Judy moved to Telluride in 1985. After brief but exciting careers in cross country skiing and competitive mountain biking, she settled in at the Ah Haa School where she was the executive director from 1991-2006. After a six-year leave from her ED position, Judy returned in December 2012 and is delighted to be back. She considers herself a ‘dabbler’, and is actively involved in art, music, film, writing, knitting, cooking and making anything by hand. Her other deep love is the great outdoors.
Kathleen was born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio. She attended Colorado State University and holds a B.S. in Natural Resource Recreation & Tourism. In 2002 she moved to Telluride, and right away became involved with festivals and events such as Telluride Jazz Celebration, Telluride Bluegrass Festival, the Telluride Mountain Village Sunset Concert Series, New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival and Telluride Blues & Brews Festival. Kathleen is excited to be a part of the Ah Haa as our Marketing and Special Events Manager.
Jessica Newens grew up in Boulder, CO and received her BA in English from Lewis & Clark College in Portland, OR. She’s been in the Telluride region since 1992, where she has held multiple jobs, including a several-year stint as Programs Coordinator for the Ah Haa School back in the 1990s. During her years away from Ah Haa, Jessica founded Tomboy Soap Company and worked as an editor and writer for The Watch Newspapers. She and her husband are raising two young girls, Fiorella and Cecelia, in neighboring Norwood. Jessica returns to the Ah Haa with great enthusiasm as she rekindles old friendships and reignites her interest in art.
Originally from Southern California, Karen moved to Telluride in 1997 after graduating from UCSD with a double major in Communications and Political Science. Hoping to escape traffic, crime and smog, she found home in Colorado. Making ends meet in this valley has afforded her experiences in human resources, bartending, bookkeeping, wrangling, event coordinating, videographing and most recently working for Mountainfilm as the Operations Director. Joining Ah Haa in 2013, Karen likes doing it all. She brings her fascination with creativity and a passion for any new adventure to the Ah Haa team.
Originally from New Jersey, Kris received her BA from Colorado College before moving to Dublin, Ireland to complete her graduate work. While in Dublin, Kris worked for Xena Productions Bespoke Weddings and Special Events and later free-lanced in interior signage and design for local businesses. In 2010, Kris left Ireland for Rhode Island, where she became the Program Coordinator for the Creative Arts Council at Brown University. Eager to return to the mountains, Kris moved to Telluride in 2015. She is delighted to be a part of the Ah Haa team and excited to join the Telluride community.
Julie McNair received her M.F.A in sculpture from the University of Wyoming and a B.F.A from North Texas State University. Before moving to Telluride, she was an Assistant Professor of sculpture and ceramics at Mississippi State University and Executive Director of the Art League of Houston. Julie owned and operated East End Gallery in Telluride for more than 17 years and since selling the gallery in 2003, she has worked full time as an artist, marketing her clay figures in Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas.
Originally from the Finger Lakes region of upstate New York, Deb moved to Colorado in 1979 and to Telluride in 1994. Prior to joining the Ah Haa team in 2010, she spent 40 years working with her hands and creativity in one form or another; sewing, pottery, stained glass, theatrical sign language interpreting, dancing, singing, house building, dental assisting (!), graphic design and now, bookbinding. Having gained administrative experience along the way while working for the Arvada Center for the Arts Deaf Access Program as its coordinator and for the Telluride Choral Society for many years, the transition to the American Academy of Bookbinding feels like a natural fit. She has found the bookbinding community to be an exceptionally supportive and enjoyable one, and hopes to contribute to its development and growth for many years to come.