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July 19, 2013
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Eagle River Watershed Council announces Holly Loff as new leader

EAGLE COUNTY — Eagle River Watershed Council has announced the selection of Holly Loff as its new executive director.

“The board of directors carried out an extensive search for a new executive director,” said Susan Pollack, president of the ERWC Board of Directors. “Holly’s background and knowledge of nonprofit fundraising put her on top for the position. The board welcomes her and is excited to have her as a part of the ERWC team.”

Loff comes to the Watershed Council from Can Do Multiple Sclerosis where she focused her attention on grant writing and corporate relations for the national organization. Prior to that, Loff worked at High Country Conservation Center in Frisco, and Solar Energy International in Carbondale. She received a Bachelor of Science degree in resource conservation from the University of Montana followed by a year as an AmeriCorps volunteer with Maine Conservation Corps.

She has lived in the Eagle Valley for five years and is a Colorado native, having grown up in Clear Creek County.

Loff has served on the Gypsum Recreation Committee since 2011. Loff has held the position of solicitations co-chair for Wild West Day for two years, and aided the steering committee as volunteer coordinator for Mountain Rural Philanthropy Days when it was last held in the valley in 2011.

“I am very excited about working at Eagle River Watershed Council,” Loff said. “This position is such a great fit with my background, passion and skills. I have worked in the nonprofit arena for a long time and love it. Riparian ecology classes in college were my favorite, as were the riparian restoration projects I did on the Allagash River in Maine. We have several great projects coming up on both the Colorado and Eagle Rivers and I am thrilled to be coming on board as many of them are getting started. With the amazing people we have on the staff and board of directors, I am confident we can extend our reach and continue to do great things in both basins.”

Loff, who lives in Gypsum, spends her free time skiing, fishing, hiking and camping with her husband, Tony, and their two children, Liam and Harper.

Loff replaces Melissa Macdonald, who resigned to spend more time with her Denver-based fiancé. Macdonald has served as executive director since 2008 and plans to stay involved with the organization.

“The Watershed Council has seen tremendous growth during Melissa’s tenure,” said Kathy Chandler-Henry, past board president. “Our partnerships have expanded and strengthened, and our funding base has grown. We’re proud of our work to protect rivers and educate the public, and Ms. Macdonald has been the driving force behind that work.”

Eagle River Watershed Council encourages the community to come out and discover our rivers at the annual RiverFest presented by B&B Excavating on Aug. 17. The event provides an opportunity to float a four-mile stretch of the Upper Colorado River, explore new Eagle County Open Space access points, and meet the Watershed Council staff, including Loff. Following the float there will be a family-friendly party at Colorado River Ranch with live music by the Olora Bros, dinner by Moe’s Original BBQ with all-natural beef from the Colorado River Ranch, dancing, a bouncy castle and more. Tickets are available online.

Learn more about the Watershed Council, or buy RiverFest tickets, at www.erwc.org3" target="_blank">target="_blank">www.erwc.org3. Loff can be reached at loff@erwc.org or 970-827-5406.

The Eagle River Watershed Council has a mission to advocate for the health and conservation of the Upper Colorado and Eagle River basins through research, education, and projects. The council strives to protect and enhance the high-quality natural, scenic and economic values that our rivers and tributaries provide to the citizens, visitors and wildlife of the Eagle River and Colorado River watersheds located in Eagle County.

“Holly’s background and knowledge of nonprofit fundraising put her on top for the position. The board welcomes her and is excited to have her as a part of the ERWC team.”

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The VailDaily Updated Jul 19, 2013 07:44PM Published Jul 19, 2013 09:21AM Copyright 2013 The VailDaily. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.