Business Briefs

SME Environmental announces new hires

SME Environmental Inc. announces these new employees at its multi-disciplinary environmental consulting firm:

Gary Skiba, project manager, holds a degree in wildlife management from the University of New Hampshire and a masterís from Colorado State University in wildlife biology. His 23-year career with the Colorado Division of Wildlife focused on special status species policy and management. His focus with SME is on biological assessments, particularly those related to transportation projects.

Trevor Ehlers, landscape architect and LEED-accredited professional, is a graduate of University of Colorado with a masterís degree in landscape architecture and a degree in environmental studies. His experience includes park design for Twin Buttes, South Lake Tahoe bike path alignment, Las Vegas Interstate 15 corridor landscape design and many other projects.

SME has offered full-service environmental regulatory compliance and design services throughout the western United States.

For more information, call 259-9595 or email

Lesley Ponce gains Wine Merchant interest

Lesley Ponce, employee at The Wine Merchant since 2003, has purchased the interest of retiring owner Ron Greene.

Ponce joins original owner Eric Allen. She entered the wine business in 1986, working in various sales and service positions in the Napa Valley and Southwest Colorado.

The Wine Merchant offers wine, liquor and beer selections.

For more information, visit the store at 1514 Main Ave. or call 375-0076.

DHS graduate receives promotion

Loews Vanderbilt Hotel of Nashville, Tenn., has appointed Tony Phillips, to general manager, replacing Tom Negri, who is retiring.

Phillips, a Durango High School graduate and son of Bobbye Myers and the late Ron Phillips of Durango, has more than 20 years of hospitality experience, including the last five years at Loews Vanderbilt Hotel and 10 years with Loews Hotels.

Phillips began as a front-office manager of the Loews Denver Hotel in 1998 and has worked at Loews Beverly Hills Hotel and Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel.

Durango Land, Homes announces hire

Durango Land and Homes, 528A Main Ave., announces the addition of Daniele Whalen as sales assistant.

Whalen was born and raised in Durango. She recently graduated from the University of Colorado, Boulder, with a bachelorís degree in psychology with a minor in business administration.

Whalen will devote much of her time to working as sales assistant to Joe Burtoni at Durango Land and Homes.

For more information, call 828-2222.

Herald Staff

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