In Brief: Skico burning brush piles, Backbone Media chooses new president |

In Brief: Skico burning brush piles, Backbone Media chooses new president

Skico burning brush piles

Aspen Snowmass will be conducting controlled burns of brush piles on the area ski mountains over the next two weeks, as weather permits. The burns take place annually after brushing and clearing operations on local ski trails.

For more information, call (970) 925-1220, or go to Wood Smoke and Health

Backbone Media chooses new president

As Backbone Media celebrates its 25thanniversary this month, Greg Williams, the longtime vice president of media and a partner in the business, has been named the agency’s new president. Backbone represents more than 70 leading outdoor and lifestyle brands, with nearly 120 employees working remotely across the country and out of its offices in Denver and Carbondale.

Penn Newhard, the co-founder and co-president of Backbone, and co-president Nate Simmons will now share duties as co-CEOs. They will both remain highly engaged in the business of the agency, company officials said.

Williams will oversee the agency’s staff and daily operations in his new role. He will also focus on managing the growth and development of the business, which has nearly doubled in size since the beginning of the pandemic.

Greg Williams

“As we celebrate this important 25-year milestone in Backbone’s history, we are thrilled to support Greg in his much-deserved promotion,” said Newhard. “As we’ve experienced exponential growth in the past several years, we’ve been placing more responsibility with our entire senior team. That group has been critical to our continued success as an agency, with Greg shepherding us through significant shifts in our business and industry.”

Williams, who has worked for Backbone for more than 17 years, joined the agency when it was a boutique PR shop with fewer than 10 employees. He launched the company’s media planning and buying service, which now represents about half of Backbone’s portfolio. In addition to media planning and PR, Backbone offers search-engine marketing and optimization services, social-media strategy and community management, affiliate marketing, and performance digital services with a complete analytics team.

Donation boosts effort to stem methane leak

Atlantic Aviation has re-affirmed its commitment to a sustainable future by donating $500,000 to CORE supporting the Coal Basin Methane Project. This partnership ensures the project’s viability through the exploratory phase to determine the best possible solution for the climate and local communities, CORE officials said. 

Atlantic Aviation, CORE, and the Delta Brick & Climate Company aim to address an estimated 1.3 million cubic feet of methane escaping from abandoned mines near Redstone every day. The methane emissions from Coal Basin represent more harmful greenhouse-gas emissions than transportation, aviation, residential and commercial buildings, and waste in Pitkin County combined, CORE officials said.

Thrift Shop distributes funds from sales

Once a month, the Aspen Thrift Shop volunteers meet to distribute funds from sales. This month, the local non-profit recipients are Pathfinders, Holiday Baskets Program of the Roaring Fork Valley, Aspen Science Center, Artist Year, Early Childhood Network, Wilderness Workshop, Roaring Fork Conservancy, The Buddy Program, The Art Campus at Willits, and Theater Aspen.

‘Elevate: A Women’s Forum’ to feature four speakers

Roaring Fork Leadership and Colorado Mountain College Glenwood Springs will present “Elevate: A Forum for Women Creating Impact,” at Morgridge Commons in Glenwood Springs on Nov. 11.

CMC and Roaring Fork Leadership partnered together to present their first women’s forum in 2019 to inspire and connect women in the Roaring Fork Valley region by bringing speakers together to talk about aspects of leadership, equality and respect.  

This year, four speakers will continue the discussion. From Colorado Mountain College, Dr. Lea Ann “Beez” Schell and Yesenia Silva-Estrada will discuss “Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging: Moving the Me to We”; Susan Harig of the Aspen Skiing Company’s topic will focus on “Employee Engagement”; and Outward Bound legend and communication expert Gruffie Clough will speak about “Compelling Ways to Work with Other People.” 

CMC vet tech farm throws doors open

Colorado Mountain College Spring Valley is inviting community members to visit the program’s 220-acre farm and teaching hospital from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Oct. 29 to learn about the college’s veterinary-technology program. This is a free, family-friendly open house. Kids are encouraged to wear costumes, and some of the animals will be wearing costumes, too. An area will be set up to take photos with the animals. 

