At the end of last year, I embarked on a new adventure in my life. I applied to the Bent County Development Foundation and was hired as their Director. My job… Economic Development Director for Bent County.
You may ask what my qualifications are, and I would tell you that I have a business degree from Colorado Mesa University, I’ve worked as a bookkeeper for 6+ years, and I’m an entrepreneur - as such I’ve opened and operated three small businesses in the past five years.
However, what’s becoming more apparent to me as each new day passes in this position is the fact that some of my less obvious qualifications are what are proving to be the most beneficial to me now.
My work experiences as a personal assistant and in the hospitality industry in Snowmass Village have taught me how to be approachable and engaging, while at the same time remaining task-oriented, organized and aware of some of the less straight-forward details of a conversation.
Growing up on a ranch south of Karval taught me to be dedicated to my work and to make the effort to do something right - rather than quickly; it also instilled tenacity into my personality - as some of you may have already noticed (or may soon notice), I don’t give up easily once I’ve sunk my teeth into something.
My senior year of high school, I was crowned the Arkansas Valley Fair Queen; which meant that I was an ambassador for the fair. I learned how to represent every aspect of the fair, even if I didn’t know much about, or I didn’t like, certain events that were of interest to others.
I’ve worked as a graphic design artist, an office manager, and a property manager; and all of these experiences have prepared me for multi-tasking, project management, working with multiple moving parts, and keeping the “larger picture” as a priority in my work.
I’m also a millennial. This gives me a unique perspective on life- accepting of technology, adventure seeking, idealistic in setting goals and pursuing projects, and family oriented. I am excited to see where this new adventure leads; and I am open-minded to the new experiences around the corner, as I look forward to facing challenges head-on.
Now, why am I giving you my life resume?
Well, . . . I look back on all of the experiences that have put me right were I am now - and I ask myself if there’s anything that I would change if given the opportunity to do so.
Sure, there are times that I probably could have been less careless, and more responsible.
There are times that I learned lessons the hard way, and even when I have been embarrassed by situations that I’ve put myself into.
I’ve made remarkably bad decisions along the way, and if you knew me back then compared to now - you may wonder how I ever pulled myself back together.
When I think about wanting to change my past, I remember that the experiences that I’ve had, both good and bad, have given me a certain perspective that ultimately aids in decision making and living my life without looking back in regret.
What I’ve learned from these experiences also puts me in a better position to perform the duties of this particular position, and the fact that I am not perfect helps me to connect with the people that are at the heart of every economy - the communities. Being able to utilize the qualifications that my work experience has given me, while at the same time building relationships based on trust and understanding (gleaned from life experience) will be the key to my success in this position.
My mentor worked in this position, and she used to write a column for the paper called “The View from the Corner.”
She would write about economic development topics, and issues that she faced during her tenure here. My hope is that I can pick up where she left off in writing an educational and informative column that speaks to the issues, needs, opportunities, and challenges of economic development in Bent County, while bringing a “new view” from the “same corner.”
Moving forward, I will be striving to connect with readers in a way that helps build community awareness, encourages involvement in local events and problem-solving efforts, offers education about economic development, highlights the successes within our communities, and builds a personal relationship between the reader and myself as you walk right along side me through all of the varying and exciting NEW experiences that lie ahead.
We all have something to offer, and we’ve all had past experiences that make us specifically qualified to contribute to our communities in unique ways. Each of our views will be different, but that just makes the conversations more interesting.
Join me in my new adventure, and don’t forget to enjoy your own along the way.