New leaders share a passion that will serve the area well

Add Elizabeth Fogarty to the list of women who’ve assumed the leadership positions of important organizations in the Grand Valley as Fogarty starts her new job as executive director of Visit Grand Junction.

That list also includes Angela Padalecki, the new executive director of the Grand Junction Regional Airport, and Robin Brown, the new executive director of the Grand Junction Economic Partnership. The Business Times has published cover stories about Fogarty, Padalecki and Brown in three out of the last four editions. For those who’ve somehow missed one of the stories, visit the website at to read archived content — absolutely free, by the way, with no limits on access.

Not surprisingly, Fogarty, Padalecki and Brown bring to their duties diverse backgrounds:

Fogarty long has worked in the tourism and hospitality sector, most recently as president and chief executive officer of Visit Estes Park.

Before coming to Grand Junction, Padalecki worked at Denver International Airport as director of airline affairs and as a senior advisor to the chief financial officer. She also worked as an economist with the Bureau of Economic Analysis and Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.

Before joining GJEP, Brown worked as co-director of the Downtown Grand Junction Business Improvement District and development director for the Avalon Theater Foundation. She also launched a public relations firm as well as a magazine promoting the Grand Valley. Interestingly, Brown also flew the Kiowa Warrior helicopter in the Army and commanded a company of pilots and crew. Brown was twice stationed in Iraq and survived a mission in which her helicopter was shot down. Her experience redefines what it means to endure a bad day on the job.

Obviously, Fogarty, Padalecki and Brown will draw on drastically different experiences in their latest roles. Yet, they also share some things in common, in particular, their passion for what they’re doing and their excitement about the possibilities of what the future holds. They also share yet another trait in common, and that’s their love for living in the Grand Valley. What better advocates for an area than those who love their jobs, love what they’re doing and love where they’re living?

It will be interesting to follow what develops as Fogarty, Padalecki and Brown not only work separately, but also together. They’ve all emphasized the importance of the collaborations that seem a hallmark of the Grand Valley. Moreover, tourism, air transportation and economic development constitute important requisites of a healthy business environment. Nearly every business depends, in fact, on those factors. There are also important intersections in efforts to promote the Grand Valley as the outdoor recreation capital of Colorado — not only as a place to come to enjoy recreation, but also operate businesses related to outdoor recreation.

It’s been a pleasure talking with Fogarty, Padalecki and Brown over the past month about their new roles and their plans for their respective organizations.
It’s evident their new ideas and fresh enthusiasm will serve them — and the Grand Valley — well.

Here’s wishing them continued success in their many and varied endeavors. God speed.