Left Hand Valley Courier - All Local, All The Time

By Ashley Weibel

Selene Hall retires from banking career but remains active in community


Photo by Mary Wolbach Lopert Selene Hall, longtime Niwot resident and volunteer, retired this July as a regional manager for Bank of the West.

On July 1, Selene Hall finished her final day at Bank of the West in Niwot as the Front Range area manager, ending a 30-year career in banking.

Hall, who has lived in Niwot for 33 years, certainty hasn’t allowed her work to define her. Outside of her career in banking, Hall raised two children, served as president of both the Niwot Community Association (NCA) and the Niwot Business Association (NBA), served on the Niwot High School Education Foundation, ran Niwot Nostalgia Days for a decade and participated in a host of other volunteer commitments.

Of her time at Bank of the West, Hall said she would most miss the people that she met and the camaraderie that developed between them.

“I love the customers and I love my team. They’re really good people with a great sense of humor,” she said.

Sarah Hoppes, who worked under Hall at Bank of the West and who is now the branch manager, said that Hall will be dearly missed among the bank’s staff.

“She’s a wonderful person,” Hoppes said. “I’m so upset to see her go. Selene definitely kept everyone in line, but she did it in such a fun way that everyone that worked under her had such high respect for her. She was such a pleasure to be around and to work with. She was the type of person that you could really do anything with, but you never lost the respect that she was your boss.”

With the time that she will now have available to her, Hall plans to remain as busy as ever. Spending time with her grandkids is Hall’s number one undertaking for the summer, complete with season passes to Elitches and the Denver Zoo.

Once her grandkids are back in school, Hall plans to turn her attention to one of her favorite hobbies – skiing. She hopes to spend two months of the winter season in Steamboat, perfecting her powder skiing.

This plan, though ambitious, pales by comparison to how Hall spent a week this past March. After considering it on a whim, Hall decided to attend a five-day course in the French Alps learning to speed glide – an extreme sport combining skis, a parachute and cliffs. Hall’s son, Jesse Hall, is an extreme skier sponsored by GoPro and accompanied his mother on the trip. He continued to instruct her after the course ended.

Among Hall’s towering list of volunteer services in the Niwot community over the past three decades is her involvement in the creation of Whistle Stop Park and Rock & Rails.

The property occupied by Whistle Stop Park used to be owned by Bank of the West, and Hall was instrumental in first arranging for the bank to lease the property, and later getting the bank to sell the land to the Niwot Cultural Arts Association for a severely reduced price. Hall was also indispensable throughout the process of finding volunteers to build a gazebo, and ultimately helped Rock & Rails to take shape.

Of her many volunteer efforts, Hall said, “You get to meet and work with really good people. When you lead something that has volunteers, you have no leverage [because] you can’t fire people. Instead, it has to be fun and something that they enjoy doing. And that’s what we tried to do, we tried to build camaraderie. It’s encouraging to see that grow.”

Hall’s involvement in the creation of Rock & Rails demonstrates one quality she loves about Niwot – the results of one’s efforts are both tangible and numerous.

“The [volunteering] that we’ve done in Niwot, we’ve seen results for. And so, little by little, things change,” Hall said.

In addition to serving on existing projects, Hall was also key to the founding of the Left Hand Valley Courier in 1997. Hall, who was asked to get involved because of her background in business, helped with putting a budget together, selling advertisements and doing payroll.

The founding members of the Courier decided to create the newspaper because of the lack of Niwot coverage that they were seeing in the surrounding newspapers. “We thought that if we started a small community paper, with just information about [the] Niwot and Gunbarrel areas, that would be helpful to our community,” Hall said.

“It was totally crazy, we didn’t know anything about running a newspaper, but just like everything Biff [Warren] does, you just do it one step at a time,” she continued. “The fact that it’s lasted all these years, even with social media and the internet, is a tribute to [its] content. People really do appreciate it.”

When asked if she plans to stay in Niwot for the foreseeable future, Hall said, “I’ve been here for 33 years and if I can stay here, I’m going to stay. I hope to spend many more years in Niwot volunteering, contributing to the community and sharing good times with all of my friends.”


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