Winn Cowman joins YVSC as the new Waste Diversion Directo. Winn should be a familiar face, as she previously served on YVSC’s board of directors for six years and has lived and worked in the Yampa Valley for over 20 years. Winn grew up on a farm in the Mississippi Delta, spending much of her youth outdoors on the River, and moved to Colorado shortly after graduating from college.

Winn most recently served seven years as a Senior Environmental Scientist at Souder, Miller & Associates (SMA), an environmental engineering firm serving the Mountain West. At SMA, Winn assisted primarily rural Colorado local governments with management of their waste materials, with an emphasis on reduction, reuse, and recycling. She was a project manager for solid waste campuses in Eagle, Rio Blanco, Mesa, and Gunnison counties, providing environmental regulatory management, design, and technical assistance for landfills, compost facilities, materials recovery facilities (MRFs), and waste impoundments. During her tenure at SMA, Winn was Project Lead for four regional waste diversion studies encompassing thirteen rural Colorado counties. These studies were grant-funded by the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment (CDPHE) Recycling Resources & Economic Opportunity (RREO) program. Winn also assisted clients with special wastes, including beneficial uses for wastes, such as biochar.

Prior to working at SMA, Winn worked for several years with Twin Enviro Services in Steamboat Springs as their Compliance and Quality Control Officer, overseeing two landfills, two waste solidification facilities, a compost facility, and a transfer station. Before working for Twin, Winn worked for ten years with Xcel Energy. She served five years as the Environmental Manager at their Hayden Station, a coal-fired electric generating station in Hayden, CO, and five years as an Environmental Specialist in the Air & Water Division of Xcel’s Environmental Services Department. 

Winn was recently appointed (2021) to CDPHE’s Pollution Prevention Advisory Board Assistance Committee (PPABAC) as a waste subject matter expert. Winn volunteers her time to Water Engineers for the Americas & Africa (WEFTA), travelling to Ethiopia in 2018 to review several spring protection projects bringing much needed water to remote communities. Winn holds an undergraduate degree in Environmental Science and a Master of Environmental Policy & Management from the University of Denver.

As the Waste Diversion Director, Winn is looking forward to establishing formal metrics for materials management in the Yampa Valley so that waste diversion rates are available to the community and progress can be tracked. Winn is excited to begin working on waste diversion programming, including recycling and reuse, organics and composting, construction and deconstruction, zero waste events,  materials management services, and education and outreach.

Outside of work Winn cherishes time with her family, her husband, Scott Cowman,  two teenage children, Will and Sophie, and her parents and friends. Winn especially loves mountain biking and camping, but enjoys all things outdoors in our Valley and beyond. She also appreciates the arts and tries to visit the ocean as often as possible. Winn is grateful for the opportunity to do this meaningful work for her community and home of over twenty years, the beautiful Yampa Valley.