SHA prepares for stable, successful future | SummitDaily.com
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SHA prepares for stable, successful future

SUMMIT COUNTY – The Summit Housing Authority (SHA) hired consultant Gary Suiter after local government officials suggested the nonprofit create a strategic plan.

After spending 22 years in local government throughout Colorado – the last 11 as town manager for Snowmass Village – Suiter decided to start his own consulting business, Assent Consulting. For the next several months, he will work with SHA as a contract consultant.

“I think there are problems with every organization, but I don’t think there are any big problems with the Summit Housing Authority,” said Eileen Friedman, SHA interim executive director.



But there is a perception in the community that SHA doesn’t have a strong direction, Suiter said.

“My job is to develop and write a collaborative strategic plan that provides a stable future for the Summit Housing Authority,” he said. “When I see an organization or a cause struggling, my approach is very fundamental, and it’s to go back to its purpose – what’s its purpose and why does it exist? Once you attain clarity of purpose, then the rest of the job begins to flow and becomes easier.”



Suiter has started meeting with what he calls SHA major stakeholders – local government officials and the SHA board.

“Right now, I’m asking the primary stakeholders, “What do they consider to be the main purpose of the housing authority – why does it exist?'” he said. “From there, I identify the major issues. I am getting a lot of good, diverse, authentic opinions from this group. Some of the answers are more tactile and project-specific, and other(s) … more philosophical.”

Once he collects his feedback, Suiter will summarize it and bring it back to local officials for consensus, he said. From there, he will involve other stakeholders, such as the ski resorts, to create goals for a successful and stable housing authority. Those goals include an answer to the organization’s funding issues.

“Part of my job is to develop a conceptual permanent funding plan,” Suiter said. “In other words, by the end of the July, (SHA will not) have funding in place, but they’ll have a plan.”

To date, the housing authority has been dependent on Summit County and the towns for funding. Despite recent budget cutbacks, SHA’s budget remained the same for this year as it was last year – $177,000, Friedman said.

Suiter’s strategic plan also will review the housing authority’s organizational structure and develop a recruitment profile for a new executive director.

“We’re waiting for the strategic plan, and then we’re going to gear our search for that person – to fit that plan,” Friedman said.

Lu Snyder can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 203, or lsnyder@summitdaily.com


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