Alumni in Action: Callie Crew ’15 and Jeffrey Cook ’15 find career success and each other through Elon

Callie Crew ’15 and Jeffrey Cook ’15 are the textbook definition of a power couple. Excelling in different careers, they exemplify how Elon students can find success through varied experiences that lead to opportunities in a range of career fields.

Cook and Crew on the set of DJ Kygo for a Good Morning America interview at Red Rocks Amphitheatre in the spring of 2021.

After moving to Colorado, Jeffrey Cook ’15 decided to try his luck on a dating app after getting settled in his new city. A few days after he signed up on the app, he received a message from Callie Crew ’15 wanting to connect after seeing that they were both Elon alums. Their first time meeting they realized that they had so many mutual connections and friends, including Jeff’s former roommate. In fact, they found out that they lived across the street from each other their senior year, and even walked across the stage at graduation close together, completely unbeknownst to them. Fast forward to today and they are partners living together in Denver and excelling in both of their careers, aided by their Elon education and experiences.

Crew began her Elon career after finding it to be the perfect fit for her college needs.

“I wanted a private liberal arts university in the South with a robust study abroad program. When I was accepted into the Honors Fellows program at Elon, it was a no-brainer to attend,” she said.

It was the Honors Fellows that also provided her with a yearly scholarship which allowed her to use her college savings to later pursue a part-time MBA through the University of Denver; which she will graduate from in June 2024.

Starting out as a history major, she eventually pivoted to economics, a program where she completed a two-year thesis focused on the effect of world heritage site tourism on regional poverty. She had the opportunity to present her research at the Eastern Economics Conference in New York City, alongside Associate Professor of Economics Steven Bednar. During her time at Elon, she was also involved in Sigma Sigma Sigma sorority and served as editor of the yearbook.

Following graduation, she says she took an unusual route to her current role.

“I spent so much time on my thesis, I forgot to apply for a job. The day after graduation, I drove out to Aspen, Colorado and I spent what I call a ‘working-gap-year x2’ in hospitality,” said said. “I had always been an outdoorsy person, but I found my passion living in the mountains. I managed extremely affluent and demanding clients while building my confidence and experience.”

Ultimately, she says it was a trade-off because it took her a long time to feel like she had caught up to her peers professionally. However, without this experience, she would not have found the outdoor industry that she works in currently.

Crew ’15 attends The North Face Ski Day corporate team event at Winter Park Resort in Colorado.

“I wanted to work for a company that made products that encouraged people to go out and explore. I found my first finance position at KEEN Footwear, based in Portland, Oregon,” Crew said. Years later, she found out that The North Face was moving from San Francisco to Denver. This was a dream position for her, and it was ultimately an Elon connection from the Executive in Residence program that helped her get an interview for a financial analyst role with the company.

Today, Crew is the manager of pricing & profitability at The North Face, focused on global merchandising and products. She supports the product team by ensuring that each style is selling at both a profitable margin and the optimal price within each market. It’s a data-driven job, but her favorite projects look at how the company can incorporate sustainable materials into its products.

Crew ’15 at a corporate event in Denver with The North Face athlete and Oscar-winning filmmaker, Jimmy Chin.

“It’s fun to see a product come to life and even more rewarding when I see it out in the ‘wild’ for the first time,” Crew said.

She also works with a global team and frequently gets to work with colleagues in their international offices in Singapore, Switzerland and Panama. She says she is proud to work for a brand like The North Face.

“I love that they value inclusivity and the environment and have products that allow our athletes and consumers to reach the next peak or create space for people to connect in nature with their loved ones,” she said.

Crew says that Elon prepared her well and that her economics background was critical to building out the analytical skills that she needed to perform in the finance industry, leading her to her current work.

In contrast to Crew’s Elon beginning, Cook knew for a long time that he wanted to attend Elon, saying, “weird enough, I knew in sixth grade that I was interested in Elon.” Cook went on a family trip to campus when his older sister was touring colleges, and the experience made such an impression. “When my turn came around, it was the first visit I made, and I eventually applied early decision. It felt like home before I even moved in,” Cook said.

Once arriving at Elon, Cook decided to major in strategic communications and became involved on campus as a student manager for the men’s basketball team, which he says was one of his most formative experiences at Elon.

“The sense of responsibility and role playing prepared me for life after college better than anything else I can imagine. The team also provided some incredible memories and lifelong friendships. I stay in touch with many of my teammates to this day,” he said.

Cook remained dedicated during his time at Elon, pursuing an internship in Washington, D.C. for ABC News in the summer after his sophomore year, and offering to come back and serve as holiday relief for the entry-level staff during Thanksgiving and winter break. This led to Cook returning every break at the Washington bureau at ABC, which eventually led to a full-time position with them.

Currently, Cook is a field producer covering the Western U.S. and international breaking news with work appearing on Good Morning America, World News Tonight, This Week and Nightline. He says his greatest career accomplishment thus far has been winning two national Emmy awards, one for coverage during and after Hurricane Michael in 2018, and one for climate change and migration coverage from Guatemala and covering the refugee crisis in Poland surrounding the invasion of Ukraine.

Cook ’15 (far right) smiles with his team during coverage of Hurricane Michael.

Jeffrey Cook ’15 on the 2020 campaign trail, covering the Democratic debate with ABC News.

He also covered the 2020 presidential campaign and lived on the road from 2019 to 2020. Following this coverage, he was offered a field producer position out of Denver. It was a dream of his to live out West, but he didn’t realize then how much he would fall in love with that part of the country. It was at this point in his life that he and Crew met.

While working in journalism can often highlight the devastation of life, Cook says that he is often encouraged by the people he meets.

“I often see the worst humanity has to offer and meet people on the worst days of their lives, but this job has done nothing but fuel my faith in us as people,” he said. “When your community is struck by tragedy, I encourage you to give yourself a chance to see all the people working to help pick up the pieces. Whether it is first responders running towards danger, neighbors giving out meals, entire towns signing up to search for someone, or even kids just tacking their drawings of hope around the neighborhood, there is so much good in the world. It is what motivates me to keep responding to these disasters.”

Cook ’15 in the field covering a devastating wildfire out west.

When Crew and Cook reflect on their time at Elon, they are grateful that their alma mater gave them the ability to achieve their goals through their choice of study, extracurriculars and research opportunities. They both said Elon attracts a certain driven, curious and intelligent type of person. 

Professionally, Crew hopes to support the global pricing function from The North Face European offices in Switzerland and maybe even start her own brand years down the road. Cook hopes to continue in the news field.

“There’s nothing like standing there, knowing you’re witnessing history and being responsible for sending that information back home. I don’t care about my professional title, as long as I feel like I’m making a difference,” Cook said. 

Personally, Crew is working towards running the 2024 Tokyo Marathon. They both love their life in Denver and are hoping to one day purchase a home in that area. They also have hopes to travel to many different countries, exploring the world together.

Cook and Crew’s first international trip together traveling through Egypt in September of 2021.

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