Bob Hartzell: Priorities include listening, learning and participating
Colorado Mountain College board candidate District 6
- Occupation: Part-time ski instructor at Ski Cooper
- Hometown: Leadville
- Years in Colorado: 49 years
- Family: Married, three married sons, six grandchildren
- Civic involvement: Leadville City Council member and mayor pro tem; High Riders Snowmobile Club president, 2018-2019; Four Seasons Homeowners Association president; Lake County Airport board of advisors vice chair; Boom Days board of directors vice president; and Community Coffee weekly forum moderator.
In 1966, following my graduation from St. Cloud State University in Minnesota, I was drafted and served two years in the U.S. Army, the last year with the 4th Infantry Division near Pleiku, South Vietnam. When I returned home, I secured a teaching position in Waseca Minnesota, and learned to ski. I left Minnesota the following school year and taught in Ashland, Wisconsin, and skied. I arrived in Leadville in fall 1970 because of Leadville’s proximity to skiing and, for the next three years, taught business subjects at Lake County High School. In 1973, I served as assistant area manager at Ski Cooper. As Cooper was a seasonal job at that time, I was hired by the Climax Molybdenum Mine in springs 1974 and delivered dynamite until fall 1974, when I was hired by Copper Mountain as a lift mechanic. After two years of wrenching, I became the director of lift operations and hired, trained and supervised the lift operators at Copper Mountain. In 1979, I returned to education by becoming an instructor of business and ski area operations at Colorado Mountain College in Leadville. Over the next 25 years, I moved from ski ops and business subjects to become the assistant campus dean. After three years as the assistant dean, I went back to the classroom as a professor of business. From there, I became the collegewide faculty development coordinator, then the founder and director of Central Rockies Leadership (10 years) and Leadership Leadville (7 years) before finishing out my 25 years at CMC as the campus dean. Following CMC, I invested in and managed some real estate, served for 5 1/2 years as president and executive director of the National Mining Hall of Fame and Museum, powder guide on Cooper’s Chicago Ridge and, most recently, a part-time ski instructor for Ski Cooper.
Priority No. 1: Listen
I don’t pretend to know all there is to know about Colorado Mountain College, and I will start by listening and asking questions. The current CMC board is replete with a talented group of trustees who are not only wonderful representatives for their respective counties but also for all of CMC. I look forward to learning from some of the best and caring minds in the central Rockies.
Priority No. 2: Learn
Even if I had come to the board fresh from my 25 years with CMC, I would still have a lot to learn about being a collaborative trustee and focus on 1) the responsibilities of CMC President Dr. Carrie Hauser; 2) working to keep the mill levy below 4.0; 3) joining with the other trustees and the president to develop and fine tune the CMC strategic plan; 4) learning the essential elements to monitor relative to the progress of CMC; and 5) how to act in the best interests of CMC in its entirety.
Priority No. 3: Participate
I will be serving as a trustee for all of CMC yet will be elected as the Lake County representative. In the early to mid-1980s, when I was serving as the assistant campus dean on the Leadville campus, the Climax Mine virtually shut down. The number of classes being taught on the Leadville campus diminished by more than 50% in large part because of the loss of the mine training classes. The assessed valuation of Lake County diminished 80% by the end of the decade. Times were tough for Lake County. Times were equally tough for the Leadville campus. We lost numerous degree programs, and there was talk of shutting down the campus. That was a hard time for the Leadville campus, and we worked hard to regain our status as a viable contributor to CMC. Today, we are operating in the black, have more people in the dorms than we have had in the past and are considered an equal partner in the overall scheme of CMC. If the voters approve the addition of Salida to the CMC district, I can see a synergy created throughout the Arkansas Valley from Leadville to Salida that would be similar to the synergy among the CMC sites in the Roaring Fork Valley. It is my job to help keep us moving forward and to keep making positive contributions to CMC as a whole.
Thank you to the Summit Daily News for providing me this opportunity to share my perspective of my service on the CMC Board of Trustees if validated by the votes of the entire CMC district.
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