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""My father always used to say that when you die, if you've got five real friends, then you've had a great life.""
– Lee Iacocca  
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  Volume No. 18 Issue No. 6 June 2021  

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  Eastern Plains Chamber wrap-up
  By Pete Gawda

   The El Paso County Colorado School District 49 presented information about their culinary arts program at the April 7 meeting of the Eastern Plains Chamber of Commerce. Attendees also heard from Kat Harp about home refinancing. Harp provided a highly engaging and informative PowerPoint Presentation on how your home equity is a tool for your financial freedom and independence.
   
   D 49 offers a three-year culinary arts program designed for students who want a career in the food industry. Eric Lustig, culinary arts instructor, explained the program. Based at Patriot High School, the program, called the District 49 Culinary Arts and Hospitality Program, is available for all D 49 high school students.
   
   Lustig said the program involves more than learning how to cook. The first year program deals with culinary math. In the second year, the students learn about finances and investments and how to be financially responsible. Business management is a major topic of the third year. At the end of the program, a student will earn three credits in culinary arts, two credits in math and one-half credit each in restaurant management and business. They also receive food handler and manager certifications.
   
   Students also train under World Master Chef Victor Matthews and can earn post-secondary culinary certifications in Foundations and World Cuisine.
   
   Lustig has been in education since 1992. He spent 17 years as a math teacher before using his restaurant background to take on culinary arts. He was teacher of the year four times, and is passionate about teaching. Before the meeting, Lustig’s students Joe DeSantis and Isaac George demonstrated their skills by serving a breakfast they had prepared for the chamber members.
   
   The second speaker was Kat Harp, a mortgage loan officer with Integrity Bank and Trust. Harp has been with Integrity five years, including three-and-a-half years in lending. She provided a highly engaging and informative PowerPoint Presentation on how home equity is a tool for financial freedom and independence.
   
   “I like talking to people,” she told chamber members. She used the financial figures of one of her clients to explain the refinancing process. “As time goes on, your home value will increase,” she said, further explaining how the loan value of a house is calculated.
   
   “If you are thinking of refinancing, I would advise you to do it now.” Harp urged chamber members to strive for financial freedom with the assets they already have. She also discussed some of the variables involved in refinancing. In response to a question, Harp said it was best to wait at least six months after buying a house to refinance it.
   
   The next breakfast meeting is May 5 — Happy Cinco de Mayo. Carrie Geitner, El Paso County commissioner will be the guest speaker.
  
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  Sweet Feet Podiatry comes to Falcon
  By Cailean Anderson

   Dr. Tim Crislin brought his family to Colorado from West Virginia in 2016 to help care for his ill mother-in-law. But he and his wife (also a doctor) had visited Colorado many times prior to their move.
   
   Crislin and his wife completed their residencies in St. Louis; and then practiced for eight years with an orthopedic group in Columbia, Missouri.
   
   “My wife likes skiing, and I like to snowboard. … So, we were already coming out here; when her mom got sick, we decided to go ahead and move out, and make a go of it.”
   
   At first, Crislin, who lives in Falcon, spent time as a contractor. In 2019, he decided to open his own practice; however, COVID-19 put his opening date on hold for one year.
   
   When his business came to fruition, he focused on connecting with his patients. He said he sees 16 patients a day for 30 minutes each.
   
   Crislin said his treatment focus is conservative, which means less intrusive options like surgery unless it is absolutely necessary.
   
   What attracted him to podiatry is personal. “You know, it’s kind of funny,” he said.“I dealt with some foot and ankle issues. I used to play basketball and do some other sports when I was younger, and I had just a few injuries — nothing major, but I kind of got interested in orthotics and how they affect the foot. How correcting the position of the foot can then help correct the positions in your knee, hip and back; and, overall, just get you moving in a more natural fashion.”
   
   Crislin is board-certified in surgery and his practice involves much more than nail care. “So, that’s been the biggest thing I have tried to overcome is everyone thinking I am just here to cut toenails,” he said. “You know, I’m here to help your planters fasciitis, your Achilles tendon problems … fractures. I can do all of those things.”
   
   In his free time, Crislin spends time with his 5-year-old son, hiking, camping and teaching winter sports. On their small farm, they are also raising alpacas.
  
Dr. Tim Crislin recently opened his podiatry practice in Falcon after being delayed because of COVID-19. In this photo, his son, Shayne, is hanging out with dad. Photo submitted
 
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