As a 68-year-old man I have passed several milestones in my life. I started three companies in my 40 years of self-employment: one in restaurant design and two in magazine publishing. I somehow managed to raise a wonderful family with four kids and five grandkids, and kept the woman of my dreams for 45 years and counting.

For Roaring Fork Lifestyle’s “Men’s Issue” this month we wanted to share the personal stories of some of our community’s male leaders, offering behind-the-scenes glimpses of how they’ve gotten to where they are today. This letter is too short to discuss the challenges I myself have faced as a husband, father, and grandfather, but I can say it has been a real journey. Maybe even comparable to the journey that you have faced or will face. I’ve found that through every trial in life, whether with career, family, or personal hardship, the most important question is always: “How will you react?”

On a lighter note, I can tell you that one of the greatest levels of satisfaction I’ve experienced is when one of my grown kids comes to me for advice. (You know, that same kid who thought in his/her teenage years that dad couldn’t tie his own shoes without a manual.) I usually offer a couple suggestions and then say, “you decide.” It’s important to take ownership of our choices.

We all have many roles to play in life. Our paths are determined by the choices we make, and the lessons we learn when we fail or succeed. In this issue, we celebrate several local men who have worked hard to achieve their goals, and are now sharing their accomplishments with the community.

Thank you all for your continued support of Roaring Fork Lifestyle

Rick French, Publisher