How do you go from Lima, Peru, to operating a lift at Solitude? Well, says Diego Zegarra, there was this young lady…. 

"Had she not been involved, I probably would have looked at places besides Salt Lake," smiles the VP of Equity & Impact at the Park City Community Foundation. "She is no longer in the picture, but I am grateful for how the story unfolded."

Diego recalls trying to fit into Utah’s culture as challenging in the early days. "It took years before I felt comfortable just being myself," he says. Now ensconced as a community leader, he is excited about the Community Foundation's  'Live PC/Give PC' next Friday. "It's a celebration that feels like a holiday," he laughs.

Diego’s path to social engagement took time. Studying at the U of U, "I intended to go into corporate life until the collapse of 2008," he recalls. "I landed in education, working with immigrant families, and discovered I truly enjoyed working on complex social problems." An avid reader, Diego continues to find inspiration for social change from "leaders willing to do the right thing, despite it not always being the easiest."  But, he admits, "I'm terrible at returning my library books on time."

Diego started at PCCF in 2016 under Director Katie Wright. She and staffers such as now-retired Director of Programs Ollie Wilder "challenged me to the limits of my skill set,” he recalls. “I vividly remember feeling personal and professional growth every month.”

“My successes are truly our successes," Diego says of his many influences. "If we've worked together and you're reading this, please know you played a role in me becoming the person I am today."

Surveying Park City today, Diego sees "caring, generous people wanting to solve our most pressing challenges. We have the passion and the purpose to make things happen."

"If we can't solve big issues here," he asks thoughtfully, "where can we?"