Over the past year, AAT has been able to put the spotlight on many extraordinary Elko area locals! A couple of these individuals, John Ellison and Delmo Andreozzi, were two of the three nominees for the Elko Daily Free Press’ “Champion of Elko” award. Therefore, I (Anthony Crosby) figured we might as well go for a perfect three out of three by sitting down with the final member of the Champion of Elko trio!
This week, we’re joined by Colette Reynolds! Along with raising her two sons, Michael and Logan, Colette is the woman behind some appreciated local businesses such as Elko Realty LLC. Stray Dog Pub & Cafe. Colette’s husband, Mike, and his business partner also own and operate High West Welding with Colette right by his side!
Thank you for joining us this week, Colette. You are a very cherished and respected member of the Elko community; was this always the case for you? Looking back at your life, what roads did you have to take in order to get to where you are now?
“There was an actual point in my life when I know for a fact things changed for me; it was August 18th, 2005. I was a single mom, and I lived in a six, maybe seven hundred square foot house in an alley on the Tree Streets, which was owned by my parents; it was part of their rentals. I wasn’t making the best life choices, so I didn’t have much. However, the house burned down one night. Thankfully, we were all away when it happened. We didn’t have much, but we lost all our photos, everything. Looking back now, I can see where God was stepping in because it was like He was wiping my slate clean. After that moment, it seemed like my life took a turn for the best! I met my husband two months after the house burned down; everything just seemed to start progressing to take me where I am today. When you’re in the moment, you don’t think of a house burning down as a good thing, but it was actually the best thing that could have ever happened to me. This is why I have a lot of compassion for people and have put on events like my annual Stray Dog Super Hero Toy Drive drive.”
Thank you for sharing that encouraging story with us, Colette. You are indeed like the Phoenix who has risen out of the ashes, to the point where you’re now involved with a lot around town. What about your work and relationships do you love the most as you interact with the community week in and week out?
“My favorite part of being in real estate is that I have yet not make a friend out of a client because I like to keep it real! I’m not a fake person or your cookie cutter agent; I’ll roll up playing some rap music! I just love seeing people smile. I do. I’ll go to Salt Lake City, or other bigger cities, and notice that people don’t smile, but I’ll keep smiling bigger and bigger until people eventually smile back! It’s wonderful in a small town like this because you can find those little joys. I’m a problem solver; if I can do it, I’ll do it. I’ll have people reach out to me for the most random things, especially on Facebook, but I always try to find a way to help. Everyone has a struggle going on, and he or she isn’t always going to tell you about it. I like being that person that people feel comfortable enough with to come to me about it. That’s what makes me happy.”
You have a very positive attitude, Colette! What about when things get rough? What are some struggles/less fun aspects of your work that you’ve had to overcome?
“One thing I’m still working through is this stupid neck (referring to the fact that she was wearing a neck brace during the time of this interview). In early September, I had surgery; it was a spinal fusion posterior and anterior (front and back) C3,4,5,6,7& T1, T2 with cage placement using cadaver bone and bone from my own hip bone graft. I’ve had a rough three or four months, but God has a plan. Right now, I’m not sure what His plan is in all of this, but I’m alive, and that’s okay! When it comes to real estate, I like to see other people succeed. I’m not one of those people who is going to bad mouth or bash people; I don’t feed into all of that. In fact, if that’s the situation, I’ll make a note of it and veer off into my own direction. I don’t entertain that kind of behavior. It’s easy to take the route of bad mouthing someone to gain a client, but integrity will get you so much further.”
Well, on behalf of all the AAT readers, we pray for nothing less than a healthy/swift recovery for you, Colette. Now, you’re someone who has lived in Elko her entire life. As a real, home-grown local, what is your true heart of this area and its people?
“I love Elko. I think the one thing that bugs me is when people say they hate Elko. Therefore, I started recognizing random acts of appreciation. When somebody has made my day better in some way, I’m going to surprise them with something from a local business. I also do a challenge on social media. If I catch someone doing something kind for someone else, I’ll surprise them with something and share their positive story all over Facebook. For example, I noticed a man, go over and help a gal with her pump at the gas station one time, so I filled up his tank. If I see you doing something to go out of your way to be a good human, I want to reward you! If a visitor is coming through our town and sees all these people doing all of these cool things for one another, I think that could be very important; it makes Elko more memorable and pleasant. It really does feel good doing nice for somebody else and can be contagious!”
That is very true; hopefully, someone reading this very feature will be inspired by your words and look to bless someone’s life, today! Thank you, Colette; as we wrap up this conversation, is there any last bits of wisdom you’d like to pass on to our readers?
“Anything is possible. If I can do it, anybody can do it. If you go to bed at night looking back at everything you’ve done and sleep easy; I think that’s the most important thing. So, be kind, be humble, and laugh your ass off!”
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See you around, Elko!