Elise Popp

Special Events & Culinary Arts Director

Elise serves the Center in the dual role of Special Events and Culinary/Vintner Arts Director.  She brings over a decade of experience in the food and beverage and hospitality industries as well as over six years of experience in nonprofit management.  Some of her past roles have included Service and Operations Manager for Jake's On The Lake, a fine-dining restaurant in Lake Tahoe, California; General Manager for the Woodstone Grille at Crested Butte Mountain Resort; Executive Director for Peace Museum Colorado; and Program Coordinator for the youth development nonprofit SOS Outreach.

Elise originally moved to the Gunnison Valley to attend Western State from 2008 to 2011.  There, she earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science with Summa Cum Laude honors.  In 2016, she graduated with a Master of Arts degree in Peace and Conflict Studies from the Department of Anthropology and Sociology at Rutgers University and returned to the Gunnison Valley and the mountains, rivers, and community she loves.  

As a trained Cultural Anthropologist specializing in peaceful community building, Elise brings to the Center a wholistic understanding of the importance of arts and culture (including shared culinary experiences) for healthy, positive community development.  In this way, her role with the Center combines her academic studies and professional experience and allows her to contribute positively to her community, a truly rewarding job!

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