SunUte aims for excellence

Introducing the management team for the SunUte Community Center: (left to right) Kelsey Frost, Recreation Specialist (manager in training), Robin Duffy-Wirth, SunUte Community Center Director, Tim Velasquez, Life Guard (manager in training), Abel Velasquez, Fitness Director, Virgil Morgan, Acting Recreation Manager, RC Lucero, Facilities Operations Manager, Lisa Allen, Aquatics Manager, Elise Redd, MPF Operations Manager, and Sage Frane, Group Exercise Manager.
Jeremy Wade Shockley | The Southern Ute Drum

The SunUte Community Center is a cornerstone of the Ignacio community, bringing tribal members, families and athletes together in the name of health and fitness.

Long time Sunute Fitness Director, Robin Duffy-Wirth recently took the reins as the Community Center’s Director, overseeing the programs and departments that make SunUte a thriving community center.

“We run SunUte as a team,” Duffy-Wirth said.

“SunUte has amazing managers, that are doing great things in this building and in the community — my job is to support them.”

Robin served in her previous position as SunUte Fitness Director for over 14 years, coming on board soon after the facility first opened its doors in 2002. Prior to that, she owned and operated two fitness facilities of her own; one in Switzerland, and the other in neighboring Durango, Colo.

“My position is to empower tribal members to be able to take on these managerial positions, or director positions. My challenge to staff is the ‘Status Quo’ — how can we go beyond that; make it bigger, better for the membership — no limitations,” Duffy-Wirth said.

“We are looking into Tri-Ute Games now,” Virgil Morgan explained, who is the acting recreation manger.  The games will be hosted by the Southern Ute Indian Tribe this summer, with at the SunUte Community Center being the centerpiece for the big athletic event — which brings youth together from all three Ute Tribes.

“We listen to what the community would like in terms of improvements, or new ideas; fostering a strong collaboration between SunUte, the community and the tribal membership,” Morgan said. “Robin is bringing a lot of energy and new ideas. Her years of experience is a key element to the position. She knows how everything functions, and is moving in a positive direction.”

As a director, Robin sees the benefits of a team approach. Collectively we make way better decisions, then any one person could on their own, she explained. “I’m more into empowering my staff— giving them the tools that they need to be great!” Duffy-Wirth said.

The facility has seen a renovation to the swimming pool, and is currently preparing to add a new finish to the wood floors in the gym ahead of the upcoming Tri-Ute Games. “Our big thing right now is Tri-Ute. We want the facility to look great, better than ever,” Recreation Specialist Kelsey Frost said. A new playground is on the horizon for SunUte, in addition to an updated HVAC system for the facility.

We are incorporating Southern Ute culture into SunUte, working in collaboration with Southern Ute Cultural Dept. Director, Edward Box III and The Southern Ute Drum to achieve that goal, Duffy-Wirth explained. “We want people to recognize SunUte as a tribal entity,” she said.

“Robin has a clear understanding of how we all work together and how to make SunUte great for the membership,” Aquatics Manager and longtime SunUte employee, Lisa Allen said. “She reminds us continually who we are here for— the membership.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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“I think with Robin as Director is a positive direction, she brings a lot of positive energy and excitement to SunUte. She is a huge asset to the department, and the community as a whole,” Abel Valasquez said. “Look out for new fitness events and Na-Nama fundraising events.”

 

“She’s bringing a lot of energy and new ideas. Her years of experience is a key element. Robin knows how everything functions, and is moving in a positive direction,” Morgan said.

 

Acting Recreation manger Virgil Morgan has seven years of experience working with SunUte. “What the community would like in terms of improvement, or new ideas — strong collaboration between SunUte community and membership.”

 

“We are looking into Tri-Ute games now,” Virgil Morgan explained, who is the acting recreation manger.  The games will be hosted by the Southern Ute Indian Tribe this summer, with at the SunUte Community Center being the centerpiece for the Ute’s big athletic event — bring youth together from all three Ute Tribes.

 

“She has a clear understanding of how we all work together and how to make SunUte great for the membership,” said longtime Sunute employee Lisa Allan. “She reminds us continually who we are here for.”

 

“I like Robin’s direction, she is a good asset to Sunute. She brings a new life, or attitude to it — to keep us going.”

 

The facility has seen a renovation to the swimming pool, with a new wood floor finish to take place in the gym ahead of the Tri-Ute games. “our big thing right now is Tri-Ute. We want the facility to look great, better than ever,” Frost said.

 

 

“We run SunUte as a team,” Duffy-Wirth said.

 

“SunUte has mazing managers, that are doing great things in this building and in the community — my job is to support them.”

 

Robin has served in the position of SunUte Fitness Director for over 14 years, coming on board soon after the facility first opened it’s doors in 2002. Prior to that, she owned and operated two fitness facilities of her own; one in Switzerland, and the other in Durango, Colo. Robin’s own lids have grown up around SunUte over the last 15 years.

 

“My position is to empower tribal members to be able to take on these managerial positions, or director positions. My challenge to staff is the ‘status Quo’ — how can we go beyond that; make it bigger, better for the membership — no limitations.”

 

We are incorporating Southern Ute culture into SunUte, working in collaboration with Southern Ute Cultural Dept. Director, Edward Box III and the Southern Ute Drum to achieve that goal, Robin explained. We want people to recognize Sunute as a ‘tribal entity’ she said.

 

New playground is on the horizon, New HVac system will also be on the list of upcoming improvemtns to the facility.

 

As a director, Robin sees the benefits of a team approach. Collectivly we make way better decisions, then anyone person could on their own, she explained. I’m more into empowering my staff, giving them the tools they need to be great! 

 

Robin’s own kids have grown up around SunUte over the last 15 years.

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