Vail Symposium hires executive director
VAIL — Vail Symposium Board Chair Rohn Robbins recently announced the hiring of Julie Norberg as the organization’s new executive director. Norberg, most recently the director of Education Foundation of Eagle County, takes over from Tracey Flower, who in November accepted the executive director position with Friends of Grand Rapids Parks in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Norberg’s hiring comes in the middle of the Vail Symposium’s largest season to date, featuring more than 32 speakers leading 24 programs in the winter 2016 season. The winter season builds on the success of the summer 2015 season, which saw a 31 percent growth in attendance when compared to the same season the previous year.
“We have modernized and upped our game in every way,” said Robbins, who has been the Symposium’s Chair since 2013. “Our programming is relevant and thoroughly engaging. Our attendance is significantly up year-over-year and while we continue to attract our core constituency, we have also come into the 21st century — and perhaps even beyond — to attract a younger demographic who has become enthused with the feast for the mind and the imagination the Vail Symposium affords.”
Robbins and the Vail Symposium board of directors now look to Norberg to continue that trend.
“(Norberg) brings with her a wealth of experience in the nonprofit sector and has developed substantial relationships within the nonprofit community,” Robbins said. “Her knowledge, intellectual curiosity and commitment to the Symposium’s continuing mission to engage and educate portend that we will continue to accelerate the recently accelerating trajectory of meaningful programming and community engagement.”
Norberg has lived in Vail for 10 years. She is from the small Swedish-American community of Lindsborg, Kansas. In addition to her roles at the education foundation, she has recently served as the house manager at the Vilar Performing Arts Center and a marketing consultant for Fall Creek Branding & Marketing.
‘Grateful and Honored’
Norberg first became acquainted with the Vail Symposium while working with the Eagle Valley Alliance for Sustainability when the two organizations collaborated for the Healthy Homes Tour & Fair eight years ago. She jumped at the chance to apply for the executive director position, citing her intent to work with a community-minded organization that believes in creating an environment which brings people together to share concepts, ideas and thoughts.
“I am truly grateful and honored to have the opportunity to help shape the future of the Vail Symposium,” Norberg said. “As executive director, I hope to continue to build upon the existing framework and legacy that has been gifted by my predecessors and visionaries of past and present board members. I believe that alongside the amazing team in place, we can become even more inclusionary, intergenerational, inspired and thought provoking to our community through events that are professionally organized, captivating, inviting, provocative, relevant, solution oriented, thoughtful and even fun.”
Norberg is the mother of two girls, ages 17 and 6. When she isn’t working with the Symposium, she can be found hiking, reading, digging in the dirt, being on the river or living a life full of gratitude and love.
Robbins complimented the Vail Symposium staff for handling the duties of the organization between Flower’s departure and Norberg’s hiring. He also complimented the pool of applicants.
“The future is bright — the pieces are all in place and the energy is palpable,” Robbins said. “We will continue to engage, evolve and be a relevant member of the community. The past several years, the Symposium has been on a roll. We will continue to be stimulating and receptive to the wonders and challenges of this very wide world.”