Yampa Valley has new Partner

Nowak takes over as executive director of indicators group



Kate Nowak

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For more information about Yampa Valley Partners and to view the 2009-10 Community Indicators Project, visit the Yampa Valley Partners' Web site.

— After 12 years of continuously taking the pulse of the Yampa Valley, Audrey Danner is ready to hand over the stethoscope to a new executive director of Yampa Valley Partners.

Kate Nowak was selected to take the position of new executive director beginning Feb. 23. Danner is leaving to take a position as a Moffat County commissioner.

Nowak will begin her tenure shortly after the release of the Community Indicators Project report for 2009-10. The report is the crux of Yampa Valley Partners and measures civil, environmental, economic and social indicators to give predictions and context to changes in the valley.

The first months of her job will be filled with meeting with local leaders to distribute the information in the report, Nowak said.

"One of the very first things is (because) the community indicator project has been published, it's important for me to get out there in the community and interpret the indicators so businesses and government and other entities can make good decisions based on the report," she said.

Nowak has lived in Steamboat for 11 years and has a background of planning and organization, something she said will come in handy as she begins to prepare an energy summit scheduled for May 14 to 16. She most recently was employed as the director of events and sales at the International Erosion Control Association.

Marianna Raftopoulos, a Yampa Valley Partners board member and member of the selection committee that chose Nowak, said Nowak was picked instead of 27 other applicants because of her communication skills and background.

"She has a great personality," Raftopoulos said. "It's a personality that will really bring that warmth from the Yampa Valley."

Nowak also will be responsible for a group initiative to put the Community Indicators Project into an interactive, searchable Web site. The report now is available for download as a PDF file from the group's Web site.

The executive director is the only paid staff member for Yampa Valley Partners.

- To reach Zach Fridell, call 871-4208 or e-mail zfridell@steamboatpilot.com


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