Palisade Chamber of Commerce Staff
Jessica Burford, President & CEO
Jessica comes to The Chamber with a background in non-profit fundraising and corporate and hospitality sales. She values connection and enjoys helping businesses collaborate and flourish. She and her husband are deeply-rooted in Western Colorado, own their own business on Horizon Drive in Grand Junction, and serve in several leadership capacities for organizations across The Valley. Jessica faithfully advocates for disability rights and aims to raise awareness for mental and behavioral health needs, children’s services, and food politics. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling, spending time outdoors, live music, good belly laughs, entertaining family and friends, and watching her two sons grow and thrive.
Board of Directors
Kristie Clark, Board Chair
Kristie’s hometown is Carbondale, CO but she is now proud to call Palisade her home, both towns have provided her a strong sense of belonging. Kristie moved to the Grand Valley to attend Colorado Mesa University and with her experience and business degree, she began working in small businesses and public service. What she has learned is that providing for and giving back to her community is her passion. Kristie owns and operates a local electrical contracting business, Defiance Electric, with her husband Mike. When not working or volunteering, Kristie enjoys spending time with her family in their backyard that is surrounded by their peach orchard and the views of Mt. Garfield. The Palisade Chamber of Commerce is a critical resource for businesses and residents alike. Palisade offers a sense of community which is unparalleled. The ability to contribute to an entity that cultivates community, such as the Chamber, is a sincere privilege. Serving on the board since July 2022.
Carol Calacino, Vice Chair
Carol moved to Grand Junction in 1997 with her husband and two young children. The boys have grown and subsequently moved away, which created an opportunity for Carol and John to pursue their honeymoon dream of living in wine country. They thought it would be Napa, California but found their dream property in Palisade, Colorado in 2019. The property includes a small vineyard and a short-term rental which they offer to visitors to the area. When Carol isn’t home preparing for guests, she works as the director of Medical Staff Services at St. Mary’s Hospital. She has a master’s degree in Health Care Administration and because of her desire to continue to learn and develop, she recently completed a year-long transformational coaching program. Her goal is to become a certified transformational coach and use this skill into her retirement years. Carol is passionate about everything Palisade has to offer and is excited to join the Palisade Chamber Board.
Joseph Burtard, Past Chair
Joe’s heritage began in the Roaring Fork Valley where he grew up on his parent’s ranch outside of Carbondale, CO. Joseph attended Colorado Mesa University where he received a Bachelor’s in Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing. He graduated from the World Wide College of Auctioneering as a Certified Auctioneer for real-estate, auto, livestock, antiques and charity auctions. Joseph has a Master’s of Businesses Administration from University of Phoenix. He proudly worked 15 years for Ute Water Conservancy District as the External Affairs Manager. Joseph was the Director of External Affairs for Grand Junction Regional Airport before following his true passion, ranching and raising/training draft horses. Joseph owns and manages JR’s Carriage Service, a commercial horse drawn carriage company and horse-drawn vehicle distribution company. Joseph started JR’s Carriage Service when he was 14 years old. He is actively involved in numerous community boards, charities, and service clubs. His faith and family remain the two most important elements of his life.
Luke McLean, Treasurer
Luke’s roots in Palisade are quite literal, as he grew up on the local peach orchard at McLean Farms. He is about as Palisade as it comes, having attended Taylor Elementary, Mount Garfield Middle School, and Palisade High. With a deep love of the unique community, athletics, and the outdoors, he has always called Palisade home. He holds two bachelor degrees in the fields of finance and accounting from Colorado Mesa University. Luke’s passion for the Western Slope has driven his career, where he proudly works for Academy Mortgage and helps people realize their dream of home ownership in the valley. Very excited to join the Palisade Chamber Board, he hopes to help facilitate and grow the the businesses in his beloved community.
Katie Neverdahl, Secretary
Katie grew up on a rugged mountain ranch outside of Boulder, Colorado and moved to Palisade in 2000. She met her husband, Zach, while attending Palisade High School and graduated in 2005. Katie went on to pursue degrees in clinical psychology and criminal justice at Colorado Mesa University, where she graduated with honors from multiple societies. After college, she worked as a corrections officer at Criminal Justice Services, but realized it wasn’t the right path after a few years. She then went to work at Timberline Bank in 2014, starting as a teller, and is now Assistant Vice President of Loan Production! When Katie isn’t baking with her 4-year-old daughter, she is reading and working with her American quarter horses. She was recently named two-time Reserve World Champion at the Versatility Ranch Horse World Show 2021. Actively serving as the new Palisade Chamber of Commerce Board Secretary and a board member of the Grand Junction Horse Show Association, Katie has also contributed to several other nonprofits in the past and enjoys the chance to make an impact in the community in which she lives.
Annette Lewis, Board Member
Annette grew up in Chicago and moved to Colorado with her family when her father had a career change. After settling in Denver she attended the Colorado Institute of Art and earned a degree in Interior Design. After working in the housing field for several years she decided a change was needed. Some notable companies that she worked for were FirstBank of Colorado and Starz Entertainment all while getting married (twice) and raising two children. Something was still missing and that was her dream of owning and running a Bed and Breakfast. Annette loves meeting new people and welcoming old friends. She shares this dream with her husband Trey so once her kids graduated school the real task of finding the perfect location for their B&B started. Trey and Annette chose the Palisade area to set up shop. They have been here almost three years now and have loved (almost, LOL) every minute of it. Annette joined the Palisade Chamber of Commerce in 2019 as a member and was asked to become a Board member in 2020. She was elected as Secretary and was to start her term in January 2021. “Community is important and I want to be a part of it” – Annette Lewis
Brooke McElley, Board Member
Brooke was born and raised in the Grand Valley, graduating from Palisade High School. She continued her education, earning a Bachelors in Business Administration with an emphasis in Marketing from the University of Northern Colorado and her Masters of Business Administration with an emphasis in Market Strategy from Regis University. Brooke has worked in the oil and gas industry for over 16 years in various marketing roles. She loves the Palisade community which is one of the main reasons her and her husband decided to purchase land and develop Palisade Basecamp RV Resort in 2016. Brooke lives and plays in Palisade with her husband Bart and their two sons, Parker and Hudson. Serving on the Board Since July 2020, Member Since 2017
Manon Desrosiers, Board Member
Manon is originally from Montreal. She began her career at an agency working with Fortune 100 clients, including Polo Ralph Lauren, General Motors and the City of Montreal. After having two children with special needs, working with a soft schedule became more important than any title or position, so Manon founded her own firm. Today, Manon’s business, Manon Marketing, serves dozens of clients across the United States offering strategic branding services, websites, graphic design, social media services, internet marketing, SEO, and apps.
Manon became a Coloradan in 2020, during the height of the pandemic. Manon and her husband decided to look for a new place to call home. After visiting this beautiful area, Manon and her husband moved here. Shortly after, Manon joined the Palisade Chamber and eventually joined the Board. Manon is excited to serve on the board and plans on helping the chamber in any way she can.
Jamie Somerville, Liaison for the Town of Palisade
Jamie is a Palisade native who is finishing his first term serving on the Board of Trustees for the Town of Palisade. In addition to his duties in local government he is an English and Social Studies teacher at East Middle School in Grand Junction Colorado. Jamie has a Bachelors Degree in History and Political Science from King University in Bristol, TN, and a Masters Degree in Education from Colorado Mesa University. He is married to Ashley Somerville and together they have three children, Hazel, Ayden, and Chase.