Staff Spotlight: Pete Charron
Pete Charron is a retail supervisor at Frost Cafe. He enjoys his position at Amherst for the connections with students and help he can give to the community. “The theme is to throw frisbees and spread love,” he says.
Q: When did you start working at the college, and what led you to work in Frost Café?
A: I started working at the college in September of 2013 through a temporary agency. Why? Realistically, out of need. At that point in time, I was balancing working on a business that I owned in town, and it was a perfect way to pick up some side hours during the night as I worked at the business during the day.
Initially, I was interviewed for and awarded the position here at Frost Café. When we opted not to open this location based on Covid protocols, I was absorbed into a role at Val[entine Dining Hall]. I never really was officially awarded that position [at Val]. I was more so serving in an interim role there. So, when I moved back here [to Frost Café], it was more so a fulfillment of my initial position.
Q: What does a typical day in your work life look like?
A: It’s really quite nice. I come in at 2 p.m., touch base with Cam who works from 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., and we identify if anything needs to be picked up, restocked, etc. I sort of look over things, bring anything back down to Val or to the [Keefe] Campus Center and pick anything back up. I also put in any orders that may have to be put in, and then basically just serve the general community and customers at the Café.
Q: What did you do before working at the college?
A: I ran a retail store. My good friend and I opened up a brick-and mortar business for disc golf, so we were disc golf entrepreneurs. We did tournaments and we had a store where we had so many frisbees. It was a really enjoyable experience, but unfortunately not super lucrative and very difficult to keep up with. So unfortunately, after eight years of doing that and going into [disc golf] course design and development, in 2019 we closed the business. But it really gave me an opportunity to expand my interests and I learned a lot for sure.
Q: What do you like to do in your free time?
A: I play a lot of disc golf! I manage a disc golf team during the off-season, and I still direct tournaments. I have developed and built a course in my hometown. It’s an 18-hole course with 36 baskets, and it’s open to the public. I work hand in hand with park and rec there to continue its improvements. I am really thinking and considering building a design-oriented business with disc golf, but after eight years of working for myself and then in a close partnership with a friend, it was mentally and emotionally exhausting and I’m definitely taking my time before I enter into that realm again.
Beyond just assorted disc golf dealings, my life away from work is primarily characterized by time spent with my wife, Carli, and my stepson, Luca. We enjoy ... big surprise ... disc golfing together regularly — as my wife is an incredibly gifted professional player — but also hiking, playing basketball, tennis, gaming, and spending time with our three most incredible cats!
Q: What’s a fun fact about you that most people might not know?
A: I am an embarrassingly big fantasy football fanatic and play in over 13 multi-year leagues (dynasty leagues). As cringey [as] the sport of football can be with long-term player health impacts and a disturbing track record on diversity in leadership, I still find myself in love with the sport. That love, along with a penchant for numbers and games, has kept me enamored with fantasy football for a decade now.
Q: What keeps you so enthusiastic and motivated at work?
A: I too spent time in college, and those were actually some really difficult years for me, so I recognize the fact that everybody’s in different places. I’ve always held really dear the idea of community, acceptance, and tolerance. For instance, one of the reasons why I love captaining a disc golf team is because it gives me an opportunity to have some influence. The motif of our team is about spreading love and appreciating the time that we have with one another and enjoying and being present in the moment: recognizing just how privileged we are to be here and to enjoy the time we have. So, in many respects, my approach to life is just feeling very blessed to even be here, on any given day, every single moment. I try not to take it for granted and I try to share that appreciation for the moment with others by recognizing that “Hey, even if you’re going through whatever it is that you’re going through, you’re here!” [I’m] just trying to be a force for good and spread that love because you really never know how down others may be.
Q: Is there anything else you would like to say to the students here?
A: I think it’s clear that the theme is to throw frisbees and spread love! But really, all I could say is that it’s really a pleasure and an honor to be a part of the campus community. There’ve been so many really fantastic students that I’ve come across and I think it’s a really awesome opportunity to have such a bright and funny student body here that keeps my mind always firing.