Hello Frostburg, I’m Katie, the lucky one who gets to step into the role of Events & Promotions Coordinator here at FrostburgFirst! I relocated to the area in January 2020 and I have been eagerly connecting with my new community ever since. Though a native of Phoenix, AZ, my family had deep ties to Appalachia that were left behind as they moved further west over the generations. Returning to these hills centuries later, I aim to reweave my life back into the fabric of a vibrant rural community!

My husband and I now live outside of Grantsville where we are beginning the long process of building out a farm while I complete my Ph.D. Following high school, I worked and traveled abroad for 5 years before beginning college at the University of Arizona. After earning a full-ride scholarship, I transferred to UC Davis and began my studies in community development and public health. Working on various research projects across many nonprofits and state agencies, I began to deeply appreciate the ways that local food and farmers contribute to mental health and economic vitality, and ecological sustainability.

After graduation in 2015, I immediately began my Master’s degree to enhance my skills as a social scientist, entrepreneur, and community developer. Working with many startups and small organizations during my years in Northern California, I bring a lot more than my academic background to FrostburgFirst! I have worked across many service industries, including retail, pet grooming, serving tables, bartending, and event production. I’m an avid crafter, occasional artist, frequent baker, and aspiring herbalist.

After many years traversing the United States from coast to coast, I fell in love with this region because I felt a kinship with the land and the community. Of all the places I could choose to be, I choose here, and I am thankful for the chance to help nurture Frostburg alongside many devoted local businesses and leaders. I am honored to accept this new position with FrostburgFirst, and am grateful for the opportunity to contribute to such a vibrant and unique community!