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Pitkin County Press Releases

Posted on: December 13, 2019

Aspen School District Leader Receives Helen K. Klanderud Award


Interim Superintendent of the Aspen School District, Dr. Tom Heald is the recipient of the 2019 Helen K. Klanderud Exemplary Service Award. The award was announced by Pitkin County Human Services which received nominations and a majority vote from over 40 non-profit and government entity leaders. 

According to a compilation of nominations for the award “Heald played an important role in the launching of Aspen Family Connections, a one-stop family resource center, and its continued programming for local families. He also played a leadership role on the Northwest Colorado Council of Governments Interagency Oversight Group (IOG) with its mission of coordinating services for children and families.”

Among the criteria used to consider candidates for the Helen K. Klanderud Award are exemplary communication and collaboration skills, problem-solving ability, excellent customer service with clients, staff, donors and the community. Other criteria include a commitment to mission and passion for the work by thinking strategically and implementing tactically, goal-driven and persistent, leadership resulting in impact or change.  This includes great convening skills, fundraising ability, stamina and the ability to accept and motivate others. 

“Tom’s dedication to youth and families is unparalleled and because of his leadership, more collaborative efforts are taking shape and actually happening,” said Lindsay Lofaro, Executive Director of The Buddy Program.  “Every time I am with Tom I learn something about leadership and strategic thinking. I am grateful for all he does for our community and think this award is well deserved,” Lafaro said. 


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Director of Pitkin County Human Services

Nan Sundeen with Dr. Tom Heald as he receives the Helen K. Klanderud Award.

The Helen K. Klanderud award is given once-a-year to an individual in the community who reflects the legacy of public service that Klanderud exemplified. Klanderud, a single mother,  was a local politician, clinical social worker, and attorney. She served as Pitkin County Commissioner in the early 80s, was Mayor of Aspen from 2001 to 2007. She was a climate change activist, spent many years in the mental health counseling realm, and advocated for solutions to homelessness and drug addiction, among other civic undertakings. Klanderud passed away in 2013.

Nominations for the 2020 Helen K. Klanderud award will be solicited beginning in November of 2020. More information about the award is available by contacting Lisa Yorker, Grant Specialist with the Healthy Community Fund.  lisa.yorker@pitkincounty.com


MEDIA CONTACT: Lindsay Maisch, 970-319-9463

Pitkin County Human Services
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