Patrick takes over as new director of The SHACK

Shayne Mazur

Jenn Patrick will serve in a new joint-position at The SHACK, continuing as the nonprofit’s program director in addition to taking over as executive director after David Bottom stepped down on Wednesday, Nov. 1.
Patrick was first approached to take over the CEO position at the beginning of the year. She brought a fair amount of experience to the role, having served as program director for 12 years.
“For us, Jenn was a natural first ask,” Bottom said.
The past six months have seen Patrick training with Bottom to fulfill executive director responsibilities.
“We’ve teamed up on a lot of stuff over the past 12 years, so I’m used to seeing David do it or participating in the work as well,” Patrick said. “But I am learning the things David did that I wasn’t a part of, like grant writing.”
The full-time nature of the new job also means stepping away from her secretary and bookkeeping duties at River Road Honey, her parent’s business.
“I’m trying to give out a lot of information while taking in a lot of information,” she said.
Some of Patrick’s goals are to enhance life skills classes, increase community outreach and awareness and hold “a spring open house at the new building to show our vision board for The SHACK’s future.”
Bottom, who’s worked with The SHACK for 19 years and been its executive director for 12 of them, said he and his wife Debbie are looking to do something different.
“I’m not looking right now to get back into a vocational minister position,” he said, but rather “the kind of job where you clock in, clock out. The nature of The SHACK ministry is that you’re never really off the clock.”
Though Patrick will carry on most of Bottom’s responsibilities, such as plans for the new building, other pieces remain up in the air. The disc golf course, for example, was Bottom’s passion.
“We’re in conversation with the disc golf community,” he said, but with volunteers needed to maintain the courses, the sport’s future in Greybull remains uncertain.
Patrick, a Greybull native, said she’s always felt drawn to faith-related work but wanted to do something outside the church itself.
She attended Crown College in St. Bonifacius, Minn., where she received a Bachelor of Science degree in Child and Family Ministry, “which typically is for a children’s pastor position.” During a six-month internship at Denver Rescue Mission, she learned much about working with troubled youths.
“I ended up in California working at a YMCA afterschool program,” she said. When Bottom called to offer her the program director position at The SHACK, Patrick said she was in a difficult spot and worried about taking the job.
“Ultimately, I decided to take a step of faith,” she said. “I prayed about it and I felt like God was saying go back to Greybull. So I put in my two weeks the next morning, and I’ve been here for 12 years.”
Patrick will continue to work with kids through youth programs, but she’s eager to grow her knowledge as the nonprofit’s executive director.
“I did help out with a lot of stuff, but grant writing and the building, David usually did that. To be able to fully understand all aspects of The SHACK is exciting,” she said.