ART HAS BEEN A CONSTANT IN ERIN HESSER’S LIFE. SHE HOLDS A MASTER’S DEGREE IN ART EDUCATION AND VISUAL CULTURE, WORKED AS THE DIRECTOR OF AN ART GALLERY, LED A K-12 ART SCHOOL, DID CORPORATE DEVELOPMENT AT PHOENIX ART MUSEUM, AND WORKED IN MUSEUM EDUCATION PROGRAMS AT THE CENTER FOR CREATIVE PHOTOGRAPHY AT THE UNIVERSITY OF ARIZONA. “IT’S NO SHOCKER TO SAY ‘I LOVE ART!,’” SHE SAYS, ADDING “MY PASSION IS FINE ART PHOTOGRAPHY.”
Now, as executive assistant to the vice president of resort operations and community out-reach partner at the Westgate Park City Resort & Spa, she’s become immersed in the art of giving. She arrived at Westgate “Not even knowing the difference between a timeshare resort and a regular hotel resort. But in the five years that I’ve been here, I’ve learned a lot,” she says. Since she has a background working with nonprofit organizations, Hesser is a natural fit when it comes to the world of community out-reach. Says Hesser, “Each Westgate property has what we call a ‘CareForce’ team–we’re the local eyes and ears and we do all the legwork to be able to tell the [Westgate] Foundation: ‘Here’s what’s going on in Utah, and specifically, here’s what’s going on in Park City and who needs help and where we feel we can contribute.’ Then we try to determine if an organization in need fits with the Foundation’s four core mission areas: temporary homelessness, domestic violence, gaps in education, and veterans’ workforce employment.”
In addition, Hesser and her team have funding from Westgate to help local organizations that play an important role in the lives of their employees.
A good example, says Hesser, is Nuzzles and Co. a no-kill pet rescue and adoption center. At Westgate’s Drafts Burger Bar you’ll find a tempting array of monster milkshakes, including one called “I Want All the Puppies,” where a portion of the proceeds goes to Nuzzles and Co.
“We especially enjoy focusing on smaller local nonprofits where our CareForce can put boots on the ground with volunteer support to make a big impact,” says Hesser. “[We do] projects like landscaping at The Sharing Place, trail clean up with Mountain Trails Foundation, stock-ing food at the Christian Center of Park City food pantry, and barbecues for families at The Road Home shelter.”