An eight-year trek around the world in the U.S. Army left Mountain Area native Jennifer Outerbridge -- the new face of Yosemite Gateway Association of Realtors -- with the feeling that there truly is no place like home.
"I was looking for change and the opportunity to see the world and travel," said Outerbridge of joining the Army. "But for me, it didn't matter where I went, I always thought of coming back ... What is it about this town? Maybe it's the atmosphere, the people, the culture. It feels like home. It's a place you can call home."
The former Army telecommunications specialist, who once held a top security clearance, joined Yosemite Gateway Association of Realtors (located at 40298 Junction Drive, Ste. B, Oakhurst) Aug. 21 as their new association executive. Outerbridge formerly worked as manager on duty at Tenaya Lodge in Fish Camp, beneath the general manager.
Oakhurst is also where she and her high school sweetheart, and now-husband of 16 years, Chris, met and fell in love. The couple are raising four boys together here in town -- ages 11 to newborn.
"Jennifer comes to us with great experience in bookkeeping and has many accelerated computer skills," said John Bortz, president of the association's board of directors and a realtor with Century 21, Ditton Realty. "She went to school for that and also spent nearly 10 years in the military specializing in computers ... Jennifer is taking off running. She has great enthusiasm and great respect for the association and what it's about and its membership."
"Jennifer has delved deep into the association's laws and bylaws and is dissecting what we do to be a smoother running operation," Bortz said. "She's just very proficient and very professional and presents herself in a very professional manner in all aspects. We welcome her with open arms and hope to have a long, great future with her, and moving forward to better times for everyone."
Outerbridge took the position of Julie Phillips, who left the association for a new job, Bortz said.
"I'm also taking a real estate law class now for supplemental knowledge -- I like to stay on top of things and learn as much as I can," said Outerbridge, who has a degree in psychology and sociology. "Everything (about working at the association) is a perfect fit for me ... networking, and this job has such a huge variety of tasks. A lot of it is events and meetings, planning, marketing, advertising, promoting, and getting stuff the realtors need, like lock boxes, and doing tasks for the realtors."
"Yosemite Gateway Association of Realtors is always here for all realtors in the community and is very family oriented and supports the community," Bortz said. "We always try to contribute and give back to the community with things like the Monster Rummage Sale, which always benefits a non-profit organization .... We're a support system to help realtors in our area ... We all trade with each other and have the ability to sell each others properties. It's great exposure for all realtors ... and it's a great cooperation amongst the realtors to better the community and better the services for ourselves and our buyers out there."
"I'm looking forward to being a part of the family," said Outerbridge of joining Yosemite Gateway Association of Realtors. "Everyone has been warm and inviting and so great. It's really exciting to see that."