Breckenridge Grand Vacations (BGV) is pleased to announce that Tara Dew is joining the newly created Community Impact Department as the next BGV Gives Program Manager. This new department further embraces BGV’s triple bottom line, which encompasses people, planet, and prosperity.

Dew comes to this position with a wealth of experience, having served for five years at The Summit Foundation (TSF) as a Program Coordinator initially, then Program Manager and most recently as Program Director. Previously, Dew spent three years at St. Anthony Hospital in the role of Community Health Advocate followed by a promotion to Senior Community Health Advocate after her first year. Her professional career also includes a summer with AmeriCorps in Austin, Texas and two summers with Rustic Pathways in Costa Rica and various countries in Southeast Asia. Dew’s departure from TSF is “bittersweet,” said TSF Executive Director Jeanne Bistranin. “We are so happy for Tara and this new opportunity, while also sad to see her leave. The good news is that we will continue to work very closely with Tara, especially regarding our golf tournament and the BGV Gives Program. We wish Tara all the best and thank her for her excellent work at The Summit Foundation!”

Dew will begin her new role with BGV in early December, at which time job training will commence with retiring BGV Gives Program Manager, Deb Edwards. “I could not have wished for a better opportunity or better company to work for to end my 43-year career in Summit County. No day is ever the same at BGV Gives,” said Edwards. For a brief time, Edwards will continue to be available to support Dew and BGV Gives, as needed.

Edwards started as a part-time clerk typist at Colorado Mountain College in 1979 and worked her way up through almost every position available to become the Director of Community Education in Summit County. In 1985, she became the first Executive Director of The Summit Foundation, a role she held for 21 years, followed by the first Chief Development Officer for the Summit Medical Center Health Foundation.

“BGV Gives was my dream job. I am grateful to Mike (Millisor) and Mike (Dudick) for allowing me the privilege of taking this legacy to Rob (Millisor) and the Breckenridge Grand Vacations philanthropy program to new heights. I am confident that Tara will successfully continue this important and unique work,” Edwards continued. “I have always said that I never worked a day in my life. Being involved in these four community organizations has never felt like work, but rather pure joy. I am grateful to every colleague, donor, volunteer, community, and board member who I had the pleasure of ‘working’ with along the way. I am looking forward to spending more time with friends and family, travelling, volunteering and simply enjoying Colorado. But most of all, having more time with my only grandchild, Harper. And of course, visiting Summit County now and again to enjoy all this community has to offer.”

As we move into the winter months, we must prepare our homes for the larger energy load they consume. With colder months, we use more natural gas or electricity for heating and lighting our homes. Here are seven low-cost recommendations for helping you save money and energy during the winter season.

  • Dial back your thermostat to 68 degrees. For every degree you set your thermostat back you save 1-3% (depending on the size of your home) on your energy bill. It is more beneficial to wear another layer of clothing or have a space heater for the one room you use the most. You could also consider investing in a smart thermostat. These can help learn your family’s habits when you are in the room. The smart thermostat will then only operate during those times to your desired level of comfort. You may also choose a thermostat that you can program for specific times to provide the same outcomes.
  • At the beginning of fall, you should perform a quick inspection of your furnace to make sure that it is turning on properly. This is done by turning on each thermostat around the house, one at a time, and watching the furnace turn on and off for each zone. Along with this, you will need to inspect the room’s heating source to make sure it is warming up. Furnaces should be inspected annually by a professional to verify the correct levels are being met for gas, intake, and outtake of the system. This will help prolong the life expectancy of your furnace and make sure you do not have any problems during the coming winter months.
  • Reverse your ceiling fans. When reversed, it allows the fan to pull hot air up and push it back down the walls to circulate the air in the room more efficiently. You can do this by turning your fan off and locating the black switch on the housing of the fan. Flip the switch, the fan will know to run in reverse, then turn the fan back on. Do not forget to reverse the fan again in the spring to help push the cold air down for the summer months.
  • Performing an annual inspection of the weather stripping around your doors, windows, and attics is recommended. These are the most common areas for air leaks. Inspect for deterioration or damaged areas. You may also place your hand around the frame when the door, window, or attic is closed to feel for air blowing in or out. Replace the weather stripping when necessary.
  • Get in the habit of closing all blinds and drapes in rooms that are not being used and at sunset. These barriers help add a layer of protection from the cooled windows. Even double pane windows can still be chilly from the low outside temperatures. Insulated cellular blinds (Honeycomb blinds) are the highest recommended blind for forming a sustainable barrier due to their extra built-in pockets. Highly reflective blinds can reduce your heating up to 40% or more. This equates to about a 10% savings on your heating bill.
  • Switch light bulbs to LED. In the winter months we use our lights more often, so this is the best time to switch to LED light bulbs to save an average of $225 per year. Light emitting diodes (LED) use up to 90% less energy and will last up to 25 times longer than a traditional bulb.
  • Make sure vents or floorboard heaters are not covered. If they are, you will be reducing the output of your heating system. This leads to more energy or gas being produced, raises your energy bill and puts a larger demand on the heat exchanger in the furnace leading to a shorter life for your furnace.










Smart thermos

Fan Reverse switch location

Insulated cellular blinds (Honeycomb blinds)



Have you ever wondered if your carton of almond milk is recyclable? Or wondered what it would be like to drive an electric vehicle in the mountains…during winter? The High Country Conservation Center (HC3) is here for you. Here are just a few ways their work helps you and all of Summit County.

Recycle and Compost Like a Pro

We get it – recycling can feel complicated. Fortunately, HC3 has resources to make it easier. During the week, the staff at HC3 is available for all your tricky recycling questions. And their printable guidelines help you make sense of the rules whether you recycle at the curb (or a shared dumpster) or use one of the local recycling centers. They also have maps of local glass and food scrap collection sites.

What about your food scraps? Summit County is lucky to have a free food scrap composting program. And if you don’t already participate…well, what are you waiting for? Sign up online and then drop by the HC3 office for a free bucket to help collect your food scraps.

Help Fight Climate Change

We are a community that cares about doing its part to fight climate change. Our countywide Climate Action Plan set a goal to reduce local carbon pollution 80 percent by 2050. It’s a big undertaking, and we need YOU to get involved. How? Energy use and transportation are the biggest sources of greenhouse gas emissions in the county. So, you can help by making your homeor business – more energy efficient, supporting renewable energy, and switching to an electric car for your next vehicle. Or you could ditch the car entirely by riding the bus to work or the slopes. And of course, ask your elected officials – from the local level to the national – to advocate for climate policy.

Get Water Smart

The American West is in the midst of a decades-long megadrought. That’s why HC3 collaborated with local water providers to develop the new Water Smart program. Set to fully launch in 2023, Water Smart will provide water-efficiency training for local landscapers, incentives for improving residential and commercial irrigation systems, and community workshops about the importance of water conservation.

Making Sustainability a Community Value

From peak-baggers and leaf-peepers to powder-hounds and star-gazers, HC3 serves more than 10,000 residents and visitors each year. You could be one of them! Track HC3’s progress by signing up for their newsletter, donate to support their programs, and let them know if you’d like to get involved. HC3 is working to create a healthy planet through local action, and it takes everyone to make that vision a reality.

For more information about HC3, visit their website at High Country Conservation Center.