Newton resigns as director of Roaring Fork Leadership |

Newton resigns as director of Roaring Fork Leadership

Aspen Times Staff
Virginia Newton, executive director of Leadership Roaring Fork, will step down in May.

Virginia Newton, the longtime executive director of Roaring Fork Leadership, announced her resignation Wednesday. She will step down at the end of May. Newton served as director for six years and is a 1998 graduate of the Roaring Fork Leadership program.Newton is credited with helping clarify the mission and vision of Roaring Fork Leadership, including changing the name from Leadership Aspen to better represent the organization’s scope and purpose. Under Newton’s leadership, the annual year-long program has been on the cutting edge of leadership training in the valley, attracting monthly speakers of national standing, including Chris Gates of the National Civic League. The size of the program has increased during Newton’s tenure; it now serves a class of 36 annually for an intensive year of leadership programming. The number of local leaders who are alumni has nearly doubled to 441, with 80 percent still living and working in the Roaring Fork Valley. Before running Roaring Fork Leadership, Newton was director of Kids First, the city of Aspen’s child-care support program. A native of Denver who moved to Aspen in 1984, Newton has served as manager of Walnut House Labs and a manager at Sport Obermeyer. She is currently the board president of the Aspen Chapel and has served in a leadership capacity at several local nonprofits. “I came to Aspen equipped with a degree in geology from Yale, and it has come in handy in every management position I’ve ever had.” Newton said. “What ‘Aspen’ represents to each citizen is critical to understanding how decision-making works here. It is a multilayered and wonderful challenge for leadership.” “With quiet grace, poise and diligence, Virginia has helped RFL grow into a mature organization with a clear mission of increasing leadership skills of Roaring Fork Valley citizens,” said Heather Henry, current board president of Roaring Fork Leadership.Newton will be spending more time with her three children and her husband, Rick Newton, who closed Walnut House Films at the end of February. “I’ve worked with an intelligent and gracious governing board and have met an incredible cadre of community leaders every year since I became director,” Newton said. “My life has been immensely enriched by my association with Roaring Fork Leadership.” More information regarding the executive director position is available at

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