Nonprofits  May 3, 2016

Longtime Via chief Kottke to step down

BOULDER — Via Mobility Services’ longtime executive director plans to retire this fall.

For the past 25 years, Lenna Kottke has been leading the nonprofit organization that provides transportation services for people with mobility challenges.

Lenna Kottke
Lenna Kottke

“After 25 years at the helm of this wonderful organization, I have decided this is the year for me to retire,” Kottke said in her letter to employees. “I’ve far exceeded the average tenure for an executive director, and I’m ready to spend more time exploring other aspects of life than work … although I could not have asked for more meaningful work to do for the last quarter century.”

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During her tenure, Via has grown from a small nonprofit called Special Transit, with one program and a $750,000 budget, to Via Mobility Services, with a $17 million annual budget operating on a social-enterprise business model.

Via has expanded to provide on-demand transportation (paratransit), travel training, mobility-options information and referral services, as well as community transit offerings including the HOP, Call-n-Ride and Access-a-Ride transportation services.

Also during her tenure, Kottke guided the organization as it planned for and raised more than $11.5 million to build its award-winning, 36,000-square-foot sustainable facility on 63rd Street in Boulder.

A committee plans to launch a nationwide search this month to find Kottke’s replacement.

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