MEDIA CONTACT: Andrea Palm-Porter, Executive Director

EMAIL /PHONE: / 970.922.6035


(November 2, 2023 – Aspen, CO) – Aspen business owners can take advantage of new workforce leadership training. Local non-profit Roaring Fork Leadership (RFL) secured a $90,000 Rural Business Development grant (RBDG) from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to fund the recently launched tuition-free programming.

“We believe that building better communities means building better leaders,” says Roaring Fork Leadership Board President and Aspen Skiing Company Managing Director of Engagement and Development, Susan Harig. “With that mantra, Roaring Fork Leadership researched, designed, and now offers more accessible training for local businesses.”

According to a 2022 Workforce Vitality Study, commissioned by Roaring Fork Leadership, Coventure, and Colorado Mountain College, there is a gap between employers’ needs and employee skills. This shortage can be partly attributed to a need for more experience and abilities.  In an effort to address those concerns, Roaring Fork Leadership with their newly secured funds, is offering Aspen businesses four workforce skill development and leadership programs:

  • Supervisor Bootcamp (Fall 2023)
  • Public Speaking (Winter 2024)
  • Unconscious Bias Forum (Spring 2024)
  • Communication Series (Summer 2024)

“We are proud to present workforce leadership training opportunities for Aspen businesses,” says Andrea Palm-Porter, Executive Director. “The community expressed a need, and we are so grateful that we can fill that need.”

The first training in the series, Supervisor Bootcamp, concludes on Thursday, November 16th. Applications for the upcoming programs are open and rolling. The next program will be a four-week Public Speaking curriculum. Prospective learners can submit their interest at:

“RFL’s supervisor boot camp has been one of my most informative and educational leadership experiences by far, ” said Rebecca McKenna, Aspen Skiing Company employee.

The valley-wide non-profit selected Aspen for their inaugural workforce training due to the number of businesses per capita in the area. “We hope to expand this workforce training throughout the Colorado and Roaring Fork Valleys,” says Palm-Porter. “We are looking to work with local businesses and communities throughout the valley to secure additional funding for future training programs.”

Roaring Fork Leadership is a local non-profit that offers programs and events designed to help individuals and organizations build effective leaders through training, practice, and application. Their flagship program, dubbed the RFL Academy, is a 10-month leadership development program. Additionally, RFL offers a  5-month women’s leadership program called RFL Mastermind. RFL programming is available to individuals and organizations throughout the tri-valley area, and they have local alumni throughout Colorado and beyond.

About Roaring Fork Leadership: Roaring Fork Leadership (RFL) was founded in 1988 by a group of local citizens concerned about the need to strengthen relationships and skills among community leaders. RFL believes anyone can be a leader. RFL develops leaders—no matter their experience, background, or resources—who make their communities better. Learn more at