Director's passion, drive has helped Integrated Community grow into a vital Steamboat nonprofit | SteamboatToday.com

Director’s passion, drive helped Integrated Community grow into vital Steamboat nonprofit

Sheila Henderson, executive director of Integrated Community, has announced she’ll be stepping down at the end of April. (Photo by John F. Russell)

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — For nine years, Sheila Henderson has been the welcoming face of Integrated Community, so when she announced she was leaving as the organization’s executive director, it was a sad, but not totally unexpected, day.

“I wore black for a week,” said Millie Beall, a longtime board member and friend. “We are going to lose a best friend, and we are going to lose someone that had a vision. She had the optimism and the vision to pull the organization out of the depths.”

Beall said she will miss Henderson’s passion that helped Integrated Community survive a decade ago, but Beall is confident the staff will carry on the nonprofit’s important mission.

“I love my job, and I love the people I work with — they are absolutely amazing,” Henderson said. “But my husband and I just want to take a break and go travel for a few years, and we want to go do it while we still can. We are both healthy, and we can bike tour and sea kayak and do all those wonderful things we love to do.”

Henderson started working for Integrated Community in June 2010 as program coordinator for resource and referral and interpretations. In December 2011, she took on the role of executive director during a time when there was talk of dissolving the organization.

She was instrumental in helping Integrated Community become its own 501(c)(3) in 2013, and the move paved the way for financial stability. Henderson was also at the helm when  Integrated Community found a permanent home as part of a collaboration with Routt County United Way to purchase property on Oak Street that would become the 443 Oak Nonprofit Center.

During her tenure, Integrated Community gained recognition from the U.S. Department of Justice to provide legal immigration services to clients in Northwest Colorado. She also pushed to help the organization increase direct services to clients, which allowed Integrated Community to grow its staff from two part-time employees to a team that now includes five full-time positions, one part-time employee and several dozen professional interpreters.

Integrated Community served 1,752 clients in 2018 and was supported by 200 volunteers.

“The staff provides interpretation, translation and the cultural education that we share with other organizations, so that they understand our clientele and can better serve them,” Beall said. “We want to help our clientele better serve themselves as well — to let them be the best community players that they can be with the resources we offer.”

Henderson said Integrated Community has become a vital part of the Steamboat Springs community and that makes her proud.

“We became self sufficient and sustainable as an organization, which was amazing,” Henderson said. “Integrated Community used to only be known by the people who worked there because it was so small, but now, it is known as an organization that stands on its own name for clients and for other nonprofits and resources in the community.”

Henderson said she plans to spend this summer camping with her husband, Steve Moore, who sold his business Steamboat Engineering and Design last year. She said the couple has already purchased a one-way ticket to Dubrovnik, Croatia, where they plan to explore the country on their own schedule.

She thanked the board for taking a leap of faith in November 2011 when it allowed Henderson to execute a new strategic plan for the organization, rather than close the doors.

Henderson will continue to work at Integrated Community until the end of April.

“I have no doubt that the staff we have and whoever takes over the organization, we will be able to continue the propulsion that we have going for us at this point in time,” Beall said. “She has done a great job of hiring people, as well as cross training everybody. One person can walk away, and everything can be handled by the remaining folks there, so that’s a real strength that we have inside that office.”

To reach John F. Russell, call 970-871-4209, email jrussell@SteamboatPilot.com or follow him on Twitter @Framp1966.


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