Jill Manley is Bent's Old Fort Chapter of Santa Fe Trail Association Outstanding Member of the year 2017

Jill Manley of La Junta has been named "Outstanding Member of the Year 2017" by the Bent's Fort Chapter of the Santa Fe Trail Association at a recent gathering in the Rawlings Museum of Las Animas.

A native of Denver, Manley is assistant membership chairman maintaining membership rolls for the organization. She joined the SFTA in 2012 and more recently volunteered to help the organization "do anything I could."

"I was both membership chairman and treasurer," says, Kathy Wootten of Lamar, who until Manley volunteered, carried the heavy responsibility of doing both without assistance. "I needed someone who was computer literate." says Wootten.

As assistant membership chairman, Manley makes and keeps a list of members by using a spread sheet she has created. That list enables Wootten to check members' dues received and allows an up-to-date mailing list for the chapter newsletter. "And," says Wootten, "she is an inspiration to us all because she does this with humor and accuracy and is a great help to us all."

Manley is a graduate of Denver University majoring in real estate and construction management with an emphasis in finance. She was hired in Denver by Bankers Life of Des Moines that transferred her from Denver to Seattle, where she was employed for seven years. Afterward, still living in Seattle, she was hired by The Travelers in the commercial real estate lending field. She was later transferred by The Travelers back to Denver.

For Bankers Life, she enjoyed helping people get their first home loans and for The Travelers, assisted in underwriting credit worthiness of buildings in Seattle and Portland. Outside her job, she found pleasure on the seaside of Puget Sound, in photography, and fishing for trout and salmon from charter boats.

Manley took disability retirement to focus on wellness and moved from her home in Centennial to La Junta to be closer to her family. She is the sister of Judge Doug Manley.

Remaining very active, she is a member of the National MS Society, Santa Fe Trail Association, Otero County Historic Preservation Advisory Board, Arkansas Valley Medical Center Auxiliary, is a docent at the Otero Museum, is on the board of directors of Clean Valley Recycling, and has been a tax assistant for AARP Tax-Aide.

Manley enjoys the Bent's Fort Chapter of SFTA because of her love for Western history, and she finds the members of the southeastern Colorado chapter of the SFTA sincere in caring for Colorado history.