The LT100 Legacy Foundation was born out of the Leadville Trail 100 “Race Across the Sky”. Established by Merilee Maupin and Ken Chlouber it serves as a formal pathway to support the needs of Leadville & Lake County, with the goal of creating a better, brighter tomorrow for its residents and community.
What many don’t know is that the LT100 Legacy Foundation has a small but mighty Board of Directors. Each of them a long time Leadville local who believes passionately in the town and the work of the Legacy Foundation. In profiling the Board, we want to share something of the individuals behind the LT100 Legacy Foundation & appreciate their work – all of which makes our impact possible.
Carl Miller joined the board of the Legacy Foundation at its inception, and has continued to serve since the very beginning. A 3rd generation Leadvillite, Miller was born and raised in the town. He resides here still with his wife, 2 daughters, 4 grandchildren and 4 great-grandchildren!
Miller worked at Climax mine for 26 years as an underground electrician and once survived a 14,000 volt electric shock in a life threatening accident at the mine. Carl worked with Ken Chlouber during his time at Climax and they have remained close friends and cohorts ever since.
Miller was Chairman of the Lake County Board of Commissioners when Climax mine closed. Ken was also a County Commissioner at this time. Along with Ken he was a part of many tough conversations around how to get the town back on its feet. When Chlouber approached him with the idea of reviving the town with a 100 mile foot race, Miller’s response - “you’re crazy as hell! Sure I’ll help you!”. Though he never ran the race, Miller served as the official starter for the first Leadville Trail 100 Run. Carl Miller went on to serve his home town as Commissioner for 12 years.
As Chairman of the Board of Commissioners he was also part of a team that secured Leadville as the permanent home of the National Mining Hall of Fame and Museum (NMHF&M.) A true community effort that this underground miner was honored to play a role in. Little known fact, the NMHF&M is the Nation’s only Federally Chartered Mining Hall of Fame and Museum. President Ronald Reagan signed the legislation on November 14, 1988. Leadville, a community with a long-celebrated mining history, beat out several other States to be selected as the home for the NMHF&M.
In 1989 Miller was asked to step in as President/Executive Director of the NMHF&M. At the time the organization was struggling and he was a Leadville native with a mining background, a political network and successful fundraising experience. With those skills and an abundance of support from the community, he was able to make huge strides in converting the vacant junior high building into a world class mining museum and educational center.
After 10 years as President/Executive Director he decided to re-enter the political arena. Miller served in the Colorado State House of Representatives from 1996 – 2004. After he served four terms in the Legislature he was then term limited. It was at that time that Governor Bill Owens appointed him to the Colorado Public Utilities Commission (PUC) as one of three Public Utilities Commissioners for the State of Colorado. He retired from the PUC in January of 2008.
Miller’s wide-ranging tenure of public service is more in line with his character than just his chosen profession. As one of the Legacy Foundation’s most devoted and diligent Board Members, Carl is known for his integrity, due diligence and fact checking. He brings a deep love for Leadville as well as a long history to share (let’s not repeat the mistakes of the past). He understands the support the Legacy Foundation can provide to individual initiatives and programs. And he wants to ensure those entities and ideas have merit, can stand on their own and be sustainable for the long term good of Leadville. His focus these days is his family (his granddaughter now serving as a Lake County Commissioner) and reading up on local and political history. That’s when he’s not out on his daily walk or bike ride on the Mineral Belt Trail!
Mr. Miller, thank you for your service and ongoing support of the Legacy Foundation!