For a lot of us, it takes a while to find your true calling and path, and Heather Larrabee is no exception. But now that she’s found it, she’s on fire and the enthusiasm she has for the work she does clearly shows.
Like most of us, Heather has done a few things that contributed to who she is and what she does now. Among these are working with Brother Jeff in 5 Points and IPS (a financial services firm). She also spent a little time in the Los Angeles area. She worked for a biotech start-up at Cedars Sinai, and while the work was interesting, she had spent enough time to know that she wanted to return to Colorado.
While she was in the LA area, she took improv comedy classes at the Upright Citizen’s Brigade and regularly attended shows in a tiny theater where folks like Ed Helms, Paul Scheer, Rob Heubel, and even Robin Williams would pop in nightly. She had a chance to see Will Arnett and Amy Pohler early on in their careers. For now, she’s put aside her childhood dream to be on “SNL”. Part of that desire undoubtedly came from her grandfather – Leon Leroy Larabee – the ring leader of all things comedic in the family. Family gatherings were and remain a time of joy.
Heather was given insight into business at an early age. Her parents owned Larrabee’s Furniture in Ft. Collins, and as a young girl she was paid to polish the furniture. To this day, she still enjoys cleaning. In addition, her parents sat on the church board and taught her to “be involved and work actively to make things better.”
At CU she was “politicized for equality”. And this is also a passion for Heather personally.
What Heather likes about Whole Foods is that “it’s a little bit rogue.” The company encourages people to think “outside the box” and they invest in the things they believe in. Heather says “we take our role as a global citizen” seriously. Before moving to her current role, Heather and her crew assisted literally hundreds of nonprofits in her role as community representative.
Starting at Whole Foods, she split her time between Wash Park and the store on Colorado Blvd. She learned a lot about what makes Whole Foods tick - they encourage entrepreneurial thinking and recognize that team members (and teamwork) are critical to their success.
Later, the Cherry Creek store served as a hub and Heather was introduced to and developed a lot of community partners. She helped develop plans to make a bigger splash for gen x and y.
With Heather’s recent promotion she is working with marketers in 5 states: Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Utah and (soon to be) Idaho. The job involves travel but Heather relishes the opportunity to mentor and help develop other marketers and help the stores everywhere develop exceptional team leadership.
To relax, Heather works very hard as the vocalist for “The Love Royale.” This is a local 5 piece band. Their genre? Indie-laced soul. They write their own songs and Westword chose them as the best of R & B and Soul in 2011. They were nominated as a band to watch for 2012. Their music is played on KUVO and you can catch them live at Herb’s Hidwaway, Dazzle and Skylark among others. (You can also hear them on Spotify)
Who is your hero and why? Any man, woman or child who works every day to make a difference in the lives of others.
What was your first job? Dusting furniture in my parents furniture store. I still love to clean.
What one word describes you best? Enthusiastic
What trait do you most adminre in others? People who are heart-centered
What trait do you deplore? Those that are self interested or selfish
What is always in your fridge? 4 large Sigg bottles with fresh, cold water
Is there a word or expression you use too much? Love, amazing
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be? I'd like to cook at home more. I enjoy cooking but with my travel schedule I don't have an opportunity to do it regularly.
Your greatest indulgence? Sleeping in.
Is there a talent you’d like to have? I sing and play the piano, but I'd love to be a virtuoso pianist. I like to wordsmith and love typing.
What is your current state of mind? Excited and Grateful
An achievement you are proud of? Being able to serve nonprofits in the community and being able to bridge them to resources
A treasured possession? Blue bathrobe – it's "super granny." My friends say “ get rid of it” but I can’t.
Lowest depth of misery? Feeling seprate from others and the Creator.
Favorite writers or books? I like magical realism books. I like books by Isabel Allende and Gabriel Garcia Marquez.
Best advice you ever received? My dad said Be a leader, not a follower
What is your motto? Always do the best you can. Be compassionate to others, knowing they're doing the best they can too in any given moment, even if it doesn't look like it.
What is the best gift you have ever given? My sister is an incredible gift giver. She spends a lot of time and effort in getting just the right gifts and then wrapping them beautifully. One year, I spent a whole month gathering little items from her. I finally "gifted the giver" on a level she could appreciate!
What is the best gift you have ever received? Widsom. How to give generously.
What is a favorite childhood memory? Summers as a kid. We had 30 kids on the block. We’d get to play capture the flag, kick the can and go to church camp by Telluride. Some interesting things happened at Church Camp. But that's another story.