Success Through Local Leadership: The Gunnison Vibrancy Initiative Story




The public process is hard to get right. Outreach can take more time than city staff usually has. Public meetings often draw the same crowd time after time. And making forward progress can feel impossible when a community just can’t seem to agree upon the issues. Like most places, these challenges felt all too familiar in Gunnison, Colorado. That is, however, until they decided to do things a bit differently.

This webinar follows the story of the Gunnison Vibrancy Initiative, a community-led effort to build a more vibrant downtown. Knowing that a strong downtown needs strong community leaders, the Gunnison Vibrancy Initiative took a unique approach to the planning process that focused on learning and team building first. This resulted in a team of 28 local leaders from throughout the community, stepping up to take charge of the process and move forward with creating a vibrant downtown.

Presented by a panel of local leaders from the Gunnison community, this webinar covers important lessons learned from the Gunnison Vibrancy Initiative, and how they might apply in your community.

This webinar aired on Wednesday, August 29, 2018.


  • Russ Forrest // City Manager // City of Gunnison
  • Andie Ruggera // Planner & Interim Community Development Director // City of Gunnison
  • Kelly Osness // Owner // Treads ‘n’ Threads
  • Jennifer Barvitski // Architect
  • Celeste Helminski // Director // Gunnison Chamber of Commerce

Eligible for 1 AICP CM credit from the American Planning Association, event #9156640.

  • Community
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  • Economy