Office of Community and Economic Development Who We Are
Kathay Rennels, Associate Vice President for Engagement at Colorado State University, works to advance collaborative networks across the state and create economic development opportunities. She has significant experience fostering public and private partnerships in regional and rural workforce development, with particular attention to Larimer and Weld Counties. Rennels previously served three terms as a Larimer County
Commissioner and is now leading the Food and Agriculture Key Industry Network for the State of Colorado.
Rennels helped initiate “The Value Chain of Colorado Agriculture” project, released in March 2013, and co-authored the November 2014 follow-up study, “The Emergence of an Innovation Cluster in the Agricultural Value Chain along Colorado’s Front Range”.
She also currently serves on the Northern Colorado Economic Development Council, Community Foundation of Northern Colorado, El Pomar Foundation, The Matthews House, Larimer County United Way, and Colorado Youth Conservation Association.
Geniphyr Ponce-Pore, MS, is the Assistant Director of Community and Economic Development and is the Workforce Specialist for CSU Extension. With 15 years of experience working in community, economic and workforce development in Colorado, she joined CSU in 2010.
Having lived and worked in both rural and urban Colorado, Ponce-Pore has pulled together teams to develop and implement projects that address community, economic, and workforce development issues ranging from strategic planning for regional tourism, emerging workforce needs and developing next generation talent, small business development, and training to support new and seasoned entrepreneurs. She is certified in Permaculture, and is trained in Appreciative Inquiry, Systematic Development of Informed Consent (SDIC) and other group process and facilitation methods. She also developed and runs a small all natural body-care business with her daughter, and lives in Fort Collins, Colorado.
Paula Mills, Project Manager, has over eight years of managing multi-stakeholder projects in diverse settings. She has extensive experience bringing products and programs to market in the consumer packaged goods industry, often serving as a champion and facilitator of cross-functional project teams. She has also developed and operated two entrepreneurial ventures serving mid-sized communities.
Mills most recently led the 2013 Colorado Gives Day campaign in Larimer County, where she engaged a variety of community partners in support of local nonprofits. She regularly convened ideas, resources and people to address community issues, playing a leadership role in a $1.8 million fundraising and grant making effort in support of regional flood relief and recovery.
She is a graduate of Leadership Loveland and member of the Colorado Women’s Sports Fund Association, WomenGive and WISH. She joined CSU in August 2014.