Meet me, Hannah Elise Broaddus. I’m a born and raised 12th generation Mainer, now living in a small town in Montana.
The College Years
I knew a few things before going into college: once, I made a brochure for a school project and thought, wouldn’t that be fun if you could do that for a living... (oh snap, the story gets better, I make brochures now!) And I knew didn’t want to manage my own horse boarding barn.
Like most people with no direction, I started to dig into the college classes that intrigued me, that pulled me to follow them. And that pull came in the form of communication.
I’ve always been interested in the why and how behind the way people talk, fight, convince, resolve and understand each other. College was a way for me to find out some of the whys of my own fights and struggles as a child, and think forward to learn how businesses, families and teachers can do it best.
In the end, I graduated from the University of New Hampshire with a B.A. In Communications and a minor in Business Marketing. In my final semester, I immersed myself in teaching and found one of my life’s next big passions.
When I graduated college, I moved out west a week later. What was supposed to be a short summer stint in Jackson Hole working at the Heart Six Dude Ranch has now lasted 8 years, and the west has become my home. I now live north of Yellowstone, in rural Montana. And I try to travel as much as possible.
I joined Centra Foods in April 2011 as their second in command when it was just a small start up. Since the beginning, I’ve done sales and marketing, and as our business as grown, the definition of what that has looked like has changed and then changed again. I now am our VP of Sales and Marketing, helping to educate our customers and grow our company.
At the heart of it, that I LOVE the work that I get to do every day. The natural food industry is a joyful place to work, filled with young people who are passionate about changing the world for the better.
I love having the opportunity to give people insight and direction on organic and non-gmo food trends, food manufacturing, start-ups and edible oils. And I’m proud to be able to research, write, and share information worth knowing.
I started riding when I was 9 after I started reading The Thoroughbred Book Series. I think I read up to book 32. I begged my mom for lessons, and by 12 I was eventing (dressage, stadium jumping and cross country) and I had my first horse: a little white pony named General Lee.
And thus I started “the barn life”. All my closest friends were horse people. I worked at the barn. I showed on the weekends. And my closest girlfriends today? Those same girls.
My second horse was a Clydesdale Cross, Gemini, and will remain one of the few loves of my life forever. I have prom pictures with him. That’s right, my boyfriend and I visited the barn in a tux and a prom dress. I loved him with a child-like passion that only the luckiest horse people get to experience. We went for runs together, spent summers inseparable from each other, and when I moved away for college, he got his own “dorm room” on campus too (thank you to UNH for having on of the best college horse barns).
I know the power that horses bring to a young girl’s life: how they change you, and mold you and make you a better person. I hope to bring that feeling — of dedication, of love and of empowerment — to as many kids as I can in my lifetime.
Lastly, I go by every nickname you could dream up: Hannah Banana, Han Banan, Nanner, Nans, and the recent winner: Hannah Montana.