Yampatika hires Kellie Gorman as first program director
With the departure of its former program coordinator, Yampatika, a non-profit providing environmental education services to children and adults, has hired former Denver Zoo service-learning specialist Kellie Gorman as its first program director.
“We reassessed our needs when our program coordinator, Morgan Moss, left, and saw that we could expand the role of program coordinator to be more comprehensive,” said Sonja Macys, Yampatika’s executive director. “One of the things that impressed me about Kellie was the overwhelmingly positive reaction of references and her solid reputation and background in environment education.”
Because Gorman will assume more responsibilities as program director than the former program coordinator, Yampatika required more experience in staff and financial management from applicants.
“We hired Kellie with the expectation that she would hold a wider role,” Macys said. “This gives me, as executive director, the opportunity to not worry about day-to-day management and focus more on fundraising and partner-building for the future.”
After graduating from the University of Rhode Island with a degree in environmental geology, Gorman immediately entered the environmental education field with an environmental education center in Georgia. Soon after, she expanded her horizons to outdoor education with guiding positions for Outward Bound and the Appalachian Mountain Club.
After working in Zambia and with the Jane Goodall Institute in Uganda, Gorman moved to Boulder County to once again work in environmental education. Most recently, she served as service-learning specialist at the Denver Zoo, creating environmental education programs for high school and elementary schools.
Part of what attracted Gorman to a job with Yampatika was the opportunity to work in a small community again instead of a city, she said.
“Working in a city like Denver was great, but a much different experience than working in a small town,” Gorman said. “Working in a smaller community like Steamboat gives me the opportunity to work with all different folks in town and develop closer relationships over time. It’s more of a blend of opportunities.”
As program director, Gorman will primarily guide and mentor Yampatika’s staff so as to continue offering both children and adults access to quality environment education. In doing so, she will train new hires and work with staffers to continue to advance environmental literacy.
One of her main goals will be revamping the adult programs portion of Yampatika’s services.
“We’ve been really strong at designing our niche with our unique offerings in schools and at the Environmental Learning Center,” Macys said. “Where we need to focus is our adult programs and the continuous refinement of our role in the adult community. Kellie will help us work through figuring out what is the most high value role we can play.”
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