Vickie Heffner
Executive Director

With us since 2014, Vickie Heffner's goals have been to streamline operations, focus on programming, and increase revenue streams.  In 2018, Vickie successfully completed a capital campaign and the project management of the renovation of the new PILLAR classrooms and offices.


Vickie has worked for banks, libraries, museums, churches, military bases, and university settings across the country.  She is an experienced grant writer, successful small business owner, and former computer programmer.

Post Master's Certificate in Executive Nonprofit Leadership, Regis University

MS in Library and Information Science, Catholic University of America

BS in Interdisciplinary Studies, with a major in Earth Science and a minor in History


Computer programming and project management 


Mert (Meredith) Lewis has been a member of Pillar Institute for Lifelong Learning for over 16 years, taking some time off to go back to the Pikes Peak Mental Health center/Aspen Pointe Mental Healthy Center as a therapist.   Mert started working at 11 years old at her dad's pet shop.  She has worked in offices, churches, General Motors Acceptance Company, Insurance Rating Bureau, as a Head Start Teacher, Colorado State University, District 11, Child Study Center (BOCES) in Steamboat Springs, and mental health centers throughout Michigan and Colorado. She has retired 4 times, but loves to stay busy. 

MA in Counseling/Psychology from the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley.

AA in Liberal Arts/Psychology from Colorado Mountain College in Steamboat Springs.


CAC III Colorado Addictions Counselor, Level III

LPC Licensed Professional Counselor

Sandy Halby.png
Sandy Halby
Operations Assistant
Mert Lewis
Administrative Assistant

Sandy has been active in PILLAR since her retirement from Civil Service in 2015. Sandy not only works at PILLAR but takes and teaches PILLAR classes, too! Besides her PILLAR activities, she is the President of Plains & Peaks Mensa and Treasurer of Pikes Peak Beekeepers. She enjoys golf, mah jongg, bowling, puzzles and her dogs. Born in Montana and raised in a log cabin there, Sandy traveled with her husband, Mike, while he was in the Army (and she’s a vet, too) while earning her college degree. She has worked in the fields of electrical engineering, optics, photonics, as well as satellite scheduling for the Air Force Satellite Control Network.

BS in Mathematics from University of Alaska, Anchorage