Bob and Suzanne Fanch, owners of Devil’s Thumb Ranch and founders of the newly launched nonprofit Headwaters River Journey and Event Center, have named Holli Riebel as the Center’s Executive Director. The 28,000-square-foot Headwaters River Journey and Event Center is a first-of-its-kind nonprofit hub for water education, mountain entertainment, events, and higher education. 

Riebel has had a long and distinguished business and nonprofit career. Most recently, she served as the Chief Operating Officer for the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce, where she managed the organization’s $14 million budget and supervised major departments including membership, events, finance, human resources, and the Denver Metro Small Business Development Center. She also managed the Chamber’s facility and tenants. Riebel joined the Denver Metro Chamber in 2012 after serving as the CEO of the Colorado BioScience Association and previously as the Vice President of the Metro Denver Economic Development Corporation.

“Holli is a vibrant and engaging business leader. A longtime Colorado resident, she has an exceptional commitment to quality of life in the West and is a homeowner in Winter Park,” said Bob Fanch, Chairman of the Headwaters Center Board. “In her 28-year career, she has demonstrated a keen ability to engage people in all that makes Colorado a special place to live and work.”

According to Fanch, water is Colorado’s most important resource, and the Colorado River headwaters are facing increasing challenges with water demands impacting our environment and wildlife.

“Holli’s collaborative background provides an invaluable perspective as we seek to bring all voices of the community together,” added Fanch. “We intend to inspire discussions and find solutions that will preserve our water and environment while also balancing impacts on the economy and our Colorado lifestyle.”

Commenting on her new role, Riebel said, “Headwaters River Journey and Event Center is truly a unique treasure to Winter Park and the state of Colorado. I’m excited to bring visitors to the center and ignite interest and relationships throughout the state on the crucial importance of water – a vital issue now and in the future.”

The Fanches’ vision to create the nation’s only off-the-power-grid water education and events center in the middle of Winter Park prompted their education and environment focused Sprout Foundation to fund the project and also garnered support from the Town of Winter Park, which donated land to build the Center.