Geotechnical Engineer at Jorgensen Associates, Inc & volunteer ski patrol at Snow King
Colter serves this community as a volunteer ski patroller and geotechnical engineer.
Colter and his wife, Alli, moved to Jackson nine years ago after meeting at college in Bozeman. They love living in a town that's in the mountains.
"The ability to run to the top of Snow King on a lunch break or be at the ski hill with the family in 15 minutes is unbeatable. This place is unique and special. I came for the job, but access to the mountains and our connections to people are what keep us here."
Both Colter and Alli are volunteer Ski Patrollers at Snow King, which they both got into in memory of a close friend who died while doing international mission work. This year will be their 10th season. They have a very close-knit circle of friends that they've made through their involvement in the community, whether through Ski Patrol, the Presbyterian Church, Alli's hockey leagure, or through their local jobs. Alli works for a non-profit and Colter is a geotechnical engineer at Jorgensen Associates, a local firm responsible for a wide-variety of projects in Teton County, including private, municipal, and county projects related to building, roads, bridges, and utilitiy infrastructure.
"I'm not so naïve to ignore the irony of my job: as an engineer I help develop the McMansion; I build projects that reduce open space, bring people. in, and reduce the number of places my family could live. However, to some degree, development is inevitable. Being part of it allows us to help guide it, to help see it's done "right", to help it be responsible and within the character of this place."
Getting outside is Alli and Colter's favorite thing to do, though their pursuits have changed a bit since having children. They are currently raising two little ones, 2 1/2 years old and 4 years old. They have enjoyed starting and raising their family in Jackson. They have been lucky to find a two-bedroom townhome that works for them now, but they're in a race against the clock to find something more permanent that gives them space to grow.
"We're going to size ourselves out in a few years. Right now, it's okay to have a co-ed sleeping arrangement for our children, but in a few years, we need to have a third room. We rent and we are very aware of all the homes around us selling -- there's the underlying fear our landlord is going to cash in and sell. Fortunately, that hasn't happened, but the uncertainty is tough on us. To be able to plant the flag at a place where we can call our own and build towards our future would be amazing."
For them, commuting across county and state lines is a non-starter. Most days Colter drops his children to daycare and goes to the office on his bicycle.
"Jackson is special; the people here are special. Commuting takes away from people's ability to connect with their community in a meaningful way. It's not the lifestyle we want."