Image: Karl Wolfgang

Associate Portfolio Manager, First Western Trust 

Aspen High Class of 2009

When Van Domelen and his now-wife, Olivia, who was also born and raised in the valley, found their way back to Aspen two years ago, they were pleased to see that most of their friends had done the same. “We came back, and it was like a welcome-home party,” the 27-year-old says.

Van Domelen, whose parents also grew up here, thinks his generation has the most Aspen natives returning to the area as adults, though finding an ideal job that pays the bills is rarely easy. A big help? Having friends and family here.

Growing up in Old Snowmass with two older brothers, Van Domelen was heavily involved with the Aspen Valley Ski and Snowboard Club all through high school and traveled the globe, skiing competitively. While studying finance at Montana State University, he kept up his relationship with hometown sweetheart Olivia, who attended the University of Colorado Boulder. After graduation, the couple moved to Seattle, where he got a job with a financial technology firm and she with a large entertainment company. They lived in the Pacific Northwest for three years before deciding it was time to come home.

“I think we got a good taste of big-city life,” says Van Domelen. “We both worked downtown in a concrete jungle, and we had been so used to being able to walk out our front door and be right in the mountains.”

The pair reached out to contacts in the Roaring Fork Valley, and Van Domelen received an offer at First Western Trust, a Denver-based private bank with an office in Aspen. He’s now been with the firm for almost two years. “Working for a company like this really allows you to make changes for the better in people’s lives,” he says.

Meanwhile, his wife worked for several local event planners and now has a full-time position with Bluebird Productions.

As far as Van Domelen is concerned, they are Aspen lifers. “We are very happy and very lucky. I don’t see us leaving ever, unless Vail buys Aspen or something like that,” he jokes. “Then we’re out of here.”

 

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