Meeting the Staff


Mountain Mesa Training is a "local first" business; we focus on developing the communities in which we live.  We choose trainers and facilitators who have national and international experience, but live in Colorado, many in the southwest area. Each has a vested interest in seeing their community thrive, and a desire to contribute their expertise to local businesses and organizations.

Based in Durango, Colorado, we predominantly serve the Western Slope of Colorado and the Four Corners area.

What We Do

We develop managers, leaders, and "bench strength" for businesses in rural communities.

We facilitate difficult conversations and exciting developments.

We engage high school students in leadership.


Integrity: Do the right thing
Honesty: Tell the truth
Optimism: See the potential
Quality: Do it the best way you can




Chief Instigator

Ellen's ability to build confidence and competence in others has led her to work on five continents. As Chief Instigator, she develops experiential programs where participants learn a concept and then immediately put it into play and practice.

Ellen is an whitewater paddler and costume-designer, and cooks a righteous jambalaya.

Woman with White Jacket
Sam Carter pic.png


Senior Facilitator

A gifted leader, trainer and facilitator, Cliff dedicated 24 years of his career to serving as a middle school and high school principal. Known for his humor, energy, and non-sequitors, he also brings a thoughtful and considered approach to training.

Cliff is a dog-whisperer, particularly with golden retrievers. He is trying hard to be a fish-whisperer, but the fish are having nothing to do with it.


S West Studio - Strategic Partner

In his work as a high school teacher, a backcountry guide, a river ranger, a radio host and a facilitator, Sam focuses his energy on learning about and assisting humans in refining their relationship with themselves and the people around them.

Sam balances life by spending a lot of time near and on rivers, personally and professionally, year round.


Alpine Leadership - Strategic Partner

Mark brings a unique perspective to leadership, inventing maps and models for leaders to communicate and coordinate with greater ease. He is expert at sustainable change management, the language of leadership, organizational governance, succession planning, and emotional intelligence.

A strong community volunteer, his current activities support youth in schools, music and Scouts.