Aspen Strong has appointed Angilina Taylor as the mental health advocacy nonprofit’s executive director, the organization announced earlier this month.
Taylor filled the position in an interim role for about five months beginning in November; her first official day as permanent executive director was April 1, she said in a phone call.
She previously served as the president of the organization’s executive board; the board will discuss who will fill that role at an upcoming meeting, according to Taylor.
As executive director, much of Taylor’s work will be focused on bolstering fundraising efforts that support a number of outreach and education initiatives and resources in the Roaring Fork Valley. Those efforts include work to develop workplace partnerships with other community groups, reach out to prospective donors and continue fundraising through a portal on the organization’s website, aspenstrong.org.
“We really need funds to keep what we’re doing going,” Taylor said.
Much of the organization’s work is focused on “breaking the stigma” and encouraging candid conversations about mental health. Taylor considers Aspen Strong to be a “gateway into mental health,” offering support and directing people toward the best resources for their needs.
“One of the main missions is to make it hip to talk about mental health, just like it’s cool to go for a run and get your head on straight. … The more that we talk about it, the more that we tell our story, the more that more people are vulnerable,” Taylor said. “(Vulnerability) isn’t a weakness, it’s a strength, and those that are vulnerable are actually the strong ones.”