20 Under 40: Kate Wright committed to betterment of Fraser Valley
“Kate is a rock star.”
Those are the words that summed up Kate Wright’s nomination for 20 Under 40.
She is committed to the betterment of the valley — keeping its adventure and charm, while not destroying the treasured environment.
Wright is the co-author of “Rollins Pass,” which shared the colorful history of one of Grand County’s most storied landmarks. In the process of writing her book, she persevered thousands of library artifacts for future generations.
Name: Kate Wright
Profession: Digital engagement.
Education: Master of Business Administration, Daniels College of Business, University of Denver.
Place of Employment: Aetna, a CVS Health Company.
What problem would you like to solve?
Grand County is in transition: wanting to grow and flourish as a world — class destination that embraces tourism and the accompanying economic benefits, yet the county should not sacrifice what makes us special — locals, small-town charm, and a sense of community — in order to achieve these goals. Change must be deliberate, sustainable, and thoughtful.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
I see myself continuing to be open to possibilities — pushing myself to learn more and do more. To constrain myself with a set vision would only be a disservice. Ten years ago, I never would have dreamed I’d be a local published author along with my husband. I work hard, play hard, and dream big — and that’s always worked well for me.
Who’s your hero and why?
I’m blessed to have many strong people in my life who have overcome extraordinary challenges, and they inspire me every day. Among those who have faced adversity is my dad, who has spent the last three months in various hospitals due to an infection, culminating in an above-knee amputation. Despite this, he brings the room to laughter during his physical therapy appointments, and keeps his sights set on the future goal of taking a walk along the Fraser trail with his family. Like others in my close-circle, determination and positivity can move mountains.
What is it about your generation that sets it apart?
As telecommuting and working out of home offices becomes more common, young professionals are able to live outside of the “hustle and bustle” and settle in smaller communities, such as Grand County.
Why did you choose Grand County?
There is something intangible about Grand County that captured my heart more than 10 years ago — it’s my exhale. It’s where I fell in love with my better half, where we shared our vows, where we play, and live full-time.
How do you like to play in Grand County?
My heart is full on a lovely summer day spent hiking above treeline. Winters are becoming increasingly more fun as I’m learning how to play ice hockey during weekend drop-in games with my husband and friends.
What kind of future do you see for your industry in Grand County?
Health and wellness engagement is centered on the same principles Doc Susie brought to Grand County nearly 112 years ago: a focus on preventive care and education. However, 24/7 access to care is limited in Grand County, and as we continue to grow, I anticipate the addition of 24/7 access to an Urgent Care as well as 24/7 access to grocery stores and over-the-counter medicines.
If you could change one thing about Grand County, what would it be?
I would like to see Grand County be more proactive in its implementation of fire restrictions in the summer. As grasses dry out, I hope the protection of our forests and residents are prioritized over potential losses in tourism.
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