Welcome to our series, #WHYoming.
We are highlighting people from around our communities and asking them a few questions. We want to learn a little about them and see why they chose this great state to raise their families, start their businesses, or simply to ask — Why Wyoming?
For this week’s #WHYoming, I had a chance to talk with Alex Yates, co-owner of Wyoming Mortgage in Rock Springs. Alex has been doing home loans for over six years and he loves his job. When Alex isn’t hard at work, he is most often taking photos, traveling, and training for athletic competitions. Many of the photos throughout this article are pieces of his photography.
Alex grew up in Rock Springs and now lives in Green River with his wife. He loves this tight-knit community and wouldn’t want to live anywhere else. A proud Wyomingite, Alex is happy to call this state and this county his home. No matter where his travels take him, he is always glad to return to Wyoming.
Alex, what do you do for a living?
I do home loans at Wyoming Mortgage. My dad, Willie Yates, started Wyoming Mortgage about 20 years ago. After college, I joined him there and became a partner and co-owner of the company. I’ve been doing home loans for about six to seven years now and worked as an assistant to a real estate appraiser for a couple years before that.
What do you enjoy about your job?
I get to meet and work with so many different people, at such a big time in their lives. Buying a home is a big milestone. Whether it be someone’s very first home, or the home they want to retire in. It can be incredibly fulfilling to see my clients, some of whom I worked with for a very long time, accomplishing the things they set out to do, and becoming home-owners. I’m very grateful for the many friends and people I’ve had the chance to meet and learn about through this line work.
You also do photography. How did you get into that?
Doing home loans can be a bit stressful at times. I really needed an escape and a way to creatively express myself again. I did film photography back in college and really fell in love with it then, so I naturally reached my way back to photography about three to four years ago. It’s opened a lot of doors for me, I’ve been able to travel for photography/video work to a few different places in the country. But most importantly for myself, I love that I’m able to take pictures of the things most important to me, and that I get the chance to relive some incredible memories and adventures I’ve been fortunate to have because of photography.
How did you end up in Green River?
My wife was born and raised in Green River, I moved from Rock Springs to live in Green River with her.
What do you appreciate most about our community?
I was born and raised in Rock Springs. Every time I go into a grocery store, I see people I’ve grown up with, worked with, and met through similar hobbies. We have a small community compared to a lot of places. But that is what I appreciate the most. We are close-knit because of that, and our community tends to look out for one another.
What are some of your hobbies?
I do a little bit of everything. If I’m not taking photos or traveling, I’m doing CrossFit classes or weightlifting, running, reading, and competing in different athletic competitions. I’ve been fortunate enough to compete in a lot of different events and competition, ranging from everything from CrossFit events, Strongman Competitions, and an Olympic Weightlifting event as well. I’ve run marathons and triathlons, and many other obstacle course races. I’m currently training for a 24-hour long Ultramarathon/Obstacle course race in November.
If you could give one brief piece of advice, what would it be?
Don’t be afraid to fail at things. The best experiences and memories I’ve ever made came from trying things that were intimidating to me at first. Go out there and just try, no matter what it is. Do the best you can, have fun, and enjoy the moments and friendships that you’ll make along the way.
Where is your favorite place to hang out in Sweetwater County?
My favorite place to hang out in Sweetwater County is my CrossFit gym, Iron Cowboy CrossFit. There is a wonderful community that has developed at that gym, and some of my closest friends were made there. Great place to work out, have fun, and get a little fitter too in the process.
Who would you want to play you in a movie about yourself?
Probably a young Tom Hanks. It’s a running joke, for my family and friends to wave signs that say “RUN, ALEX, RUN” at some of my races.
What would you sing at karaoke?
That’s a hard question! I listen to a lot of different music. But my favorite overall era of music is the 90s. Anything from then I’d sing, or anything from Matchbox Twenty.
How would your friends describe you?
I hope they would say that I’m kind. I’ve always tried to stay connected with my friends over the years and make meaningful relationships with the people I’ve met.
What is one of your proudest accomplishments?
Marrying my wife! She’s my biggest supporter and my best friend. I wouldn’t be where I am at today without her help.
What is something unique about you?
I’m a twin! My sister and I are Fraternal Twins and she is about 15 minutes older than me.
Why do you choose to live in Wyoming?
My family, friends, and whole life is here. We are so lucky to live in such a beautiful state and be able to enjoy everything Wyoming has to offer. I’ve travelled all over the world, and I’m always excited to come back at the end of every trip. I’m very proud to be a Wyomingite and call Wyoming my home.