Ketchum resident Craig Barry has stepped down from his position as executive director of the Environmental Resource Center to take a position as manager of The Gold Mine thrift store in Ketchum.
However, he said, this leap is not as large as it may seem at first.
"When you look at the thrift stores, they're kind of the epitome of recycling," Barry said. "I don't think it's so far of a stretch."
Barry has served as executive director of the center for almost 10 years, moving to Ketchum from Chapel Hill, N.C., to accept management of the nonprofit organization. Now, he said, he's ready for a new challenge.
"This was a great opportunity for me to exercise some skills I really wanted to," he said. "It's just time for me to sharpen some other skills without really leaving the nonprofit world."
Barry said he looks forward to the marketing and business aspects of his new position. The manager position will include community outreach as well as making the store financially successful.
"The Gold Mine is a bona fide institution in the valley," he said. "It has a lot of cachet, and finding fun ways to capitalize on that cachet will be one of my goals."
Barry is set to step down in mid-March, leaving current ERC Education Director Lisa Huttinger to take his place for the time being.
"I feel really positive about leaving the ERC in this position," he said.
A press release from the ERC stated that Barry had been instrumental in establishing or improving school education programs, the Clean Sweep spring cleanup, a summer-event recycling effort and initiatives strengthening energy efficiency.
Kingsley Murphy, chair of the ERC's board, stated in the press release that Barry has set the ERC up for success under the new director.
"Craig has been a tremendous asset to the ERC, as a community leader completely committed to promoting sustainability in the valley," he said. "The ERC is well-primed for the next pair of capable hands to drive the organization forward."
Barry's college degree is in environmental studies, and much of his background is in solid waste management and recycling. He was named Recycler of the Year in 1999 by the National Recycling Coalition. He currently sits on the Sustain Blaine Advisory Board, an economic development organization, where he gives input on energy and sustainability issues.
Barry said he plans on remaining on the ERC's board, but will relinquish his spot on the Sustain Blaine board.
Huttinger said a target date to hire a new director has not yet been set, but the ERC board will meet on Wednesday evening to discuss the process. The search will take place both within and outside the valley.
She said she planned no major changes under her leadership.
"We have a very clear direction set with our programs that are already lined up," she said. "Our goal is just to keep the quality of these programs going strong. We're already on a great path, and we don't need to go in a new direction."
Those projects include the center's anticipated energy summit next month, a conference meant to result in long-term energy-efficiency solutions for the region.
Katherine Wutz: email@example.com