GGWC Appoints New Board Chair, Lilly Deford

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(March 6, 2018)    At GGWC’s February Board meeting, the Board elected Lilly Deford to the Leadership Team to serve as Board Chair. Lilly comes from a big farming family in Maryland, where she grew up exercising race horses, bailing hay, and welding farm equipment. She has made a home in Bozeman after coming here for school in 2006, and has since graduated with her undergraduate and graduate degrees in Civil Engineering. Her studies focused on soil and water as they apply to agriculture, from irrigation and streams, to nutrient cycling and waste management. With her heart and roots in farming, and her technical background, Lilly looks forward to working with GGWC to create dialogue between different interest groups. She believes that we can all find common ground in our dependence on clean water, and that our efforts to protect the resources in the Gallatin watershed are stronger together. In addition to serving on the board, Lilly is currently working in construction, both helping run a small roofing and siding company, as well as rebuilding her own house in downtown Bozeman.

With the departure of our past Board Chair, Brad Bauer, in the summer of 2017, GGWC has been led over the past several months by Interim Board Co-Chairs, Kyle Mehrens and Peter Brown. We thank Kyle and Peter for their hard work and leadership. Kyle will remain on the Board serving on the Water Resources Committee and Peter will continue serving on the Leadership Team in the Vice Chair role. Leanne Roulson was appointed to continue serving as Board Treasurer.

“I appreciate the opportunity to have helped lead GGWC over the past few months,” said Kyle. “During that time, I have worked with passionate board and community members willing to devote their free time towards the improvement of water resources in the Gallatin Valley. Lilly is one notable board champion, and it is great to see her take the reins. I wish her the best, and look forward to assisting as her vision for the organization prospers over the next year.”

A few words from our new Chair, Lilly:

“Thank you, Kyle, for taking on the role as interim chair – we asked a lot of you, and you have done a great job!  I am glad that Peter is staying on as Vice Chair – he has been a valuable sounding board not only for the board as a whole, but also for me as a new member to GGWC.  His guidance in 2018 will be much appreciated. Leanne will continue to serve as Treasurer – the work she has done since joining the board has been crucial, and I know she will keep things at GGWC high and tight moving forward.

I am excited about 2018 for GGWC and the personal challenge of being chair, but am also daunted by my responsibility.  GGWC needs to step-up and fill the growing need for a Gallatin Watershed Steward program, as water quantity and quality become increasingly poignant topics.  But to do so we must grow as an organization. Luckily we have contracted with a wonderful coordinator, Holly Hill, to help us. In 2018 you can look forward to GGWC doing the same great things it has been doing, like volunteer opportunities, learning days, and creating strategic planning documents to guide the way we manage our water resources.  We hope to add few things too, but must be careful to not overload our to do list, so that we can focus on fundraising, increasing our visibility, and cultivating partnerships.

We want to get out there and earn your belief in GGWC, so we will be connecting with you regularly by reintroducing our monthly newsletter, starting this blog, and increasing our connection to you via social media.  I would like to ask for your patience and help through this growth period. Tell your friends about GGWC, like us on Facebook, take pictures of your river outings and your pint of Gallatin Pale Ale – and tag us! Fill out the surveys we send you to guide our decisions and planning, and become a volunteer.  I look forward to working with all of you, and I will do my very best!”

Additional members serving on the GGWC Board include:

  • Peter Brown (Vice Chair)
  • Leanne Roulson (Treasurer)
  • Kyle Merhens
  • Susan Duncan
  • Chris Mahony
  • Tammy Swinney
  • John Nehring
  • Meryl Storb
  • Mark Story
  • Alice Buckley
  • Marcia Youngman

GGWC’s Board of Directors is broadly representative of our watershed community. Members represent agricultural producers, irrigators, non-governmental organizations, sub-watershed groups, recreationists, local government, natural resource managers, business, and other watershed interests. Board business meetings are held on the second Tuesday of each month from 5:15pm – 7:00pm at the City of Bozeman’s Professional Building at 20 E. Olive. All are welcome.