The Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) board's Executive Director Search Committee announces four finalists in its candidate selection process.

The GOCO board, which invests Colorado Lottery proceeds in the state’s outdoors, has narrowed its search for an executive director to four people. The board expects to make a final decision on the appointment in September. Read on to learn about the candidates.

Jackie Miller, GOCO’s interim executive director and director of programs since 2013, has dedicated her career to the organization’s mission and to serving the people, places, and wildlife of Colorado. For more than 15 years, she has created and directed initiatives for GOCO and developed collaborative partnerships with the state’s conservation, recreation, and stewardship leaders. Working with stakeholders across Colorado has provided Miller with a ground-up perspective of program development and grant management as well as in-depth strategic planning experience. She produced GOCO’s 2020 strategic plan with a values-based, equity-focused approach to grantmaking that promotes community-driven work and significant, measurable outcomes from a projected $330 million in funding.

Carly Hare, National Director of CHANGE Philanthropy since 2015, has spent her professional career at the intersection of philanthropy and equity. Previous roles Hare held include Executive Director at Native Americans in Philanthropy (2010-2015), Director of Development at Native American Rights Fund (2009-2010), and Director of Programs for The Community Foundation Serving Boulder County (2009-2004). Hare currently serves as the chair of the Colorado Independent Congressional Redistricting Commission and is a board member for the Common Counsel Foundation, the Highlander Research and Education Center, Impact on Education/Boulder Valley School District Foundation, Pawnee Evening Star Fund, and Equity in the Center.

Jill Ozarski, program officer for the Environment Program for the Walton Family Foundation since 2016, has dedicated a 20-year career to conserving land and water for western communities. She currently administers a $10 million grant portfolio to promote sustainable water and river management across the southwestern U.S. and contributes to a strategic plan for a seven-state Colorado River Basin conservation program. In 2015, Ozarski was a Fulbright – Ian Axford Fellow in Public Policy at the New Zealand Department of Conservation. She was a senior national resource advisor for U.S. Senator Mark Udall from 2011 to 2015, provided management consulting to Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) at Accenture from 2009 to 2011, and was executive director of Colorado Coalition of Land Trusts from 2006 to 2009. She is a volunteer on the Colorado Recreational Trails Committee and the Colorado Conservation Easement Commission.

Sharon Schneider is founder and principal at Integrated Capital Strategies, which specializes in setting up and working with hybrid impact organizations that use a range of tools to accomplish their social mission, from grants and investments to advocacy and operating businesses. Schneider served as Executive Director of the Telluray Foundation from 2019 to 2020 and was the founding Director of the Walton Personal Philanthropy Group at Walton Family Foundation/ Walton Enterprises, Inc. where she worked from 2016-2019. She was also co-founder and CEO of for-profit social enterprise Moxie Jean and spent 12 years as a staff member and consultant to private foundations, including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Pew Charitable Trusts, and dozens of small family foundations. Schneider currently serves as board chair for Denver Tennis Park and is a board member for Colorado Soccer Foundation and Bright by Text.

About Great Outdoors Colorado
Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) invests a portion of Colorado Lottery proceeds to help preserve and enhance the state’s parks, trails, wildlife, rivers, and open spaces. GOCO’s independent board awards competitive grants to local governments and land trusts and makes investments through Colorado Parks and Wildlife. Created when voters approved a Constitutional Amendment in 1992, GOCO has since funded more than 5,400 projects in urban and rural areas in all 64 counties without any tax dollar support.