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Utah Avalanche Center seeks new director

Utah Avalanche Center Executive Director and Park City resident Chad Bracklesberg will be moving on to a new position with the organization this fall.
Courtesy of Chad Brackelsberg
Utah Avalanche Center Executive Director and Park City resident Chad Bracklesberg will be moving on to a new position with the organization this fall.

After heading up the Utah Avalanche Center for the past seven years, Park City resident Chad Bracklesberg is stepping down as well as Mark Staples who has led the center’s forecasting efforts since 2015. The organization is now on the hunt for their replacements.

Chad Brackelsberg joined the Utah Avalanche Center as Executive Director in July 2017 and says he’s excited by the change – which will get him back outdoors more often.

“After seven years, I've made a difficult decision, but also a wonderful decision, to step down from my leadership role, hand over the reins to somebody else and move into more of a community role,” Bracklesberg explained. “So, I'm excited next year to be teaching more classes, to be working with the community, hopefully, spreading more word about avalanche safety. And then also leading some special projects."

He expects to remain with the organization for at least the next 18 months to two years.

During his tenure, he says the center has grown – a lot. He’s been able to expand the number of summer employees from two to eight; they’ve doubled the amount of programming that they do with close to 30 on-snow classes every season, which trains some 500 students a year and reaching as many as 10,000 people a year with the message of the Know Before You Go program.

Bracklesberg has a master degree in microbiology and after spending some time in cancer research, he moved over to tech consulting where he worked for two decades, traveling around the world, before he found his dream job.

“[I was] really was looking for a change to where I could be part of the community and give back to the community I love and the organization that I loved,” he said. “And so, this was such a perfect job for me to be able to step into seven years ago. And one of the reasons I can't really leave, I just have to change roles is that it's been such an amazing organization to work with. The people are just phenomenal. And yeah, it's hard to hard to imagine working with better people.”

Another change is that the Director of the Forest Service Utah Avalanche Center Mark Staples is also moving on – back to Bozeman where he came from - to take over the Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center there.

Staples has been with UAC since August 2015. Bracklesberg says Staples’ replacement will be named in the next few weeks. This person will oversee all of the forecasting efforts.

The deadline to apply for Bracklesberg’s position has been extended to March 15. The successful candidate will have a strong background in communications, marketing, fundraising, strategy, and UAC business operations.

He says the center hopes to hire his replacement by June and he will remain full time through the Back Diamond fundraiser in September.