Helping build stronger and more resilient communities through entrepreneurship and small business ownership

Who We Are

Our History

Prairie Rose Development is a 501(C)3 nonprofit corporation founded in Colorado in late 2020.

New small businesses create almost all the net jobs created in the United State each year although businesses owned by women, minorities, immigrants, millennials, veterans and others, along with business owners located in rural communities, face challenges securing the flexible capital and mentorship resources needed to successfully start and/or grow their businesses. 

What limited funding that is available, rapidly evaporates during and immediately after an economic downturn, which is when it is most needed to help small businesses create meaningful, sustainable jobs in local communities.

Prairie Rose Development was created to address these issues.

Our mission

Our mission is to stimulate the creation, prosperity, and economic welfare of diverse small businesses creating sustainable, living-wage jobs within their communities.

Our values

  • We Acknowledge: That small businesses are the backbone of this county and an integral part of the vibrancy, sustainability and wellness of every community in the U.S.
  • Mentoring is Critical for Small Business Success: A small business with a mentor is twice as likely to be successful than one without.
  • Our Heritage: The heritage of the United States was built on the shoulders of small business owners, men and women, of many different backgrounds and nationalities. We honor that heritage.
  • Access to Capital: We strongly promote and advocate for access to affordable, flexible capital for under-served and under-represented categories of small business owners.
  • Respect: We treat all people with dignity and respect.
  • Ethics: We strive to meet the highest ethical standards.

Board of Directors

Katherine Homes


Katherine is an artist, musician, songwriter, and founder/CEO of Katherine Homes (, a design and apparel line business whose mission it is to keep the sun out of your eyes and the world’s wildlife protected. Katherine operates her nationwide business from Longmont, Colorado.



Bonnie Watson

Vice Chair

Bonnie is the Executive Director of Energize Colorado and was formerly the managing director of the Telluride Venture Network where she managed mentor networks, bootcamps, regional loan and venture funds. A Colorado native based in Evergreen, Colorado, Bonnie has a B.A. Finance from Colorado Mesa University and a Masters Finance from Colorado State University.

Delaney Keaton


Delaney is a seasoned, creative entrepreneur and change agent. She successfully owned, operated and exited her first company and has since been dedicated fostering ingrained cultural values for art and innovation. Delaney supports entrepreneurs, the potential of ideas, the people behind those ideas AND the places they create, all from her base in Gunnison, Colorado.


Rod Bols

Vice Chair

Rod is the founder and CEO of Boxwell, an innovative, multi-state company that provides customized portable and relocatable storage solutions. Rod studied business and international trade, taught English in China, started one business while in grad school and worked in the storage industry for eight years before founding Boxwell in 2015. He steers his company with the same honesty and integrity that he lives by.

Brittany Romano


Brittany is the Executive Director of Startup Colorado and is known as a trusted and collaborative leader with reputable experience working within the rural startup landscape in Colorado.

She founded Thrive Yoga Studios, a Colorado-based franchise focused on supporting small business owners in the health and wellness industry. The goal was to help aspiring entrepreneurs be able to build a business model that could THRIVE in any sized community.

Prior to Thrive Yoga Studios, Brittany held director and management level positions with numerous national and international community development organizations. She received a Masters Degree in Public Health from the University System of New Hampshire and her undergraduate degree in Environmental Studies from Plymouth State University.


Vice Chair

Would you like to join the board of Prairie Rose Development?

Please reach out for further information.

Prairie Rose Development Team

Mike O'Donnell
Executive Director

Transitions Coordinator

Mike previously led the nonprofit economic development organization, Colorado Lending Source, for twenty years prior to founding Prairie Rose Development in 2020. He has more than 30 years experience in entrepreneurial education, mentoring, consulting and the financing fields. An Australian by birth, he holds a B. Comm (University of Melbourne) and MBA (Australian Graduate School of Management). Mike currently sits on the board of Startup Colorado and the Oregon-based NuProject/NuLeaf nonprofit lender.

Dani Tafolla
Capital Access Manager

Program Manager

Born in Pueblo, Colorado, of Mexican descent, Dani was raised in Las Vega, Nevada, and is deeply connected to her Mexican and indigenous heritage. A published author, Dani graduated from the University of Hawai’i, Manoa, in Cultural Anthropology, and specializes in cross cultural communication and Latino / Indigenous culture. Dani is fluent in Spanish. 

Rachel Crawford
Capital Access Manager

From Silicon Valley tech startups to rural New England cottage industries, Rachel and underpinned business operations from many angles. She supports the work of action-oriented entrepreneurs articulating and achieving their own extraordinary goals from her home base in Durango, Colorado. Rachel is always up for a good puzzle or healing moment of scribbling.  

Aley Desiderio
Development Officer

With over 20 years of experience in strategic business endeavors, fundraising, and policy, Alessandra Desiderio is a seasoned professional celebrated for her versatile skill set. Her capabilities encompass sales, fundraising, commercial and nonprofit growth, community betterment, and human resources. Alessandra’s journey includes service as a lobbyist in multiple states, including Colorado, Oklahoma, Wyoming, and Washington D.C., where she contributed to shaping policy. Her active involvement in various fellowships and programs, coupled with her contributions to impactful projects like Prairie Rose Development, South Sudan Healthcare’s successful capital campaign, and B Side Capital’s Main Street Program expansion, reflects her enduring commitment to leadership. Alessandra’s certifications, including Development Finance Certified Professional (DFCP) and Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE), underscore her dedication to excellence. She has been honored with awards such as the “Outstanding Women in Business (Finance)” in 2020 and the “Torch of Freedom” Stephen Wright Legacy in 2014, reflecting her meaningful contributions. Beyond her professional achievements, Alessandra actively engages in advocacy and volunteer initiatives, making a lasting and positive contribution to the organizations she supports