Annie + Jahn

Jahn was raised in the Westridge projects on the west side of Denver, Colorado. His mother was single, working mom who raised Jahn, his older brother, and four older cousins on her own.

Jahn’s neighborhood was predominantly a Mexican-American community, and most of his friends were first generation Mexican Americans. “I still have a fondness for all things Chicano from being raised in that environment,” says Jahn.

Despite the challenges that come with living in an impoverished neighborhood — drugs, violence, police presence, and unemployment, among others — Jahn was surrounded by a large, supportive community that recognized the importance of family, unity, and working to break the cycle of poverty.  

Mandatory school bussing exposed Jahn and his friends to the affluence of South East Denver schools, and the socioeconomic differences between himself and other classmates. “Social stratification is real, even though I didn’t have a name for what we were experiencing at the time,” recalls Jahn.

His time at the University of Northern Colorado further highlighted the challenges of social inequality. “I was the President of the Black Student Union and a Student Board member where I worked to create space for conversations involving race, injustice, and social equality.”

After his time at UNCO, Jahn moved to Los Angeles to pursue film and acting. He became enamored with spoken-word and poetry, and was very close with the creators and the creative minds behind the DaPoetry Lounge at the Greenway Court Theatre. He spent many hours on stage there.

“I met my beautiful wife Annie on the Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica,” says Jahn. The two moved to Salt Lake City shortly after they met to pursue their careers and start a new life. In the winter of 2016 Annie and Jahn had a little girl, Makena. “We’ve been blessed; she’s the light of our lives,” says Jahn.

Jahn currently works as a Firefighter for Unified Fire Authority, housed in one of the busiest fire stations in the Salt Lake Valley. In the winter he moonlights as a Ski Patroller at Deer Valley Ski Resort.

Annie was born and raised in Los Angeles. Her story is a unique one, having been adopted at the age of seven. Being an Asian girl in a Caucasian, Catholic, and Jewish family was interesting to say the least. Her family celebrated Christmas, her brother had a Bar-Mitzvah, and her sister has special needs. All of this opened Annie’s eyes to diversity of all kinds at an early age.

Annie was a rambunctious kid, and burned her energy playing competitive soccer, tennis, and got in as much skiing and snowboarding as she could living in Southern California. She went to college at the University of Colorado at Boulder, where she realized just how much of a “city girl” she really was.

Annie now works as the Director of Public Relations for OpenVPN, a provider of secure and scalable communication services. She began her career as a broadcast journalist and worked for more than a decade in some of the country’s top markets, including NYC, Denver, and Salt Lake City. Known for her excellence in covering breaking news, Annie’s ability to distill and present difficult and pressing events to viewers earned her awards from the Society of Professional Journalists and the Utah Broadcasters Association. Annie leveraged her journalism experience into work behind the lens in the outdoor recreation and hospitality industry, and both non-profit and public sectors. 

When Annie is not working, you can catch the Southern California native skiing at one of Utah’s world-class resorts, rock climbing, hiking, or enjoying time with her husband Jahn and their daughter Makena.