When I was 12 years old, my father took me on a backpacking trip in Wyoming. While we were setting up camp a Backcountry Ranger rode up to us on his horse. He spent an hour with us telling us about what he did, and answering my 100 questions. When he rode away, I said to my father “He is at work right now, that’s what I am going to do when I grow up”. All these years later I am doing the only job that I ever really wanted to do and have been doing for the past twenty-one years.
I spent the first 8 years of my career working at East Canyon State Park as both the Park Ranger and the Assistant Park Manager. It was here that I had the opportunity to work for the man who would be my mentor, and influence everything that I did from that point forward. In 2007, I promoted to the Park Manager Position at Hyrum State Park in Cache Valley and it was there that I began to develop my own way of managing people and programs. I made the park my own and made good use of the lessons that I had learned along the way. In 2011, I changed jobs again and became the Park Manager at Antelope Island State Park. As the manager at Antelope Island, I was tasked with a multitude of things that I had never had exposure to in the past. As I got more adept at dealing with these new tasks, I found that I really enjoyed leading people. It was like finding a dollar in your pocket that you forgot you put there. The job that I had loved my whole life just got better. I have been working with the amazing staff at Antelope Island now since 2011 and I think we just keep doing it better and better. Some of my proudest moments are when someone who works with me promotes into a position that they really wanted and they take that next step into creating their dream job. At the end of my career, I hope to look back at all the people that worked for me in the division and see them doing the only job they ever wanted to do. To me that is the biggest professional compliment I could ever receive.