Rebecca is Montezuma County
To Rebecca (Becca) Samulski, Montezuma County is home, and she cares deeply about this community. Her personal and professional experience has prepared her well to support existing and new efforts for the long-term economic, social, and environmental well-being of our community.
Part of the Community
Becca spent her childhood in Mesa Verde National Park while her father, Everett Whitehead, was a park ranger. She attended school in Mancos and Cortez, and as an outstanding student, graduated from Montezuma-Cortez High School one year early. From a young age, Becca has been engaged in her community. As an elementary student she helped write a grant to improve the Mancos River Walk trail behind the Mancos School. Becca’s first jobs were local as well, and she worked at Ted’s Tacos and The Depot, taking orders and working as a frontline cook.
Becca attended Fort Lewis College in Durango, earning a BA in Anthropology in 2005. She was active in the student body government, started the Anthropology Club, and ran the Southwest Center Recycling program for three years. Becca worked summers at Let It Grow nursery in Cortez, as well as completing summer archaeological internships with Crow Canyon AC, Mesa Verde National Park, San Juan National Forest, and Monte Alban World Heritage Site in Oaxaca, Mexico.
Becca soon was involved in Montezuma County planning and economic development. As a full-time land-use Planning Intern at the Montezuma County Planning Department, she attended the first meeting and continued on the steering committee to design the Montezuma Community Economic Development Association. This was the only time before or since that decision-makers from Dolores, Mancos, Cortez, Ute Mountain, and Montezuma County have all met together. In 2009 Becca earned an MA in New Directions in Politics and Public Policy from the University of Colorado.
As a City of Cortez Planning Intern, Becca led the City of Cortez 2020 visioning process and update of the City of Cortez Comprehensive Plan. She also completed the Healing Leaders Facilitation Training. Afterwards she became the contract administrator for the Bridge Emergency Shelter. She re-opened a Day Labor Center and hired the first paid director for the shelter.
From 2011 through 2018, Becca was the Montezuma County Coordinator then the Assistant Director for FireWise of Southwest Colorado (now Wildfire Adapted Partnership). During this time Becca brought neighbors together around their shared wildfire risk. She coordinated fence building and tree planting recovery projects with homeowners following the Weber Fire. She participated in the Montezuma Inspire Coalition (a local initiative to get kids outdoors), convened a regional biomass working group, started a chipper rental/rebate program, initiated a system for supporting Montezuma County subdivision wildfire mitigation plan and implementation requirements.
She was instrumental in building the Dolores Watershed Resilient Forest Collaborative as the initial convener, coordinator, and facilitator. Since the summer of 2015, this dedicated group of land, water, wildlife, and fire managers; scientists; conservationists; timber entrepreneurs; and government and non-profit leaders have been sharing knowledge and resources toward a community and ecosystem that will be more resilient to wildfire and other disturbances. For her outstanding efforts, Becca received the prestigious National Wildfire Mitigation Award. Becca is currently the Executive Director at Fire Adapted Colorado, a statewide network of professionals dedicated to helping Coloradans live better with wildfires.
During this period of hard work and professional accomplishments, Becca married Joseph Samulski, a Colorado native and fellow archaeologist. Together they have two sons, Orin (age 11) and Isaac (age 9), who attend Dolores public schools. They live in Montezuma County in a passive solar straw-bale home built by Becca’s parents, Ev and Sue Whitehead. Joe and his parents, David and Jetta, operate a residential inspection business.
Becca’s mission is to serve as a Montezuma County Commissioner to protect the well-being of our people, land, and economy at a time when we face so many external stressors. She believes that we can achieve a wonderful quality of life for all by leveraging our community’s many resources and empowering locals to carry out homegrown solutions together. Becca’s fresh approach to problems incorporates new ideas and is guided by her energetic approach to leadership. She has a profound ability to listen to diverse perspectives, digest the information, find common ground, and seek equitable solutions.
Fire Adapted Communities Learning Network: https://www.linkedin.com/in/rebecca-samulski-b1502144/
Past Dolores Watershed Resilient Forest Collaborative: http://dwrfcollaborative.org/team/rebecca-samulski/
Samulski enters race for Montezuma county commissioner
The race for Montezuma County Commissioner District 3 just got competitive.
Unaffiliated candidate Rebecca Samulski has obtained enough signatures to make the November ballot for the position, said Montezuma County Clerk Kim Percell.
Samulski will run against Republican candidate Joel Stevenson, who won the primary over Monty Guiles.Samulski enters race for county commissioner District 3 – June 5th 2020