STRiVE's Leadership TeamLeadership Team Our leadership team is always available to answer questions and provide quality feedback and advice. To learn more about what services STRiVE can offer to you or your family members, please contact our main branch at 970-243-3702. If you are looking for specific departments, please use the directory below for contact information.
Grant Jackson | President/CEO
Born in New York, Grant Jackson received a Bachelor’s Degree in Anthropology from Plattsburgh State University. His course work had an emphasis on medical anthropology specifically related to disabilities across cultures.
Grant started his career in Western Alaska as the regional coordinator for an agency similar to Strive called Hope Community Resources. His first position there was as a Direct Service Provider intern at a group home. He was eventually hired as the Regional Coordinator for the organization. He gained a tremendous amount of experience with both case management and direct services. In his role there he was fortunate to be able to travel all over Western Alaska visiting different Yupik Eskimo villages.
Just before coming to Strive Grant worked for the Mesa County Department of Human Services as Director of Adult Services. He oversaw adult protective services, long term care Medicaid case management, as well as the area agency on aging and the Aging Disability Resource Center (ADRC).
One of the driving forces behind Grant’s move to Strive was his desire to get back to working on behalf of people with developmental disabilities. Growing up his best friend’s sister had Down syndrome and he saw the difficulties and injustices she faced at school and in the community. He knew then, that he wanted to be in a helping profession.
In both Alaska and Colorado Grant has worked on different governor-appointed committees addressing issues related to traumatic brain injury, vocational rehabilitation, special education, and aging issues. Grant considers himself a good collaborative problem solver. He’s able to do this by building trust and confidence within organizations.
A father of two young children Grant enjoys the Grand Valley for being a home base for activities such as mountain biking, skiing, and hiking. He also enjoys digging up fossils, rockhounding, and plays drums for several bands in town.
Something people might not know about Grant is that he is obsessed with synthesizers and effects pedals and really likes to make weird noises with them.
Christopher Bergquist | CFO
Born and raised in Grand Junction Christopher Bergquist attended Colorado Mesa University back when it was called Mesa State College. He earned an undergraduate degree in psychology which led to his first professional job working as a Case Manager for Strive.
After several years as a Case Manager Christopher went back to school and earned a Master’s Degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in finance from Colorado State University. While doing his coursework for this degree he worked in Strive’s accounting office. Right after graduating Strive’s CFO retired and Christopher applied for the position and was promoted into it. He’s worked for the agency for 11 years now.
Christopher says that he enjoys working with the developmentally disabled community because, “they’re good people.” He says that he’s met some of the best people he knows while working at Strive. He enjoys how genuinely appreciative our clients are for any assistance they’re given.
One of the unique characteristics Christopher brings to his work at Strive is his analytical mind. He likes bringing the business-side of things to the non-profit world.
Christopher enjoys being outdoors and likes the Grand Valley for its climate and four seasons. He plays on a traveling softball team in the spring and summer and snowboards in the winter. He is also a referee for high school basketball.
Mary Anne Lawrie| Executive Assistant
Mary Anne Lawrie
MaryAnne Lawrie has been working here at Strive since 2001. Through all that, she’s been a rock-solid source of organizational expertise. MaryAnne says she learned everything she knows on the job and through workshops and a variety of training she’s been fortunate to attend. Prior to coming to Strive she worked as a paralegal and did transcription on the side.
MaryAnne likes working with people with disabilities because she says it feels genuine and real. “It pulls on your heartstrings when you see them achieve their goals.” She considers her honesty as one of her greatest assets on the job. She describes herself as an open book.
Although she was born in Michigan MaryAnne has traveled the world because of her father’s work. She considers North Carolina home because that’s where she’s lived the longest. However, she does love the Grand Valley for the people and the community itself.
Outside of work, MaryAnne enjoys a lot of hobbies such as canning, cooking, arts and crafts, hiking, and spending time with her family. Her activities vary depending on the season and weather.
Douglas Sorter | Senior Vice President
Douglas Sorter joined STRiVE in May 2012 as a part- time DSP after a 30 year career as a UPS executive but soon realized the organization’s mission and
dedication to the community deserved his full commitment and engagement.
He is an enthusiastic and unwavering advocate for enhancing the lives of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Douglas was born in Newfoundland Canada into an Air Force officer family, allowing him the opportunity to travel the world and grow an appreciation for
diverse cultures and people. He first worked with individuals with an intellectual and developmental disability while completing his undergraduate degree
and soon realized their amazing capacity and potential for success. Douglas earned a Bachelor of Science in Psychology in 1980 from Colorado Mesa
University and a Master’s in Social Science from Bridgewater University.
He has served on several community Boards, including Board Chair for Habitat for Humanity, President of the Community Impact Council and President of the Colorado Mesa University Alumni Association.
Outside of work Douglas enjoys gardening, college sports and hiking/skiing/rafting with his wife, four children, six grandchildren and black lab – Lady Bug.
Heather Parga | HR Director
My name is Heather Parga. I was born and raised in Alamosa Colorado, committing fifteen beautiful years to a nonprofit organization called Blue Peaks Developmental Services Inc. one of twenty CCBs similar to Strive. Where my role ranged in being a Direct Support Professional for six years when transitioning into the Human resource assistant in 2012 working alongside my Human Resource Director. Then in 2016 receiving the Human Resource Director position until April 2022. Where I am continuing to further my journey in the Grand Valley at STRIVE. I hope to continue fulfilling my passion as the Human Resource Director providing this agency with the necessary means to succeed. I love spending time outdoors and four-wheeling especially in Moab with my significant other Josh. I have three grown children and two grandchildren.