Steamboat Living: 20 Under 40-Gillian Morris
Thoughtful, caring, selfless, even Wonder Woman— those are all words rising like cream to the top of the nomination forms in describing Gillian Morris.
The co-owner and vice-president of Talon Grips, a gun grip company which has grown from a garage operation to employing 11 locals and selling its wares in more than 200 countries, Morris also gives of herself wherever she can, most notably as a three-year board member of the Steamboat Springs Rotary Club. She chairs its Flower Barrel fundraiser, which raises more than $7,000 annually for local non-profits, and heads the club’s 4-Way Test program for local 8th-graders. She also helps organize the annual Barn Dance fundraiser and co-chaired its Tango and Cash fundraiser.
“She’s incredibly dedicated to the community, her business and family,” says fellow Rotarian Tara Weaver, adding Morris has earned several accolades for her dedication. “Her only fault is her inability to say no. She has an infectious smile and personality and is a true go-getter. When she sets her mind to something, it gets done.”
As for joining Rotary, she says it felt instinctual. “I was working at home and opened the paper and saw that it wasn’t just for old, white men,” she says. “Some of my peers were in it and I wanted to get involved. I like being a part of something that makes a difference. There’s power in numbers in getting things done for the community.”
After graduating from college in Massachusetts, Morris moved here in 1999 “to be a ski bum for six months.” When that ended, she moved back to her family in California only to see a job interview fall through. That was all the sign she needed to re-pack her bags and move to Steamboat full-time, where she took a job with Teton Petroleum and later met her future husband, Mike.
Together, they’ve seen Talon grow from a home-based business into an international, made-in-the-USA concern whose headquarters, manufacturing, order fulfillment and customer service operations are all based in Steamboat.
An avid skier, biker, hiker and camper, she does all this while still playing uber-Steamboat mom to boys Kane, 7, and Olson, 6, even taking the time out of her busy schedule to volunteer in their Strawberry Park Elementary classrooms. She also enjoys teaching them how to garden (if she can grow a business and Rotary donations, she might as well do so for tomatoes as well).
“We love it here, for ourselves and for raising our kids,” she says. “Our commute to work in six minutes and we get to do the things we love to do on a daily basis. Plus, you can’t beat the quality of people here.”
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