LiftUp makes changes to help meet mission now and in the future |

LiftUp makes changes to help meet mission now and in the future

Visitors take a tour of the LiftUp of Routt County Food Bank, just after it opened, in 2017.
John F. Russell

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — LiftUp of Routt County is currently undergoing a major restructuring that Executive Director Sue Fegelein said will help the organization better serve the community.

“We are charging forward in a really positive direction,” Fegelein said. “It’s a wonderful opportunity, and it’s going to be a great thing. I’m really excited for our future.”

LiftUP Board President Bob Schuellein said the timing was right to take a look at how LiftUp was structured.

“We have had an increased demand for our services,” Schuellein said. “We have had a lot of growth, and we expanded our facilities to meet those demands, but we have not really looked at how we are structured organizationally. This was the right time to do that.”

Fegelein and the board worked with Diane Muntean, a nationally renowned personal and organizational leadership consultant and co-founder of the Muntean Leadership Group.

LiftUp went through a process that involved organizing focus groups among management and board members and talking about what was working and what was not.

“I’m very thankful our board was forward thinking enough to kind of take this step,” Fegelein said. “We are very fortunate to have Diane Muntean in our community. We worked with her as a facilitator and to help us throughout this process. What we wanted to do was create the ideal organizational structure that would deliver on its mission and strategic plans and reflect LiftUp’s values.”

The process evaluated the existing organizational structure and each of the positions. At the end of the process, Fegelein said there was some consolidation of roles, a redefinition of other roles and the creation of new positions.

New roles include director of programs, director of development and marketing, director of people, director of finance and director of facilities and office support. Most of the positions are full time with the exception of the finance and facilities positions, which are part time.

Vie Rhodes started as director of programs this week, and Fegelein said she expects to fill the remaining positions before the end of the year.

Fegelein said she believes the organization is now better positioned as it looks to the future.

“A lot of nonprofits go through this,” Fegelein said “We really needed to think through what we do, and what we need to do, to best serve our community.”

Schuellein said the need for assistance in Routt County has continued to grow. LiftUp expanded its efforts by doubling the size of the thrift store and by purchasing and moving the food bank into an adjacent building in 2017. Since then, LiftUp has also added a new greenhouse and nearby gardens to grow produce and offer healthier options at the food bank.

Last year, LiftUp served 2,707 unique individuals with help ranging from food to assistance with medical costs, rent and heating bills. In 2018, the organization also served 692 children through its Rocket Pack program, which provides healthy snacks for children, and so far this school year, over 500 children have been helped.

“We are about a lot more than just handing people a bag of food,” Schuellein said.

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

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