Q & A with Ann Abernethy, RFL Academy 2012 alum

Television broadcaster, real estate broker, and author — RFL alum, Ann Abernethy, never seems to slow down. After growing up in small-town Altus, Oklahoma, she went into television after college, working at the ABC affiliate in Oklahoma City, before moving to New York City to work on the air as a television broadcaster at ABC. Then, she headed across the country to Los Angeles, where she kept working for ABC while raising two kids and remodeling and selling houses on the side. In 2012, with her kids off to college, Abernethy was looking for a change, and moved to the Roaring Fork Valley. She became a real estate broker and continued working in television — most recently for American Dream, a national lifestyle and real estate show.

Recently, we chatted with Ann about her multifaceted career and the connections RFL Academy helped her forge in the valley.

Roaring Fork Leadership: Ok, first off, tell us about this new TV gig.

Ann Abernethy: I’m creating content for this show, American Dream, which is 80% lifestyle and 20% Real Estate. I just worked all weekend at the Aspen Flight Academy Gala, where they were raising money for scholarships for kids to get a private pilot’s license. I shot video there to cover it and tell the story of the value of getting a private pilot’s license in high school. My son actually did that when he was 17 years old. He got his license, and it got him into the colleges of his choice, and it really helped him get his first and second jobs, too.

RFL: What led you to RFL Academy?

AA: Well, I had recently moved from California to Basalt, and I just wanted to get involved in the community and get an overview of everything here. It was a wonderful way to get a broad look at what people were doing here and it gave me an appreciation for the places where people were really trying to make a difference.

RFL: How did your experience in the program have an impact on your life?

AA: I was much older than anyone else in my class, so I came to RFL with a lot of experience and skills. But [the program] connected me with people in the valley that I wouldn’t have known otherwise. I really appreciated the people that were in my class and I enjoyed meeting them. It gave me a frame of reference for the valley. I developed a better understanding of how to communicate with different factions — whether nonprofit, or government, or business.

RFL: What were the big lessons you took from RFL?

AA: Committees are really inefficient! [Laughs]. And, you know, while I’ve had extensive training since then in sales, and I understand the value of consensus, I learned that in business, consensus is nice, but it’s not always the most efficient way.