Gayner to end tenure as Executive Director

October 21, 2022. Red Feather Lakes, CO

Michael Gayner, Drala Mountain Center’s executive director since 2012, announced his plans to step down from his post effective Shambhala Day (February 21, 2023). Read his message below, followed by an announcement from DMC’s Governing Council recognizing Gayner for his leadership and many accomplishments, and announcing the search process for the next executive director.

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Letter from Michael Gayner

Dear Friends,

I’m writing today with a heart full of gratitude leavened with a dash of nostalgia-imbued sadness. I’ve lived at Drala Mountain Center for twelve years now, ten of those as Executive Director. Together, we’ve been through all kinds of challenges and wonderful moments. I’m profoundly grateful for my time here. And it is now time for me to hand over the responsibility for our land.

I felt it was important to see DMC through the Chapter 11 and into a more stable condition, and now that we’ve completed that process, I will be stepping down on Shambhala Day of 2023, February 21st. Thank you for your generous support in the Chapter 11 campaign. We’ve raised a total of $308,571 that will go to paying down principal and supporting operations and special projects in the coming months. That’s on top of the initial $1,000,000 we raised earlier in the year that went directly to paying down principal.

The DMC Board will be launching a search for the new Executive Director and I’m looking forward to ensuring a stable and thorough transition.

It has been one of the great privileges of my life to serve and I’m profoundly grateful for all of the colleagues, friends, donors, guests, presenters and others who share a deep connection with DMC, and have supported me and DMC through the years. I look forward to serving our community in other ways, and to seeing many of you up in the mountains for years to come!

With love from the mountains,

Michael Gayner

 

DMC Governing Council Recognizes Gayner, Announces Search Process

Dear Drala Mountain Center Community and Friends,

The Governing Council of Drala Mountain Center is writing to you today with two important announcements. First, we recognize the extraordinary contributions of Michael Gayner, the long-time Executive Director of Drala Mountain Center. As you now know, Michael Gayner will step down from his role on Shambhala Day 2023. Second, we are initiating the search process for a new Executive Director.

Recognition of Michael Gayner

Over the past 10 years, Michael has led the Mountain Center through many hills and valleys.  During his tenure, we have been through many challenging times and have had extraordinary periods of thriving. Under Michael’s leadership we were able to finish modernizing the wastewater infrastructure, which not only brought us into compliance with state law, but also will serve as critical infrastructure for DMC’s future growth.

DMC has endured through a pandemic and two wildfires that caused the Mountain Center to close for extended periods of time. The latest fire, the Cameron Peak fire in 2021, destroyed numerous buildings on land, including the shrine tent platform that housed major DMC programs, and numerous old, but needed, buildings utilized for staff housing.  

Michael deftly steered DMC through these crises, including the ongoing difficulties within the larger Shambhala sangha. The culmination of many of these crises’ impact on the finances of DMC, and the lack of flexibility from DMC’s lender, led us to re-organize DMC’s debt through court supervision in a recently concluded bankruptcy proceeding. This debt reorganization, along with the generosity of many donors such as you, means DMC is poised to attain a sound financial position. The Governing Council believes that Michael’s extraordinary leadership is the central reason DMC remains in existence and true to its mission. DMC poised to thrive.  

The Governing Council expresses its deep gratitude to Michael for his leadership, his wise counsel, his near-ninja endurance and his extraordinary dedication to DMC. We will miss Michael’s good humor and hosting of many gatherings of the Governing Council. Luckily, however, Michael has expressed his commitment to supporting the transition to new leadership and assisting on an ongoing basis. Closer to Shambhala Day, we will ask for your reflections and good wishes to relay to Michael as he moves to the next phase of his life and work.

Executive Director Search

The Governing Council also announces its search for Drala Mountain Center’s next Executive Director and invites interested candidates to apply. The Governing Council will be leading this effort. The job description is here. The Executive Director will be provided with on-site housing.  The ideal candidate will have experience in leading a nonprofit or business organization with educational and hospitality components, and will have an established contemplative practice.  This includes overall responsibility for program planning and delivery, resource management (both human and financial), community care and environmental protection. The Executive Director should have excellent communication skills and be able to represent the vision of Drala Mountain Center to a wide variety of constituents.

The Governing Council will be accepting applications until November 7, 2022. A decision will be made mid-December. The ideal candidate will be able to start on February 1, 2021, with an approximately three-week overlap with Michael Gayner before the transition from Michael to the new Executive Director on February 21, 2023. To apply, please submit your resume, along with a cover letter stating your interest in the position, your vision for DMC and your salary requirements.  Please submit your application to Clifford Neuman, Chair of the Drala Mountain Center Governing Council.

E-mail: clneuman@neuman.com

Fax: (303) 449-1045

Mail: 6800 N. 79th Street, Suite 200 Niwot, CO 80503

 

Governing Council 

Amelie Bracher

Ming Linsley

Reid Miller

Clifford Neuman, Chair

Connie Rogers

Karen Wilding