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.
Letter from 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.
Fax: (303) 449-1045
Mail: 6800 N. 79th Street, Suite 200 Niwot, CO 80503
Clifford Neuman, Chair