Chris Castilian has been named Strategic Advisor for Colorado Mountain College’s Outdoor Industry Programs.
Special for the Daily
Chris Castilian joined Colorado Mountain College as a strategic advisor to better position the college as a leading educational partner in the outdoor industry.
Castilian has long been an integral part of Colorado’s outdoor industry and brings 20 years of experience in the public, private and non-profit sectors. He recently announced his departure from Great Outdoors Colorado after serving four years as executive director.
Before heading GOCO, Castilian was appointed to the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission by Governor John Hickenlooper, where he served as chairman from 2015-16. In previous positions, he served as Assistant Chief of Staff to Governor Bill Owens and served as Executive Director of Colorado Counties, Inc.
In addition to and in addition to his new role at CMC, Castilian will become CEO of the National Ski Patrol on July 12th.
“It is such a timely and exciting opportunity to welcome Chris to the Colorado Mountain College team,” said Dr. Carrie Besnette Hauser, President and CEO of CMC. “His experience, diverse relationships and creative thinking will help the college work more effectively with employers to better prepare our students to become tomorrow’s outdoor industry leaders.”
Castilian’s role includes coordinating CMC’s various outdoor industry-related programs across multiple locations and a large geographic area. He will work to better align the academic and training pathways of CMC in order to provide the students with meaningful short-term (internships, apprenticeships, etc.) and long-term (career) internships.
“My job is to reinforce the amazing work the college is already doing in the Colorado mountainous communities,” Castilian said. “CMC was an early leader in outdoor education and has decades of experience not only on the academic side of learning but the importance of providing practical, affordable and relevant education and training. To be honest, it’s the breath of fresh air that Colorado’s economy needs right now. “
In his new strategic advisory role, Castilian will also assist the CMC leadership in developing strategies aimed at diversifying the outdoor industry’s workforce pipeline and serving as a model for access, equal opportunity and inclusion.
Nathan Fey, director of the Colorado Outdoor Recreation Industry Office, called Castilian “a shameless ambassador for Colorado and all of its people.” He added that Castilian is best placed to move CMC forward through strong partnerships, a good eye for politics and legislation, and a commitment to civic engagement.
“Chris brings a wealth of experience and personal passion in the outdoor industry to CMC, as well as an impressive career that has focused on helping businesses and communities across Colorado,” said Fey. “This is exactly what is required to strategically position CMC as an institutional market leader in order to meet the real needs of our outdoor economy.”
Castilian is a fourth generation Coloradan and an avid outdoor enthusiast. He has completed 11 times in the Leadville Trail 100 mountain bike race and several other ultra-endurance mountain bike races, including the Breck Epic.