Looking forward, giving back
NextGen Park County is a local organization that fosters relationships among young professionals, develops business opportunities, supports civic involvement, and promotes an overall investment in the future of our communities.
Our vision is to harmonize Park County’s rich Western heritage with emerging ideas for present and next generations.
Participation is open to all young professionals who live, work, or spend time in Park County. Our goal is to give young professionals within the community a chance to connect, grow, and be involved in Park County.
Josh Spinney is NextGen Park County’s November Featured Member. He recently sat down with current President Wade McMillin for a brief question-and-answer session.
1. Josh, you are one of the most active members of NextGen Park County. As you know, we’ve done a lot of volunteer work in 2019. What was your favorite event and why?
“I have enjoyed all of the volunteering events that I have been able to participate in because they all have contributed to our great community. The most enjoyment I have had at any one event was probably building bunk beds for Sleep In Heavenly Peace’s Bunks Across America event. Knowing that our direct efforts, along with several other volunteers, was going to directly help serve children in our region gave me a tremendous feeling of accomplishment and pride.”
2. There have been recent discussions in town about younger people leaving Cody and not coming back when they are ready for the workplace or have graduated college. Have you noticed this? What do you see as the trend and what might be the reasoning behind it?
“Coming from the state of Michigan, where the greatest export of anything was the educated youth is something that I notice and pay attention to. In Cody, I have noticed that there are a lot of young people who do leave to find their passion in life and find out what their occupational calling is. I have also noticed that there are several people who grew up here that left for several years that do end up returning to Cody when they have realized what they were missing in their lives, what Cody is able to offer them—endless outdoor recreational opportunities, great cost of living, a small yet comfortable community, and living in one of the most beautiful places in the world. Cody still remains a wonderful, undiscovered community that is tucked away in the northern Rocky Mountains; if you leave, you just have to find yourself and find that you’re missing the mountains.”
3. You work as a therapist for the hospital. What joys do you take in your daily work, and how does your profession give back to the community?
“Being a therapist is a wonderful occupation because you are able to help people achieve goals they have for their lives and help them live better lives. I work with a lot of teenagers in the community, and it brings me great pride in knowing that I have an opportunity to help the youth in our community discover more from their world and help them engage in their future. I enjoy the interactions I have with my clients, seeing them progress through our sessions and seeing the growth and progress they make in their lives brings me great joy and satisfaction in my career.”
4. You and your wife Kerrie moved here from Michigan, and you’ve managed to never look back. What is it about Park County that not only attracted her here, but kept you here?
“We love living in the mountains. When Kerrie had the opportunity to relocate to an academic institution we discussed a lot of options that we would look for in a future home since we would be leaving our families and the Great Lakes, which we group up on and loved. Kerrie applies to only one school and was able to feel at home when she visited for her interview. We were actually on our way to Nicaragua for a vacation when she had found out about the job and we both looked at the opportunity to move to the mountains. Being the only place she interviewed and was offered a job, it was serendipitous. We both have been very fortunate since moving to Cody, both with our work and the great friends we have made. We purchased a home in 2017, which pretty much cemented ourselves in Cody, as we both saw Cody as a place we could grow and raise a family. We also really love to ski and mountain bike, so that was also a tremendous plus.”
5. When it comes to skiing, you’re obsessed (to say the least). What do you think about the area’s winter recreational opportunities, and what kind of season do you predict this year?
“When people ask me about myself, the first thing I say is, ‘I’m a skier.’ Skiing has been my life since I was 2 years old, and it was what brought Kerrie and I together 10 years ago. Having endless backcountry skiing just minutes from my front door, a local ski area located just outside of Yellow National Park (which has arguably the most beautiful ski lodge drive)—an absolute ripper on deep days—and a big mountain location in Red Lodge that is easily one of the last true ski towns in the country is something that I had always wished for and never thought would become a reality. I have been fortunate this year, as I have skied every month except August and September, and been able to grab some October powder earlier in the month with two feet of fresh snow. I would say the prediction that the Farmer’s Almanac has made about, ‘No less than seven major snow events’ is seeming to be quite accurate thus far in the season following the 80 inches that Red Lodge received in October. Skiing is best summed up by Otto Schniebs, a US Ski and Snowboard Hall of Famer, as ‘Whatever degree of skill a skier may possess, they should never forget that the their skis are after all only an instrument—a means through which they enjoy the winter in all its glory and ruggedness, can breathe fresh air, can meet human beings in their character, and can forget all the petty troubles which beset our so-called civilization. These are a few of the reasons why skiing is not merely a sport; it is a way of life.”
The NextGen Park County membership is comprised of young adults of various professions, and the organization benefits from its membership’s diverse skill sets and strong work ethics.
Jake has been involved with NextGen Park County since 2017. He purchased Mossy Oak Properties of Wyoming 307 Real Estate (now 307 Real Estate) in 2014 with business partner John Parsons. When Jake is not selling real estate, he’s teaching his twin boys how to someday be middle linebackers.
Tia has been involved with NextGen Park County since 2015 and served as Co-Chairman in 2018. She was born and raised in Cody, then left to study hotel, restaurant, and tourism management at New Mexico State University, where she met her husband, Kayl. Tia and Kayl have one baby boy.
Highlights from NextGen Park County’s events and volunteer work in 2019.
Highlights from NextGen Park County’s events and volunteer work in 2018.
Wednesday, November 20, 2019 @ 6:00 PM — Meeting at Olive Glenn Golf and Country Club
Wednesday, December 18, 2019 @ 6:00 PM — Meeting at Olive Glenn Golf and Country Club
Friday, January 31, 2019 @ 6:00 PM – 1:00 AM — JAMuary 2020: A Local Music Showcase at TBA (with Bright Futures Mentoring)
For more information regarding events, please email us at email@example.com.