He has led the Durango Adaptive Sports Association through remodels, vehicle purchases and program expansions benefitting hundreds of participants, and now Tim Kroes is stepping down after 25 years with the organization.
Adaptive Sports provides summer and winter recreational opportunities for people with cognitive and physical disabilities.
“I’ll probably be back where I started, volunteering,” he said at his recent retirement party. “This is a good time to pass the torch because we have this amazing young team ready to take it.”
Kroes, who is from Michigan, met his wife, Susan, at the University of Colorado-Boulder. The couple moved to Durango after spending seven years in San Francisco, where she was the one who discovered Adaptive Sports, and preceded him in serving as the organization’s executive director.
“We stayed at the Caboose Motel and didn’t know a single person,” Kroes said. “While I looked for a job, I volunteered for Adaptive to get cheaper skiing and to give something back. I’m the one who got something back. For 25 years, there wasn’t a week that went by when I didn’t get a little choked up reading a letter, getting a phone call or a hug from a student.”
Kroes, 57, held just about every position in the organization. Starting as a volunteer, he was assistant program director and program director before becoming the executive director, a position he held for more than a decade in two different stints. He took a two-year hiatus in the middle while he and his family traveled the world, and returned in 2007.
“A lot of nonprofit directors in the area look at Tim as the example of a perfect nonprofit executive director,” said Lynn Martens, who sits on the Adaptive Sports board and works with numerous nonprofits in her communications business. “He’s the executive director role model.”
The work Kroes has done has changed people’s lives…