Roy Williams Foundation In-Person Meeting #43 Minutes 11/4/2022 1600 MST
Poncha Springs Colorado, Townhall 330 Burnett Ave. Poncha Springs Co. 81212
Chairman: Alhaji Bangura- Absent/Ill
Vice Chairman: David Newton- Present
Managing Director: Ashley Ottmer- Present
Zach Krause- Present/Zoom
Dexter Pitts- Present/Zoom
Travis Garvin- Absent/excused
Markus Hugle- Present
Bret Collyer- Present
Social Media Manager:
Amber Holmes- Present
Cody Collyer- Present
Guests, recognition of Stakeholders/Partners, visitors, please state your names and
organizations: Dee and Dana Nachtrieb: Marine Corps League. Glenn Mallory +1: VFW Post 3820
David McCann: Leadville, Lake County Fire Rescue.
Pledge of Allegiance:
Call to Order: Vice Chairman Newton opened the meeting by thanking all attendees for coming and
inviting them to introduce themselves.
Additions, deletions or changes to the agenda?: None:
NOTE: Upon searching for the Zoom recording for this meeting, it became apparent that the
recording feature was not functional and the recording was not found. A subsequent inquiry
with ZOOM technical staff helped resolve the issue going forward, but did nothing to resolve
the missing meeting. Therefore, the minutes are compiled from the handwritten notes taken
by the Secretary-Treasurer. If omissions, or misquotes are discovered by members, please
bring them to the attention of the Secretary.
Adoption of Meeting Minutes, Meeting #42: 10/23/2022: Pending, previous meeting was for in-
person meeting planning only. We can approve both minute packets at the next meeting
Old and continuing Business:
Critical Path/Structural Discussion for the RWF:
1) Follow up on Comedy Show Fundraiser. Net proceeds $703.00: Secretary Collyer stated that the
Comedy Show Fundraiser was a lot of fun, well attended and a great success. He thanked all of the
local members for attending and helping with the logistics of the evening and all of the efforts taken
for soliciting donated items for the raffle.
2) Fundraising/Events/continuing support and Eligible Grants in Partnership with other organizations:
There was further discussion regarding the need for grants and sustaining partnerships, such as what
we receive from the local Angel of Shavano VFW at $100.00 per month paid quarterly. Collyer pointed
out that Glenn Mallory, the VFW Commander was in attendance and was thanked by the group for
their support. Mr. Mallory spoke on behalf of the VFW thanking us for what we are trying to do and
they are happy to support the RWF as long as we can demonstrate tangible results. It was expressed
that ‘What we do is not glamorous, there are a lot of Veteran Nonprofits doing more fun and exciting
things than we do and we need to partner with them when possible’. Collyer noted that ‘it’s like we are
swimming around in a dark place looking for those who need help as opposed to just waiting for them
to come forward.’ Mrs. Nachtrieb asked how we are approaching this outreach? Ottmer responded
that ‘I spend a lot of time visiting and communicating with the local first responder agencies to let
them know that we are here and we’re not going away. Since my Husband is a local First Responder as
a Fire Chief with SFD and I am an Airforce Veteran with diagnosed PTSD, this is very important to me
and I have dedicated my life to it. Outreach is an ongoing concern and I often run the risk of irritating
the Chief’s of the local organizations, because I’m always there, in their face reminding them of the
need to take Mental Health seriously. The conversation continued and a lot of good ideas were
3) Structural Evolution. Bangura: VC Newton spoke about the importance of the ‘need for time and space
to grow into what we do and evolve in a way that can better serve these communities. This effort will
most definitely include working more closely with other nonprofits depending on the needs of our
clients. Newton then instructed Secretary Collyer to “Go ahead and share the good news with the
group now”. Collyer then announced to the group that he was contacted by our bank (Collegiate Peaks
Bank) regarding $4,340.00 that they have raised on our behalf as part of a promotional program to aid
community nonprofits. With every commercial account that is opened, the client can choose from a list
of organizations to donate to. Collyer reminded the group that “The bank came through for us last year
as well with a nice donation from the same program”. Collyer asked the local members if they would
be available in the near future to gather for a “Photo op” noting that the bank would like to ‘hand us a
big check for promotional purposes.’ The members agreed to find a day that works for everyone.
4) Advertising/Outreach. Is our Social Media Effective, how can we help? (Holmes): Discussion occurred
throughout the meeting.
5) First Responder Fridays and Managing Director Update: Managing Director Ottmer reported that she
is serving multiple clients on a rotating schedule almost every Friday. She noted that it can be hard to
‘nail down’ a client with a date and time that works for both her and them, due to the scheduling
demands of First Responders. She also spoke of our Scholarship Program and the need to revise the
application form to reflect this year’s program. Mrs. Nachtrieb asked when the program would be
available? Ottmer replied that the program is available now and the application can be found on our
website, but that we received no applicants last year. Collyer added that he believed this was because
we announced the program pretty late in the school year and the local High School Counselor who
shares these programs with the students was overwhelmed as the only school counselor and has
subsequently left the district. All agreed that we needed to revisit the Application process and re-
evaluate the scholarship amounts and criteria based on our current finances. Director Hugle asked if
we ‘‘could prioritize kids with family members who are veterans and/or First Responders?” Ottmer
replied that our application already prioritizes such applicants All members agreed to make it a
priority to reevaluate our scholarship program and application process to reflect our current situation.
