The Shafer Freeman Lakes Environmental Corporation (SFLECC) has announced the hiring of a new executive director, Ms. Gabrielle Haygood. Ms. Haygood replaces former Executive Director Joe Roach, who retired in November, 2016. Ms. Haygood, who was selected after a state-wide search, is no stranger to the SFLECC, having served as SFLECC Land Manager and Office Manager since 2005.
Haygood is a familiar face to SFLECC license holders, having managed the clean-up crew, dredging operations, and working with property owners and fund raising for twelve years. Since 2012 the SFLECC’s role has expanded in taking the lead role in the protest filed against the U.S. Fish and Wildlife(FWS) mandate to lower Lake Freeman to maintain water flows on the federally protected mussels downstream. Haygood will work with the SFLECC board of directors to seek a favorable resolution as quickly as possible. Haygood reflected, “Unfortunately, dealing with two competing federal agencies (FWS and FERC) takes time and money. As I reflect on my experience, whether it be the wonderful people or the hurdles we have faced, I am committed to leadership that protects our beautiful lakes and effectively communicates our mission and work to our license holders.” Haygood’s goals include improvements to equipment needed to clean out silt traps and continued dredging work to keep the lakes clear of silt and sediment build up. “My goal is to lead the effort to preserve and improve the beauty of Lake Shafer and Lake Freeman and work to keep our lakes level and protect our lake property values.”
Former Executive Director Daryl Johns, a member of the executive selection committee, praised Haygood’s selection by commenting “I had the honor and pleasure of working with Gabrielle for over 10 years. Her working knowledge of the whole organization is unparalleled. As I was preparing for my own retirement I delegated more responsibilities to Gabrielle and she excelled. There is no one more qualified to lead the SFLECC forward.”
President Lee Kreul was pleased with the committee’s selection and pointed to Haygood’s twelve years of experience and said, “Gabrielle’s time as SFLECC land manager has proven her ability to understand and enforce the SFLECC policies and procedures governing the preservation of the shorefronts of the lakes. She has exhibited a sensitivity to the needs of our license holders; and fairness in dealing with many shorefront issues. “
Haygood has a degree in Business Management and is a native of Carroll County, and has lived in Monticello with her family for many years.