Vail Valley Foundation adds Sarah Johnson as a senior VP |

Vail Valley Foundation adds Sarah Johnson as a senior VP

AVON — The Vail Valley Foundation has announced that Sarah Johnson has joined the nonprofit organization as senior vice president of education and the arts.

The role is new not only to Johnson, but to the organization, which created the position with an eye toward providing additional leadership and focus in education and the arts as the organization grows and adapts to the changing needs of the community.

“We are extremely pleased to have Sarah join our team, and she is already proving to be an effective and thoughtful leader,” said Mike Imhof, president of the Vail Valley Foundation. “Sarah’s background is a perfect match for this new position, and her experience, insights, and wisdom will allow our organization to continue to flourish.”

Johnson comes to the Vail Valley Foundation after five years at Vail Mountain School, where she most recently served as the director of advancement & community engagement. Johnson’s experience at Vail Mountain School is only one aspect of a career in education, the arts, and law. She was general counsel & director of risk management for Augustana College, and has her Juris Doctor from DePaul University College of Law and her undergraduate degree in Human & Organizational Development from Vanderbilt University.

During and after college, Johnson worked in education both professionally, in service on  several nonprofit boards, and as a volunteer throughout her career. Her passion for arts is equally long-lived: she has been an active member of the Vail Dance Festival committee, and has been a pioneering leader for young people and the arts throughout her life, including taking leadership roles in dance programming for Vail Valley youth.

“The Vail Valley Foundation is entirely unique in its ability to provide such a wide array of programs, events, and services to our community, and I am excited to join this phenomenal team in pursuing the organization’s mission,” Johnson said. “The Vail Valley Foundation does an excellent job finding ways to unify its arts and education missions … S.T.A.R.S. at the VPAC, Master Classes with the Vail Dance Festival and more … I look forward to working with current programming and exploring new and innovation ways to engage both year-round residents and visitors to the Vail Valley.”

Johnson’s first day in the position was Feb. 28. Among her first major tasks will be the appointment of a new executive director of education to lead the Vail Valley Foundation’s YouthPower365, and the appointment of a director of the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater, which is set to begin a busy summer season this June. Johnson will also oversee the Vilar Performing Arts Center, which is led by executive director Duncan Horner; as well as the Vail Dance Festival, led by Artistic Director Damien Woetzel.

Johnson grew up on the banks of the Mississippi River in Bettendorf, Iowa. She now lives in East Vail with her husband, Tait, and their two children, Grace and Drew.

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