Durango contains an economic ecosystem as rich as its natural setting. Here, Fort Lewis College students can experience working with nationally competitive companies while staying close to home. One such company is Vantiv Integrated Payments, which offers paid internships during the summer months to students from the School of Business Administration.
When Holli Hipwell graduated from Fort Lewis College, she figured she’d have to move away to find fulfillment as an event planner. But not only is she still based in Durango three years later, she now gets to bring holiday magic to life for kids and kid-spirited adults across the country. Hipwell (Business Administration, ’13) works as a brand coordinator with Durango-based Rail Events, Inc., collaborating with a variety of tourist railroads to stage licensed events on their passenger trains.
Imagine leaving your consistent full-time job to jump on a tour bus with a rock band for the first time. You’re suddenly sharing 400 square feet with 10 other people, working 15 hours per day, and waking up in a new city every morning. And you’re figuring out this new existence on the fly. And it’s your dream come true.
When Lucian Davis set out to major in Sociology at Fort Lewis College, he had no idea that his path would lead to caring for his lifelong hero. But thanks to an extended line of heartfelt connections, that’s exactly what Davis (Sociology & Human Services, ’13) is doing now. Davis works as a caregiver in Maui. He explains that his work is comparable in many ways to any other caregiver’s.
Brandon Mathis is like many Fort Lewis College alumni: he’s an outdoor-oriented adventurer. “I love to ride and ski and climb all year long,” Mathis (Humanities, ’05) says. “It’s not just a summer or winter thing.” Rather than push his passions to the weekends, though, Mathis has developed a career doing the activities he loves during the workweek—and sharing his experiences with the outdoor community.
The Mate Exchange (www.themateexchange.com), a yerba tea company, was founded by Giancarlo Vigil, a 2015 alumnus of the economics program at the FLC School of Business Administration.
For Patrick Saunders (History, '81), baseball is a full-time job. As the Colorado Rockies beat reporter for the The Denver Post, Saunders covers more than 100 of the team's 162 games, plus spring training and any playoff games. It's a good thing he loves both the game and his work.
A fledgling yerba mate tea company earned $5,000 in this year’s inaugural Hawk Tank Business Plan Competition, hosted by the School of Business Administration and the Alumni Engagement Office. As a key part of the competition, the Durango community also had several opportunities to contribute to the event’s success, from becoming a sponsor to volunteering as a mentor.
FLC alumnus David Kasper (Business Administration - Engineering Management, '14) talks about his two turns at Fort Lewis College and why he feels the new GPE Hall will perfect the school's engineering program.
If there’s one thing every person has, it’s a life story. Fortunately, Susan Terrill-Flint is dedicated to helping people preserve their life stories and their family histories against time and age. And fortunately for many Durangoans and FLC alumni from the 1980s and ‘90s, Terrill-Flint this fall completed a life history with Hwaja Chung, a long-time Durango restaurateur and chef whose Main Avenue restaurant, Grandma Chung’s, was beloved by many. And who has an amazing story to tell.