20 Under 40: Emily Hines
After graduating from Steamboat Springs High School, Emily Hines wanted to move far away from the Yampa Valley and swore she’d never move back.
Hines, 37, attended the University of Oregon, where she earned a degree in sports marketing and business. After graduation, she moved to Connecticut and spent six years working in her field. Hines enjoyed the work, which gave her opportunities to travel and attend interesting events, but she knew something was missing from her life like looking out the window to see grand mountains and having world-class outdoor sports accessible from her backyard.
“I was missing Colorado a lot,” Hines said.
To fill that void Hines moved back to Steamboat and worked in various contract positions, thinking her time back home was a temporary step on her way to the Front Range or back to the West Coast.
See all of the Steamboat Pilot & Today’s 2021 20 Under 40 winners here.
But returning to Steamboat as an adult, Hines experienced a deeper appreciation for the Yampa Valley.
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“As a kid growing up here, I always assumed I would move away and go somewhere else, but the curse got me,” Hines said.
“I think it’s more of a blessing than a curse,” she added, referencing the “Yampa Valley Curse,” a saying among locals that those who move to town never leave, and if they do, their time away is short.
Wanting to use her educational background, Hines accepted a job with Steamboat’s Parks and Recreation Department as marketing and special events coordinator. Hines said her duties vary day to day, ranging from computer work to designing campaigns to planning city events such as the Yampa River Clean Up.
“I thought it sounded like such a cool opportunity to be able to marry the things I was passionate about from a business perspective with things I love about this community with its outdoor recreation,” Hines said. “I do a lot of stuff on the computer, but I also get to get out and play in our parks and do events and be with the community.”
Alexis Wolf, the city’s recreation manager, said Hines is the perfect fit for a marketing job in Steamboat because she’s always willing to give back to the community she grew up in.
“She’s very humble in what she does, and it goes far beyond her work,” Wolf said. “That to me is a perfect example of how Emily works and what she does.”
Many of the community members Hines works with now were mentors and coaches for her as she was growing up.
“To be able to transition from being a participant in all these parks and recreation programs and now being able to help grow that stuff and continue to provide that to the community as an adult is pretty cool,” Hines said.
Hines is also heavily involved with the community. She is a volunteer for Routt County Search and Rescue, where she helps with its public outreach and administrative duties. Hines also volunteers for the Colorado Fourteeners Initiative, doing trail work on summits above 14,000 feet, which she began climbing when she moved back to the state after college.
Hines is also interested in philanthropy work and serves on the steering committee for Impact100 Global, a nonprofit that encourages people to make small donations to nonprofits they are passionate about.
Earlier in August, Hines completed a six-day, 120-mile run through the Rocky Mountains. The TransRockies Run is a fundraiser for First Descents, a nonprofit that provides free outdoor experiences for young adults who are diagnosed with cancer or other serious conditions.
To reach Alison Berg, call 970-871-4229 or email aberg@SteamboatPilot.com.
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