Staff Bios

© Werner R Slocum

© Werner R Slocum

Shelly Benford, Executive Director

Shelly Benford is thrilled to join the Colorado Chautauqua Association (CCA) following over 30 years of corporate and consulting experience. Having served as Chair of the Board of Directors of CCA and Interim Executive Director for nearly a year, Shelly brings a deep understanding of Chautauqua’s mission, values and strategic objectives.

Prior to moving to Colorado, Shelly spent many years in Chicago where she progressed through corporate positions in finance, marketing and strategic planning before starting her own consulting firm specializing in strategic planning, organizational change and leadership development. In her role as Principal and Managing Partner of the firm, Shelly was responsible for developing strategic alliances with key partners, managing relationships with numerous corporate clients, developing and validating leadership assessment tools for use with high-level executives, and training associates to deliver services across the United States.

Shelly has an MBA and a doctorate in clinical psychology and has served on numerous non-profit boards supporting the arts and underserved youth. She has been elected twice to the Boulder Valley School District (BVSD) Board of Education, with responsibility for developing and overseeing the implementation of achievement and equity goals impacting 56 schools and over 30,000 students.

Sue Perkins, Director of Finance and Administration

Sue (Brophy) Perkins became Director of Finance and Administration of the Colorado Chautauqua Association in April 2005. Sue is responsible for accounting, finance, human resources, risk management, information technology and administration of the Association. She is a licensed CPA and has worked in finance and accounting in both the private and public sectors for 20 years. Sue brings valuable expertise from previous experience working with seasonal, entertainment and other nonprofit businesses.

Jeff Medanich, Facilities and Preservation Manager

Jeff Medanich has been building, remodeling, restoring and preserving residential buildings for 35 years. For the 14 years before joining CCA in May 2008, Jeff was involved in the construction of new homes, working with Harvard Communities, a leading high-performance home builder, and with McStain Neighborhoods, a pioneer in the Green Building industry. Jeff has been a featured speaker at numerous national conferences including the U.S. Green Building Expo, the International Builders Conference, and the Urban Land Institute’s national conference. He is certified by the U.S. Green Building Council as a LEED Accredited Professional, by Colorado State University as a Green Building Professional, and by Naropa University as a Permaculture Designer. He is a contributing editor for the Green Building Advisor. Jeff was inducted into the Colorado Built Green Hall of Fame in 2005. He is currently a member of the Berthoud Historic Preservation Commission and formerly was a member of the Lafayette Historic Preservation Board. He lives in a 110 year-old farmhouse.