Local lobbying group gets a new executive director | CraigDailyPress.com

Local lobbying group gets a new executive director

After 24 years serving the municipalities of five Northwest Colorado counties, Jim Evans will retire at the end of this year.

Aron Diaz, a Rifle High School graduate, will replace Evans as the executive director of the Associated Governments of Northwest Colorado.

The organization lobbies for city and county governments in Moffat, Rio Blanco, Garfield, Mesa and Routt Counties. It also works with local governments on state and national issues.

Moffat County and the city of Craig are members of the organization.

After spending the better part of the last decade working elsewhere Diaz, 30, said he is looking forward to returning to Northwest Colorado.

“I’m going back to the part of the state I really love,” Diaz said.

Diaz has worked for U.S. Sen. Wayne Allard, former U.S. Rep. Bob Schaffer, U.S. West and the Colorado State Rehabilitation Council.

He currently works with the Colorado Department of Local Affairs as a Business Outreach Representative with the state office of Workforce Development.

His experience with legislators and state agencies will help as the organization’s new director, Diaz said.

He said he plans to work with officials to ensure the anticipated boom in energy production in the five-county region is beneficial to everyone involved.

“Energy development in that part of the state is going to be huge in the future,” he said.

His experience with legislators will help the organization during time’s of increased energy production, said Meeker Mayor Steve Loshbaugh, the organization’s chairman.

“Aron has a good background in the legislative arena, which should help us on energy and natural resource issues,” Loshbaugh said.

Moffat County Commissioner Darryl Steele served on the hiring committee that recommended Diaz.

“He already knows those folks,” Steele said.

Being from Northwest Colorado will also help Diaz, Steele said.

“I’ve always felt that all things being equal, we should get someone whose roots are here,” Steele said.

But having someone other than Evans in charge will take some getting used to, Steele said.

“Jim is an institution, everyone knows him,” Steele said.

Brandon Johansson can be reached at 824-7031, ext. 213, or bjohansson@craigdailypress.com.

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