By Jessianne Wright EBS Contributor
BIG SKY – As Big Sky continues to grow, the Big Sky Community Organization is offering additional programing and developing plans for future trails. To achieve this, the local nonprofit has added three new staff members to its operations in Big Sky Town Center.
Sara Marino, the new community development manager, joined the BSCO force in July after moving to Big Sky with her family in January, filling a vacant part-time position that was increased to fulltime. Prior to the move, Marino enjoyed visiting Big Sky to ski, hike and bike.
“My family has been using these trails for so many years, so joining the team that is responsible for them is really great,” she said.
Marino comes with 17 years of experience working with the Montana Environmental Information Center in Helena and is now responsible for BSCO’s community outreach programs such as Hike and Learn.
BSCO’s new asset manager, Jeff MacPherson was hired in May, filling the vacant position and coming on to oversee trail and park maintenance. MacPherson first came to Montana when he was 18 to attend the University of Montana and moved to Big Sky five years later in 2008.
“I moved to Big Sky because of my skiing addiction,” he said.
For the past five years, prior to his work with BSCO, MacPherson made the commute to Ennis in order to manage the Bureau of Land Management’s recreation program in the Madison Valley, where he was responsible for maintaining various sites and facilities.
According to MacPherson, BSCO’s recreation program is still in it’s beginning stages, and he is excited to be a part of its growth. “Seeing how a recreation program is run on a large scale [for the BLM] will be super beneficial,” he said.
Jelica Summerfield, the third new face at BSCO, was hired for the summer in order to assist MacPherson in caring for BSCO’s trails. She also worked as the outreach coordinator, helping Marino with community engagement and coordinating trail volunteers.
Summerfield is a Bozeman native who moved to Big Sky in 2016 in order to be even closer to the mountains. She recently competed in The Rut Mountain Runs and will work as a ski patroller at Big Sky Resort this winter.
In her seasonal position at BSCO, Summerfield will return to her work as assistant asset manager next spring.
“It helps me feel really connected to the community,” Summerfield said about her position. “It helps me connect all of the sides of my life. I love knowing that when I see something on the trail, I can go to work and say, ‘Hey, I saw this thing, let’s fix it.’”
Currently BSCO is accepting applications for a year-round outreach coordinator. Visit bscomt.org/about/employment-opportunities to learn more.