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Pathfinders hires new executive director

PHOTO COURTESY OF ANNA BRUEN

Ashley Utt, left, Pathfinders RC&D’s incoming executive director, is seen here with the group’s outgoing executive director Anna Bruen.
PHOTO COURTESY OF ANNA BRUEN Ashley Utt, left, Pathfinders RC&D’s incoming executive director, is seen here with the group’s outgoing executive director Anna Bruen.

Pathfinders Resource Conservation & Development is excited to welcome Ashley Utt as the incoming executive director.

Utt comes to Pathfinders with experience in a variety of marketing and public relations capacities, as well as work in inside/outside sales and starting up and operating a small business, SIBS Market, in Bloomfield. She has a strong belief that growth begins when people start working together for a bigger picture and that small town communities have a lot to offer each other not only in knowledge, but in goods and services as well.

She lives with her family in Bloomfield, and will commute to Fairfield. She assumes the role full-time on June 10 and will be working closely with outgoing executive director Anna Bruen leading up to that time.

“I am very happy and honored to say that I am taking part in the future of the Pathfinders,” Utt said. “This organization is a great value and service to the large and small communities in southern Iowa, and I look forward to continuing the great leadership that Anna brought to the role of executive director. It is exciting to know that I can help move forward on some new projects and opportunities. There is a lot to learn, but I am definitely ready to start on the adventure.”

The board of directors unanimously chose Utt to succeed Bruen after a regional search and selection process. Bruen, who has been working with the organization for five years, will be moving to Germany for a selective 11-month fellowship with the Robert Bosch Foundation focusing on community development priorities in the face of climate change with an emphasis on rural communities.

“Pathfinders is in good hands. Ashley knows the region from her personal and professional experience having lived and worked in Davis and Van Buren counties,” Bruen said. “She’s already been working to create vibrant communities where people want to live, work, and play. I look forward to Pathfinders’ future with her leadership. We’ll be spending the next few weeks working closely to ensure a smooth transition for projects, staff, partners, the board, and our shared responsibilities.”

Pathfinders is a nonprofit organization that assists local communities with initiatives related to economic development, natural resource conservation and recreation. Pathfinders has been serving Jefferson, Van Buren, Mahaska, Keokuk, Davis and Wapello counties since 1978. To learn more, contact Pathfinders by calling 472-6177 or visit www.PathfindersRCD.org.