Executive Director Shere Holleman
Who We Are
The Cortez Cultural Center depends on support from its generous members, donors and volunteers to achieve our mission of increasing cultural awareness, promoting the arts, and educating about the history, diversity and natural environment of Southwest Colorado.
Board of Directors
Holly Tatnall, Board President
Born and raised outside of Philadelphia, Holly arrived in Colorado to go to college at University of Denver and never went back to Pennsylvania to live. Graduating from Colorado State University with a degree in Consumer and Family education (then called Home Economics) she went on to a variety of jobs.
After teaching overseas, Holly worked as a restaurant manager, cooperative extension agent and a caterer and finally an interpretive tour guide at Mesa Verde National Park.
Holly's introduction to the Cortez Cultural Center came in the late 1990's when she came to visit a friend who volunteered in the gift shop. She attended the dances and a performance of “Black Shaw” on the Plaza. The building and the plaza just had an aura that drew her to it. When a previous Board held a community meeting to propose selling the building and keeping Hawkins Preserve to save the Cortez Cultural Center, she was opposed to the idea and applied to be on the Board. She still believes that the Cortez Cultural Center and the building that houses it are community assets that are worth preserving. Her involvement on the Board has been dedicated to that goal.
Diane Cherbak, Vice-President
Diane has an undergraduate degree in Food Science and a Master's in Business. She worked at Lockheed Martin in Flight Test for over 30 years. It was a very exciting and rewarding career, but she is thoroughly enjoying retirement.
She lived at the beach for the first 25 years of her life, then in the high desert for 30. Her plan is to spend the next 30 years in the mountains.
She and her husband bought property in 2001 in the Cedar Mesa Ranches subdivision and moved here full time in 2010. They love the area and have immersed themselves in their new community. Diane loves the outdoors and enjoys birding, gardening, hiking, camping, working with their Rotties, and she never tires of the magnificent vistas in the area.
Diane has been chairing the Ute Mountain Mesa Verde Birding Festival and on the Board of Directors since 2011. The Birding Festival is the major fundraiser for the Cortez Cultural Center. She believes the Center is a vital part of this community and wants to help continue that presence.
Paul Beckler, Treasurer
Paul Beckler is a Colorado native, husband, father and Realtor who has a passion for his community and the outdoors. Born in Leadville and raised in Durango where he graduated from Fort Lewis College, Paul spent nearly 20 years in finance and business administration before finding a new passion in helping people find housing. In his spare time you might find him enjoying the area trails on a mountain bike or hiking or supporting his daughters events at MCHS. He has been a CCC board member since 2019.
Tom Hooten, Director
Tom retired from Colorado State University after serving 22 years as a Montezuma County Extension Agent and a Research Associate at the Southwestern Colorado Research Center in Yellow Jacket. He joined the Cortez Cultural Center's BOD in October 2022. He also served on the Colorado Commission of Indian Affairs (12 years) and the Health and Wellness Subcommittee (3 years) for CCIA. Supporting the Cortez Cultural Center now in the current transition-stage is vital. Eventually, Tom would like to see the Cortez Cultural Center serve as a true center where members of the great diversity of the region's cultures can meet, learn, and experience each other. Tom's interests include everything outdoors, reading, and life-long learning.
Sherry Owen-Siekmann, Director
Sherry is an Illinois native who recently moved to Southwest Colorado to build a last chapter off grid passive solar home. She loves being outside doing physical activities and being in tune with nature. Her favorite activities are creating and cooking nutritious meals and recipes, gardening, entertaining, learning and using herbs for healing and nutrition, taking on new tasks, and taking the time to listen to friends and patients with their life journey challenges.
Sherry's career has been in Nursing since 1986. Started as a solo practice, Abundant Wellness, LLC, her business model is Tele-health with in person visits as needed. She is also owner of Sunset Condo Rentals, LLC, in Maui, Hawaii, which is her second home. Sherry is married and a mother of two. She is a new Board member at the Cortez Cultural Center since August 2023. She feels that the Cultural Center has always been a touchstone for her when she visited friends in Dolores over the years. She would make it a point to stop in to see what was up and happening at the CCC. Now Sherry has taken the lead in opening the Community Coffee House within the Cultural Center to foster, not only an income source for the Center, but a destination for tourists to visit, and also a place where local residents can sit down to meet a friend or business colleague, have a conversation, get some work done, pick up a gift, and enjoy local art and history of the Southwest all in one place. Sherry likes to say that “the Cortez Cultural Center is an awesome community experience!”
Lynn Dyer, Director
Before retirement in 2017, Lynn had worked in the tourism industry for 25 years, first as Marketing Director for Crow Canyon Archaeological Center and then as Executive Director for Mesa Verde Country®. While Director, she contributed to the development of the Birding Festival, and still serves on that committee today. After retirement, Lynn followed her childhood dream to become a National Park Ranger and was Ranger Lynn at Mesa Verde National Park for three years prior to the Covid pandemic.
A native Coloradoan, Lynn spent many years in the corporate world of Chicago, before returning to the state she loves. Her corporate career included corporate training, and later sales and marketing, of corporate tax systems to Fortune 500 companies across the U. S.
Lynn holds a BA in Education and Sociology, an MBA in marketing, and an MA in Anthropology. She is an avid world traveler, animal lover, and advocate for children and animals. She served on the Four Corners Child Advocacy Center Board for six years, and is currently serving her fourth term as president of For Pet's Sake Humane Society.
Executive Director Shere Holleman