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Alumni Bios

Kevin Niles

2015 Water Leaders Alumni

Kevin Niles grew up in the Pikes Peak Region in Colorado Springs, CO. and earned his Bachelors of Art in Political Science and Economics from the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs. Following the completion of his undergraduate degree, Kevin went on to pursue his Master’s degree in Urban Regional Planning from the University of Colorado at Denver. He then went to work in the Customer Service Industry for a large national corporation in spring 2009, where he worked on generating revenue, creating a robust positive work environment, and developing stronger leadership skills. Kevin is now the General Manager for the Arkansas Groundwater Users Association which is a Colorado non-profit association established in 1995 by well users in the Arkansas River Valley, including many wells on the main stem of the Arkansas River and also in the Fountain Creek drainage area. Kevin is currently working with other well augmentation groups and several water providing entities in the Arkansas Valley to protect and support agriculture throughout the Arkansas River Basin.

Kevin and his wife Jami live in Pueblo West with their combined family of six children, ranging in age from 13 to 19.  He enjoys spending time with family, learning new skills and trades, and is an active outdoorsman hunting and fishing. Kevin is always eager to take on new challenges, and believes that knowledge is the best investment. 

Benjamin McConahey

2015 Water Leaders Alumni

Ben McConahey grew up in Colorado where his passion for water and the issues surrounding it came in part from his lifelong passion for fly-fishing in alpine streams, rivers and lakes.  Currently, he is a Partner at Hydro Advisors, LLC, a Denver-based company addressing the water-related challenges faced by agriculture, industry, and municipalities through innovative financing, experienced management, and unique divestiture strategies.

Previously, Ben worked in business development, project management, and strategic planning roles for a variety of industries including agricultural trade, conservation, renewable energy, and sustainable development.  He gained valuable international business operations, facility development, logistics, contract negotiations, and management experience as the Operational Vice-President of a U.S.-based agricultural trading company while living in Guatemala.  At The Nature Conservancy, Ben coordinated transformational land conservation work through the Colorado Conservation Partnership and cutting-edge strategies to restore and protect streamflows in Colorado through the Priority Waters Project.  Subsequently, Ben worked in the private sector developing and financing triple-bottom line solar energy projects for schools, non-profits, and municipalities at Main Street Power, and managing long-term, sustainable land development projects at Biological Capital.

Ben is a founding member of both the Young Professionals Committee at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science, where he served as the committee’s first Chair, and the board of The Nature Conservancy’s Emerging Leaders in Conservation.  He graduated with honors from Princeton University, and received a MBA from The Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.

Angie Fowler

2015 Water Leaders Alumni

Angie has been working as a Civil/Water Resources Engineering in Colorado since 1997 and obtained her PE license in 2002. She was born and raised in Omaha, Nebraska where most of her immediate family still lives (still an avid Husker). Angie received her B.S. degree in Biological Systems Engineering from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and M.S. degree in Agricultural Engineering with an emphasis in groundwater hydrology from Colorado State University. Angie's first jobs were in Denver where she worked as a consultant focusing on water quality (modeling, sampling), discharge standards development, stormwater and drainage, permitting and the watershed assessments aspects of Civil Engineering. Angie was fortunate enough to relocate to Glenwood Springs in 2006.  Angie is married to Mike, also an engineer, and they have one 13-year old son, Jacob. Angie enjoys tent camping, mountain biking, hiking, cross fit, gardening and margaritas.

Hillary Hamann

2015 Water Leaders Alumni

Hillary Hamann is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Denver in the Department of Geography & the Environment. She has been interested in water resources and hydrologic sciences since she was an undergraduate at Wesleyan University. She came out to Colorado in 1996 to complete her PhD at CU-Boulder on snowmelt and watershed processes in the Rocky Mountains. Outside of her passion as an educator, she likes to get up close and personal with water resources in their frozen and liquid forms through skiing, kayaking, backpacking and working to keep her Boulder backyard garden and chickens feeding her and her husband through the year.

Heather Dutton

2015 Water Leaders Alumni

Heather grew up on a potato and barley farm in the San Luis Valley of Southern Colorado. She earned Bachelor of Science Degrees and a Masters of Agriculture from Colorado State University. Heather is fortunate to work as the Executive Director of the Colorado Rio Grande Restoration Foundation and the Rio Grande Headwaters Restoration Project. One of the greatest rewards to this position is the opportunity to work with friends and neighbors to improve the Rio Grande, which is vital to the local communities. Heather is happiest when exploring the surrounding mountains on foot, bikes, and snowmobiles with her husband and family. 

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