River District Welcomes New Board Members

New and Re-appointed Directors

On Tuesday, January 16, the Colorado River District Board of Directors welcomed two newly-appointed directors to its fifteen-member Board. Each county within the Colorado River District is represented by a director who is appointed by their respective Board of County Commissioners. All serve for a three-year term. This ensures that policy, budget, and the positions of General Manager and General Counsel are managed by a group that represents the diverse regions served by the Colorado River District.

Joining from Gunnison County for her first term as a Director was Sonja Chavez. Chavez has been General Manager for the Upper Gunnison River Water Conservancy District for four years. She received both her bachelor’s degree in Environmental Biology and a master’s degree in Limnology (the study of freshwater systems) from the University of Colorado. Her areas of expertise are in water quality, water resources management, funding acquisition, environmental and natural resource sciences, and policy and planning.  Previously, Sonja managed her own private water consulting firm and served as the Water Resource Specialist for the Colorado River Water Conservation District (Colorado River District).

Cary Denison, appointed to represent Ouray County, is a former project coordinator for Trout Unlimited and currently works for a holdings company, managing ranches and agricultural land in the Klamath River Basin. He is passionate about healthy fisheries and addressing water needs for multiple stakeholders.

Re-appointed directors include Alden Vanden Brink (Rio Blanco County), Mark Roeber (Delta County), and Steve Beckley (Garfield County).

All will serve a term of three years ending in 2027.

Election of Officers

Also during the first portion of the meeting, the positions of President and Vice President were up for election. Current Board President Kathy Chandler-Henry was the sole name suggested for re-election, nominated by Scott McInnis and seconded by Taylor Hawes. She received a unanimous vote and will serve as president for two years.

“Thank you for your confidence, and I appreciate it. It is a great honor to represent the River District. I think this is going to be a big year,” said Chandler-Henry.

Marc Catlin was the sole nominee to be re-elected as Vice President, and he also received a unanimous vote of support.

“In my career this has been one of the most important things that I’ve done,” said Catlin. “The Colorado River District’s shadow is big, and we don’t have a lot of staff and resources compared to those who we compete with. We have 15 directors who care deeply and a staff who is committed to doing whatever it is our District needs. I am honored to accept the nomination.”

Adoption of Resolutions for Outgoing Directors

The Board also approved two resolutions of appreciation of service two for outgoing directors.

Marti Whitmore, from Ouray County, served as a director for nine years. She was also the first female Board President of the River District, and she served in that role for __ years.

Kathleen Curry represented Gunnison County on the Colorado River District Board for three years.