Board of Directors and Staff

Board Members

Kylie Gettleman

Kylie Gettleman, Secretary 2024-Current
Kylie lives in Paonia with her husband and two young children, and is deeply committed to giving back to the North Fork Valley community that provides such a nurturing home to her family. Kylie studied comparative religion at Colorado College, and then subsequently trained as an organic farmer at UC Santa Cruz’s Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems. She has since spent over a decade working on organic farms, vegetable gardening, and in greenhouse design. Among other things, Kylie co-founded in 2010 the Denver Handmade Homemade Market, an alternative farmers and makers market; was the harvest and grow manager for a 35-acre organic, diverse vegetable farm in Boulder; worked as operations manager for The Growhaus, a non-profit indoor farm, market, and educational hub; and installed vegetable gardens, educating new gardeners. Kylie draws from this wide range of experiences in food and agriculture, and remains deeply passionate about growing, cooking, and sharing food. Originally drawn to TLC as a fan of TLC’s community meals, farmer’s market, and TLC Kitchen, Kylie has since become a huge fan of TLC’s work beyond the kitchen as well, supporting local teens, providing lifelong education, and advocating for marginalized members of our community. Kylie joined the board in 2023 to help support TLC’s vital role in ensuring our vibrant and resilient local community. She is grateful for the opportunity to serve alongside such talented fellow board members and TLC staff.

Asa Hoffman

Asa Hoffman, 2023-Current
As a tenacious child, Asa Hoffman convinced the local pet shop owner to give him a job when he was just nine years old. By the time Asa turned eighteen, he had saved up enough money to buy his first business – igniting his entrepreneurial spirit. Asa also embraced his talents as a spiritual teacher, co-hosting a radio show, and leading educational classes and workshops. When he turned thirty, Asa set his sights on New York City: with only three clients and a hundred business cards, he launched a practice in Manhattan and has been using his extraordinary abilities to guide others as a psychic, medium, and energy healer for over 30 years. Asa’s powerful connection with those who have crossed-over and remarkable understanding of both the seen and unseen worlds helps people transform their lives. In July of 2021 Asa moved to Paonia with his partner, Michael Cooper (Executive Artistic Director of the Paradise Theatre), and their dog, Totem the Dalmatian. Both Michael and Asa are passionate about this community and committed to contributing to a fair, inclusive, and sustainable future for Paonia.

Brandy Emesal image

Brandy Emesal, 2024-Current
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Valley newcomer Brandy Emesal, alongside her partner and three young children, is embedding her family into the fabric of the North Fork Valley community. Through her leadership, marketing, and public relations expertise, she hopes to amplify The Learning Council’s mission to connect the community through education, art, advocacy, food, agriculture, and wellness. Her work in these areas extends beyond TLC — she aims to help bridge gaps in the food system while also addressing broader needs in social services and community engagement. With a professional background in marketing for business growth and a personal commitment to building a family focused agritourism RV park in Hotchkiss, Brandy seeks to leverage her skills and passions to enhance TLC’s mission and enrich the local community, fostering a vibrant, interconnected environment for her family and her neighbors.

Staff Members

Alicia Michelsen

Alicia Michelsen, Executive Director 2018-current
Alicia (she/her) is the current Director of The Learning Council. She is also a village herbalist in the Wise Woman Tradition. For over 20 years Alicia has been growing medicinal herbs, making plant medicines, and teaching students of all ages how to enjoy the bounty of the green nations. Alicia sits on the board of Viva la Vida, a foundation for developing spiritual agriculture in the traditions of Biodynamic and Trinium methods. She is a Sexual Health Educator and advocate in Delta County, runs the TLC Kitchen, and curates community events and educational opportunities with a focus on Social Justice and Equity. Mother of three boys, Alicia has worked in Waldorf inspired education since 2000 and brought two groups of students through the elementary grades. She attended Sarah Lawrence College and now lives in the North Fork Valley.

Emily Goughary

Emily Goughary, Administrative Team Member
Emily (she/her) has enjoyed living in the North Fork Valley since 2014. With an inspiration to connect more deeply with the community, she joined The Learning Council as an Administrative team member in 2021. Emily acquired a BA in Environmental Studies at Hamilton College, NY focusing on sustainable cultural development, and continued to study these topics in a more village-style hands-on learning environment at Bolad’s Kitchen, New Mexico. She recently spent 3 years working with the Paititi Institute in the Andes mountains of Peru. Emily is currently studying Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy and has become a certified Death Doula. She is inspired to bring end-of-life care options and hands-on healing therapies to our community. Emily has a deep love of farming, cooking, playing music, and making moccasins and beaded jewelry.

Rose Costello

Rose Costello, Executive Director of Arts For All
Rose (she/her) has been an admirer of The Learning Council since she moved to Paonia in 2016. She joined the team in 2020, cooking alongside Alicia in TLC Kitchen, deepening her connection to the community through food. In 2021 she became Executive Director of Arts for All, TLC’s youth arts program, where she facilitates memorable creative experiences for Delta county’s youth. Her goals with TLC are to bring more events to the students of NFV, and to provide beautiful meals to the community. Her passions are working with local farmers, inspiring artists to become teachers and dance as therapy.

Aubrie Pohl

Aubrie Pohl
Aubrie is joining us for her second year contributing to the Arbol Market team. She has a wide experience in leadership, communication, and event production. As a small business owner and a new farmer, she recognizes the joy of community togetherness and is excited to be managing the Farmers Market to help the growing connections of our town.