Colorado Gets River Advocate as New Director of Outdoor Recreation Industry Office

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A former staffer for river conservation organization American Whitewater has been named the new director of the Colorado Office of Outdoor Recreation Industry.

The announcement appointing acting director Nathan Fey to the position was made by the Office of Economic Development and International Trade. It should bode well for both preserving Colorado’s prime paddling opportunities, as well as luring outdoor businesses to the state.

“Throughout his tenure as acting director, it became clear that the skills, experience and vision that Nathan brings to the table are ideally suited to lead our OREC office,” said Betsy Markey, Executive Director of the Colorado Office of Outdoor Recreation. “He is well-known and well-respected in the outdoor industry, has been an active member of the OREC Advisory Council for five years and was instrumental in the creation of the Colorado Governance Protocol and Charter, and the 8-State Confluence Accords. With his industry knowledge, his established contacts and his authentic passion for our outdoors, Nathan enables us to maintain a national leadership position within the industry while adding an informed voice to advocate for Colorado’s outdoors.”

“I’m excited to continue to build on the long-term strategy that we have developed over the past two months while serving as acting director,” said Fey. “A big part of that strategy is to dedicate resources towards the care and feeding of our industry partners who call Colorado home while advancing the State’s appeal to brands with shared value and respect for responsible conservation and stewardship of public lands and waters.”

Responsible use and stewardship of outdoor spaces will be cornerstones of Fey’s leadership philosophy, working in partnership with the Governor’s Office, the OREC Advisory Council, the Department of Natural Resources and Colorado’s abundant outdoor enthusiasts.

Fey has been a professional in the outdoor arena for 20 years. For 12 years, he worked as the regional director of the Colorado River Stewardship Program at American Whitewater where he was responsible for program development, fundraising, grant writing and growing the network of affiliates from four regional paddling clubs to over 20. Concurrently, he served as a public policy advisor for Berbur, llc, where he co-created the governance structure for the Colorado Office of Outdoor Recreation industry including Member Pledge, Regional Partnership Guidelines and the Advisory Council protocol.

Prior to the Colorado River Stewardship Program, Fey worked at the Uncompahgre River stewardship Alliance, San Miguel Watershed Coalition, and Ridgway Independent Guide Service, where he was a fly-fishing guide and kayak instructor.

He has been recognized as a Partner in Conservation by the US Department of the Interior and received a three-year leadership grant from the WIlliam C. Kenney Foundation for the support of innovation, collaboration and solutions to address water resource issues in the Uncompahgre Valley.

Fey has a B.A. in Environmental Studies from Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Oregon.

About Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade: The Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT) works with partners to create a positive business climate that encourages dynamic economic development and sustainable job growth. Under the leadership of Governor Jared Polis, we strive to advance the State’s economy through financial and technical assistance that fosters local and regional economic development activities throughout Colorado. OEDIT offers a host of programs and services tailored to support business development at every level including business retention services, business relocation services, and business funding and incentives. Our office includes the Global Business Development division; Colorado Tourism Office; Colorado Outdoor Recreation Industry Office; Colorado Creative Industries; Business Financing & Incentives division; the Colorado Small Business Development Network; Colorado Office of Film, TV & Media; the Minority Business Office; and the Colorado Innovation Network. Learn more at www.choosecolorado.com.

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