Craig Kate Nowak will be leaving her position as executive director of Yampa Valley Data Partners to become the executive director of Routt County United Way.
“It’s been a marvelous experience,” she said about her time with Data Partners. “I’ll be sad to say goodbye to my board and the people outside of Routt County.”
Nowak will replace former United Way Executive Director Kelly Stanford, who left in July.
United Way board President Brian Berry said he is excited to have Nowak at the helm.
“We had some incredible candidates apply and go through the process. It was a very hard decision, but we were captivated by Kate’s enthusiasm,” Berry said.
Nowak has been leading Data Partners for nearly five years. She left a profound impact on the organization, board Vice Chairman Greg Dixson said.
“I can’t think of an area she had a weakness in. She kept the board focused,” he said.
Data Partners board member Pamela Kinder agreed but said she was happy for Nowak.
“She is a fantastic executive director. I think United Way is extremely lucky to have her,” she said. “I hope we can get someone even close to Kate’s quality for her replacement.”
Nowak said she applied for the position at United Way because she has become increasingly interested in focusing on human services. United Way is a national organization that helps fund nonprofits. Routt County United Way spends 100 percent of its donations in Routt County, Nowak said.
“My current position certainly helps businesses and helps government and helps people make better decisions,” she said.
But she wanted to focus her efforts on helping people in need directly, she said.
“I really wanted to do something that helped society,” she said. “Whether they’re in crisis or just going through a tough time.”
Data Partners provides resources and gathers data for local businesses and governments to help the local economy diversify and grow. At Data Partners, Nowak had expanded the organization's community presence by introducing Monthly Fast Facts and the Quarterly Economics Forecast Newsletter, she said. This brought updated data information to businesses and local officials on a regular basis, helping the community and improving Data Partners’ image within the region, said Berry.
“She’d taken YVDP from almost nowhere to a very public organization,” he said. “When she took over, it wasn’t very well-known or very well-respected. But now it is.”
United Way was looking for someone who had experience in nonprofits, had ideas for new methods of fundraising and was familiar with the area, Berry said.
“Kate fit the bill for all of those,” he said. “We are extremely pleased to have (her) come on board.”
Nowak’s last day at Data Partners will be Oct. 4.
Erin Fenner can be reached at 970-875-1794 or efenner@CraigDailyPress.com.