20 Under 40: Michael Marchand
Michael Marchand is self-assured and wise beyond her years. At 29, the young real estate professional has already made a mark on the community through volunteer service and her commitment to solving Steamboat Springs’ affordable housing crisis.
Marchand is direct and not afraid to speak her mind, but she does so with kindness and a true desire to make Steamboat a better place for young professionals like her to live and work. A slight Southern drawl reveals her Baton Rouge roots, and her strength of character and ability to get things done can be traced to the legacy left by her father, a successful business owner who died when Marchand was a high school senior.
“I think that put me in a position to take responsibility and make sure things get done,” Marchand said. “My dad worked so hard that even in his absence we are taken care of. His work ethic is absolutely where I get mine.”
After graduating from Louisiana State University with a degree in disaster science management, Marchand moved to Steamboat in 2014 with plans to teach skiing for one season and then go to grad school.
See all of the Steamboat Pilot & Today’s 2021 20 Under 40 winners here.
“After being out of school and living on my own outside of where I grew up, I kind of rethought what I wanted to do and decided to put grad school on hold and stick around,” Marchand said.
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The Longevity Project is an annual campaign to help educate readers about what it takes to live a long, fulfilling life in our valley. This year Kevin shares his story of hope and celebration of life with his presentation Cracked, Not Broken as we explore the critical and relevant topic of mental health.
Now seven years later, Marchand, who recently became engaged to fiance Sam LaMotte, has found her niche. She began her real estate career by working for Realtors Penny Fletcher and Doug Labor and also staffing the front desk at Steamboat Sotheby’s International Realty. While there, she earned her real estate license.
“It provided an awesome background for me,” Marchand said. “I met all the agents, I learned the systems and I got to learn all about the day-to-day operations.”
From there, Marchand went to work for Ren Martyn as his licensed assistant, handling marketing and transactions. It was Martyn who encouraged Marchand to reach out to Brynn Grey, the developers behind the former West Steamboat Neighborhood project. They eventually hired Marchand as their community engagement coordinator and local sales director. She also led the successful campaign to annex the property into the city limits.
“I feel like I’m very fortunate to have people who saw me as a hard worker and wanted to give me an opportunity and wanted to help me advance my career,” Marchand said.
Martyn, a mentor of Marchand’s, compares her to one of Steamboat’s most iconic female leaders — the late Mary Brown, who served on Steamboat Springs City Council from 1987 to 1995 and was council president from 1989 to 1993.
“Michael is not quick to enter the conversation and show what she knows — she’s very humble with her knowledge,” Martyn said. “She waits and times it very well and comes in with a very focused response to a question or problem. She’ll carry the same level of weight as Mary did when she’s in the prime of her professional career. And even though she’s only been in Steamboat a short time, she has such passion for this community.”
In addition to her professional career, Marchand, who now works for Realtors Adrienne Stroock and Barb Shipley, is extremely active in the community, serving on a number of boards that align with her passions, including the Young Professionals Network and the Yampa Valley Housing Authority. She is also a member of the Steamboat Springs Chamber’s Public Policy Committee and the Economic Development Council.
“Steamboat is the type of place where you feel like you can really make a difference, and I feel like my experience and my interests — my passion points — really moved me to want to be part of those conversations,” Marchand said.
To reach Lisa Schlichtman, call 970-871-4221, email lschlichtman@SteamboatPilot.com or follow her on Twitter @lschlichtman.
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