Who We Are

Michelle Stecher Head ShotMichelle Hartel Stecher, Executive Director

Michelle joined the Eagle River Youth Coalition team in February of 2011 as the Executive Director. Her commitment to providing positive youth development opportunities attracted Michelle to ERYC. Prior to her work with ERYC, Michelle managed experiential learning programs for SOS Outreach, taught at an emergency preschool in Boulder, and served with underprivileged families in diverse environments throughout North America. Michelle is eager to strengthen the collaborative efforts of the Eagle River Youth Coalition to improve the already impressive youth services in Eagle County. Michelle holds a Certified Prevention Specialist, Level 2 certification, and is trained in Applied Suicide Intervention, Mental Health First Aid, and Substance Abuse Prevention, is a certified trainer in the 40 Developmental Assets, SafeTALK Suicide Intervention and is a Positive Youth Development trainer, certified through Colorado Department of Health & Environment (CDPHE). Michelle enjoys chasing her young children around at the park, planning adventures with friends, cooking and gardening.

Gloria Cueva
Gloria Cueva, Collaborative Management Program (CMP) Coordinator

Born and raised in Texas, Gloria moved to Colorado to be closer to family with the aspiration of getting connected to a smaller community where people know you by name. Gloria holds a BA in Mass Communications and a certificate of nonprofit management. She has extensive experience in the nonprofit sector having served in multiple agencies as executive director, communications director and program manager. In her nonprofit work she has delved into social services around basic needs, youth prevention, adult literacy, homelessness prevention and chronic homelessness. Prior to joining ERYC in February 2017, Gloria was a program manager overseeing a collaborative of homelessness providers in Austin, Texas. Working with this collaborative led to a passion for facilitating and managing groups that can truly change lives. In accepting the CMP Coordinator positon at ERYC, Gloria felt an instantaneous connection to the local community and its efforts in improving and impacting youth services. Gloria considers it her mission in life to serve others, so her career in the nonprofit world continues to be an energizing and rewarding adventure.

Mikayla Curtis Head Shot
Mikayla Curtis, Manager of Strategic Impact

Mikayla joined the Eagle River Youth Coalition team in March 2014 as the Resource Development Coordinator; she's currently Manager of Strategic Impact. She is very much committed to seeing communitywide development and support of youth and families to make Eagle County one of the best places to raise youth and see them exceed expectations. Previously, Mikayla oversaw leadership development programs in outdoor adventure settings for SOS Outreach, managed high school afterschool programs, and managed a community resource office providing information and health referral services for families in Orange County, CA. Mikayla is a native of the community and stays connected by being involved in Upward Bound, Rock Climbing programs at the Gypsum Recreation Center, and volunteering with Habitat for Humanity, Mountain Valley Horse Rescue and Salvation Army. Additionally, Mikayla is on the Western Eagle County Metropolitan Recreation District Board and is a volunteer for her alma matter’s Admissions Committee Alumni Council. Mikayla received her MA in Negotiation, Conflict Resolution, and Peacebuilding and looks forward to bringing that education as well as her interest in Sustainable Leadership studies to the community. Mikayla is trained as a Substance Abuse Prevention Specialist. In her free time she enjoys being with friends and family, being outdoors and active, many artistic hobbies, speaking and reading Spanish, photography, and great music.

Heather Hower
Heather Hower, Marketing and Special Events Coordinator

Heather Hower joined ERYC in September 2016 as the events and marketing coordinator. Heather has a wealth of nonprofit experience, working at the Vail Valley Foundation, YouthPower365 and the Red Ribbon Project over the past few years. She realizes that the best way to impact youth is to team up with businesses and other nonprofits, fostering strong relationships and creating inspired, fun events. Heather also is a writer with a passion for taking on new topics. As the mother of two girls, Heather is involved with many community and educational events. Heather graduated from Providence College before Facebook and SnapChat ever existed. She loves to read, run, hike, bike and bake, and go on adventures with her husband and two daughters.