The discussion shifted to our larger mission; with Newton stating that it is “Taboo for active military
service members and by default, veterans to think or talk about suicide”. Adding that we need to find a
way to help bring about a cultural shift in these institutions. Director Hugle spoke about the possibility
of working with various “Financial Aid Departments” to help with financing better treatment for our
clients with bigger issues than we can help them with. All agreed that would be a good approach and
highly possible. Mrs. Nachtrieb stated that “It is not fun to delve into somebody else’s mind and it can
be exhausting” and that “Ashley will need some help”. Ottmer agreed it can be overwhelming at times
and that she is always looking for other qualified counselors who are willing to help. She added that
the ‘pool of qualified counselors is small’. Noting that almost every counseling office claims to have
experience dealing with PTSD issues, but those who actually have personal experience and a Veteran
and/or FR background is very limited. This is important because Veterans and FR’s seem to only be
willing to speak to someone they trust and know to have been a Veteran and/or a FR. The culture and
camaraderie cannot be faked and Veterans and FR’s have a good “BS detector”. Ottmer added that we
are also bound by credentials regarding other Counselors who may be willing to help, but don’t have
the professional credentials to do so and it may be a liability for the RWF to refer clients to them.
Ottmer then reviewed some of the experiences and lessons she learned during her “In service
counseling” versus post service counseling. She continued that we will need to expand on and refine
our Interstate Resource List, because right now, it only lists VA/Government Service providers. We will
need to add private, vetted service providers as well and this will take some time. Collyer interjected
by saying that this is why we need to consider creating a paid position for Ottmer adding that “She has
a young family, and a household to maintain and she deserves to be compensated for the work she
puts into refining and developing the FRF program and vetting other counselors.” All members and
attendees agreed with this sentiment. Ottmer replied that though there is discussion about her
becoming a paid member, she will always volunteer her time to counsel on First Responder Friday’s
adding that she loved her First Responder and Veteran family and “This is where my heart is”.
6) Task assignments/Action Items and Follow Through: Members agreed to continue with what they had
been doing and continue looking for grants and fundraising opportunities. Members also agreed to
follow up with reevaluating our scholarship program and application form.
1) Discussion of Proposed Changes to Website: A discussion was had between members and Cody Collyer,
the website technician for the RWF about changes they would like to see. This discussion included the
need to update the FRF flier as the dates are no longer accurate. Members would also like to see the
mission statement updated to better reflect our current mission. It was decided that the statement
was a little too long and a consensus was reached that we would rather it “Say more with less”. Collyer
noted that we looked at this and changed it up a little bit early last year and this may become a yearly
occurrence. The mission statement will be revisited and Cody will change it on the website once new
verbiage is agreed to.
2) How can we grow our First Responder Friday program statewide and nationwide? All agreed that this
topic was largely covered previously in the meeting. Mrs. Nachtrieb asked “What is the RWF doing to
raise awareness about the organization?” Ottmer replied that she goes ‘door to door’ at all of the First
Responder organizations. Collyer stated that he is always discussing it wherever he goes with anyone
who is listening. Hugle said that he always does the same. The sentiment was echoed by all members.
A) Need to create paid position for Managing Director to properly refine First Responder Friday (FRF)
program in order to efficiently vet possible counseling partnerships. Ottmer to develop job description
for Board Review as well as fair compensation package. VC Newton asked Ottmer if she would be
willing to work on developing a job description for her position, which could then be used to determine
a fair wage for her work refining the FRF program and expanding it statewide and eventually,
hopefully, nationwide? She replied that she is willing, but ‘not sure where to start’. Collyer stated that
he would be willing to help her and that the description would be considered a “Living Document” that
would change and evolve as we learned. Director Hugle spoke about the importance of this noting that
this framework is necessary to be able to apply for fundraising and grants. Adding that Al(haji) can
work with John Troxell, who’s new position with the VFW (National Ambassador) can help us identify
grants for which we may qualify.
B) Reasonable salary for website updates Cody Collyer web-master Full Disclosure: Cody is Bret Collyer’s
son and has been donating his time from the beginning. All members agreed that Cody should be
compensated for his work on the website. Cody replied that he doesn’t mind volunteering like he
always has. Newton replied that as we grow and get busier, he will need to update the website in real
time and should keep track of his time. All members agreed to this sentiment and Cody agreed as well.
Next Steps needed to advance mission? Mostly discussed above.
Checking Account Balance $988.00
Savings Account Balance: + $6,364.86
Monetary Assets: $7,352.86
Anything Else/General Discussion:
Email received from bank yesterday evening. Discussed above. But Collyer added that the banks contribution
would leave our finances somewhere around $11, 692.86.
Collyer asked David McCann: “What do you think Dave?” McCann responded that he was happy to be part of
this meeting and asked: “How do we get past this tough guy mentality or image as it applies to First
Responders?” FR’s are supposed to be tough and independent, but we all have our limits, not only physical,
but mentally as well. A discussion was had as to approach this problem. Dave then noted that “Suicide
Prevention is one thing, ‘divorce prevention’ between FR’s and their spouses is always an overlooked issue”.
All agreed with this sentiment with Ottmer noting that this is a serious problem as the responsibilities and
demanding schedules of FR’s continually affect the families of FR’s. A stressed marriage can lead to a failed
marriage, which can also increase the risk of self-harm to all involved. Mrs. Nachtrieb agreed adding that
“These problems go hand-in-hand”. Before signing off (ZOOM), Director Krause thanked everyone who
participated and apologized for not being able to attend in person. He was teased by multiple members that
he would be missing out on the Brisket.
Meal: Smoked Brisket, Potato salad, Cornbread, Texas venison stew, BarBQ beans, Desert.
Next Meeting: TBD tentatively 11/23/22
Meeting Adjourned: 1713