SPOT Board of Directors

Thank you to Yvonne Barnes

A huge thank you goes out to Yvonne Barnes, who has stepped down from the SPOT board of directors as of this year 2019. Yvonne was a member of SPOT since its inception in 2000 and, as a board member and a cartographer, has been invaluable to the success of SPOT. Through Yvonne’s creativity making maps, publications and graphics, she has supported our grant applications, presentations and public relations. In 2004, Yvonne spearheaded the Poncha Spring Disc Golf Course Project, which involved a GOCO Construction Grant and major fundraising efforts. This 18-hole course is very popular and well-used and she and her family have maintained it throughout the years. Yvonne has been extremely resourceful and thoughtful in all our planning efforts and we wholeheartedly thank Yvonne for her willingness to serve with us. We will miss her cheerful energy.

Welcome Elizabeth Weiss

The board of directors of SPOT is pleased to announce that Liz Weiss had joined the SPOT team! Liz has an extensive educational background ranging from a bachelor degree in Business Administration from Villanova University in VA, to a master’s degree in Environmental Management from Western State Colorado University, Gunnison, CO. For her master’s project, Liz created and implemented a “Share the Road” campaign for Salida & Buena Vista, worked with Salida Recreation to plan and implement “Bike to Work and School Day”, developed and distributed community-wide bicycle surveys to identify current bicycling habits, the economic benefits of bicycling, the barriers to increased ridership, and the perception of safety in Salida in order to help guide future decision making for bicycle infrastructure and education, and created fact sheets with survey results for local organizations. Liz also worked with LiveWell Chaffee County on a bicycle education campaign for Salida & Buena Vista and implemented the campaign through “Share the Road” posters, flyers, scenarios in the Mountain Mail & Chaffee County Times, bicycle map distribution, and discussing it with local residents.

Welcome Jessica Downing

Jessica moved to Salida in 2017 and works at Absolute Bikes on the sales floor and coaches youth and women’s clinics. She is a Community Leader and assistant coach with the VIDA MTB Series and served as a brand ambassador for Liv Cycles for three years. Previously, she lived in Whitefish, Montana, and worked in tourism marketing, which included map creation and wayfinding projects. She was involved in the City of Whitefish’s development of the Bike/Ped Master Plan and co-founded Connect Whitefish, a community group to support the City with implementation of the Plan. Jessica is from Carbondale and in 2007 co-founded Bonedale Bike Week, a week devoted to all things bike, which is still going strong 11 years later. Jessica is a frequent user of all the trails in Salida, whether on a mountain bike on single track or her cargo bike toting her daughter around.

SPOT Board of Directors



Donna Rhoads

Salida resident, founding member of SPOT, trail consultant, community planner, grant writer, Chaffee County Transportation Advisory Board member, co-owner with her husband of D&J Rare Gems, certified swim instructor at Salida Hot Springs Aquatic Center, FIBArk historian and seamstress.

Katy- Grether

Katy Grether

Salida resident, owner of the Salida Mixing Bowl kitchen store, grant writer, historic preservationist, project leader in restoring the Hutchinson Homestead and Learning Center and the current restoration of the historic Valley View School, Board member for Guidestone which supports a vibrant local agricultural future.


Samantha Bahn
SPOT board member

SPOT board member; Salida resident; 5-8 grade math, science, & Spanish teacher at The Crest Academy with an MS in Ecological Teaching and Learning; GuideStone education committee member; certified river guide; competitive runner; local business owner of Alpha Dog Care; and former FIBArk organizer.


Denise Wentz

Salida resident, co-owner of Wentz Foot and Ankle Specialists, physical therapist, project leader in replacing the playground equipment in Salida’s Alpine Park.


Shawn Gillis
SPOT board member

, Salida Mountain Trails member since 2004, owner Absolute Bikes and Absolute Bikes Adventures in Salida CO, certified BG Master Bike Fitter.

Wayne Sawyer

Wayne Sawyer
SPOT board member

Salida resident, realtor with First Colorado Land Office, business consultant, trail project coordinator.


Cheryl Brown-Kovacic
SPOT board member

Salida resident, Salida City Council Member, education consultant, member of the League of Women Voters, previously on Salida Planning Commission and Chaffee County Heritage Board.

Liz Weiss
SPOT board member

Salida resident, Liz Weiss, SPOT Board member, Salida Resident, Master’s in Environmental Management Graduate, Chaffee County Running Club board member, Chaffee County Transportation Advisory Board member, bicycle education campaign coordinator, United States Forest Service trail crew employee.

Jessica Downing
SPOT board member

Salida resident. Staff member and coach at Absolute Bikes. Avid bike commuter/recreationalist. Community Leader/Coach for VIDA MTB Series (women’s mountain bike series). Co-owner/Marketing Director of Ovid Nine Creative Lab, a local graphic design agency.