Methow Valley News, May 29, 2019

FOWL names Jill Sheley as executive director for library effort



Jill Sheley

Friends of the Winthrop Public Library (FOWL) has named Jill Sheley as its executive director, effective June 1.

FOWL is a nonprofit organization that has been working since 2017 to bring a new library to Winthrop. The organization is spearheading the building project and private fundraising efforts for the new facility, and will turn it over to the town of Winthrop when completed. The North Central Regional Library (NCRL) system, of which the Winthrop library is a part, will provide furnishings, staff and equipment for the new building, as well as maintenance.

Sheley, a resident of Winthrop for 10 years, has had a long track record of leading complex projects as a management consultant, according to a FOWL press release. Since founding her own company, S2 Advisors, in 1997, Sheley has guided strategic and tactical business planning and implemented complex process and technology improvements for her clients. Sheley, a native Texan, is a graduate of Texas A&M University where she earned a bachelor of business administration degree with a concentration in accounting.

“Jill’s professional experience, along with her many years of service to multiple valley organizations, make her perfectly suited to take the helm of this legacy community effort to create our new library,” said Shannon Polson, FOWL’s board chair, in the press release.

Sheley, her husband and their twin sons moved to Winthrop in 2009 to enjoy its skiing, biking, golf and much more. She founded the junior golf program at Bear Creek and is treasurer of the Confluence Art Gallery in Twisp. She’s volunteered as a Nordic ski coach, an alpine race coordinator, a Guardian Angel and a high school English tutor, according to the release.

“I am honored the board has confidence in me to lead FOWL towards its mission of creating a library where people can connect, access worldwide learning resources and discover and explore their passions,” Sheley said in the release. “I believe our new library will draw people together, and every single person will feel welcome and delighted to enter the front door of a place that reflects the community’s values, hopes and needs.”

FOWL announced recently that is has selected Johnston Architects and Prentiss Balance Wickline to coordinate designing the new building. The new library will be built on a .81-acre parcel purchased by the town, on White Avenue near Little Star Montessori School. Construction is expected to begin in spring 2020. Preliminary conceptual sketches show an 8,400-square-foot “footprint” for the building.

FOWL is hosting two community meetings/workshops to gather public input on the project. The first meeting will be at 2 p.m. on Sunday (June 2) at the Winthrop Barn. The second will be on July 13 at 10 a.m., also at the Barn.

FOWL is a registered 501(c)(3) organization. For more information, visit

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