Juliet Carr is a master of multi-tasking. She is the latest executive director of the Montrose Chamber of Commerce, a published author, a suicide prevention activist, the wife of Joel Carr and Mom to their three kids, Braydon, Bryce, and Mallory. And, she still finds time to indulge her passions for reading, cooking, outdoors adventures, and taking care of her pets.
Carr first worked for the Chamber 19 years ago, when Marge Keehfuss was the executive director, and the organization was headquartered in a two-story building on E. Main Street. “Working for Marge was really an incredible experience,” she said, with her typical enthusiasm. As Keehfuss’s executive assistant Carr did ” a little of everything, from folders to directories.”
After that three-year stint, Carr became a stay-at-home mom for 17 years. She returned to work at the Chamber when Chelsea Rosty became the executive director her two years ago. “Working for Chelsea was also one of the best experiences of my life. She’s one of the best bosses that I’ve ever had. This put me in a position where I could step into this role,” being promoted to executive director when Rosty left the Chamber to work for the City of Montrose.
Carr also earned a degree in Business Administration at the Montrose Campus of Colorado Mesa University.
During a recent appearance at the Wednesday morning Forum at Heidi’s Deli, in Montrose, Carr answered the top three questions she has been repeatedly asked since she received her job. ” The first one was: What qualifies you to run the Chamber of Commerce. The answer is, “I’m not,” she joked. However, she continued with a serious answer. “Let me start with my education. I decided that getting an education in business and management would be the way I could be most useful. I had been blessed by working for three plus years at the Chamber of Commerce before stepping into this role.
“I think the third thing that makes me qualified to run the Chamber of Commerce is my passion; I am incredibly passionate about Montrose. It’s my home, and I have loved living here for the past thirty years. I’m a 5th generation Montrose County resident. My younger two children are in high school here; my eldest is studying at a German university.”
Back to Carr’s list of most frequently asked questions. “The second question is ‘what did you with the money from selling the building’. That answer is ‘It was invested 100 percent in a certificate of deposit and a money market account’.
“The third questions is, ‘Does the City own the chamber’. The answer is ‘No. The city does not own the chamber, any more than the chamber owns or runs the city'”. Carr said that the chamber and the city do have an excellent, effective working partnership that is designed to help all of the citizens of Montrose.
Juliet Carr also told the Forum audience about a heart-wrenching experience that she and far too many other local people have suffered a loved one’s suicide attempt. Juliet’s father had been hospitalized for two suicide attempts in eight months.
Working through her pain, she began researching for resources that might be available for the families of people who had tried to end their own lives. “And what I came up with was…nothing.”
Carr decided that “nothing” was not an acceptable answer, so she started a non-profit organization to help families like hers. “What I learned from that experience was that people are willing to donate money to that cause, but they don’t want to speak about it.”
She said she also learned that you can’t run an effective NPO without a good board of directors. “So, I disbanded that non-profit organization and used the money to launch attemptedsuicidehelp.com.” The website’s Mission Statement is: “To support all individuals affected by attempted suicide.
“The Acronym ASH comes from Attempted Suicide Help and birthed the idea of Acceptance Strength Healing all of which come after a suicide attempt. The goal is to help you realize this and move toward all three components to get your life back to good after being affected by a suicide attempt.”
The website provides information for family members, friends, professionals, and people who have tried to commit suicide or are wrestling with suicidal thoughts.
Juliet Carr has authored one book “Attempted Suicide: The Essential Guidebook for Loved Ones” and is preparing to publish a second “Attempted Suicide: Answers From People Who Have Attempted”.
She also served on the Suicide Prevention Coalition of Colorado board of directors from 2010 to 2012.
Meanwhile, Carr has plenty on her plate at the Chamber of Commerce in 2019. You can learn about the Chamber’s many programs, benefits, and events at https://www.montrosechamber.com/.