There will also be a scavenger hunt, a silent auction, a jack-o-lantern smashing extravaganza (Pumpkin pieces will then be fed to the farm’s animals), as well as Halloween treats for humans. Some of the farm’s animals will be available to pet and feed, too.

In addition to the vet-tech lab, small-animal hospital, and equine teaching barn, the college’s veterinary-technology program houses a variety of large animals, including: horses, cattle, pigs, goats, sheep, chickens, and ducks. Small animals include rodents, snakes, birds, ferrets, and chinchillas.

The CMC Veterinary Technology Center and Teaching Hospital is located at 3000 County Road 114, Glenwood Springs, (across from the main Spring Valley campus, past Colorado Animal Rescue). For more information, call 970-945-7481.

Eagle County outreach goes virtual

In an effort to grow constituent outreach and receive feedback in an informal setting, the Eagle County Board of Commissioners is launching two new recurring engagement opportunities for the public. 

A virtual “Ask Me Anything” style, live Facebook event series will focus on county programs and services. A county commissioner will be joined by a staff person involved in a program, and they will explain what it is, who is eligible to participate, and how viewers can learn more. They will then make themselves available to answer incoming questions fielded from the live chat. The sessions will be broadcast live and then archived for future viewing at Topics, dates, and times will be announced prior to each AMA event along with a form for early submittal questions.  

County commissioners will also hold open office hours every other week at county facilities and possibly other public venues. On select Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to noon, a county commissioner will be available to discuss any topics of interest with members of the public. No reservations are required, but the county asks that participants respect time constraints if other individuals are waiting. Office hours and locations will be posted to the county website and social-media channels. November’s sessions will take place on Nov. 2 and 16.

Robotics helps Valley View with back operations

Valley View health system in Glenwood Springs is using a robotic guidance platform to add precision and accuracy during complex spinal procedures, such as lumbar fusions. 

“The Mazor X Stealth Edition Robotic Guidance Platform is an extraordinary tool we can use to help patients get their life back,” said Dr. Wade M. Ceola, neurosurgeon at the hospital’s spine center. “For people with chronic back pain due to common degenerative conditions like arthritis, successful spinal surgery can bring a return to normal life and activity. The Mazor X Stealth Edition Robotic Guidance Platform will provide additional accuracy and precision, as well as decreased risk of infection and shorter recovery times.”

The platform provides surgeons with pre-operative implant 3D planning and intra-operative trajectory precision when treating that patient. Officials said that, as a result, patients will experience less pain after surgery, decreased risk of infection, little or no need for narcotic pain medicine, shortened procedure wait times from months to weeks, and improved in-hospital recovery time from days to hours.

For more information, visit

Small businesses support income tax cut

The result of a one-question poll asking NFIB-member, Colorado small-business owners whether they support Proposition 121 on the November revealed support for the measure, according the the NFIB.

When asked, “Should Colorado reduce the state income tax rate from 4.55% to 4.4%,” 90% of small-business owners said, ‘Yes,’ 10% said ‘No,’ and 1% were undecided.

“The result was not a surprise,” said Tony Gagliardi, Colorado state director for NFIB Colorado, “but our association is one of the few — if not the only one — which polls its members before taking an official stand on a major issue. It’s the way we’ve operated for the nearly 80 years of our existence.”

What does surprise, according to Gagliardi, is the number of people who get caught up in the debate over whom the initiative would benefit and by how much money.

“Discussions about who benefits and by how much miss the point entirely,” he said. “Proposition 121 is a small step toward achieving the goal of having no state income tax at all, which is something we ought to move on faster now that Arizona has instituted a 2.5% flat-tax rate that will take effect at the beginning of 2023. Even Gov. Jared Polis has expressed support for the concept. Having no state income tax would give small-business owners something they have always desired: the predictability needed to hire more employees and expand their enterprises — both of which would produce a sustainably healthier economy.” 


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