Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Five for five

Man of the Year nominees talk about bad summer jobs, personal mottoes and why they love the valley


By KATHERINE WUTZ
Express Staff Writer

Readers of the Idaho Mountain Express nominated five valley men to be considered for 2011 Man of the Year. In an online vote, they then selected Hailey resident Rob Cronin. Here, the five nominees reveal a few secrets of their lives.

Rob Cronin (restaurateur and real estate agent)

Worst summer job:

"Dishwasher at Chateau Robert in Fort Myers, Fla. I had to strip down to my BVDs before I was allowed back in the house."

What he wanted to be when he grew up:

"A doctor, but I worked in restaurants to pay for school. We know how that turned out."

Personal motto:

"Do unto others."

Role model:

"My wife."

Why he stays here:

"Not for the beach! For the people and the lifestyle."

Evan Lawler (business development manager, Western States Geothermal)

Worst summer job:

"Working on a Christmas tree farm. You're by yourself all day, and you spend a lot of time laying on the ground trimming the bottom of the trees so they have a nice base when you go and buy them for Christmas tree stands."

What he wanted to be when he grew up:

"When I went to college, I started out thinking I was going to be an engineer and snow scientist and study avalanches. At some point in middle school, I thought I was going to be a professional mountain biker."

Personal motto:

"I don't know that I have a very succinct one. It's just to do the best I can. If I'm doing my best and it also helps other people, that's a good way to live."

Role model:

"My parents are really good role models and people who have been able to be successful in the business world yet socially responsible to the community."

Why he stays here:

"I wonder myself sometimes! I think it's the way of life, our recreational activities, the fact that you don't have to be defined by your job, living in the Wood River Valley."

Keith Sivertson (emergency room physician, St. Luke's Wood River)

Worst summer job:

"Digging ditches, which was not so bad, actually."

What he wanted to be when he grew up:

"A doctor."

Personal motto:

"Learn something new every day."

Role model:

"My dad."

Why he stays here:

"I love the people. They are smart, adventurous and community-oriented. Emergency services personnel (EMS, fire, law enforcement, ski patrol, dispatchers) in this region are outstanding!"

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Brad Mitchell (City of Ketchum employee and running coach)

Worst summer job:

"I assisted an entomologist with mosquito control in Portsmouth, R.I., as a high school junior."

What he wanted to be when he grew up:

"I started school in hotel/hospitality management and then shifted and graduated with a degree in culinary arts. I still love to cook and, most of all, eat."

Personal motto:

"I don't really have one, but I tell my daughter to always give 100 percent and most of all have fun. Steve Prefontaine said it best: 'To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift.'"

Role model:

"Not any one person, but a person that leads by example and will do whatever he or she is asking another to do."

Why he stays here:

"For 18 years, the valley has been home. There's a connection to the people, the mountains and the friends I've made over the years. Also, I have a 12-year-old daughter and can't think of a better place to raise a child."

John Sofro (real estate broker, John Alan Partners)

Worst summer job:

"Age 16, working for a fast-food, home-delivery, fried-chicken establishment called "Chicken Delight." I was very good at making the world's most inedible coleslaw."

What he wanted to be when he grew up:

"An architect. Designing and creating buildings has been a passion. It's why I chose real estate as a second career."

Personal motto:

"Stop complaining and do something."

Role model:

"There are two men in this valley that I've always admired. The first is Tom Nickel. I don't think there's been anyone over the last 10 to 15 years that's been more committed to the community with his time, energy and money. The second man is Charlie French. Charlie's in his mid-80s, a world-class endurance athlete committed to the outdoor lifestyle, never has a bad thing to say about anything and almost always has a smile on his face."

Why he stays here:

"In all of my travels, I've never found a place like the valley. It has a small-town feeling, a sense of community, cultural and social amenities found only in much larger cities, and the finest recreational opportunities on the planet. Now if we could all make a living again."

Katherine Wutz: kwutz@mtexpress.com




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