Board of Directors
STEVE WESTRA – PRESIDENT
VILLA GROVE, CO
Steve retired in 2004 from the US Navy holding the rank of Commander after nearly 23 years of active duty service in Naval Intelligence. During his diverse career, he served in many positions including duty at the Pentagon, U.S. Space Command, U.S. Special Operations Command, and various operational Navy activities ashore and at sea. He holds a BS from Indiana University. He is a graduate of the US Marine Command and Staff College and the US Armed Forces Staff College. He was commissioned in the US Navy in 1980 from Aviation Officer Candidate School in Pensacola, Florida.
ELI DOKSON – DIRECTOR
Eli, a former educator in our local school district, has resided in Crestone since 1995. He is a lover of music and plays guitar and sings in the bands 2 Weeks In Fiji and Blue Rooster. Originally from Miami, Florida, Eli lived in California and Washington state before moving to Colorado. He and his wife own and operate the Baca Grande Stables located in the Baca Grande subdivision adjacent to the town of Crestone.
AARON CONRAD – VICE PRESIDENT
VILLA GROVE, CO
Aaron was brought up in Pennsylvania and, after achieving a BA in Biology from Virginia Tech, he followed a lifelong ambition to work in Africa. He worked as a volunteer for the nonprofit Cheetah Conservation Fund in Namibia for two years before leaving to travel in Southern Africa and the United States. Aaron and his wife, Pip, then worked in Zanzibar for another nonprofit organization, Chumbe Island Coral Park running an island eco-lodge. They moved to the U.S. in 2002 and their journey brought them to the San Luis Valley where they settled just outside of Villa Grove. Aaron thoroughly enjoys the Rocky Mountain lifestyle and is excited to put his experience with non-profits, his belief in building local community and his passion for music to good use with CPI.
DENNIS NEUHAUS – DIRECTOR
Dennis comes to us with vast nonprofit board experience having served on the Crestone Moffat Business Association board for 10 years, the ScSEED board for eight years and the Earth Art Institute board for two years. A musician since the age of 16, he plays trumpet, and upright and electric bass. He owned and operated a recording studio for 14 years. He designed, built and wired the studio and was its recording engineer, technician and producer. For the last 15 years he has owned and operated Rainbow Enterprises, which consists of a bed & breakfast, computer repair service and a dealership for DirecTV and Verizon Wireless. His computer, business and musical experience are a valued addition to CPI.
DON RICHMOND – DIRECTOR | ALAMOSA, CO
Don has been a professional performing musician for more than 30 years. He sets the stage for professional excellence and courtesy. He has released five solo CDs as well as numerous other recordings with the bands Tumbleweed and Hired Hands. Don owns and operates Howlin’ Dog Records, which has recorded and released numerous other recordings by many local, regional and national artists. Don has also been an Artist-In-Residence and Aesthetic Institute instructor in the Colorado Council of the Arts’ Art in Education program. Don helps us by producing our radio commercials and through his musical expertise.
PETER TAYLOR – DIRECTOR | CRESTONE, CO
Once the drummer and lead singer for Denver band, Fuzz, Peter was drawn to CrestFest by his creative side and also brings business-minded guidance. A founding member of the Black Hills Bluegrass Festival in Rapid City, Peter now runs his own video production business doing video arts multimedia.
SARAH KOEHN FREY – SECRETARY | CRESTONE, CO
Sarah comes from a farming and ranching family in Kansas. Following college, she spent a short time in Hebron, Palestine with a human rights organization before moving to a small fishing village in Manitoba, Canada, where she worked as a community volunteer for two years. During this time she created and ran a community gardening program, taught pottery classes, worked in the high school library and helped staff an adult day program. Sarah moved back to the US in late 2002. She and her husband, Eric, moved to Saguache County in 2003 and were teachers at the Moffat School from 2003 to 2011. Since 2011, Sarah has been the Director of the Northern Saguache County Library District, which has branch libraries in both Crestone and Saguache. Supporting and developing the local community and the arts are important to Sarah.
CHERYL ROWE – TREASURER | CRESTONE, CO
Cheryl first purchased property in Crestone shortly after attending the 2nd Annual Crestone Music Festival in 2000. She has been a full time resident since 2011. Currently a member of the Americana Music Association - live performances and wide open spaces are what makes her world go 'round.
TOM DESSAIN – EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR CPI
Founder and Executive Director of CPI, Tom has been a performing musician, songwriter and sound man for 46 years. He has produced three CDs: his own Tofu To Go, a collaborative CD with Don Richmond, Live an' Lovin' It, and a CD with Rescue Party. Over the past 17 years Tom has continued to guide the growth of the organization. This, along with his gregarious and diplomatic nature, has given him solid footing to try and make this sucker work!
CARRIE ALLEN – EVENT COORDINATOR, OFFICE MANAGER, BOOK KEEPER
Carrie is a young entrepreneur who dabbles in everything internet. She has lived in Crestone for 5 years and in the Valley for almost eight. She is happiest working with the community, and is excited to be a part of the next step in Crestone's history.