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The original item was published from 10/5/2016 2:45:00 PM to 1/1/2017 12:05:02 AM.

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Gunnison County Organization News

Posted on: October 5, 2016

[ARCHIVED] Gunnison County Hires New Community and Economic Development Director

Cathie Pagano Photograph

Gunnison County has hired Cathie Pagano to serve as the new Community and Economic Development Director, effective immediately. Russ Forrest recently vacated the position to accept the position of Manager for the City of Gunnison, CO.

Cathie was selected by County Manager Matthew Birnie following a national recruitment process during which all candidates were initially vetted by Prothman, an executive recruitment firm located in Issaquah, WA. The five finalists were interviewed in person on September 22nd and 23rd by County Manager Birnie, Prothman President Greg Prothman, and a panel consisting of Gunnison County leaders and community stakeholders. “I am incredibly pleased that one of our own rose to the top of a very qualified and competitive group of applicants. Cathie has risen from an entry level position 15 years ago to assuming leadership of this vitally important department. She has shown incredible initiative in taking advantage of every opportunity for professional development offered by the County, as well as seeking out opportunities for growth on her own. I am confident that Cathie’s growth trajectory will continue, and that the County organization and community will benefit from her intelligence, dedication, and passion for many years to come,” stated County Manager Matthew Birnie

Cathie has been with Gunnison County since 2001, most recently serving as the Senior Planner. Over the past couple of years, she has provided leadership to the One Valley Prosperity Project, and she is looking forward to continuing those efforts. “I look forward to leading the Community and Economic Development Department and continuing our efforts to work with developers, builders, residents and other partners to collaboratively solve problems and identify solutions. I’m excited for the opportunity to continue the implementation of the One Valley Prosperity Project—we’ve developed an excellent strategy and now it’s critical that we continue to take action to achieve our goals of improved prosperity for our community. Although I’ve been in the community for quite some time, I’m excited to get out over the next month or two and hear from constituents about what is important to them and what we may need to work on together,” shared Cathie. For more information about the One Valley Prosperity Project, visit

Cathie’s current professional memberships include:
--Certified Environmental Planner (CEP) by the American Planning Association
--Member of the American Planning Association (APA)
--Member of the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP)
--Member of Colorado City and County Managers Association (CCCMA)
--Member of Community Planning Assistance Team for the American Planning Association

Cathie’s many other achievements and associations include:
--2004-2016, Rocky Mountain Land Use Institute Participant.
--2014, Gunnison County Leadership Academy Graduate.
--2010-2013, Gunnison Regional Energy Advisory Board Member.
--2011-2012, American Planning Association Consultant; Story County, IA Project.
--2010, Masters of Applied Science in Environmental Policy and Management; University of Denver.
--2006-2009, Gunnison County Land Preservation Board Member.
--1999, Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Science and English Literature; University of Colorado.

For more information about this announcement, please contact County Manager Matthew Birnie at

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