Renee Edwards a home-grown Rocky Mountain woman, who began working at 16 as a mentor and peer counselor for youth at risk at the Jefferson County (Colorado) School District. Renee’s roots are in Colorado and New Mexico, with family residing in both states. New Mexico became her primary home as she decided to obtain her bachelor’s from New Mexico followed by New Mexico Highlands for her Masters. Renee has worked her way from case manager, therapist, then into executive positions. Her ‘boot camp’ experience was serving the homeless at (then) St. Martins, in Albuquerque. For the past 20 years she has expanded her knowledge and wisdom serving metro, rural and frontier community mental health centers and helping to grow New Mexico’s Behavioral Health systems of care. She has served Statewide and Local Collaboratives, with local efforts in her community with NAMI. Her strengths are at all levels in our communities with deep rooted passion for peers and paraprofessionals, front line workers, then at the organizational level with Corporate Compliance and pursuing Quality Systems. As an Alumni of New Mexico Highlands University, Renee continues to mentor those around her (3 generations of service providers and counting). Her mother and daughter were so inspired that they took similar paths into the New Mexico Highlands University master’s programs and they also moved from direct services to organizational leadership, serving the greater communities of New Mexico. She holds a master’s in clinical counseling and has been a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor since 2005 in New Mexico and Colorado. When not working you will find Renee enjoying football games (Go Broncos!), swimming in cold water, enjoying our New Mexico night skies, soaking in hot springs, and walking barefoot in a grove of aspen trees.