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Staff report

United Jewish Appeal Aspen Valley receives Partner of the Year Award

United Jewish Appeal Aspen Valley was the 2015 recipient of the Partner of the Year Award at JEWISHcolorado’s annual meeting Thursday.

The award highlights the strategic alliance formalized this year between United Jewish Appeal Aspen Valley and JEWISHcolorado and promotes the programs and resources United Jewish Appeal Aspen Valley provides for the Aspen Jewish community.

The two organizations are committed to re-engaging the community by bringing various aspects of Aspen Jewish life together in partnership with the three local congregations, Aspen Jewish Congregation, Chabad JCC and Neshama Center, according to a JEWISHcolorado statement issued Thursday.

The award spotlights the success of the new partnership in the first year of collaboration. Within the first few months, United Jewish Appeal Aspen Valley gathered 200 attendees and raised more than $267,000, an increase of $89,000 year-on-year, at the Premier Summer Event in August.

United Jewish Appeal Aspen Valley has a long history of service in the Roaring Fork Valley, which is comprised of national federation leadership, seasoned donors and front runners in Jewish philanthropy.

The partnership enables United Jewish Appeal Aspen Valley and the broader community to provide an even greater focus on its commitment of compassion, Jewish learning, Tzedakah (charitable giving) and Tikkun Olam (repair the world), according to the statement.

Aspen to host symposium on healthy brain

Nationally prominent speakers in the development of the brain are coming to Aspen on Monday and Tuesday for a symposium called Changing Brains, Changing Lives.

The speakers will cover topics ranging from neurology and treatment of attention deficit disorder across the lifespan to classroom strategies for building healthy brains. The symposium will be at The Gant.

Aspen Strong Foundation is hosting the symposium with numerous partners. The target audience is mental-health and social service professionals, parents, teachers and anyone with an interest in mental-health wellness and brain development, according to Kathy Hegberg, a child and family therapist who is helping organize the conference. She said anyone who works with children will benefit from the event.

“Kids generally are under a tremendous amount of stress,” she said. Some children are under stress to get good grades so they can get into top-notch colleges and universities, she said. Other children in the valley are just struggling to survive.

The symposium will help attendees understand how that stress affects brain development and how children can be assisted in academics and everyday life, Hegberg said. The importance of building a healthy brain from early in life will be emphasized as well the importance of maintaining a healthy brain throughout life.

Brain development must be a collaboration at home, in school, in clinical settings and in the community, Hegberg said.

The cost is $130 per day. Register at the Aspen Strong website at http://www.aspen

A free teacher workshop for teachers will be held Wednesday in the midvalley from 1:30 to 4:40 p.m. Email Hegberg at for information and the location of the workshop.

Element by Westin in Basalt to open in early December

The Element by Westin hotel in Basalt is set to open in early December and is now accepting holiday and 2016 reservations. The hotel is hosting a job fair from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday at 499 Market St. in Willits Town Center for front desk, housekeeping, maintenance, food culinary and service and laundry positions.

Hotel owners, Denver-based Silverwest Hotels LLC, have announced hotel and resort management executive Michael Welly as the new general manager. Welly most recently worked for Cairn Consulting as president, offering evaluations and advice regarding hotel and resort operations, staff performance, annual business plans, capital plans and project management.

Prior to Cairn Consulting, Welly worked as managing director for the Longboat Key Club & Resort in Sarasota, Florida. Welly also worked for Wyndham International in Dallas as a senior vice president of Resort and Luxury Operations.

Element Basalt-Aspen is located within the new Willits Town Center. Guests will be within walking distance of the community’s shops, restaurants, residences, offices and Whole Foods Market.