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Shake-up at Herbert's newly configured air partnership

Published July 17, 2013 3:30 pm

Utah • UCAIR Director Shawni McAllister resigns just weeks after taking helm of the nonprofit.
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The Utah Clean Air Partnership, just weeks after its debut as a government-started nonprofit, has already undergone a shake-up.

UCAIR, as it's called, is looking for a new executive director with the resignation of Shawni McAllister.

McAllister stepped down for personal reasons just a few weeks after the June kickoff event announcing her appointment, said Andrew Gruber, a member of the organization's governing board and executive director of the Wasatch Front Regional Council.

"Unfortunately, it was a short-lived relationship," he said.

Gruber was part of an informal committee that screened dozens of applicants for the executive director post, and now that group is reconsidering the other top candidates.

"Hopefully," he said, "we'll get somebody in soon."

In another move in the organization's leadership, Amanda Smith stepped down as chair of the finance committee in hopes of avoiding an appearance of a conflict of interest.

Executive director of the Utah Department of Environmental Quality, Smith will remain UCAIR's treasurer. She spearheaded the spin-off of the grant-seeking and grant-making group from its original start as a project of Gov. Gary Herbert.

Last August, UCAIR was incorporated as a nonprofit, and lawmakers have given Herbert $50,000 he requested for the new organization's work. Good-government watchdogs have questioned the board's makeup, the group's solicitation of donations from regulated industry for its work and its reliance on government resources. As a nonprofit, the group insists its work and its finances are not subject to open meeting and open records laws.

The board met last week in a private DEQ board room. More than half of those attending were executive branch employees. People who were not on the board were asked to leave the room as board members prepared for a "personnel and financial discussion."


Twitter: @judyfutah






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