Friends of Claytor Lake (FOCL) Announces New Executive Director and Office Space at the NRV Business Center

The Friends of Claytor Lake (FOCL) Board of Directors is pleased to announce a new Executive Director. Ciara Harris will be replacing current director Jeff Caldwell. Jeff has been a dynamic part of the local environmental organization for over 10 years, working to educate and advocate for FOCL’s mission. FOCL remains dedicated to conserving and protecting the quality, sustainability, and tranquility of the environment of Claytor Lake for all to enjoy. Jeff remains involved in the community as the new owner of Nesselrod on the New.

FOCL Director Ciara Harris
Ciara Harris

Pulaski County native, Ciara Harris transitions from the Radford Chamber of Commerce in the coming weeks. We are excited to welcome Ms. Harris as she brings past marketing experience and a fresh perspective to the organization. Ciara has been with the chamber for almost 2.5 years and has helped grow the membership network, events and support other organization and community efforts. Ciara has a degree from Radford University in Recreation, Parks and Tourism and has past experience working at Visit Lake Norman, along with other local businesses such as New River Retreat and the Draper Mercantile. “My time with the chamber has taught me so much, and I am thankful to have been in such a diverse role. I’m thrilled to keep learning and continuing to advocate for the local community, just in a different way.” Ciara expresses enthusiasm for the lake, having grown up camping around Claytor and continues to visit family and friends by the water in her free time. She hopes to connect more businesses with the mission of FOCL, and grow a volunteer and community network around keeping the lake clean, healthy and enjoyable for all.

Lake debris clean up continues to be FOCL’s main focus, but the organization has additional projects such as creating fish habitat structures, mussel salvage efforts and water quality monitoring. Other events and programs (Covid permitting) include the YMCA/Coast Guard Auxiliary Second Grade Water Safety program, Veterans Fishing Day, Eighth Grade Day, kids fishing day at Camp Powhatan, Christmas for the Fishes (Christmas tree drop off at State Park for fish habitat), FOCL Poker Run, along with the annual Spring Splash fundraiser. FOCL plans to further its mission and education to local residents and visitors by growing advocacy, awareness and the volunteer network.

The board would also like to announce the new office for FOCL at the Pulaski County Innovation Center. The office is at 6580 Valley Center Dr. in Fairlawn, room 318 . The office, along with meeting facilities the center has to offer, will serve as the hub for FOCL related meetings. A few other businesses that can be found in the center include NRV Regional Commission, JH Bards Spirit Co., MS Contracting, Virginia Career Works, Virginia Dept. of Emergency Management, New River Security Investigations, and many others.