Butterfly retires from Better Business Bureau
Following her 18-year career with the Better Business Bureau, Oni Butterfly is trying to wrap her head around retirement.
Butterfly had several phases of life before coming to Garfield County: working on the East Coast with the Army Corps of Engineers and Environmental Protection Agency, a jazz musician in Durango, a viticulturist selling wine grapes to Moab vineyards – all before she moved to Silt and began her 18 years working for the BBB.
“I found a magnificent piece of land in Silt, a 70-acre ranch of magical property dotted with petroglyphs,” she said. Butterfly lived on the ranch until she moved to Carbondale in 2006.
“Downvalley is in my soul. I was a pioneer woman, down to splitting my own wood on the ranch,” she said. “But I fell in love with Carbondale and Aspen because of my love for culture, theater, classical music and jazz.”
Butterfly said her work with the BBB “has been the most incredible ride, an adventure and challenge.”
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On the day she got the job with the BBB, her manager said, “I’m not sure why I’m hiring you because you have no sales experience.”
Butterfly responded that everything in life entails salesmanship; “even working in an office you’ve got a product you’re selling.”
“She just rolled her eyes and said she would take a chance on me.”
During her tenure, she saw the organization transform with the IT revolution, developing services and information on local businesses online.
Before that, the BBB would issue reports on businesses that consumers could check out by coming in person or calling on the phone.
In the early days of the internet, the BBB was offering businesses a template for their websites, a benefit of being an accredited member, said Butterfly.
Since then, the BBB has been proactive about utilizing social media and smartphone applications. “Now you can check out reports from your iAnything,” she said.
“The experience was wonderful. I met so many incredible people in our valley, all the way from Aspen to Parachute.”
Butterfly said a high for her at the BBB has been helping protect people through the organization’s scam prevention and consumer protection efforts.
“It’s startling to me how many people don’t keep their money and sensitive information close to their chest.”
But now Butterfly is reeling trying to figure out how to spend her time. “I don’t know what the hell I’m doing; I’ve been working at something my whole life.
“My social life was pretty much schmoozing at the chamber meetings and breakfasts. I wish everyone would make me an honorary chamber member so I can keep seeing everyone.”
“I think I might take more time to play golf” — which she just took up about four years ago. And some Third Street Center programs are giving her the chance to dance some of that energy out.
Butterfly says she’ll probably look for some part-time work, and anyone in the valley with a project suited to her skills is welcome to contact her. “The future is a question mark,” she said.
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Ivan Jackson joined LIFT-UP as its new executive director in August.