Emily joined the GOCO team in July 2022 as the staff accountant.
What did you do before you came to GOCO?
Prior to joining the GOCO team, I spent the last eleven years working with local nonprofit groups and government organizations helping support and manage their community and youth development programs. From 2011 to 2013 I was in Zambia serving as a Rural Education Development Specialist in the Peace Corps. Since then, my work has spanned natural resource outreach, community education, and outdoor programming. Throughout these experiences I worked closely with the finance team and, as my career developed, I realized how much I truly enjoyed it. I learned as much as I could and took on more responsibility related to the accounting side of non-profits. Here at GOCO, I’m so lucky that this role aligns with my love of the outdoors, passion for supporting community programs, and the enjoyment I get from being a part of the finance team.
What brought you to GOCO?
So many of my favorite memories and some of my most challenging life lessons have been while spending time in the outdoors. I have a deep love and appreciation for our natural environment so it's exciting to work for GOCO, an organization with an amazing ability and commitment to assist programs that focus on protecting and improving our outdoor spaces, fostering community involvement and stewardship, and creating more accessible ways for everyone to experience it. I get to be a part of the team that makes that happen.
What has been your favorite part of working here so far?
The friendliness and enthusiasm of my coworkers.
What are some of your favorite things to do outdoors?
Spending quality time camping with friends, exploring little out-of-the-way mountain towns and historic sites, and finding a magical spot on the river and flyfish the day away.
What is your favorite place to get outdoors in Colorado?
Colorado has some of the best outdoor settings for concerts and festivals. One of my favorites is the Rockygrass Festival up in Lyons. I also enjoy rafting down the Arkansas River near Buena Vista. The Grand Lake area also has some pretty amazing hikes and places to camp.
What is your most memorable outdoors mishap?
Many years ago, I was on an Outward Bound Mountaineering course in the Holy Cross Wilderness area. When we were hiking to our campsite we got caught in some bad weather and arrived really late at night, totally exhausted. The group leaders dropped each one of us off at our solo locations where we would stay for the next three days. It was a moonless night, and my small light wasn’t much help in the pitch black. Beyond exhausted, I found a flat spot as quickly as possible, threw my bag down, and crawled into my tent looking forward to sleeping for the next two days. Then, I heard a noise. I couldn’t tell what or how far away it was because I was tucked inside my sleeping bag, too cold and afraid to try and find out. I could hear the crunching of pine needles as they moved around my area. Unfortunately, I couldn’t fall asleep because I was sure I was about to be something’s dinner. It wasn’t until sunrise that I realized I had put my bag down next to a little chipmunk hole. Longest night ever!
What is the coolest wildlife you have spotted while outdoors in Colorado?
A couple of winters ago I was hiking on a snowy trail and saw something small and round up ahead in the middle of the path. As I got closer, I realized it was a little mouse, but it wasn’t moving. When I got right next to it, without hesitation it suddenly jumped up and sat on my boot in a very matter-of-fact way, like it was waiting for its bus and I was it. It then looked up at me with its cute little eyes as if to say, “Thanks, my feet were freezing.” I waited a little bit to let it warm up thinking it would jump off any second, but it just sat there. So, with this little mouse on my foot, we walked about four feet to a little dry and sunny spot where it jumped off and continued warming itself. It might not be the coolest, but it was definitely the coldest and boldest little wildlife I’ve encountered.