Only a few weeks ago Paige Piper became, in her words, “…the biggest cheerleader of the Localworks organization. One of the reasons that I love non-profit work is because I get to do a little bit of everything.” She began her work at Localworks as the new Executive Director on June 6.
Localworks is a program that advances Wheat Ridge as a vibrant and sustainable community through connection, volunteerism and creation, according to the organization. It continues to impact the community through inventive programming, events, volunteer opportunities, economic development and, most recently, establishment of a makerspace.
The position appealed to Paige on multiple levels, the first of which centers on her love for Wheat Ridge.
“I was born and raised here in Wheat Ridge. It is a very important place to me. When the opportunity arose to give back to this community, it was a dream come true.”
Paige’s life journey has led her right to this place. Her dad is a Colorado native and both parents have lived in Wheat Ridge since the 1980s. Her mom works for Jeffco Public Schools.
“Mom inspired me to get involved early on in student government and to give back in any way I could.”
Paige (Brophy at the time) graduated from Wheat Ridge High School. Her Farmer spirit runs so deep that she has run the Farmers 5000 wearing the mascot head.
After high school Paige moved on to Colorado State University where she studied journalism and media communications. Paige expects to earn her master in business administration from Metropolitan State University of Denver in December.
The past few months have been a season of change and opportunity for Paige.
“I have been working towards my master’s degree, got married to my husband Jeff in May and started this new career at the beginning of June! It has been crazy but really exciting.”
Aside from scholastics, in her work experience she has always had a passion for nonprofit work.
“My first job was with the Outdoor Lab Foundation where I worked my way up from Marketing Assistant to Executive Director. Then an opportunity arose to work as the Executive Director with the Northern Colorado Medical Society where I worked until I came to Localworks.”
“The executive director is a very multifaceted job,” as Paige explains it. “At least 80 percent of the work happens in the community. I am in the businesses around town meeting with members of the community, city officials, business owners and stakeholders. I also do my best to reach out to various networking groups as well, to get the word out about Localworks and what we do.”
Localworks is a partner with the city, local businesses and residents to advance Wheat Ridge as a vibrant and sustainable community, according to its website. It offers programs and events to help people connect, volunteer and create.
Some of the programs from the past as well as forthcoming that Localworks has been a part of include business support programs such as the Building Up Business Loan Program (BUBL, a microloan program to help local business owners), Ridge at 38 and, the newest venture, Makerspace (A Place for Business Innovation).
TLC (Traffic safety, Life quality, Crime reduction) Wheat Ridge is another great program championed by Localworks. A joint effort with the Wheat Ridge Police Department, its goal is to bring neighbors together to strengthen the community and keep the city clean and safe through clean up and dumpster days as well as block party grants.
Localworks offers a number of programs designed to bring the community together and celebrate all that is unique and wonderful about Wheat Ridge, including Ridgefest, Live Local, Fitness on the Ridge, Cruiser Rides, Trunk or Treat and the Holiday Celebration.
Paige is working her way through navigating these programs in an ever-changing environment. She is finding that, “When I get to do events for local works, it truly feels more like fun than work.”
Her goals in the position as she navigates it are to “reconnect the community to Localworks and get the community to understand what we do. Also as the world evolves, we need to keep thinking outside of the box. We need to remain nimble to keep current with the changes to the community and the businesses within it.”
“With any new job, there are opportunities (not challenges!) One of those is to understand for the first time just what a ‘maker space’ could be and how we can adapt that into Wheat Ridge.”
The other big opportunity is in revisiting programs that have been a big focus for Localworks, such as Ridge at 38 and Subarea 44.
“These are programs intended to enliven our city again and are important to the future of this community.”
Overall Paige reiterates that, “Localworks has changed so much. Which shows just how nimble it can be. I cannot wait to see how we can impact this city, the people of the community and its future.”
Paige is eager to get volunteers back on board to help out with any of the upcoming events and programs offered. If you would like to volunteer please visit www.wearelocalworks.org or email: firstname.lastname@example.org