greeley-lifestyle-june-2021-3333-550?v=2

Movers and Shakers

Men Making an Impact

Article by Provided

Photography by Shel Francis Creative

Originally published in Greeley Lifestyle

We asked Greeley native, successful business owner and philanthropist Scott Ehrlich what makes Greeley great.   He shared a very recent event that evolved as a direct result of the Pandemic, as a microcosm of “what Greeley is all about.”

Scott was one of a small group of local leaders and other business owners on a Zoom call late spring of 2020.  The group was working to trouble shoot how to help Greeley small businesses survive with the no revenue coming in for them due to the shut-down.   He stepped up and made a sizable financial commitment to a concept they would later call the “small business recovery fund.”  Scott's contribution did not end there, he then, as he always does, called his network of other great local business leaders and entrepreneurs and encouraged and challenged all of them to participate.   These donated dollars were a literal “life-line” to qualified small businesses.   This was done well in advance of state and federal help, which the group knew would come, but they also knew those funds would take time. 

Scott learned from his Dad “to respect everyone, and continually hold onto that respect.”  That life lesson carries over to the giving attitude he lives by everyday.   He credits the Monfort’s and Rick Montera for teaching him the value of giving back to the community.   He state’s, “I’ve been very fortunate to have lived here my entire life.”  

Many believe Greeley is equally fortunate to have him and so many other great givers and leaders like him.

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What would you say has been the proudest moment of your career? (Jeff Carlson)

My proudest moment was my involvement in the 2019 sale of North Colorado Medical Center.  I was serving as the Board Executive for NCMC Inc. during the sale which involved selling the land, buildings and equipment to Banner.  The hard work the Board and I put forth to complete this sale allowed our nonprofit organization to continue charitable giving on a much larger scale and create truly impactful long-term changes for the citizens of Weld County.

Following the sale, NCMC Inc. changed its name to The Weld Trust and together with the board we developed our mission to promote excellence in health and education in Weld County.   The Weld Trust is founded with strong core values including integrity, sustainability, compassion, humility and responsibility to guide our work.  We embody these values in our culture inside the organization and out in the community.  I am honored to serve as its CEO, and proud to lead an organization with strong ethical principles.     It is a privilege to partner with other nonprofit agencies in Weld County toward building positive permanent changes in health and education in our communities.  I envision The Weld Trust helping shape charitable giving in Weld County in perpetuity.

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How do you describe the Greeley Stampede? (Justin Watada)

The Greeley Stampede is a community event that brings everyone together. We provide affordable family entertainment for a 10-14 day event. Our concert series is a great example, as guests can purchase 5 concerts for only $100- the cost of one Denver concert. The rodeo & concerts get the headlines, but we have continued to add other types of attractions like Tea with the Queen, Zumba, Brushes & Bulls and barn dances to provide something for everyone. 

 What can people expect at this year’s Greeley Stampede?

This year’s event will be modified. We are working hard to continue as many Stampede traditions as possible, but the short timing and uncertainties will cause some changes around the park. The community has been great and very patient as we make our way through the ever changing situation. Our top priority is to put on a safe event for the entire community to enjoy. After what everyone has been through this the past year, we think the community will be ready to have some fun, watch the rodeo, listen to live music and see their friends at the Stampede.

 What is the favorite part about working for the Greeley Stampede?

Making memories for the community. It is great to see the hard work put in by the staff & volunteers when the gates finally open and the community comes out for the carnival rides, turkey legs, live music & the rodeo action.  

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How would you describe your experience as County Commissioner? (Steve Moreno)

Ask any current or former commissioner why they ran for the position, and their answer will undoubtedly boil down to one common element: the desire to serve, improve and protect their community. Weld County is a county rich in diversity and history, and although we span 4,000 square miles and are home to 32 individual municipalities, we are very much a community - One that values fiscal responsibility, desires continued improvement and promotes responsible growth.

Where else do you have the oldest symphonic orchestra west of the Mississippi River and a nationally recognized award-winning microbrewery? How many other places can say that three separate government entities came together to build a 21-mile walking and biking trail for the public to enjoy? What other county has made a long-term commitment to residents through a low mill levy and no county sales tax, allowing those residents to keep more money in their own pockets? Weld County. This is an amazing place full of amazing people. Whether it’s through land use and development or community project participation and support, I’m proud to work with a board dedicated to preserving all that makes this county so great! And perhaps, more importantly, I’m proud to live in a community as strong and supportive as this one.

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Born and raised in Greeley, Mayor John Gates has served this community on so many levels.  

The Greeley Central and AIMS Community College Alum, Mayor Gates has seen 60 plus years of evolution of Greeley to the thriving City it is today.  From a population of just over twenty-five thousand people in the 1960’s, to a population today of over 110 thousand, Greeley has certainly transformed right in front of everyone’s eyes. 

Breaking down John’s service to Greeley is beyond impressive.  25 years as a Greeley Police Officer, retiring in 2003.  The past 18 years he has worked as the Chief of Safety for District Six Schools.  Concurrently he was a member of Greeley City Council for 8 years,   the past 4 years he has served as Mayor.  

If that’s not enough, John has served on the board of directors for many organization;  to include the Greeley Chamber of Commerce, Boy’s and Girl’s Club, Greeley Stampede Committee, Suicide Education Support Services, Youth and Family Connections and Upstate Colorado. You would be hard pressed to attend a community event or non-profit fundraiser without seeing John and his wife Patty in attendance.   He is a Mayor truly leading by example.  

Mayor states that from his eyes, the City of Greeley is such a great place because of its amazing residents.  He also loves Greeley because the voters have continually shown they will invest in their city.

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Seeing how access to high-quality, affordable education has changed so many students’ lives, Chuck Jensen finds it personally and professionally rewarding to serve as the Vice President of Administrative Services/CFO at Aims Community College.

Jensen has been at Aims for almost four years and has more than 20 years of experience in higher education senior leadership. He is passionate about working for a community college and is proud to be part of an organization that has been such an important part of Greeley and Weld County for more than 50 years. 

In his position at the College, he sees first-hand the impact of community support for students. From this support, Aims is able to continue to provide students with the latest classroom and lab technology, and offer students support services that help ensure their success.

 There are many other aspects about Aims that Jensen values, including that Aims is a leader in affordability among colleges in the state, and Aims’ commitment to empowering students to succeed and enriching economic development in northern Colorado. Aims continues to drive forward in these areas, with its Aims2UNC program providing a pathway for students to earn a bachelor’s degree, as well as the construction of a new Welcome Center on the Greeley campus, which will provide top-notch services for students and exciting opportunities for the community.

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Hossein Shirazi has a great All-American story.   He is the epitome of what’s great about our Country and certainly the community of Greeley.   

Arriving in the United States in 1976, Hossein would have never dreamt what life accomplishments would be achieved over the next four plus decades.   He came to America, Greeley, UNC to chase the American dream.   He has exceeded on all fronts, personally, professionally and philanthropically.

He barely spoke English, but he needed a job to pay his college tuition.  Toddy’s hired him as a bagger.  Then he quickly worked his way up to clerk.   The Teller Restaurant would be his next job, starting out as a waiter, but then he earned his way to become a bartender. 

Since 1982,he has been a Principal with Shirazi benefits, serving hundreds of businesses with Health Insurance.  

Hossein has an amazing appreciation for Greeley, as it supported and afforded him the chance to work hard and earn.  

According to Hossein, his greatest accomplishments are his wife Christi, and successful adult sons David, Marc and Jonathan

Today, he supports all non-profits, but with a close affiliation to the Boys and Girls Club, Frontier House and the Salvation Army.

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