Meet VARD's new Executive Director, Niki Richards

January, 28 2022



, Our Team

The board of directors of VARD is very pleased to announce that Niki Richards will become our new Executive Director effective February 1. Niki has so many qualifications, which she has aptly demonstrated in the past six months as the interim ED, making her appointment an easy decision. 

As a member of VARD’s staff for the past four years, Niki was a unique candidate given the fact that she understands clearly what we are up against in this development boom. She understands the political players in the Valley including the Mayors, City Councils, P&Z and County Commissioners. Additionally, and importantly, Niki knows many of you on a personal level -- our donors and supporters -- and she has a good grasp of your expectations not only of her, but of VARD as an organization. The Board knows well the challenges that face all of us in the Valley, and Niki is uniquely qualified to meet these challenges. 

I can say with confidence that Niki is very passionate about her work, the Valley, and is open to suggestions from you, our donors. As well, she is tough, quick, and smart; characteristics unique in any employee, but particularly at this time of VARD’s existence.

As board chair, I have nothing but total confidence in Niki’s ability to move the organization forward and tackle the issues we face.

On behalf of our board, I thank you for your support, and I know that you will be very proud of Niki and the organization in the months and years ahead.

Please join me in congratulating Niki in her new role. 


Mike Pfeil
VARD Board Chair

Below are some highlights as told by Niki herself.

Let's do this! 
Years of combined community involvement, planning, project management, environmental & administrative law, consulting, and advocacy for open spaces, wild places, and vibrant towns has led me to this work and to this position. Becoming VARDs ED seems to be one of those ‘meant to be’ things that happen in life sometimes. I’m honored. 

Often at VARD, our accomplishments are found in what is ‘not’ there.. development projects and plans that were ‘not’ actualized because they were well beyond the vision of any and all community planning efforts. 

As VARD moves forward to our next 20 years, we will continue to do the work. We will..

  • attend government meetings
  • work with staff from the counties and cities
  • work with elected officials
  • work with developers and realtors
  • work with long time agriculturally rooted families
  • work with descendants of settlers/homesteaders.. and newcomers alike.

We will work to provide context in planning discussions and decisions and be a resource to the community armed with years of experience and Valley planning knowledge. We will work to build (metaphorical) bridges across our community, solidified in the common ground we share.. our love of Teton Valley.. our love of open spaces, wildlife, this community, our ‘down home’ values, and our way of life.     

VARD's Board of Directors and staff love Teton Valley. We are a united front, all dedicated to this community and our mission. We are driven to protect this land, honor VARD's legacy, and stand strong in the footsteps that came before us. We will be here. And with your continued support, we won’t be going anywhere.

Please reach out anytime. Call, text, email.. whatever works. I welcome the opportunity to talk with, and work with, you!

With much gratitude,

Niki Richards,
Executive Director Interim 

(208) 354-1707 Office

(208) 223-2328 Cell


What is Niki doing in her 'spare time'??

Two Sides, One Story

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Niki Richards, Executive Director
(208) 354-1707
285 East Little Avenue
PO Box 1164
Driggs, ID 83422



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