The Arc Mesa County © 2019  |  All Rights Reserved

Candace Diaz, Advocate

Candace is a long-time resident of Grand Junction.  She received a Bachelor’s degree in Language Arts and Elementary Education from Mesa State College. Candace received her Master’s Generalist Special Education degree and Education Specialist Degree (Principal and Special Education Director License) from University of Northern Colorado. She worked as a Significant Support Needs (SSN) teacher for eleven years in an elementary school prior to joining The Arc Mesa County Advocacy Team early in 2017.  Candace brings her enthusiasm and love for her job to The Arc Mesa County.   

845 Grand Avenue, Grand Junction, CO 81501             (970) 245-5775 

To Whom it May Concern:
I am writing to you on behalf of Arc Mesa County, Inc. I hope this message finds you well. We wanted to inform you of a significant change within our organization.

After 4 years of service, our Executive Director, Melissa Gallagher, has resigned from her position. We extend our gratitude for her contribution to our organization and wish her the very best in her future endeavors. 

Jennifer Shook, Advocate, has resigned as well. We truly appreciate all she has done and can't wait to work with her in her new position in the future. 

During this transitional period, we are fortunate to have Damon Lockhart stepping in as the Interim Executive Director. Damon brings experience as a former executive director for another Arc chapter and is committed to maintaining the high standards of service and advocacy you have come to expect from us.

We assure you that our commitment to excellence remains unwavering, and we are confident that Damon's leadership will guide us seamlessly through this transition. We will begin the process for securing a permanent executive director in January.
If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to reach out to me at

Thank you for your continued support.​​

​Jessica Wayt, Board President The Arc Mesa County

Our Staff

Damon Lockhart, Interim Executive Director

Damon comes from an educational background.  He has worked with children and was a Special Education Director for Mesa County Valley School District #51 prior to becoming a principal at Independence Academy for 10 years. Damon served as the Executive Director for The Arc in Delta (WCCO) for 4 years.   Damon loves sports and has been a coach and avid sports dad for his 5 children.  He brings a wealth of knowledge and we couldn't be happier to have him on the team to help during this transition.