CCCF Blog

Hi there! My name is Joseph Teipel and I’m honored to have been selected as CCCF’s new Executive Director (Read more here with this ArkValley Voice article) and I’d love the chance to introduce myself. I’ll be writing much more about community, philanthropy, and other things in future posts, but I felt it important to ensure you all had my background as context first. Monday, July 1st was my first day on the job, and my family and I moved into our new (to us) home in BV the day before! Needless to say life is a tad crazy at the moment, but I’m sitting here after the rains last night smelling the sweet mountain air and its calm reminds me that all this is more than worth it.

DSC_0319.jpg

I was born in Salida, and grew up in the house my parents built themselves on CR 361 about five miles North of Buena Vista before I left to attend the University of Denver in 2004. Thanks to BHVS’ concurrent enrollment program with CMC, I was able to take a year’s worth of college credit with me to university and graduate in June, 2007, a few months before a good friend and I decided to start and build a nonprofit called Re:Vision. For the first few years of its existence - as we built the organization through the great recession - I served in Americorps in Denver building houses with Habitat for Humanity, met and married my beautiful wife Ashley Tess, and served with her in the Peace Corps in West Africa and Eastern Europe.

In early 2012 Ash and I returned to Denver and I joined Re:Vision full-time as its Director of Operations - working to deepen and expand our programming and build operational systems to increase efficiency and align every part of our organization with its mission. Ash and I bought our first home in the same community in which Re:Vision works that summer, and, over the next two years, designed and built a garage and apartment on the back of our property with our own two hands (and those of family and friends at certain ‘heavy lift’ stages!). This intense and exhausting project paid off as we entered into our adoption journey and were able to use the equity we’d built to purchase a home large enough for our future family in the same neighborhood in late 2015.

IMG_1028.jpg

After an almost three year process including incredible support from family and friends and nearly 5 months of living and navigating court processes in Albania, we brought our kids home in October, 2017. Our daughter V (hoping to preserve some level of online privacy for them, but I can’t wait for you to meet them in person!) was 7 then, with a sparkle in her eyes so deep it threatened to (and still does) burst my heart every day. Our son S was 5 and his goofiness and thoughtfulness still strike a chord within me as he continues to make everyone around him smile.

It was a year ago this month Ash and I looked at each other as we were driving back through heavy traffic to Denver from a weekend with my mum in BV and said we were tired of city life and wanted something to change. Ash had grown up in a rural South Dakota farming town of 800 people, so we both understood the power of small communities. Yet we also felt at home in the mountains, and so we decided to move back to BV in the summer of 2019 - no job prospects, just a conviction that this was the place we were supposed to be. Now, a year later, Ash has (gleefully) accepted a 3rd grade teaching position at Avery Parson’s Elementary School, and we are settling into life deeply grateful for the opportunities we’ve been given and the community we get to rejoin.

I’ll be sharing more in future posts about how the people I’ve met and experiences I’ve had (both professionally and personally) have shaped how I think about community and philanthropy, so stay tuned, and thanks for reading!

My family just after the 4th here in BV!

My family just after the 4th here in BV!

Phone: (719) 204-5071
P.O. Box 492
Buena Vista, CO 81211
www.chaffeecountycommunityfoundation.org