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For the Love of Hockey

Most everyone has had many jobs in their lifetime trying to get that one job that makes their life complete. Although he has not reached that yet, Ryan Rostad is currently in hot pursuit of doing something he truly loves doing for a living.

Rostad is a very big sports fan, hockey in particular, and is in hopes of someday becoming an NHL scout, or at least, be in the front office of some NHL team. What might make this most possible is how much Rostad has been involved with the game of hockey.

Rostad has been playing roller/ice hockey since he was 3 and has come to love the game more and more as time has goes on. In between the many leagues he is currently playing in, he has always found a way to stay close to the game.  He had a job as a roller hockey referee from 2004 to 2005, and worked at the Player’s Bench hockey equipment store during 2007.

Ryan Rostad in one of his many roller hockey games.

Aside from these jobs, he worked at Krispy Kreme during 2006, worked at Office Max from 2006 to 2007 and worked at Elitch Gardens in 2008. But none of these can even come close to where he is working right now. Though these jobs may not seem important, each has helped Rostad to reach the spot he is in now.

At this time, Rostad is working for Kroenke Sports Enterprises (KSE) at the Altitude Authentics store located inside the Pepsi Center. Rostad began working there in 2009 and in just this short period of time, he has moved up from being a part time game night staff member to being the assistant manager of the Altitude Authentics store. His hard work and determination to be the best he can be at his job has led to this success.

With Rostad working at the Pepsi Center, his boss (at the very top) is non-other than E. Stanley Kroenke, the owner of the Colorado Avalanche, Denver Nuggets, and many sports franchises as well as many non-sports related companies. Rostad’s other bosses include Senior Director of Retail Operations Jon Waldron and Senior Arena Manager Gabe Klabon. It has been with the guidance and appreciation from the latter two that Rostad has been able to do what he has done. But the story doesn’t end there.

Back in September of 2011, Rostad received the Employee of the Year award. He got the award in the retail department of the Pepsi Center. Employees in other departments at the Pepsi Center received the same award. Rostad has always been early for his shifts, does what is asked of him, never calls in sick and has even offered to cover double shifts on various occasions. He believes that these were the keys that helped him get the award.

“No need to thank me, it really wasn’t a hard choice” said Klabon to Rostad, shortly after being told he had won the award.

In receiving this award, Rostad, along with the other employees of the year from the other departments, were honored on September 28th with a ceremony that took place before that night’s pre-season Avalanche game.

“To be the one person who stands out among 65 employees,” said Rostad “I was extremely grateful to know that all my hard work and sacrifice had been fulfilled with this award”.

Rostad had hoped that something like this would help him stand out as management was in search of a new assistant manager. The management had discussed hiring someone for this position during this past summer, but that had been halted due to the NBA lockout.

“The only way they were going to give that position was if both the Avalanche and the Nuggets were playing.” said Rostad. This made Rostad very angry and very sad since he figured he would be the front-runner for the position if they had gone through with he hiring.

As the next month or so past, Rostad continued to hope that the NBA would figure something out and get their season started. Yet, even if the NBA was to come to a decision and started their season, there was no guarantee that the management would still decide on hiring an assistant manager. During this time, Rostad continually checked various sports sources to see if there were any further developments in the NBA discussions. All this waiting frustrated Rostad, he knew that the NBA would eventually come to a decision. What he was unsure about was whether it would be done in time for management to feel it necessary to hire someone as an assistant manager.

In November of 2011, the NBA finally came to a decision and had chosen to start their season on Christmas Day. After hearing this, Rostad was very excited and was then keeping an eye out for any potential news on the position.

Then December came. Rostad had been given a date as to when they would be deciding on whether to hire one of their current employees for the assistant manager position or if they would decide to look elsewhere. Rostad did not feel as good about his chances as he had before.

“I felt like they were going to overlook me and give it to someone else instead.” said Rostad. He felt like they were leaning more towards getting someone new who was not already a part of the company.

When Christmas Day came, the NBA season was officially under way and Rostad had just recently been promoted to Assistant Manager. Rostad had been informed of his promotion about a week before the NBA season started.

“I was so happy that they gave this position to me. I knew I had earned it and I feel that is why they gave me the position,” said Rostad. This was a monumental moment for Rostad as he has been working very hard for the last year in hopes of getting this position.

With this promotion, Rostad has gotten many more perks than he had in his previous position at the Pepsi Center. He gets a bigger discount on merchandise within the Altitude Authentics store, he is in a higher position of power so he is actually in charge or some people now and he also gets a good number of free tickets. Another nice perk to this promotion is that he does not work very many game nights. In his old position, he would work about half of the games that were going on during a given month. He now usually only works about one game night a month, which he says is a nice change of things.

Since his promotion, Rostad says that even though he is doing a lot more work, it is worth it considering how much a position like this is going to help him further himself in life. He has had a very busy year thus far having to do work for both the Nuggets and the Avalanche as well as having the Rapids on his plate now.

As of now, the only question he has is whether the Nuggets and/or Avalanche will make the playoffs? If this were to happen, Rostad would be much busier then he has been all season. This may only be his first year in the

Rostad prepares to take yet another faceoff.

position, but he seems to be handling it like a pro. Management has not had any issues with him in the position and seems to be very pleased with the work he is doing.

Every day we see people that want a certain career in life or to accomplish a certain something. We all know that not everyone has the opportunity or the tools necessary to accomplish these dreams. Rostad has been very lucky in his life for what he has been given. Yet, it has not all been given to him as he has had to work hard to get to where he is today. Although your dreams may seem like an impossible feat, people like Rostad show all of us that anything is possible as long as you are willing to work hard and do whatever is necessary to make that dream a reality.

“I love this job,” said Rostad. “I can’t imagine working any place else”.

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About Kevin Rostad

I am a Broadcast Journalism major at Metro State, love sports and I am set to graduate in May of this year.

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