Our welcoming and experienced team are happy to help you find the resources, expertise, and connections you need to thrive in an Upstate Colorado community.
Richard Werner | President & CEO
Rich has 13 years of experience in all facets of economic development having most recently joined Upstate in 2015 as President & CEO. Prior to Upstate Rich worked as VP at the Pueblo Economic Development Corporation where he was responsible for all attraction, retention and expansion activities. Rich has previously served as the Associate Director for the State of Colorado Small Business Development Centers for Former Governor Bill Owens and Bill Ritter. Prior to his appointment by the State, he acted as the Director of Marketing for the Boulder Technology Incubator (CTEK).
A New York native, he has Bachelor of Arts degrees in Political Science and Communications from The American University in Washington DC. Rich enjoys trying to ski and golf but his favorite activities center around spending time with his bride of 12 years and three young children.
Cathy Schulte, CEcD | Senior Vice President
Cathy is a thirty-year employee of Upstate and is intimately involved with each of Upstates’ program efforts including business attraction/retention and expansion, community support, data development, and marketing. In addition, she serves as Administrator of the Weld County Enterprise Zone and in 2012 was appointed by the Governor to serve on the Colorado Enterprise Zone Task Force. The same year she also received the Colorado Economic Development Achievement Award from her state peers. Cathy is a graduate of the International Economic Development Institute and is recognized nationally as a Certified Economic Developer (CEcD). She’s a graduate of the University of Northern Colorado where she earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Journalism and Business Administration.
A Colorado native, Cathy loves the west and enjoys road trips, hiking and travel in general. She’s also an avid reader and enjoys knitting. Cathy and her husband Dennis have three adult children who live in the area and various business interests that further strengthen ties to the region.
Stephanie Moehlenpah | Grant Coordinator
Stephanie is the Grant Coordinator for Upstate Colorado. A native Coloradan, Stephanie is a graduate of the University of Colorado-Boulder with a degree in Economics. Her previous experience includes 9 years in the mortgage business and Account Representative for a mortgage document company. Stephanie has been with Upstate for a year and a half and enjoys helping the small businesses affected by the floods and wildfires with disaster relief.
Stephanie and her husband, Troy, are active with their twin boys and like spending as much time as possible outdoors.
Audrey Herbison | Economic Development Manager
Audrey is the Economic Development Manager for Upstate Colorado. Her daily activities include leveraging data and industry resources for prospect attraction and business expansion activities. Prior to joining Upstate, Audrey worked as the Economic Development Coordinator for the City of Greeley, with a primary focus on site-selection, assisting businesses to traverse the expansion process, and preparing City development-incentives.
Audrey attended the University of Northern Colorado, earning a Bachelor of Arts in Economics. As a long-time Northern Colorado resident, Audrey enjoys the sunshine and being active with her dog Wiley.
Sarah Rice | Bright Futures Executive Director
Before accepting the Executive Director position at Bright Futures, Sarah spent the last 10 years working in the nonprofit sector with United Way of Larimer County and Kaiser Permanente Colorado. Sarah has built strong relationships with the business community, local government entities, nonprofits, and individuals in the region. Her successful career in community development and fundraising, paired with a degree from the University of Phoenix Human Service and Management, aligns perfectly with the mission of Bright Futures.
Professionalism is of the utmost importance to Sarah, and her keen understanding of the crucial role in building productive partnerships in the community is why she is known as someone who “walks the talk” and regularly demonstrates a commitment to the community in both her professional and personal life. Sarah’s professionalism, enthusiasm, and positivity are contagious and often used to describe her personality and work style. Sarah has received recognition as Forty Under 40 and Young Professional of the Year by the Loveland Chamber of Commerce.
“My passion for community is relentless, and I look forward to supporting our young generation to gain the skills needed to pursue a career they are passionate about while building a stable economy. I thrive when collaborating with diverse constituent groups and I am excited to get to know all aspects of the Weld County community of businesses, individuals and families. I cannot think of a better way to support a thriving community than to team up with Bright Futures!”
Kailee Melendez | Community Support Manager
In addition to supporting the community Kailee is responsible for operations management, marketing, and program administration. Kailee was previously the Program Assistant with The City of Fort Collins – Mediation and Restorative Justice Services. Her time with The City of Fort Collins allowed her to develop a strong organization skillset as well as a program development.
Kailee is a graduate of CSU with a degree in business and concentrations in Marketing and Computer Information Systems and a minor in Spanish. Kailee is a Windsor native and enjoys spending time with family and friends.