New executive director takes the helm at CNHA

Roxanne Bierman says she is excited to be working as the new executive director for the Canyonlands Natural History Association (CNHA).

Bierman, who started her new job on May 25, succeeds Cindy Hardgrave, who recently retired after 19 years in the position.

Bierman had high praise for her predecessor, saying she appreciated working with Hardgrave for two weeks during her transition in late May and early June.

“She could not have been more gracious,” Bierman said of Hardgrave. “She left the association in wonderful shape, with a well-trained staff that has been so helpful and supportive.”

Bierman said she and her husband Greg Smith visited Moab during a vacation last year, and when she first learned of the CNHA job opening months ago, she eagerly applied for it.

Bierman said her husband is retired but had a work commitment in the Jackson Hole, Wyoming, area until the end of this summer, after which he plans to move and join his wife in Moab. The couple recently bought a house in Moab, Bierman said.

A native of the Midwest, Bierman graduated from Augustana College in Illinois, and soon moved out West to stay. She met her husband and together they raised their son, who is now an adult, in the Jackson Hole area.

While at Jackson Hole, Bierman said she began working as a sales clerk for the Grand Teton Association (GTA), which operates as the official nonprofit partner for Grand Teton National Park, much in the same way as CNHA supports the parks and public lands of southeastern Utah, including Arches and Canyonlands national parks. Bierman said she worked in several positions within the GTA before becoming director of operations there in 2004.

As the new executive director of CNHA, Bierman oversees eight full-time staff members in addition to 35 seasonal employees. The organization operates stores and sells products at the Moab Information Center, Arches and Canyonlands national parks, Hovenweep and Natural Bridges national monuments, and the Anasazi Heritage Center, in addition to filling orders by mail from the CNHA offices and warehouse in Spanish Valley.

“Moab is a great community,” said Bierman, an avid hiker who enjoys spending time outdoors. “I love it here.”

“I am looking forward to exploring this new area, meeting more people, and continuing the work of the Canyonlands Natural History Association,” Bierman added.

CHNA board member Tim Smith said he and the other board members were pleased to interview and hire someone of Bierman’s experience and caliber.

“We are excited to have her here as our new executive director,” Smith said.

CNHA’s next major event will be helping the National Park Service mark its 100th anniversary on Thursday, Aug. 25 with a full slate of hands-on activities taking place at the Moab Information Center throughout the day.

ByBy Jeff Richards

The Times-Independent