In the five years Niel and Candice Ekberg have lived in Morgan, they have made a big impact in the community. Niel is a state trooper with the Utah Highway Patrol. Candice is a local EMT and a track and field coach at MHS. For each of them, getting to this point was a journey of self-discovery and pursuing meaningful paths. As their story unfolds, it is notable to observe their biography continues to evolve as the result of hard work—a testament that dreams may be accomplished through passion and perseverance.
Growing up, Candice lived in many places given her father’s career in the Air Force. She lived in California, Nevada, and Washington DC—twice—before her father retired. After that, they settled in Clearfield, Utah. Candice filled her childhood with activity and came to love sports. She competed in volleyball, softball, soccer, swimming, and track. She was always busy enjoying one sport or another. To this day, she still holds the state record in discus from Clearfield High, 160 feet 10 inches. She went on to compete in track at the collegiate level at Utah State University, ultimately graduating from the University of Utah with a degree in Exercise and Sport Science.
Niel is from Cottonwood, Utah, and went to Cottonwood High School. He served an LDS mission in Poland before enrolling at the University of Utah. He earned his degree in Business Marketing and gained experience working in his chosen field. However, he didn’t feel like this was the career he was meant to have. After becoming burned out, he decided to follow his dream and become a State Trooper. He has been with the Utah Highway Patrol since 2007.
Interestingly, one of Candice’s original intentions was to become a Trooper. The force did not include many women and she was drawn to the nature of public service. This is when Niel decided it would be fun to give it a go together and see what might happen. They both started working towards getting accepted into POST (the formal name of the training academy). At about this time Candice found herself pregnant and dropped out of the program, but Niel decided to stay on. He continued to pass the testing needed to enter into the Academy.
Today Niel works as a K9 Drug Intradiction Officer and patrols Summit and Wasatch Counties on the I-80 corridor. For the last four years Niel has had a special helper, his drug dog Cica (pronounced See-ka) by his side to alert him of traces of drugs and to help keep him and others safe. When drugs are found Cica will react with a change of behavior such as barking or scratching. This has resulted in many large drug busts, one with over 240 lbs of marijuana alone. He has been recognized with many awards for his service. This is a small indication of the dedication and pride he has in protecting and serving the community.
Candice returned to her athletic roots, and has found success personally and professionally with her fitness work. She provides services as a personal trainer and a coach. She supports the Beach Body program with online and phone clients. She also provides training for the P90X and Insanity programs. She helps clients assess their goals, find the right program, and coach them through that program. Candice is also experienced with the medical diet, HCG. She has written an online protocol guide to help educate those interested in maintenance and stabilization. Candice lives the advice she provides, having lost 60 pounds herself. Two years ago she was spotlighted on Rachael Ray regarding her weight loss experience. Candice is currently co-authoring a book on lifestyle change. Although many programs exist to aid in weight loss efforts, Candice feels very strongly the most sustainable results are achieved through lifestyle change.
In addition to fitness, Candice has simultaneously pursued her interests in healthcare. She has worked as an EMT for the Morgan Ambulance, and is now a Medical Care Tech in the Emergency Room at McKay-Dee Hospital. She loves working in the ER and aspires to be a Life Flight nurse. She is preparing to enter the nursing program at Weber State next year.
Niel and Candice have two children and three dogs. Quin is 6 years old and is currently enjoying kindergarten. He is showing early aptitude in artistry, loves trains, and is protective of his little sister Zoee. Three-year-old Zoee is caught up in the magical world of Toy Story. She is very energetic, loves preschool, and wants to do whatever big brother does. In their free time, the Ekberg family loves to travel or go to the family cabin. Most importantly, they value hanging out with friends and spending time with family.