Mayor Dave Chapin has announced the search for the next Vail town manager has been narrowed to four finalists. The candidates will travel to Vail for a series of interviews which are taking place Sept. 16-17. The itinerary will include a community meet and greet reception with the candidates which is scheduled from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Monday, Sept. 16 at Donovan Pavilion. Members of the public are encouraged to stop by to learn more about the finalists with doors opening at 5:30 p.m.:
Tobin Follenweider has more than 21 years of state and local government experience and currently serves as deputy executive director for the Colorado Department of Personnel and Administration. He previously served as the chief operating and performance officer for the Colorado Department of Natural Resources from 2017-2019 and the deputy director/chief financial officer for the Colorado State Board of Land Commissioners from 2004-2016. Follenweider also served with the city of Aurora from 2002-2004 and the Colorado Governor’s Office of State Planning and Budgeting from 1998-2002. Follenweider holds a master’s degree in international development from the University of Denver and a bachelor’s degree in international affairs from the University of Colorado. In 2017 Follenweider was one of six finalists identified during Vail’s previous town manager search.
David Mekarski has nearly 20 years of local government experience and currently serves as town manager for Purcellville, Va. He previously served as village administrator for Olympia Fields, Illinois from 2005-2017 and city manager of Vero Beach, Fla., from 2004-2005. Mekarski holds a master’s degree in public administration from Oakland University in Michigan, a master’s degree in urban and regional planning from the University of New Orleans and a bachelor’s degree in political science from the State University of New York, College at Buffalo. He is an AICP certified planner and was awarded a Taubman Fellowship for Senior Executives in State and Local Government at Harvard University.
Anthony (Tony) O’Rourke has 23 years of local government experience and most recently served as city administrator for Canon City, Colo. He previously served as city manager for Yakima, Wash., from 2012-2016 and city manager for South Lake Tahoe, Calif., from 2010-2012. O’Rourke also served as executive director of Beaver Creek Resort Company from 1996-2010. He holds a master’s degree in urban and regional planning from Cornell University in New York and a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of California in Santa Barbara.
Scott Robson has nearly 20 years of local government and non-profit experience and currently serves as executive director of the Civic Center Park Conservancy in Denver. He previously served as CEO of the Colorado Mountain Club in Golden from 2014-2018, executive director of the Evergreen Park and Recreation District in Evergreen, Colo., from 2011-2014 and executive director of Parks & Recreation for the city of Denver from 2007-2011. Robson holds a master’s degree in community and regional planning from the University of Oregon and a bachelor’s degree in community planning and architecture from the University of Colorado.
The finalists were selected by the Town Council following an initial screening of 73 applicants by the executive search firm Strategic Government Resources based in Keller Texas. During their visit, the candidate finalists will participate in community tours, meet with Vail residents and municipal town council candidates as well as undergo a series of interviews by the Town Council and town staff. Following the interviews and after review of the community and staff input, the Council will convene in executive session to determine next steps.
The search process was initiated earlier this year following the resignation of Greg Clifton who served in the role for 18 months. Assistant Town Manager Patty McKenny has been serving as interim manager since April. Clifton had replaced longtime manager Stan Zemler who held the job from 2003 to 2017.