Tree Haus to the White House
By Dan Greeson
Australian native Shari Fryer is a marketing and public relations consultant who calls Steamboat Springs home. Much of her time is divided between family, work and serving as president of the board for Yampatika. Photo by Suzi Mitchell.
By Suzi Mitchell
Shari Fryer’s work has taken her to over 20 countries on four continents, but the Australian native can think of nowhere else she’d rather call home than Steamboat Springs. “It’s the joy of our abundant natural resources, as well as the quality and integrity of the people here, that make it so special,” Fryer says.
Fryer and husband Darrin, a fellow Australian, have been in Steamboat since 2002. The high school friends first came to town on a ski vacation in 1995. “We came as friends and left as a couple,” she says. It took four years for them to return, stopping for a summer vacation en route to a corporate job she had taken in New York. Darrin proposed at the top of Rabbit Ears and they returned to be married in front of family and friends six months later. After three years on the East Coast, the lure of the Yampa Valley came calling. Fryer opted to work remotely and they headed west.
“I fell pregnant instantly,” Fryer says, laughing. Twins Jaxson and Jaydon were born in Steamboat in 2003. “I tried to go back to my job but that’s not the kind of mother I wanted to be so I started my own company.”
Over 12 years Fryer has built up a marketing and public relations consultancy. Accounts range from Fortune 500 companies to the White House. “My clients are all referrals, so my business is built from relationships and trust,” Fryer says.
She serves as a virtual member of organizations, designing and implementing integrated marketing and public relations campaigns. “I take technical and tactical writing and make it human,” she says smiling.
Despite working on a global platform, Fryer has managed to whittle down her travel schedule to a minimum. “Technology enables me to balance work and lifestyle,” she says. Webcasts and conference calls allow her to communicate from her Steamboat office, while still making the school runs and being there for her boys. Afternoons are often spent with the trio cross-country skiing at Lake Catamount with their dog BD, or snowshoeing up Howelsen Hill.
Living in Steamboat also gives her the ability to invest in another passion – connecting people to nature. For the past 12 years, Fryer has volunteered with Yampatika and currently serves as president of the board. “I am dedicated to helping children understand their role in and influence on the environment,” she says.
Fryer has also been working closely with the Junior Achievement program, which was recently adopted by Steamboat Springs School District Re-2. She coaches ninth-grade students on how to discover their own talents and potential in relation to making academic and career choices. Junior Achievement hones in on entrepreneurship, market economy, ethics, collaboration and hands-on learning, which Fryer believes are life skills children need to succeed.
“All organizations I work with invest in their people, with integrity at the core,” Fryer says. Integrity is the reason she has been successful in business and in her voluntary work, and it’s the reason she chooses to call Steamboat home.