Steamboat’s Stacy Huffman named Young Professional of the Year |

Steamboat’s Stacy Huffman named Young Professional of the Year

Mike Lawrence

Stacy Huffman, director of owner relations at the Steamboat Grand Resort Hotel, is being presented Friday with the inaugural Young Professional of the Year award.

Stacy Huffman can tell you all you want to know about setting up and programming flat-screen televisions.

As director of owner relations at the Steamboat Grand Resort Hotel, Huffman helps the Grand’s more than 850 owners – including partial-ownership timeshares – reserve their condominium, garner revenue from rentals, check availability and more. Huffman said the job brings about 30 phone calls and 50 e-mails a day, all related to the Grand’s 182 condos managed by the Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp.

Huffman’s job also can bring unexpected projects. Mike Lomas, vice president and general manager of the Steamboat Grand, said that within the last year, the hotel replaced all 500 of its TV sets with flat-screen, high-definition models. Lomas said Huffman jumped on board and helped program all 500 new TVs, made sure each unit had the right size TV, helped the maintenance department determine where each TV should be mounted, and more.

“She became my television expert,” Lomas said. “That’s just a small example of the projects she takes on in addition to her normal workload.”

Lomas said the extra effort was not surprising.

“The one thing about Stacy is she is always looking for ways to improve the hotel and pitch in on any projects,” he said. “She is just a very talented young businesswoman.”

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During the Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association’s 102nd annual meeting and luncheon, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Friday at the Ghost Ranch Saloon, Huffman will be presented the inaugural Young Professional of the Year award. The award is affiliated with the Young Professionals Network, which formed in late April and has more than 100 members. Huffman has been a member since the network’s inception and recently was selected to serve as vice chairwoman of its board.

Huffman, 27, said she joined the network to meet other young professionals and also appreciates its opportunities for professional growth.

“It’s a way to grow and get to know other organizations in Steamboat and to see what other professions are out there,” she said.

But Huffman isn’t planning to leave the Grand anytime soon. Originally from Iowa, she came to Steamboat Springs in November 2005, after a Ski Corp. recruitment process for a job at the Grand’s front desk. Huffman arrived with a mind-set familiar to most Steamboat newcomers.

“At the time it was just a job,” Huffman said. “I really thought I was staying for one season.”

But she enjoyed the job and the location, and in March 2006, Huffman said, she was promoted to an assistant position in the owner relations department. She became director in February 2007.

“She’s had a fast track of promotions here at the hotel. She’s a very efficient, hard-working young person,” Lomas said. “We used to have two people work that department. She is so efficient, she is able to handle it herself.”

Chamber spokeswoman Molly Killien nominated Huffman for the young professional award. Killien said she works with Huffman frequently to set up lodging for visiting media and special event participants, and also through the Young Professionals Network where Huffman helps set up events with the Fresh Air Committee.

“She is super efficient, she returns e-mails faster than anyone I know and is very organized,” Killien said. “I enjoy working with Stacy very much because I know the job will get done.”

While having her picture taken in the Grand’s owners’ lodge this week, Huffman seemed slightly embarrassed at the recognition. Killien said she expected that reaction.

“Stacy is so humble and such a behind-the-scenes person,” Killien said. “She was probably blushing and like, ‘Why am I here?’ when she’s been working so hard on all these events. Someone of that caliber totally deserves the recognition.”

Huffman said October has been a busy month. She just closed on a one-bedroom, market-rate condo at Walton Village for $171,500. She made a $15,000 down payment and pays $860 per month on the mortgage, finding a way to own a home in a community where affordable housing is a continuing subject of debate.

“I was able to save a lot of money while I was in college,” she said.

Long-term, Huffman said, she has no certain plans. In the next five to 10 years she hopes to continue her job at the Grand and, maybe, expand her personal life.

“Somewhere in there I hope to get married, have a family, all the other stuff,” she said.