Shane Osguthorpe
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Shane Osguthorpe

Written By: Scott Rogers

The Voice of Ogden usually wakes up just in time to take a shower, make a pot of his favorite coffee from Kauai, and drive to his corner office in the Visit Ogden Tower on 24th street and Kiesel. He brings The Voice with him, but he doesn't use it unless there's a need for an emergency announcement.

It is entirely possible he is wearing flip flops.

He is definitely wearing a hat. It might be his well-worn Kauai baseball cap. It might be a beanie. It might be the coolest cowboy hat you have ever seen (people fairly often try to buy it from him). He only owns jeans and shorts. No slacks.

But enough about his impeccable sense of fashion.

It is important to understand his history.

Before he was The Voice of Ogden, he was just a boy in Park City. He attended BYU and became a copywriter. "My first real job out of college was as a copywriter at Browning, up in Mountain Green. I eventually became the creative director for their in-house advertising agency. I tried living in Morgan for about a year and a half but found myself constantly coming to Ogden for everything from groceries to entertainment. It just made more sense to move to Ogden since that’s where I was really 'living.'" He's called Ogden home for over 25 years.

After simply ceasing to show up at Browning anymore—he didn't quit; he just stopped going in until they assumed he'd moved on—The Voice of Ogden founded Out of Bounds Creative, his own advertising agency: "I was a partner/principal/creative director at my own advertising agency that specialized in the outdoor industry . . . hook-and-bullet, ski, cycling, etc. We had a roster of some of the biggest national and international names in the outdoor industry. It didn’t hurt that a bunch of them were moving to Ogden at the time."

After ceasing to show up for work at his own company, for a year The Voice of Ogden wandered the desert like a prophet. "I sold my ownership in the agency and decided to focus my creative energy on songwriting and music," he explains. "After about a year of that, I learned that a regular schedule, a steady paycheck and a benefit package are nice things that singer-songwriters don’t typically have. That realization coincided nicely with Visit Ogden’s search for a full-time Director of Marketing, so I tossed my hat in the ring." Since then, The Voice of Ogden has worked as The Voice of Visit Ogden, a position that is colloquially known as "Director of Marketing." He describes his work there as "a storyteller." But deeper and a little more emphatically than you are probably imagining it, dear reader.

He's been there from the beginning of Ogden's transformation from the most dangerous and horrible city anyone in Utah can imagine to a place not quite as scary as West Valley. "I have been fortunate enough to not only witness Ogden’s transformation from a front-row seat, but to play an active role," The Voice of Ogden intones. "Twenty years ago, people would say they lived 'north of Salt Lake City' when talking about Ogden. Now, you see Ogden stickers on cars everywhere you go. People proudly wear clothing proclaiming their Ogden roots. I’m most proud of my branding and storytelling work that has embraced Ogden’s grit and stayed true to what makes this place so amazing. I’d be okay if the 'Notoriously Independent' tagline that I created for Visit Ogden was on my tombstone." Dear reader, I can confirm this. I once told a crowd of people that I was from Salt Lake City, and The Voice of Ogden shouted me down, insisting that I was from Ogden, not Salt Lake City. I have felt a sense of shame about that, ever since. It was a lapse. A brief moment of geographical failure.

But shaming people into admitting they live in Ogden is not all The Voice of Ogden does. Oh no, The Voice of Ogden is also The Voice of the Ogden Marathon. Those origins are humble. "I was an early member of the GOAL Foundation’s Board of Directors. I think I started emceeing their smaller events like Hurt in the Dirt because my experience as a singer had taught me how to use a microphone. Everyone has been at a public event where the speaker holds the mic too far away and half the audience is yelling, “We can’t hear you!” No one has ever yelled that at me." I can confirm this, dear reader.

No one has ever told The Voice of Ogden that he was too quiet.

The incredible loudness of The Voice of Ogden has opened doors. Namely, in Hawaii. That's right. The Voice of Ogden is also The Voice of Xterra: "I’ve been fortunate enough to emcee global events like the XTERRA World Championships in Maui for several years," he intones, "which has made me realize just how professionally produced the local events in Ogden are. They are truly top-notch in every aspect, and the Ogden Marathon will probably always be one of my favorite events to announce."

As The Voice, Shane has witnessed a number of memorable events: "I was emceeing Ogden’s Harvest Moon Celebration on 25th Street when Mike McBride came on stage and proposed to Christy, that was pretty epic. I also choke up every time Team Bart—Manuel Cypers and Bart Kendrick—crosses the Ogden Marathon Finish Line in the 'Bart Mobile.' The same thing happened when Ogden Marathon Hall-of-Famer, Ron Remkes crossed the Finish Line with a large American flag that he had carried for 26.2 miles.

The coolest thing I get to experience year after year, at all athletic events, is bringing in those last few athletes as they cross the finish line. It has become my tradition to gather every person within the sound of my voice to the finish line and blast MC Hammer’s '2 Legit to Quit' as loudly as the sound system can handle when I see that last athlete making the final approach." The Voice of Ogden almost certainly plays this song so that he can make them wonder how legit, exactly, is too legit to quit and to hopefully to distract them from their discomfort as they make their way through the last, grueling bit of their race.

When he is not being The Voice of Ogden, he plays lead piano, emergency acoustic guitar, and sings rhythm vocals in a band called The Proper Way, which was recently voted the third-best party band in the Ogden-Clearfield Statistical Metropolitan Area. When playing with The Proper Way, he is simply Shane Osguthorpe. Shane explains, "The thing most people don’t know about me is that I’m a pretty extreme introvert. I struggle to communicate in one-on-one or small group settings. The thing I love about my jobs—Visit Ogden marketing, emceeing, and performing with The Proper Way—is that I get to communicate with hundreds, even thousands, of people at once. Something about large audiences pulls me out of my introverted world and transforms me into a completely different person. It’s a weird way to find balance, but it works for me."

And it does.

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