Steamboat Springs, CO July 8, 2024 – United Way of the Yampa Valley announced a significant leadership change Monday as part of its ongoing strategic evolution. Effective July 15, 2024, Jennifer “Jen” Bruen will assume the role of Interim Executive Director. Kate Nowak, who has served as Executive Director since 2013, begins her well-earned retirement this fall.

Jen is currently serving as Associate Director of the United Way of the Yampa Valley, where she’s worked for three years. She was instrumental in assisting with the merger of Routt County United Way and Moffat County United Way a year ago.

Jen brings eighteen years of experience in community and economic development. As an assistant director at Michigan State University, she collaborated with hundreds of nonprofits on grant-funded projects, positioning her well to lead the organization into its next phase of growth and innovation. Jen is also an active member of the Rotary Club of Steamboat Springs.

Jen is excited about opportunities ahead for the United Way of the Yampa Valley, which will continue its search for a permanent Executive Director in the fall.

The transition comes at an important time in the local United Way’s ongoing history of support for community members and community agencies, as the agency bids a fond and grateful farewell to Kate after more than a decade at the helm of the agency. During Kate’s tenure, United Way of the Yampa Valley achieved a permanent home for the organization, launched Dolly Parton Imagination Library, Women United, a financial literacy initiative and led the merger with Moffat County United Way. Her leadership has been instrumental in propelling United Way as the leader in health and human services in the Yampa Valley.

“We are grateful to Kate Nowak for her dedication and leadership,” said Olivia Goldsworthy, Chair of the Board of United Way of the Yampa Valley. “We look forward to Jen Bruen’s leadership and are confident in her ability to build on our achievements and drive United Way of the Yampa Valley forward.”

For media inquiries or further information, please contact:

Jen Bruen, Interim Executive Director, United Way of the Yampa Valley, 970-879-5605,

About United Way of the Yampa Valley: United Way of the Yampa Valley (UWYV) creates solutions to advance the common good in Northwest Colorado. They focus on improving education, strengthening financial stability, and making the community healthier. Their community-led solutions focus on four goals to make the most significant impact in the community:

  1. Giving children a strong start through early childhood education.
  2. Providing youth with a safe, healthy, and nurturing environment to promote successful youth.
  3. Improving the financial stability of all Northwest Colorado Citizens.
  4. Promoting access to mental health and crisis services.

They mobilize change by funding local nonprofits through grants, encouraging ideas and connections through partnerships, and fostering initiatives that directly support UWYV’s values in the community through their programs.