20 Under 40: Tara Sharp proves one person can make a difference
Tara Sharp is a relative newcomer to the West Grand community — but you wouldn’t guess that watching her interact with visitors and locals at any one of Kremmling’s events.
As the executive director of the Kremmling Area Chamber of Commerce, Sharp oversees the visitor’s center, and also plans and manages events throughout the year. Under her leadership, the chamber has grown and overcome significant obstacles it faced in the past.
“Tara is constantly doing everything possible to improve the lives of those around her. She organizes Help the Homeless days in Denver, is on the Homegrown Talent Initiative and Grand County Higher Ed boards, she volunteers for the Waves mentor program and is a volunteer for West Grand School District. She is extremely positive and is always trying to find ways to make our community better,” her nomination read.
Sharp’s stewardship doesn’t end at town limits. Her volunteer efforts extend from Grand County through Denver and around the world to Uganda, where she visited last year to assist with friend Kelsey Hargardine’s Rural Orphans and Widows AIDS Network.
What made you choose to live and work in Grand County?
The beauty and small-town feel were what initially attracted me to the area. I have lived here seven years now, and I am still amazed daily by the beauty of the place I live.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
I see myself still very active in the community with my youngest graduating from West Grand in 2030. I can’t imagine living anywhere other than beautiful Grand County as my year-round residence, but with a vacation home on the beach.
What kind of future do you see for your industry in the high country?
Our industry is business and marketing, and much of it relies on tourism. Grand County is known for bringing tourists from all over the world to participate in the many outdoor activities we have to offer. I believe our industry will continue to grow once this pandemic is over.
How has COVID-19 changed the way your industry does business?
We have had to cancel or postpone many of our events, and we have had to get pretty creative with how we conduct other events. For example, on Easter Sunday, we drove the Easter Bunny around in the back of a pick-up truck through town so children could wave from their porches. We had to cancel our annual Easter egg hunt, but we still wanted children to have some sense of normalcy during this crazy time.
If there were one thing you could change, what would it be and why?
Currently, it would be COVID-19, for obvious reasons, and the impact it has had on the economy not only of Grand County, but worldwide. Now, if we are speaking during normal circumstances, I would say access to affordable housing throughout the county.
Who is your hero and why?
When I am confronted with this question I always have the same thought: A hero is someone who is smart, strong, someone who stands up for what they believe in, someone who can overcome challenges in life gracefully, someone who loves fiercely and supports the ones they love fiercely. While I have many influential heroes, my most influential heroes would be my parents. My parents have always exhibited perseverance when overcoming conflicts in life. They exhibit unconditional love and support not just to me but to everyone they encounter. I admire their dedication to our family and their dedication to helping others.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
I enjoy spending time with family. We love dirt-bike riding, camping, skiing…really we love any outdoor recreation.
What advice or encouragement would you offer a young professional trying to make it in the county?
My best advice would be to get involved in your community. To be an active voice in your community, and be the change you want to see within your community.
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