The challenges. The variety. The people.
Those are things that Shelby Wetzel says are the best parts of coming to work every day.
“The variety of things I get to do makes me love my job,” she says.
She’s been with the foundation for more than 20 years, helping the organization grow and expand.
The work is full of exciting challenges, she says. And there’s a daily bonus: “I get to associate with amazingly generous people!”
Shelby says that nobody grows up saying, “I want to be a fundraiser.” But her education in journalism and marketing prepared her to interact well with people in writing and in person. Throw in her MBA degree and she has the necessary skills to manage the fundraising and financial operations of the foundation.
As a Powell native, Shelby feels connected to the local area and its people.
“I appreciate the significant role Northwest College fills educationally and economically for the region.”
Shelby says her family is “‘at the heart’ of everything I do – holidays when my three kids are home with my husband and me; Sunday night dinners with extended family; making memories in the mountains of Wyoming or on an exotic beach. Nothing beats being together.”
After family, Shelby is passionate about education, serving the community and helping people. Her parents, Dave and Diane Bonner, taught her to invest herself in activities that benefit the community and its future.
“I’m so lucky that my work combines many of the things I value dearly,” she says.
When not cooking up a way to help students, she loves to cook for family and friends.
“I also like to eat, so searching for great restaurants wherever I travel makes for entertainment as well,” she says. “And for now, brewing beer is my latest form of cooking fun!”
"I'm so lucky that my work combines many of the things I value dearly."
Cory Ostermiller knows first hand the difference that donors make in the lives of NWC students, and he’s putting that knowledge to work every day as development manager for the foundation.
He grew up in Powell and had “two of the best years of my life” as a student at Northwest College. After earning his bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Montana State University Billings, he worked for many years in the marketing and advertising world.
“I have enjoyed working and connecting with business people all over the area,” he says.
Northwest College has been one of those connections. Cory and his wife have been a host family for NWC athletics and he has served on the Trapper Booster Club board.
He says that when the opportunity came to work for the foundation, “I couldn’t pass it up.” His decision to join the foundation team is reinforced daily.
“Every day is unique and challenging,” he says. “To have the opportunity to work with generous people on a daily basis is rewarding. Everyone is dedicated to improving the lives of NWC students.”
Cory is passionate about his work at the college. But his top priority is spending time with his wife and children.
“My family is everything to me. A perfect weekend might be traveling 250 miles across the state of Wyoming to watch one of my kids play sports or perform in a concert. We have a family cabin that we try to spend time at as much as possible, which is challenging!”
Cory has served as a coach in various sports for many years and says, “It has been extremely rewarding to watch the growth of those kids.”
“I also come from a family of educators and I have seen the difference my wife and parents have made in student’s lives. This is another reason I think the NWC Foundation is a perfect fit for me.”
Little known facts about Cory? He’s addicted to fantasy football and attends as many rock concerts as he can. He has a dream to make a trip to Fenway Park in Boston.
“But knowing my family, we will probably end up in Disneyland…again!”
"To have the opportunity to work with generous people on a daily basis is rewarding."
Sue Woods counts herself fortunate to be in a position to witness the generosity of donors and work with talented colleagues on the foundation staff. The candy dish in the office is also a big plus, she says.
Her family ties to NWC and the Foundation run deep. When Bill Woods took his first position teaching Biology and Life Sciences at NWC in 1961, it was for him a step along the way to an envisioned career somewhere else. Thirty years later, he had served as dean of administrative services, as NWC’s first foundation director and as the college’s compliance officer. NWC was not just a place he worked, it was a place he and his family had come to know as a way of living.
During the years he and wife Dolores were raising their four daughters, Jane, Sue, Ann and Megan, the college provided space and opportunities for personal and community growth. They spent countless hours in classrooms for 4-H meetings or fly-tying class, the faculty lounge for Mother’s Day teas and style reviews, in the auditorium for theatrical and musical performances and in the cafeteria and dorms on summer or work-study crews.
Eventually, all four girls would start or re-start their formal educations at NWC, and would continue to support the college as volunteers and faithful employees. And now a new generation of family connections to NWC is underway, with grandchildren enrolling as students.
Sue is passionate about many things, but two rise to the surface. One passion is finding a good restaurant in the area or wherever she travels.
The other is her addiction to her shows.
“My secret single behavior is that I am addicted to reality TV, so I DVR all my shows and hope nobody looks at the queue before I can get them watched and deleted. “I have to sneak around late at night or when nobody’s home in order to get see them. It’s exhausting to have this secret.”
Long before working at Northwest College, she was a campus regular.
Alumni & Development Coordinator
Michaela Jones is inspired each day by the enthusiasm of Northwest College alumni and the generosity of donors that positively impacts countless students on campus each year. She also loves visiting one-on-one with alums and learning how NWC shaped their future.
Born and raised in Cody, Michaela attended the University of Wyoming where she earned her bachelor’s in English. Shortly afterward, she received her master’s in technical communication from Arizona State University.
“I feel fortunate to have a job where I get to explore many of my passions,” she said. “Whether it’s event planning, snapping photos for the Foundation’s social media, or interviewing an alum, I get to learn something new about NWC every single day.”
She enjoys reaching out to alumni and connecting them with the College in new ways. Michaela appreciates how eager and willing alumni are to share their NWC experience because
“everyone’s story is always so varied and unique.”
Outside of work in her free time, she enjoys cooking, reading memoirs, creative writing, indoor cycling, paddle boarding, and spending time with family and friends. Whether it be a new restaurant, local business, or outdoor recreation area, she likes “exploring all Park County has to offer.”
“My ideal weekend would be spending a day on the lake and then heading to dinner with friends or family at a good restaurant,” she said.
Those who walk into Michaela’s office more than once often learn she has an eclectic taste in music. With playlists that tend to change by the hour, there isn’t a genre of music she steers clear of.
“I feel fortunate to have a job where I get to explore many of my passions."
Diedre Asay considers the best part of coming to work each day the variety and the people.
“It’s very rewarding to be part of a team that directly impacts students’ lives,” she said.
However, Diedre didn’t initially imagine returning to Powell to live and work. An NWC alumna, she first came to Powell as a student to study photography and later go on to work for a variety of photographers in Arizona.
“My time at NWC was a great experience, and I learned so much more than photography skills while I was here.”
During her time at Northwest, she met her husband and many friends, who they still vacation with more than 20 years later. She went on to earn her bachelor’s in business management from the University of Phoenix.
Growing up in a small farming community in southern Idaho, she was involved in 4-H and learned the value of hard work, education, and service at a young age.
Diedre and her husband Brandon stay extra busy on the weekends, too, as the owners of Vali Twin Cinema in Powell.
“A fun fact about us is that we quit our good paying jobs but stressful jobs in Nevada, sold everything, and bought a movie theater here in town,” she said.
When Diedre’s not working at the College or the theater, she enjoys photography, gardening, and spending time outdoors with her husband and two kids.