Board member selected as new leader of Yampa Valley Medical Center Foundation | SteamboatToday.com

Board member selected as new leader of Yampa Valley Medical Center Foundation

Karen Schneider served on the Yampa Valley Medical Center Foundation's board for five years before becoming the organization's executive director in November.

— After five years serving on Yampa Valley Medical Center Foundation's board, Karen Schneider has chosen to leave her career in sales for a chance to lead the philanthropic organization.

Schneider was selected in November as the organization's new executive director, replacing outgoing leader Liz Finegan, who left the organization in May after three years at the helm.

Foundation board chair Alice Klauzer said Schneider, who previously served as board chair, stood out among eight candidates as the best fit for the position.

"As the chair, Karen had stepped in and helped out with the two employees we had while we were without an executive director," Klauzer said. "She was the perfect fit, because she was already in the situation and got to know the employees, and she was passionate about it."

Schneider said she originally joined the foundation's board as a way to serve an organization that affects the lives of a large number of local residents. Years later, she's eager to share her passion for Yampa Valley Medical Center with the community.

"I wanted to do something that mattered to me and gave back to the community," she said. "The hospital touches all of our lives."

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A 17-year Yampa Valley resident, Schneider spent 10 years as director of sales for The Steamboat Grand and was most recently director of resort and hotel sales for Steamboat Ski Area.

Schneider said her primary role at the foundation will be to balance the desires and passions of donors with the needs of the hospital, which continues to aim for improvements related to its recently released strategic plan.

"There's a lot to look forward to," Schneider said.

The foundation's most recent project was raising $3.8 million toward the completion of the hospital's Outpatient Pavilion and cover construction costs for the Jan Bishop Cancer Center, which opens to the public Feb. 1.

Looking ahead, Schneider said she hopes to increase public awareness about the hospital and the foundation by building relationships in the community and educating the public about how fortunate it is to have the facilities, physicians and staff at the hospital.

Schneider lives in Steamboat Springs with her husband, Jim, and 14-year-old daughter, Emily.

To reach Teresa Ristow, call 970-871-4206, email tristow@SteamboatToday.com or follow her on Twitter @TeresaRistow