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.
Cindy Jacobs, Northwest College’s foundation technician, relies on her colleagues for information and support. They are one of the best parts of coming to work every day.
“My co-workers are very helpful and they don’t seem to mind all of my questions!” she says. “I look forward to learning more from them. I am finding out, very quickly, that there is a lot of variety in this position, and I look forward to the challenge.”
Cindy is a Wyoming native and graduated from Powell High School and attended the University of Wyoming. She returned to Powell and settled down, getting married and raising a family. Before joining the foundation staff at NWC, she spent 13 years in the banking industry and 10 years in education.
“I love working with kids,” she says. “It is a wonderful feeling to help them grow and spread their wings. I love it when a student comes back to see me after they have graduated just to say ‘hi.’ That’s when you know you have had an impact on them.”
Cindy also loves to clog. When her two now-grown daughters were still at home, she spent a lot of time traveling across the region to dance with clogging groups. For the last few years, clogging has been replaced by camping and four wheeling with her husband. They also spend time with family, including her “exceptional” grandson.
"I love working with kids, it is a wonderful feeling to help them grow."
Tawnya was born and raised in Wyoming, but her true appreciation for education did not begin until she graduated from high school in Thermopolis. After graduation, she ventured off to unknown territory as a Rotary exchange student exchange to Belgium. “For me studying abroad, was a great way to explore new cultures and language. My year abroad shaped my understanding of the importance of education; I learned to see the world through new eyes, I was exposed to different ways of living and thinking, and I realized how many of the wonders of Wyoming I took for granted.”
After her exchange she attended the University of Wyoming receiving a dual major in Business Administration & French and a minor in International Business.
Tawnya strives for meaningful purpose in all aspects of her life. “There’s no greater feeling, no greater satisfaction, than knowing you’re helping others,” she says. She is passionate about her work with the foundation which makes it easy to come to work when on a daily basis you get to experience the generosity of donors and volunteers and see the impact their gifts have on the lives of students.
She looks forward to building relationships with colleagues and community members, and finding out what sparks that little glow in your hearts and gives your lives meaning.