We are pleased to announce the appointment of Ira Shadis as our new Executive Director. You might recognize him - he has been with us since 2018 and has served in an interim leadership role since November of last year.
Ira brings over a decade of experience working with conservation and community focused non-profits. He initially joined Friends to help launch our Storm Smart program, through which he has helped 'spongify' the Valley at dozens of properties. His role expanded in 2020 when he began to work closely with our former director on a diverse suite of projects, from riparian buffer restoration to climate-focused community conversations.
Ira has done great work with us, and we couldn’t be more pleased to have him step fully into the leadership of this organization. He brings a strong background as a program manager, community builder, and steward of the watershed. You can see his appreciation for the Valley in the care and curiosity he brings to his work every day.
In his new role, Ira will lead our 34-year-old organization in its mission to steward clean water, healthy land, and a vibrant community. We will continue to deliver regular programs, like Storm Smart and Mad River Watch. Ira will also continue to participate in the many collaborative efforts ongoing in the Mad River Valley, like the Conservation & Recreation Visioning project, the Mad River Valley Black Bear Initiative, and StewardMRV, to name just a few.
Join us in welcoming Ira to his new role and in our excitement for the future of Friends and the whole Mad River Valley.
Matt Williams, Friends Board President
A Note From Ira
A small organization like Friends can’t do its work alone, we need the support of the community to really make an impact for the health of the river, the land, and the diversity of life in the Mad River Valley. I’m excited to deepen our existing relationships, build new connections, and foster a network that can not only protect this place, but celebrate it for years to come. I want people in this community to feel free to reach out, share ideas, and tell me about all the ways you connect with the Mad River and the surrounding the valley.
A little about myself; I live in Montpelier with my partner, Debbie, along with our six chickens, four (indoor) cats, and one dog. When I'm not at work building resilience in the Mad River watershed, I can be found practicing cello etudes, riding my bike down dirt roads, skiing along the Catamount Trail, playing pick-up basketball, or reading a good book.
Please don't hesitate to get in touch with me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 802 496 6127.
Ira Shadis, Executive Director
of the Mad River