Frontline Heroes: Mark Sloop, Moussa Ouattara, Marc Swanson, Adrienne Idsal, Kim Ryan, Rebecca Williams
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — To mark the one-year milestone of the COVID-19 pandemic in Routt County, Steamboat Pilot & Today asked people to nominate local individuals who they believed went above and beyond during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mark Sloop has continued to run his three businesses — Rocky Mountain Towing, Rocky Mountain Repair and Aces High — amid the pandemic and provides impeccable customer service against all odds. He has employed 19 people and provided essential services in the face of lockdown and quarantine. Mark’s customers were able to receive roadside assistance during the winter, have their vehicles repaired and utilize sanitation services as needed. Providing jobs and necessary services when faced with unprecedented social guidelines has not come easy, but for Mark, there was never another option. He has provided a stable and positive environment for all of his employees and customers when unrest has been the norm.
Moussa Ouattara has had a smile on his face the entire pandemic. Every time customers see him at City Market, he is a happy greeter even through his mask. He goes above and beyond to make sure each customer has a great day, no matter how stressful things are day to day. Moussa is a good reminder that we need to stay positive.
The genuine concern and generosity that Marc Swanson has shown for the staff at Ace Hardware and the community is exceptional. Marc had arranged for PPE so the staff was able to be safe while the store remained open during the first few weeks of the pandemic. He has also offered the team additional days off and special duty pay. The products supplied at Ace allowed people to keep their homes operational, and then when businesses were able to reopen, the store helped people find the products they needed to have a home they were happy to stay in.
Adrienne Idsal is director of The Haven assisted living facility in Hayden, and she has shown absolute dedication to the staff and residents throughout the entirety of the pandemic. The Haven is a family, and they were greatly impacted by COVID-19. Adrienne endured many hardships, including the loss of residents and witnessing the decline of others due to the harsh safety restrictions necessary to protect them. Throughout it all, she remained positive. She was a role model and a rock for her staff, and in the darkest days of the pandemic, The Haven experienced their lowest staff turnover rate — a true testament to the staff’s commitment to the residents and to Adrienne’s leadership. Every day, Adrienne risked her own health to ensure the needs of residents were being met. When an outbreak occurred within The Haven, the entire team stepped up to ensure that it was managed and eradicated as quickly and safely as possible. Adrienne worked tirelessly to follow safety protocols, communicate regularly with resident families and support staff in their newfound roles, which required increased PPE, cleaning guidelines and one-on-one care for residents living in isolation. Adrienne continuously advocated for the needs of her residents and found creative ways to help them cope with the stress. She was constantly coming up with new ideas to engage the community with The Haven in a safe way – through calls for concerts outside the windows, fundraising for new pet birds and working with the town of Hayden to groom a trail around the building for community members and residents to enjoy throughout the winter. Thanks to Adrienne’s commitment, The Haven has withstood the extreme pressure of a global pandemic and come out the other side with grace – ready and able to serve the community’s older adults.
Kim Ryan, known affectionately as Ms. Kim, is a kindergarten teacher at Soda Creek Elementary School. Through all the changes of the pandemic, she has always prioritized the students in her class, pivoting to all virtual teaching early on, then doing double-duty when her class was split into cohorts and lately back to her whole class in-person. She has maintained an upbeat classroom where learning and fun go hand in hand. Despite more duties and less planning time, she has managed to keep lessons engaging. Her students love being in class with her, the parents appreciate the support she has provided them and she’s teaching lessons of kindness that could benefit all of us in this difficult time.
Rebecca Williams owns Steamboat Fit, a local fitness studio in town alongside her husband, Drew. Rebecca and her team of instructors have gone far above and beyond the call of duty during this global pandemic. Rebecca’s top priority has been the mental, physical and emotional health of her members and the community as a whole. Hundreds of virtual classes were offered to the community free of charge, and equipment was loaned out to ensure all participants had what they needed to complete workouts from their own home. Rebecca has created an environment that is welcoming and accepting. It is truly a community that supports one another. Rebecca also works to partner with local nonprofits each month as a way to give back to our community. During that partnership, free memberships are also provided to all employees of the nonprofit for the month.
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STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — To mark the one-year milestone of the COVID-19 pandemic in Routt County, Steamboat Pilot & Today asked people to nominate local individuals who they believed went above and beyond during the COVID-19…