Leann Noga Named Executive Director of the Southeastern Water Conservancy District

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Published: 03/18/2024
Byline: SECO News

Leann Noga Named Executive Director of the Southeastern Water Conservancy District

Leann Noga, a longtime employee of the Southeastern Colorado Water Conservancy District, was appointed Executive Director of the District at a special Board of Directors meeting on March 8, 2024.

“Each and every one of us very much look forward to working with you,” Board President Bill Long said. “I think we all have confidence in you and your ability to lead the Southeastern District. It’s a great day for the District.”

Long also thanked Jim Broderick, who is retiring, for his 22 years of service to the District as Executive Director.

Mrs. Noga, 43, started working for the District in 2004, and most recently was the Director of Finance and Administrative Services.

“I want to be the spokesperson for the District and carry forward the Board’s message,” Mrs. Noga said following the appointment. “The Board is made up of water experts, and I will draw on that expertise. I will lead by example and manage with fairness and accountability.”

She briefly outlined her goals:

“At the top of the list of course is finishing the Arkansas Valley Conduit,” she said. “I also want to continue to develop relationships for the District, collaborate with others on water issues and protect the District and the value of its water.”

Mrs. Noga started in the District as an administrative support specialist but constantly continued to acquire the skills and education to advance within the organization. In 2013, she earned her Bachelor of Science degree in business administration from Colorado State University-Pueblo. In 2017, she earned a Master of Finance with a specialization in human resource management from Colorado State University.

At the same time, she and her husband Pat began raising a family. They have three children: Patrick, Mikey and Kayle. Pat attended the meeting in support of his wife on Friday.

Mrs. Noga is also a member of the National Water Resources Association, Colorado River Water Users Association, Colorado Rural Water Association, Government Finance Officers Association, Colorado Water Congress, Water Education Colorado and Association for Records Management Association.

The Board’s decision was unanimous and came at the end of a search for a new Executive Director that began in December 2023. Several candidates were interviewed in February and Mrs. Noga was named the sole finalist by the Board at a February 21, 2024 meeting.

Other Board members voiced strong support for Mrs. Noga.

“I think there is a real belief (in the Arkansas Basin) in your capacity to take on this leadership role and guide the next chapter of the District’s history,” said Board member Greg Felt, a Chaffee County Commissioner and Chairman of the Colorado Water Conservation Board. “There are a lot of people in this basin who are really proud of you, and I think there are lot of women who are exceptionally proud of you.”

Mrs. Noga pointed out after the meeting that the Board’s decision coincidentally occurred on International Women’s Day.

“It’s not lost on me than Leann literally started at the bottom and has worked herself to the top,” said Dallas May, a rancher who represents Prowers and Kiowa Counties. He is also chairman of the

Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission. “I think that’s so commendable that somebody could and would do that, and she’s done that at the same time as raising a family.”

“I think this decision is great for the District’s future,” said Alan Hamel, who represents Pueblo County on the Board. “You have a great staff. I’m sure with your leadership and the support of all 15 Board members, you’ll move the District forward.”

The Southeastern District was formed in 1958 and includes parts of nine counties: Bent, Chaffee, Crowley, El Paso, Fremont, Kiowa, Otero, Prowers and Pueblo. The District is the state agency for the Fryingpan-Arkansas Project and administers the project in partnership with the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation. The two agencies are working together to build the Arkansas Valley Conduit.

Some of the District’s activities include allocation of Fry-Ark Project water, operation of the James W. Broderick Hydropower Plant at Pueblo Dam, an excess capacity storage contract for Pueblo Reservoir and the Upper Arkansas Voluntary Flow Management Program.

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