Ruby M. Sisson Memorial Library Foundation announces chairperson appointment

Photo courtesy Allison Ragsdale Photography
Debra Hepler, a lifelong volunteer, is the new board chair of the Ruby M. Sisson Memorial Library Foundation.

By Cindi Galabota
Ruby M. Sisson Memorial
Library Foundation

The Ruby M. Sisson Memorial Library Foundation is pleased to announce the appointment of Debra Hepler as chair of its board of directors. 

After an illustrious career in executive management, Hepler will serve a three-year term effective Sept. 9. She succeeds Rick Stinchfield, who served as board chair since the founding of the library foundation in 2018. The Stinchfields are moving out of the area.

For more than a decade, Rick and Lynne Stinchfield have been avid volunteers with the Ruby Sisson Library, serving on the Ruby Sisson Library Board of Trustees and the Library Foundation Board of Directors, working with youth programs, re-shelving items and maintaining the library’s garden. 

“We have seen up close how our library works: how policy is crafted, resources managed, programs conceived and built, and patrons welcomed,” stated Rick Stinchfield. “Even though we are transitioning from residents to occasional visitors, we will continue to financially and emotionally support the library we respect, in a place that we love.”

Hepler and her husband, Jim, discovered Pagosa Springs in 2009 while working in northern New Mexico. She is a lifelong volunteer in a variety of settings, including churches, schools and libraries. In 2000, as trustee of a library in a small town in Pennsylvania, Hepler helped to build a new state-of-the-art library. 

Debra shared, “The town had only 5,000 residents and we heard from some folks that we didn’t need a new building, that digital books were the wave of the future and that libraries would be obsolete.” 

However, the community and funders wholeheartedly supported the endeavor and the building was funded and built in record time. 

“The new library quickly became the hub of the town and is thriving beyond imagination to this day,” added Hepler. 

This success is now her impetus for helping the Ruby M. Sisson Memorial Library reach its full potential. 

About the Ruby M.
Sisson Memorial Library Foundation

Founded in 2018, the mission of the Ruby M. Sisson Memorial Library Foundation is to support and enhance the Ruby M. Sisson Memorial Library by raising funds for information resources, programs, services and facilities. 

The library foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization led by a volunteer board of directors and supported by individual donors and community partners. We are dedicated to “building a better future with the library we love.” 

To discover more about the library foundation, contact Cindi Galabota at 264-2209 or