Pathfinders Welcomes New Executive Director

Ashley Utt (Left,incoming Executive Director) and Anna Bruen (Right, outgoing Executive Director)

Pathfinders RC&D is excited to welcome Ashley Utt as the incoming Executive Director.

Utt comes to Pathfinders’ with experience in a variety of marketing and public relations capacities, as well as work in inside/outside sales and starting up and operating a small business, SIBS Market, in Bloomfield, Iowa.  She has a strong belief that growth begins when people start working together for a bigger picture and that small town communities have a lot to offer each other not only in knowledge, but in goods and services as well. She lives with her family in Bloomfield, Iowa and will commute to Fairfield. She assumes the role full-time on June 10th and will be working closely with outgoing Executive Director Anna Bruen leading up to that time.

“I am very happy and honored to say that I am taking part in the future of the Pathfinder’s.  This organization is a great value and service to the large and small communities in Southern Iowa and I look forward to continuing the great leadership that Anna brought to the role of Executive Director.  It is exciting to know that I can help move forward on some new projects and opportunities,” said Utt. “There is a lot to learn, but I am definitely ready to start on the adventure.”

The Board of Directors unanimously chose Utt to succeed outgoing Executive Director Anna Bruen after a regional search and selection process. Bruen, who has been working with the organization for 5 years, will be moving to Germany for a selective 11-month fellowship with the Robert Bosch Foundation focusing on community development priorities in the face of climate change with an emphasis on rural communities.

“Pathfinders is in good hands. Ashley knows the region from her personal and professional experience having lived and worked in Davis and Van Buren counties. She’s already been working to create vibrant communities where people want to live, work, and play. I look forward to Pathfinders’ future with her leadership,” said outgoing Executive Director Anna Bruen. “We’ll be spending the next few weeks working closely to ensure a smooth transition for projects, staff, partners, the board, and our shared responsibilities.”