“The Board of Directors is delighted to announce the appointment of Julie Chacon as Executive Director of the Sangre de Cristo National Heritage Area(SdCNHA). A native of the San Luis Valley, Julie possesses an extensive understanding of the region’s culture. Her work with SdCNHA over the past several years will bring a wealth of experience to the table and her initiative will help advance the mission of SdCNHA.” Nick Saenz, Board President SdCNHA.  

After an extensive three month search, Ms. Chacon was selected to take the helm of the organization. SdCNHA received designation as a National Heritage Area by Congress in 2006 and will be up for reauthorization in the next couple years. “Julie has worked tirelessly for the Heritage Area since she began working for us in 2014. We are excited to have her leading us forward as we approach reauthorization.” Helen Sigmond, Alamosa County Commissioner and SdCNHA Board Member. 

Ms. Chacon, a San Luis Valley Native originally from Capulin, has 5 years experience as the Financial Officer for SdCNHA. She is a licensed life and health insurance agent with 8 years experience. Notebly, Ms. Chacon has completed six specialized contract and financial management courses from the federal government including: Federal Contracting, Contract Administration, Advanced Cost Principals, Contracting Officer’s Representative Course, Federal Grants, and Grants and Cooperative Agreements for Federal Personale. She has overseen contracting for over 40 SdCNHA projects, has worked closely with National Parks, and has done contracted work with Northern Rio Grande National Heritage Area. “We are very pleased to have a Conejos County native as our new Executive Director for SdCNHA. We know that she has a great love for the valley and a passion for preserving and telling the stories of the Heritage Area.” Mitchell Jarvis, Conejos County Commissioner and SdCNHA Treasurer. 

National Heritage Areas are a proven model of shared responsibility resulting in a cost-effective approach for the National Park Service to preserve, protect, and share the significant stories of America. This is accomplished through coordination with local jurisdictions, non-profits and other private partners to invest in nationally significant sites, that in turn spur regional economic development. The Sangre de Cristo National Heritage Area includes: Alamosa County, Conejos County, Costilla County, Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve, Alamosa Wildlife Refuge, Monte Vista Wildlife Refuge and Baca Wildlife Refuge.