Grand Futures seeks new executive director; Simbeye accepts new statewide role
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Lindsey Simbeye said it was a hard decision, but after two years with Grand Futures Prevention Coalition, she elected to leave her position as executive director in January to take on a new role as external relations strategist for the Colorado Consortium for Prescription Drug Abuse and Prevention.
“It was a very difficult decision for me to make because I really wasn’t ready to leave Grand Futures in many ways,” Simbeye said. “I think (Grand Futures) is an amazing organization, and the work that we do and the amount of youth-serving organizations that we support in the three counties that we do our work is so significant and so needed.”
Simbeye will be one of four external strategists on a team of about 10 people working for the Colorado Consortium, which is based on the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus in Denver. In her role, Simbeye will oversee 10 counties in Northwest Colorado.
According to its website, the Colorado Consortium for Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention works with partners in government, academia and communities to coordinate the state’s response to the opioid crisis.
“This was an opportunity for me to really hone in on a specific substance category but then also broaden that reach to the 10 different counties in the Northwest corner that I’m supporting,” Simbeye said. “That’s really where my interest was.”
The good news, Simbeye said, is she gets to stay in Steamboat Springs and work from home, which she says is great for her family dynamic. Despite leaving her position with Grand Futures, she has stayed involved with the organization and is helping to find her replacement.
“Grand Futures is a partner of the Colorado Consortium, so it’s really important for the consortium to ensure that when those transitions happen, and when they have people come on board from one of their partners, that they’re really continuing to support that organization,” Simbeye said. “Not leave them high and dry.”
Andy Wiener, chair of the Grand Futures board of directors, said he was thrilled Simbeye will continue to be able to work in the substance abuse prevention field.
“She’s still a partner of ours, and she still supports Grand Futures in her new position,” Wiener said. “We are parting on good terms and will continue to have a strong partnership.”
Wiener said Grand Futures, which serves Routt, Moffat and Grand counties, is in the process of trying to find a new executive director who is the right fit for the organization.
Simbeye’s replacement will be responsible for the coordination of community-based substance abuse prevention services across the tri-county region.
The organization was started in 1990 and uses a three-pronged approach focusing on youth development, education for trusted adults and community engagement to empower young people to make healthy, positive, substance-free choices. By positively influencing choices and behavior surrounding substance use, Grand Futures strives to educate the community at large about the impacts of substance use and misuse among area youth.
“Honestly, I think some of the biggest things that we accomplished were building really strong integrated relationships, broadening our education efforts and understanding what our schools needed — what our community partners needed,” Simbeye said. “Then really rising up to those needs and stepping up to the plate to say, ‘We’ve got you. We’re going to support you in this.’”
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