TELLURIDE – Following the recent resignation of Pamela Sante from its ranks, a quorum of the Telluride Hospital District Board of Directors voted 3-0 during a special meeting held last Friday to appoint Larry Mallard as her replacement.
“I’m super excited to work with the board and staff, and hope I have the ability to do as great of a job as Pamela Sante did,” said Mallard, who confirmed his appointment when reached by The Watch on Monday. “I look forward to working with the entire group.”
Although he is currently the president of the town’s largest vacation rental company, Telluride Alpine Lodging, Mallard’s first career was as an emergency medical technician and paramedic for the US Air Force, serving during Operation Desert Storm, he said.
Additionally, his father was a hospital administrator and, “My mother runs a medical center to this day,” he said.
Mallard hopes to enrich the THD board with his experience as a local businessman, Telluride Medical Center user, and member or former member of several local boards. He is the former chairman of both the Telluride Montrose Regional Air Organization (where he still serves as an alternate member) and the Telluride Lodging Association, and currently holds seats on the boards of Marketing Telluride Inc. and the local Public Access Preservation Association.
“He’s a longtime local who has a lot of ties to this community,” said TMC Executive Director Gordon Reichard, adding that Mallard’s extensive hospitality industry experience will likely contribute a unique, visitor-sensitive perspective to the board.
As for Sante’s departure, “It was a hard decision to make,” she said, describing the organization as, “Near and dear to my heart for sure.”
Nevertheless, “My personal situation has changed, my family as a whole has changed,” said Sante, pointing to an increasingly full plate as the impetus for her departure before the expiration of her term in 2012.
“As much as I loved being involved…I just don’t have time to do it the way it should be done,” she said.
“Unfortunately that’s the thing coming off my plate.”
Since joining the board in 2008, Sante has had a second child and has taken a full-time position as business manager at the Telluride Mountain School.
Additionally, Sante’s husband, Emil Sante, added another commitment to his existing role as Chief Paramedic of the Telluride Fire Protection District after winning the race for San Miguel County Coroner during last fall’s election against the longtime incumbent, Bob Dempsey.
“She was a very effective board member,” said Reichard, pointing in particular to Sante’s efforts to further what ultimately became the organization’s thwarted 2008 bid to secure the town’s RV Lot for a future, expanded facility.
“She was a very effective, passionate speaker for the Med Center,” he said. “She will be sorely missed.”