statewide grants to create a co-responder program in the community if not already
a part of your local law enforcement”. http://www.colorado.gov/pacific/cdhs/co-
responder-programs
. There are Federal and State Grants available to pay for these
types of programs.

 

   6) Any other ideas or questions?
Discussion on all of these topics continued for a few minutes.

 

Chairman Crevier informed the group that this year all RWF members and Directors will get
themselves CIT certified and acquire a ‘roving’ phone number to begin fielding calls for clients

in distress. Adding that we will try to calm them down, then find somebody in their area that
can help and get them in contact with each other. Secretary Collyer added that we are
researching and building a database, which we will codify and put in one location on our
website. For instance, if we get a caller from Tucson Arizona, we will be able to scroll down the
website until we find an organization in Tucson Arizona that will be able to help them with
whatever they need. We hope to become a ‘clearinghouse of sorts’ to have all of this
information in one place.

 

Chairman Crevier announced that during 2021, the RWF will focus on finding and partnering
with other non-profits to form alliances to maximize outreach and client referral efforts
nationwide. Vice Chairman Newton added that there are a lot of them out there with different
approaches and missions to help. Some take people fishing, some go hunting or ride horses,
some go four-wheeling.

 

Director Krause Via Zoom if somebody with a phone could get up and tour the room so the
Zoom Attendees could get a better feel for who was there. Director Steimle obliged and toured
the room, naming the departments that were represented at the meeting

 

Comments left by attendees:
 

Mandy Kaisner; representing Solvista Health: Mental Health First Aid-8 hour (course), can be
shorter now. QPR-Question, Persuade, Refer- 90 minutes.

 

Stephen Jones; representing Chaffee County Fire Protection District: Bridge the gap of humor &
these issues at mantherapy.org Chaffee Fire will assist with teams, training, safety
certifications, the Board, response teams and brainstorming.

 

Dana Nachtrieb; representing the VFW, American Legion, Marine Vietnam Veteran, Marine
Corps League:
We have now a band of Vets with brain injuries and PTSD. Drugs and alcohol
makes this worse. Also they need to know is (that if they commit suicide) the person who finds
them dead will most likely be a loved one.

 

David Vigil; representing Salida Elks Lodge 808: Thank you for the opportunity to attend this
meeting. Having served for 10 years in the USAF as a security policeman and the last 20 years as
a Corrections Officer, I’ve seen my fair share of tragedy. The first line of suicide prevention in
military and first responders are our coworkers. Sometimes, nobody knows us better than they
do. As a cop and Corrections Officer, you develop a pretty thick skin and a warped sense of
humor. I always try to look through the humor and see if there is a problem that no one else is
aware of. I had no special training except for what is required by the department. There are not
a lot of us who can shield these things from others. But the ones who know us best will, or
should be able to notice that something isn’t right at the moment.

 

D.J. DeJong; representing the Mountain Mail Newspaper: Please contact me with any press
releases or other information you want to get out.

 

Joshua Copelan; representing Chaffee County Emergency Medical Services (Paramedic):
Foundation1023 Mantherapy.org

 

Next Meeting: Sunday November 22nd (Moved until Dec. 6th )

 

Meeting Adjourned: 5:02 pm.
 

Organized meal detail.
 

Thank you all for coming!