Our Board of Directors

Executive Commitee

Mike Samson
Garfield County
Chris Nichols
City of Craig
Vice Chairman
Keely Ellis
Town of Rangely

Mike was first elected to the Garfield County Board of County Commissioners in November 2008, and he was re-elected in November 2012 and November 2020. Born in Glenwood Springs, Mike is a native of Garfield County. He has lived in Rifle much of his life, attending public schools from kindergarten through his senior year in Garfield RE-2 School District. Mike graduated from Rifle High School. After graduating from Brigham Young University, Mike began his teaching career in August, 1979. Later he received his master’s degree from Western State College (now Western State Colorado University).

During his 25 years of service as a teacher in the Garfield RE-2 School District, he coached volleyball, baseball and speech teams and was also the student council sponsor.

Mike served on the Rifle City Council during the boom and bust years, 1979-1983. He was also selected to serve as Mayor Pro Tem during those years. After 25 years of teaching, Mike served as dean of students for five years. Upon being elected as the Garfield County Commissioner for District 3, he retired after 30 years of service at Rifle High School.

Mike has been married to Janet for over 30 years. They have raised 7 children: Kathryn, Herb, Marilyn, Mikey (deceased), Stephanie, Steven and Sandy.

Chris has lived in Craig, Colorado since 1984. He owned and operated businesses in Craig, Steamboat Springs, Winter Park and Granby for 33 years, and he is now retired. He is also a retired Chief Craig Fire & Rescue & currently on the Board of Directors for the Fire District. He still works part time as a firefighter at the Yampa Valley Regional Airport. He serves on many other Boards and believes it’s important to be involved in his community.

Keely relocated to Rangely in 2017 while working for Rio Blanco County in Economic Development. In 2018, she accepted a position as the Executive Assistant to the President with Colorado Northwestern Community College. She has served as a Town Councilwoman for over a year now.

Keely grew up in a small rural town in Wyoming; therefore, small towns hold a dear place in her heart.  Northwest Colorado holds a very special place. Northwest Colorado offers a safe, welcoming, accepting and supportive community atmosphere, which is why she and her husband I look forward to raising our family here. They love this area and all the outdoor opportunities it provides to locals and visitors alike. They spend their summers on Kenney Reservoir and their winters exploring the beautiful mountains around us snowmobiling.

Since Northwest Colorado is so reliant on the oil, gas, and extraction industry, she feels the main focus for the region is to explore ways to diversify and strengthen our communities.

Board Members

Members & Associate Members