NAC names new executive director |

NAC names new executive director

Alisha Self, Of the Record staff

The National Ability Center (NAC) announced on Friday the appointment of its new executive director, Gail Loveland. After two months of searching for the ideal candidate to fill the position, board members believe they have found the perfect match.

Loveland was serving as associate executive director at the Outdoors for All Foundation in Seattle when she found out about the opening. "The NAC is well-known throughout the adaptive recreation world. I’ve known about it for many years and have always looked up to it as a stellar program," Loveland said in a telephone interview from Seattle on Tuesday.

She had recently returned from volunteering at the 2010 Paralympic Winter Games in Vancouver when she applied. "I was just coming off that high of being so excited and wondering how I could grow my passion and reach more people in the adaptive recreation world," she said. "It was perfect timing for me. It just made natural sense."

Loveland found out three weeks ago that she had landed the job. She is preparing to move from Seattle to Park City this weekend and will start at the NAC on Monday.

According to Sally Tauber, president of the NAC Board of Directors, the executive director position opened in April after Dale Schoon, who had led the Center for 18 months, decided it was time to move on.

The board received 118 applications. "We had some excellent candidates," Tauber said. Ultimately, Loveland’s energy, attitude and vast experience in adaptive recreation made her the frontrunner.

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Loveland has a background in business and nonprofit management. She has worked as an adaptive ski instructor and with several nonprofit organizations in Washington.

"I have always been passionate about recreation and the opportunity to provide everyone the chance to challenge themselves physically as well as to enjoy the outside environment," she said. "It’s always been something that has fed me as a person and to share that with others is huge."

One of her primary focuses at Outdoors for All, which provides year-round instruction in outdoor recreation for people with physical, developmental, and sensory disabilities, was coordinating fundraising efforts and cultivating sponsorship and donor relations.

"For me, fundraising is providing somebody the opportunity to give versus asking for money," Loveland said. "I look forward to sharing with people how they can invest in the NAC and help us expand and make a bigger difference in the community."

Tauber said that along with fundraising, Loveland’s initial priorities will include getting to know the staff, donors and participants.

Loveland said she looks forward to learning from other individuals’ expertise and working with the board and staff members to come up with the best possible direction and plan of action. "I want to be out there in the community understanding where people see that NAC can grow and how that can happen," she said.

She is also excited about further promoting the NAC as both a local and global resource for people with disabilities. The center is unique in that it has access to a state-of-the-art facility and also to all of the recreational opportunities that Park City has to offer. Not many recreational programs have the same opportunities, she noted.

"We’re really excited [about the new appointment]," Tauber said. "The NAC has so many programs right now and things are going really well. It’s a wonderful time to step into a position like this."

The NAC will host its annual Community Open House on Saturday, July 17. The event is open to the public and will provide a chance to introduce Loveland to the community. For more information, visit