UW Extension Educator Wins Wyoming Business Center Lifetime Achievement Award | News

Mary Martin, winner of the Wyoming Business Center Lifetime Achievement Award.

This fall, the Wyoming Business Report honored University of Wyoming Extension educator Mary Martin with a Lifetime Achievement Award for nearly five decades of service to the Teton County community.

Martin’s achievements more than qualify her as a Wyoming Business Report Woman of Influence. She started working for UW Extension in 1975 as a county home economist. Her first class focused on teaching people how to use microwaves. “Sometimes people wonder, how have you stayed in the same job for so long? But it hasn’t been the same job! I’m not doing the same work that I did, even last year,” she says.

Martin’s work has spanned a huge breadth of topics. She has been involved in 4-H scholarships, emergency management, community daycares, senior meal plans, low-income assistance and mediation. She even helped recent immigrants get a basketball team started. Today, as a community vitality and health educator, Martin is developing an online financial literacy course.

One of Martin’s personal highlights is her work with the Jackson Fall Arts Festival. In the 1980s, she participated in community discussions focused on ways to bring more visitors and jobs to Jackson in the fall. She came up with Quilting in the Tetons, an annual event that brought together a community of quilters for a quarter of a century, bolstered the area’s economy and empowered hundreds of participants.

Many of Martin’s projects have taken on a life of their own, enriching her community in many domains. She comments, “In extension, we use the community’s talents and resources to create community solutions to community problems.”

The fulfillment she’s found in her work extends well beyond Jackson. “Mary Martin represents the very best of UW Extension,” says Mandy Marney, senior associate director of UW Extension. “Throughout her tenure with our organization, she has created positive impacts not only within the counties in which she has worked, but across the state.”

“I was really honored to be nominated for the Lifetime Achievement Award,” says Martin. “I’ve been able to do an amazing amount of different kinds of things because of the resources of UW Extension, and the fact that I live in a community that wants to make itself a wonderful place to live and use those resources.”

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