Advice for real life from Vail Valley residents |

Advice for real life from Vail Valley residents

Rosanna Turner
Special to the Daily
Vail, CO Colorado


EAGLE COUNTY – We stood on the freshly cut lawn turning our tassels from left to right. Or was it right to left? Who can remember? We were going to change the world, as soon as we learned to change our sheets more than twice a year to avoid that weird smell. Years later, these locals have had a real impact on the community and those around them. We asked six popular personalities to pass on their knowledge to those recently graduated. Here’s what they said:

Greg Moffet

Then: Colorado College ’80, philosophy and political science major on his way to law school.

Now: Vail Town Council member and owner of Tiga Advertising.

Advice: Experience the corporate world so you can one day leave it.

“Corporate experience is better than an MBA,” Moffet said. “Nothing beats working in a hierarchy, working in corporate madness, because it makes you appreciate every day that you don’t have to do it.”

-Most of Moffet’s friends from college aren’t doing what they planned on when they graduated, “they’re doing something better,” he said. Moffet reminds graduates that the work itself means more than the results.

“Persistence is almost always its own reward,” Moffet said.–

Lauren Merrill

Then: University of Michigan ’01, art major considering a career in graphic design.

Now: Owner and director of Alpine Arts Center.

Advice: Don’t be afraid to pursue your passion.

“You become successful by doing the things that you are passionate about,” Merrill said.

Merrill stressed that having enthusiasm for your work is what matters most. Young artists should let their interests guide them and a job will emerge eventually.

“When you’re doing something that you love and want to spend time doing it, it ends up working out the way you want it to,” Merrill said.

Dave Kelly

Then: Cal State University-Chico ’97, English major planning on being a teacher and wrestling coach.

Now: 18-year local bartender, opening a restaurant with his wife this September in Idaho.

Advice: “Burn no bridges.”

“My whole life I’ve been able to bounce from one thing to the next because it’s always from some previous connection,” Kelly said. “Have a good rapport with everybody.”

Kelly said eye contact, a firm handshake, and a nice smile can matter more than a degree or a resume. Young grads shouldn’t worry about the future and “enjoy where you’re at, life’s too short to be miserable,” he said. When in doubt, find inspiration from an early ’90s hardcore punk band.

“It’s better to regret the things you have done than the things you haven’t,” Kelly said, quoting a line from a Butthole Surfers song. “And pay your bills on time.”

Pollyanna Forster

Then: Colorado State University ’93, finance and art history double major working at Sweet Basil and applying for her MFA.

Now: Owner of Eat! Drink!, Dish, and Cut: Artisan Meats +Seafood.

Advice: Embrace change.

“Success always comes from following your sweet spot or whatever speaks to you,” Forster said. “If you go one way and it doesn’t feel fantastic in every part of your life, don’t be afraid to change direction.”

She encourages young people to travel to discover new things about themselves.

“Being immersed in something that’s unfamiliar is one of the best learning experiences,” Forster said. “(It’s the best) place for growth that you could ever ask for.”

Scott “Weez” Peterson

Then: Brown Institute ’87, moving to Vail to “ski and talk on the radio”, in that order.

Now: On-air DJ at KYZR The Zephyr.

Advice: Use new media to your advantage.

“Be prepared for changes in technology as they come, because they keep coming,” Peterson said.

He thinks new grads should use the Internet to connect and “get your voice and personality out there,” Peterson said.

And sometimes it is a good idea to listen to your parents.

“My mom said I was a real talker and that I should talk for a living,” Peterson said. “She was right.”

Pat Peeples

Then: University of Georgia ’80, business and journalism major wanting to combine her two passions: writing and tennis.-

Now: President of Peeples Ink PR, Ltd.

Advice: Work, and life, doesn’t always have to be serious

“What I’ve learned is to have fun, don’t take yourself too seriously, ask advice, cherish your mentors, and give back,” Peeples said.-

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