Locals 2014: Debbie Aragon
They go for bike rides and hikes after work, pick up trash along a mile of highway on Rabbit Ears Pass and spend hours coming up with an office-wide theme for Halloween costumes.
Working at the State Farm office in Steamboat Springs is more than a 9-to-5 daily commitment, and those employees say that’s thanks to the woman at the top, Debbie Aragon, who stands out as a Steamboat local in part because of the vibrant office she leads.
Aragon came to Steamboat in 1996, chosen to take over the local State Farm office. From the then-small town of Millikin, between Loveland and Greeley, Aragon started with State Farm immediately after high school, a 17-year-old working with a company more than twice as big as the town she grew up in.
She was playing softball in the summer when she met her husband-to-be, John Aragon.
“I was a pitcher and he was the umpire. I felt like he was being very generous with his calls,” she says. “Anything close was a strike. I thought, ‘Wow. He’s either a lousy umpire or he likes me.’”
The couple, married in 1981, had three boys — John, 31, Jeff, 30, and Brian, 25, — who all now live in Texas. Aragon was working at a State Farm office in Greeley when she interviewed to take over offices in Wyoming, Fort Collins and Longmont. Finally, it was Steamboat that came through.
Her children weren’t sold on the idea at first — “I don’t like Steamboat. I don’t like boats and I ain’t going,” Brian, then a second-grader, declared initially.
A ski trip on a bluebird powder day sold them, however, and the Aragons have been eating up all Steamboat has to offer ever since.
Aragon makes a point of bringing that attitude to her office, and her employees have learned to love it, helping the agency be selected as one of town’s best places to work in 2012 and 2013.
The employees have done the Steamboat Mad Mudder run together, the STARS Biking the Boat ride, the Steamboat Color Run and the Tour de Steamboat. They participate in after-work activities weekly during the summer and have shared more than a few happy hours together.
It all makes one comment from Aragon make perfect sense: “I haven’t posted a job ad in years,” she says.
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