20 Under 40: Jenny Carey exudes positivity, kindness, modesty
Routt County resident Jenny Carey would rather be talking about absolutely anything other than herself.
The positive and personable 37-year-old open space and trails supervisor for the City of Steamboat Springs would rather chat about her large rescue dog, backyard chickens, neighborhood skunks getting into the chicken coop, her love of baking and cooking for others, or just about anything that can shine the spotlight elsewhere.
“For the last 12 years, I’ve had the opportunity to witness the leadership and humanitarian assets that Jenny possesses and her passion to keep pursuing opportunities to better herself in all avenues in her life,” said friend Kelly McElfish, an Oak Creek town board member. “She is ethical, lives her life with integrity, shows respect and kindness to all people and can always be counted on personally and professionally. Jenny is strongly committed to the environment, the community, and her friends and family.”
Former boss Gretchen Van De Carr, Rocky Mountain Youth Corps executive director, said Carey “has a very competent yet chilled demeanor” and “approaches challenges with an open mind and a can-do attitude.”
Current supervisor Craig Robinson calls Carey a great communicator who “helps build solid relationships and presents information in a non-confrontational way even in difficult situations.”
White attending Michigan State University, Carey’s first introduction to the West and Steamboat Springs was during summer breaks. In 2005, she worked on a 10-week summer crew with Rocky Mountain Youth Corps where she fell in love with trails and outdoor work. She said the three seasons she spent building portions of the Continental Divide Trail through Colorado and Wyoming were “incredibly formative and life-changing experiences.”
She realized, “Oh, people do this for a living!”
Carey then spent three seasons with the U.S. Forest Service trail crew out of Pinedale, Wyoming, for the Bridger-Teton National Forest. That’s where she met her husband, Sean, a wildland fire fighter.
What: 2022 20 Under 40 Celebration
When: 5 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 1
Where: Snow Bowl Steamboat, 2090 Snow Bowl Plaza
In 2010, she came back to Steamboat to join the RMYC staff as a program director managing recruitment and hiring of more than 100 youth for the Conservation Corps.
Although supervisory duties now keep her in the office planning projects, working with contractors, and coordinating volunteer work days, she loves getting outside to work with the city trail crew when she can.
Carey is an avid trail volunteer for nonprofit Routt County Riders and an active RMYC board member. She said connecting youth with trail work and the outdoors is what bonds her to Routt County.
Routt County Riders Executive Director Laraine Martin said she “always deeply admired” Carey’s compassion and empathy for all of the young people who passed through the RMYC programs.
“She is passionate and smart but also soft around the edges in a way that I envy,” Martin said.
To reach Suzie Romig, call 970-871-4205 or email sromig@SteamboatPilot.com.
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