Advocacy | Partnership | ImpactWho We Are
Sara and Michael Craig-Scheckman established the Craig-Scheckman Family Foundation in the spring of 2005 with a focus on youth advocacy, and the first grants were awarded in May of 2006. The emphasis on youth advocacy stems from Sara’s dedication of her professional life to championing the rights of youth who are vulnerable and underserved by typical societal systems. Sara began her youth advocacy career early in life working in direct services in California with youth who experienced a wide range of multi-risk factors and marginalization. Sara later attended law school in New York to become a civil rights youth advocate and is bilingual (Spanish).
During the early years, the Craig-Scheckman Family Foundation (now CSFF) reached out to local nonprofit organizations and public institutions to gain a deeper understanding of youth and family needs in Northwest Colorado. Through these relationships and a tremendous growth in assets, thanks to Michael’s extraordinary talent in finance and investments, CSFF has been able to increase its breadth and depth of funding impact since its inception. It is the hope and desire of Sara and Michael to continue building CSFF into an enduring and essential institution that serves the diverse needs of communities in Northwest Colorado and beyond.
CSFF Board of Directors
Sara served as the founding CSFF Executive Director from 2005 through January 2020. Sara brought to the Foundation over 25 years of work in the non-profit field of youth advocacy and social justice. Her passion for building community relationships and desire and intention to understand the complex issues of youth and families greatly contributed to the building of the Foundation. Sara enjoys spending time traveling internationally with her partner, Michael, and time outdoors with their three chocolate Labradors. Sara and Michael have four adult daughters, who all work in the area of community engagement.
Michael has been in the investment business for over 40 years and has over 25 years’ experience in the distressed mortgage-backed/asset-backed (MBS/ABS) field. Michael is President and CEO of Deer Park Road Corporation (DPRC). He has operated DPRC as an investment advisor, focused exclusively on deeply discounted fixed income securities, from July 2003 until the present. Michael, as well as the DPRC staff, takes full advantage of their slope-side access to ski, hike and bike. Michael is the proud father of four daughters and three chocolate Labrador Retrievers.
Wendy is the Controller at Deer Park Road. Prior to joining Deer Park Road, she owned and operated a financial and tax accounting company in Steamboat. Wendy is a Certified Public Accountant and Certified Financial Planner in Colorado. Wendy brings not only financial expertise to the CSFF Board strategies but also tremendous passion and enthusiasm for supporting Routt County community needs. Wendy moved to Steamboat with her husband, Chris, in 1992, and they have a daughter. She is a dedicated mom, skier and paddle boarder. Wendy enjoys traveling the world with her family.
As a member of the Steamboat Springs community and long-time Dean of Students/teacher at Steamboat Mountain School (SMS), Brian strongly believes in a community’s ability and strength to provide the “village” that supports and advocates for youth and their development. Brian is a graduate of Illinois Wesleyan University where he played Division III football, and he earned his MA in Mathematics from Northern Colorado University. A former member of the Steamboat Rugby Club, Brian coached middle and high school wrestling in Steamboat Springs for five years and has led many outdoor experiential trips and SMS Global Immersion excursions around the world. Brian and his wife, Alli, have twin boys.
Brad is responsible for overseeing all aspects of the day to day operations of Deer Park Road Management Company, with the exception of portfolio management and trading. Brad has extensive experience in managing businesses prior to joining DPRC in 2007. He was the President/CEO of a nationally recognized environmental laboratory. Brad earned a BA in Geology and Environmental Science at the University of Pennsylvania and a MS in Earth Sciences at Dartmouth College, New Hampshire. Brad is a native of California. He moved to Steamboat Springs in 1991 with his wife Lara, and they have a son and a daughter. Brad is a five-time Ironman, a former collegiate swimmer, and a mountain and road biker.
Mark provides leadership and vision in developing and implementing the strategic direction of the Foundation and oversees all daily operations. He has over 30 years of experience in the nonprofit sector including serving as the Executive Director of the Yampa Valley Community Foundation, heading the Routt County United Way, leading a summer camp for children with chronic medical conditions, and working as a program manager at a residential facility for abused and neglected youth. Mark has served on numerous community boards including as Board Chair of Philanthropy Colorado. His connections throughout the state highly benefits CSFF as the Foundation looks to learn from and partner with other funders to strengthen its advocacy and deepen its philanthropic impact. He enjoys a variety of outdoor recreational activities, including mountain unicycling, reading a good book and sampling the local craft beer. Mark and his wife, Kris, have two grown sons and originally moved to the Yampa Valley in 1993.
Kris manages the operations of CSFF where she performs a variety of tasks from paying bills, managing the website, processing grant proposals to the general organization of all aspects of CSFF. She has business experience in the legal, environmental, and mental health fields. Outside of work Kris enjoys spending time with her family and dogs and taking advantage of all the Colorado outdoors has to offer.
Laurie is responsible for ensuring that the front office runs smoothly. She works with vendors, manages staff calendars, plans special events and overall supports the CSFF team. After many years in the resort industry, Laurie is excited to be a part of CSFF and their involvement with the community. She moved to the Yampa Valley in 1996 with her husband, John. Laurie appreciates time with him and their two dogs. She enjoys travel and spending time outdoors skiing, snowshoeing, hiking and biking.