Steamboat Living: 20 Under 40-Laura Cusenbary
Giving comes easily to Laura Cusenbary, 37, a financial advisor for Wells Fargo Advisors. It runs in the family.
“I’m fortunate to have had a family growing up that was very philanthropic,” she says. “My mom was a case worker for CASA, always bringing people home, and my granddad founded an adaptive sports healing foundation that’s now run by my dad and uncle. Helping people out was a big part of my upbringing and is part of who I am.”
Cusenbary wasted no time putting her business degree from Indiana University to use when she moved here 14 years ago, working stints as sales and marketing manager for Steamboat Ski Corporation and marketing director for Prudential Steamboat Realty before assuming her current role with Wells Fargo. But it’s her commitment to the community that shines above her professional prowess.
Ever since she arrived she’s served on several local boards and fundraisers, including the Yampa Valley Community Foundation, Ski Town USA Rotary Club, Steamboat Chamber Resort Marketing Committee, Impact 100, and the Sunshine Kids Foundation. She also co-chaired the Tour de Steamboat, was a board member of Routt County Cattle Women and chaired Steamboat’s Relay for Life Luminaria. She also raised funds for a friend diagnosed with leukemia and keynoted the annual Girls to Women conference.
You’d think this would earn her good fortune, but in 2010 she found herself on the other side of the coin when her husband, Brad, was diagnosed with brain cancer. “You think you have all this good karma, but then it happens to you,” she says, adding she resigned from a number of boards to help Brad. “I was absolutely shocked at everyone who came out of this community to rally behind us. It was overwhelming.”
That, of course, is one of the main reasons she loves it here so much. “Front and center, I’d say the community here is what makes Steamboat so special,” she says. “It’s a super supportive and philanthropic community.”
As for her own volunteerism, she adds it’s easier with a peer group that feels the same way. “I’m lucky that I’ve been able to convince friends to do it with me, which has made it fun,” she says. “Steamboat lends itself to giving back. It’s the culture of this community.
“And whatever you do doesn’t even have to be huge,” she adds. “You can make a difference in small ways, too. All it takes is energy and motivation.”
All this doesn’t mean she isn’t above carving out a little Me Time now and then. Outside of her career and community commitments, you’ll find her skiing, biking, hiking or golfing with friends, and settling into her new home in Fairview, complete with a beloved horse corral, with Brad and daughter, Austin.
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