The Park Rapids Enterprise welcomes Matt Capecchi to its sales staff.

Capecchi was born and raised in Cottage Grove and graduated from Park High School. While growing up, he enjoyed fishing, swimming, hunting and exploring the lake country, making frequent trips to Alexandria, where his grandpa owned a lake cabin.

He later studied at St. John's University near St. Cloud, where he majored in environmental studies and minored in sociology. After college, he spent a summer in Perham managing a bar, then returned to Cottage Grove for a couple years to explore career interests. In 2015, he moved to Nevis to assist with day-to-day operations at Starlight Bay Resort.

"There, I was able to thrive in a community that offered everything I was looking for," said Capecchi. "I was able to work outside and go fishing as often as I could. I have always been drawn to small communities because of the atmosphere. It seems like, for the most part, everybody knows each other and works together."

Later working as a reporter with the Northwoods Press, Capecchi covered city council and county board meetings and reported on the bustle of tourist season in Hubbard County.

"The support shown by the local citizens exceeded my expectations for the ideal community," he said. "I love attending fundraisers thrown by the generous people around the county and watching their goals come to fruition."

A couple years ago, Capecchi re-connected with college classmate Aubrey O'Connell, who was moving to the area to teach at the Walker-Hackensack-Akeley School District. Now in her first year at the Nevis School, O'Connell teaches grade 7-9 social studies.

"I proposed to her last summer, and we are getting married on June 29," said Capecchi. "We are looking forward to settling down in the area."