Carol Johnson head shotCarol Johnson, Community Education Manager

Carol joined ERYC in August, 2015 as the Community Engagement Coordinator and is currently serving as the Community Education Manager. An Eagle County resident since 1989, Carol has held a variety of marketing and public relations positions for several organizations including Vail Resorts and Slifer Designs. As a mother of three teenagers, Carol brings personal experience and passion to her work. She has also worked directly with local youth in various settings including: Beaver Creek Resort Children’s Ski School, Eagle County School District, Vail Valley Soccer Club and most recently with Ski and Snowboard Club Vail. With a penchant for creativity, Carol brings a wealth of experience, energy and knowledge to ERYC. She looks forward to collaborating with the ERYC team and the community at-large to empower local youth and parents to reach their full potential. Carol is a graduate of Boston College with a BA in Art History. Carol enjoys biking, hiking, skiing, and rafting with husband TJ, and teens Anabel, Tess and Tommy.

Denise Kipp
Denise Kipp, Prevention Manager,

Denise Kipp began formally working with the Eagle River Youth Coalition in September of 2017 as prevention manager, although has worked in partnership with ERYC for the past 6 years as the Director of the Red Ribbon Project. Denise was born and raised just outside of New York City, finished her Masters Degree at Iona College and began teaching high school science in Manhattan. After a short ski trip to Vail, she decided it was time to make a change and moved to Eagle County in 1998. Denise was a middle school teacher in Eagle County School District for 12 years, and so has a firm grasp of the issues our local youth are facing and has numerous relationships and contacts within the school community. Denise has proven to understand meaningful collaboration, along with an intense desire to support local youth in their development and understanding of themselves. She enjoys everything to do with being outdoors such as mountain biking, running, skiing, and rafting with her husband Randy, and children Miles, Ashleigh and Vivian.

Gerry LopezGerardo Lopez, Youth Advisor/Office Assistant

Gerry Lopez joined ERYC in September of 2017 as the youth advisor and office assistant. Gerry is a graduate of Eagle Valley High School (Class of 2017) and is also an AVID tutor. Gerry believes the best way to make an impact with the youth is to build connections with them and help them find opportunities in and out of school. Gerry was born in Mexico but moved to the United States at the age of six. Gerry is a student of business at CMC. Gerry is an avid runner and runs everyday he also likes to spend time with his family, likes to read and explore the trails of Eagle County.

kala headshot
Kala Marks, Prevention Programs Facilitator, No DUI Coordinator

Kala Marks joined ERYC in January 2018 as a Prevention Programs Facilitator and the No DUI Coordinator. Born and raised in Chicago, Kala received her Bachelor's Degree from DePaul University in Psychology of Human Development. She moved to Colorado in 2008 to accept a job with Vail Police Department in Evidence and Investigations. Soon she assisted with projects including the Department's Strategic Plan. 

In 2012, Kala accepted a position with the Garfield County Sheriff's Office as Intelligence Analyst. Kala was trained at the DEA Federal Law Enforcement Analyst Training Academy in Quantico. Kala was hired by Sigma Health in 2016 to oversee Operations Management for metabolic health in first responders. In 2017, Kala took a position with Eagle County Human Services, performing data and process analysis, as well as sitting on legislative boards for child welfare. At the Eagle County Sheriff’s Office she works as a Victim Advocate, counseling victims of trauma and violent crime. Kala is also obtaining her dual Master’s Degrees in Clinical Mental Health and School Counseling. In her leisure time, Kala enjoys skiing, running, camping, cooking, and spending time with her family and their Basset Hound, Lou.


of Eagle County high school students didn't use marijuana in the past 30 days.

Eagle River Youth Coalition - Making Youth a Community Priority
Physical Address: 34520 US Highway 6, C10 | Edwards, CO 81632
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 4613 | Edwards, CO 81632
Phone: 970.949.9250 |
Información en Español
Website by Second October Media | Connect with us: Facebook Twitter Instagram