20 Under 40: Angelica Salinas | SteamboatToday.com

20 Under 40: Angelica Salinas

Angelica Salinas (Photo by John F. Russell)

Angelica Salinas started her job as communications coordinator for the Steamboat Springs Chamber only a few months before the COVID-19 pandemic hit.

With the business community thrown into turmoil with closures and cutbacks, 30-year-old Salinas played a key role — whether as the “bearer of bad news” with the latest policy changes or in organizing an online guide so customers knew which businesses were open.

When she had to do things like inform restaurants they could only open at 20% capacity, Salinas said, it took an emotional toll.

Then there was the good news — like distributing local grant funds.

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See all of the Steamboat Pilot & Today’s 2021 20 Under 40 winners here.

“For me, knowing I was helping businesses and the community really is what kept our team going,” Salinas said.

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“I think the Chamber became a beacon for the community,” Salinas said. “We provided timely and accurate information. We advocated for businesses in meetings with the county and state.”

Caitlyn Bambenek, shop manager of Ohana and fellow 20 Under 40 award winner, described watching her friend stay ahead of the ever-changing crisis.

“I saw her adapt,” Bambenek said. “She is just a natural leader. She is so motivated and so well spoken, very organized. And I see how hard she works.”

“Throughout it all, she maintained such an incredible attitude and strong face even if it meant working long hours so that others could benefit,” said Salinas’ partner, Adam Basse.

Salinas moved to Steamboat in 2017 to work as guest experience coordinator for Steamboat Resort. In her first year, she was nominated for Employee of the Year, implemented a new training program and advocated for employees.

However, when the job at the Chamber opened, Salinas knew it was a perfect fit having studied marketing and communications at Santa Clara University in California.

“I took a really unconventional road to where I am,” she said.

She worked as a third grade literacy teacher and as a youth activities counselor on a Disney Cruise Line where she also played a Jedi. And in Estes Park, where she lived before moving to Steamboat, Salinas worked as coordinator for the Parks and Recreation adult sports league, coached high school volleyball and was a barista.

“Since moving to Steamboat, Angelica has charged full steam ahead on being an active member of the community and working to make this place better for everyone who lives here and visits,” Basse wrote in his nomination letter. “She is always asking what she can do to be more involved, help solve real issues and create meaningful change.”

Salinas is the director of the Whiteout Volleyball Club and serves on the boards of the Young Professionals Network and Steamboat Sports Barn, as well as the Chamber’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee.

A native of San Antonio, Texas, Salinas’ family and heritage holds a huge place in her heart.

“I grew up in a large Hispanic family,” she said.

Her mother was one of 10, and Salinas has more than 40 cousins.

“That culture is super important to me. … I was really lucky to have two parents who worked hard their entire life to have their kids do better,” Salinas said. “I’ve always had a lot of support. And that’s made a huge difference. That’s why I support the people in my life — I know I wouldn’t be where I am without it.”

Salinas also recently launched her own business as a certified resume writer and career coach.

“The first thing she did when she started her business,” Basse said, “was offer free resume reviews and help to all the people in Routt County who had been affected by COVID and were unemployed or looking for work.”

However, it is perhaps Salinas’ role as the head volleyball coach at Steamboat Springs Middle School where her impact reaches deepest.

“The best part about coaching is getting to be a part of watching young athletes grow up and become more confident in themselves on and off the court,” Salinas said.

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