20 Under 40: Emily Katzman preserves Steamboat’s past, builds its future
Whether helping to preserve historic buildings or to shape future neighborhoods in Routt County, Emily Katzman has always been interested in how places shape people and people shape places.
After serving more than four years as the executive director at Historic Routt County, 32-year-old Katzman started last fall as grant and project manager at Yampa Valley Housing Authority.
“Through my work with Historic Routt County, I was able to help in preserving our community’s past, and now I have the opportunity to help imagine and built its future,” Katzman said. “I saw the opportunity to be able to use my grant-writing skills to support Brown Ranch. It’s exciting to be a part of it from the beginning.”
Katzman believes strongly in the fundamental importance of housing, as she has watched people close to her experience housing insecurity. She experienced a taste of that personally when spending a few months couch surfing with friends in Routt County.
“Hard things become easier when you have safe, stable housing,” Katzman said. “The housing crisis poses a threat to our community, and the character is being eroded each time a lower- or middle-income person has to leave because they lose their housing. It’s our responsibility to resolve the crisis in the most socially equitable and environmentally responsible way possible.”
Katzman’s friendly, polite and organized professionalism come across easily, but friends also know her determination.
“She’s one of the most driven, passionate, caring and intelligent humans I know and does so much for this town,” said friend Amber Grace. “Emily is tenacious and always up for making change for the positive. She cares deeply about her people and her community.”
Grace described Katzman as “thoughtful, inclusive, incredibly caring and vigilant.”
What: 2022 20 Under 40 Celebration
When: 5 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 1
Where: Snow Bowl Steamboat, 2090 Snow Bowl Plaza
Friend Jennifer Day described Katzman as “humble, kind and incredibly dedicated.”
“Emily is a treasure of a human being and an asset to any organization she works with,” Day said. “She possesses the dedication and grit it takes to make it up a mountain and through long nights, bringing in funding to preserve the past and future of Steamboat’s community.”
After growing up in Conifer, Katzman earned a degree in history from Lewis & Clark College in Portland where she wrote an honors thesis on the history of the civil rights movement in Australia. After college, she moved to Steamboat to learn to ski and to work on projects for the Mountains & Plains Independent Booksellers Association and as a bookseller for Off the Beaten Path before her pre-scheduled adventure to Australia. She spent a year in Australia leading a study abroad program for her alma mater and later working at a hostel and dive shop on an island off the coast of Queensland.
She came back to Steamboat in 2014 to work as an assistant manager and event coordinator at Off the Beaten Path. When she is not working, Katzman can be found skiing, hiking, mountain biking, backpack camping and, of course, exploring historic places.
To reach Suzie Romig, call 970-871-4205 or email sromig@SteamboatPilot.com.
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