The Aspen Citizens Academy Class Presenters
Susan Arenella - Operations Manager, Recreation
Serving Aspen Since 1990
I've been amazed at the evolution of the recreational amenities that continue to evolve within the City Of Aspen and am proud to be a part of such a great team.
For the past 26 years, I have had the joyful honor of being at the helm of so many fun, exciting and community building events sponsored by the Recreation Department. I’m grateful to have helped bring much happiness for both locals and visitors to the Roaring Fork Valley!
Steve Barwick - City Manager, City Manager's Office
Serving Aspen Since 1993
Any number of past and current City employees have noted that the complexity of local government in Aspen makes it feel a lot like graduate school. This constantly changing and challenging environment keeps me on my toes and makes the job interesting.
Tyler Christoff - Deputy Director of Utilities, Utilities
Serving Aspen Since 2006
I am a Civil and Environmental Engineer by training. I hold a B.S. in Forest Engineering, Registered Professional engineer, registered Project management professional and certified floodplain manager. Member of Mountain Rescue Aspen.
There are many careers in civil engineering but working for a local government provides a unique opportunity to be able to make a visible difference in our community every day. Aspen’s progressive citizens also allow us to work at the cutting edge of the industry even in a small mountain town. Being able to serve a community I love while being continually challenged professionally; what better work life balance can you ask for!
Barry Crook - Assistant City Manager, City Manager's Office
Serving Aspen Since 2005
- BA History - University of Texas at Austin
- MA Political Economy - University of Texas at Dallas
- SMU School of Law - long enough to know I did not want to practice law
- Founding Member of the Government Division of the American Society for Quality, Examiner for the Austin Quality Award, the Texas Quality Award, the Oregon Quality Award, and the Washington Quality Award programs
I have worked for over 30 years in the public sector - with the City of Austin, Multnomah County OR, and the WA State Department of Licensing before coming to Aspen in 2005.
My favorite part about working for the City is the great people I work with and for. And my favorite thing about living in Aspen? I live in Paradise!
"Telling ain't teaching and listening ain't learning."
Chris Everson - Affordable Housing Project Manager, Asset Management
Serving Aspen Since 2008
Although Chris’s undergraduate engineering and graduate MBA studies were long-ago completed, his education in the ways of Aspen is ongoing.
While it is Chris’s pleasure to serve the citizens of the City of Aspen each day, he admits that he prefers riding his mountain bike or snowboard.
Michelle Holder - Management Analyst & Citizens Academy Coordinator, Quality Office
Serving Aspen Since 2015
In her graduate studies, Michelle studied citizens academy programs and the value they bring their communities. She is thrilled to share the joys of civic education with the Aspen community.
"Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can." -Arthur Ashe
Ann Mullins - City Council Member
Elected to City Council in 2013
I have worked as a Landscape Architect/Urban Designer for 30 years. My favorite part about serving on Council is all the people I get to meet and interact with and the challenge of understanding all the different systems that keep the city running and healthy. Aspen is my home because I ride my bike all winter and spend most of my time outdoors.
Abraham Lincoln: "In the end, it's not the years in your life that counts, it's the life in your years."
Nick Nicholson - Business & Technology Intelligence Group Manager, Parks & Recreation
Serving Aspen Since 2007
Nick is both an Internet Technologist and a Transformational Coach. He enjoys leading his Aspen Parks and Rec team into the uncharted territory of developing programs for the Whole Human, a relatively new, but very necessary concept.
Ashley Perl - Senior Environmental Health Specialist, Environmental Health & Sustainability
Serving Aspen Since 2008
I love my job because I have the privilege to serve the community I love every day. I was born and raised in Aspen and I’m dedicating to making sure Aspen is a great place for all Aspenites today and for many years to come.
Richard Pryor - Police Chief, Aspen Police Department
Serving Aspen Since 1994
Diploma in Farm Management and Degree in Criminal Justice Administration
My favorite thing about living in Aspen is living and working with dedicated caring people who want to see a healthy, vibrant, and innovating town that respects our natural environment.
Mitzi Rapkin - Community Relations Director, City Manager's Office
Serving Aspen Since 2011
"Life and death matters, yes. And the question of how to behave in this world, how to go in the face of everything. Time is short and the water is rising." - Raymond Carver
Shirley Ritter - Kids First Director, Kids First
Serving Aspen Since 1997
have worked in the early childhood education field for over 35 years, I am passionate about giving all our children a great start in life as a foundation for future learning and success in life. I feel so fortunate that the citizens of Aspen voted for a sales tax that supports young children and their families, and that I get to do the great work we are able to do! I think the best thing about working for the city is the team of people I get to work with; there is more commitment and investment than most people get to experience in their work. I’ve lived with my family in Aspen for 30 years. The best thing about living in Aspen is much the same, I came for the outdoors, the great school system, and opportunities; and I stayed because of the people that make this place special!
A quote I have liked for a long time comes from Maya Angelou - “I did then what I knew how to do. Now that I know better, I do better.”
Ritchie Zah - Police Officer, Aspen Police Department
Serving Aspen Since 2012
I came to Aspen to play violin for the music festival back in 2004 and fell in love with the place and my now wife.