Tracy Boyce, Lorrie Liss-Denesik, Sally Courtney, Pam Guillory, Victoria Hutson, Maggie Martin and Hilary Taylor celebrate at Telluride Association of Realtors awards night at The Peaks Sept. 6. (Courtesy photo)

Born in Texas, raised in Louisiana and now living what she calls “the best chapter of my life,” Pam Guillory is a bright light in Telluride. Not only does she love living in the mountains, but she takes great joy in her job as a Realtor. That joy and passion has elevated her to her latest role as the new president of the board of the Telluride Association of Realtors (TAR). She was installed in a celebratory event at TAR’s annual awards banquet Sept. 6.

Guillory’s been here since 2000, when she relocated to Telluride for good after first “discovering” it in 1982. Her life between 1982 and the first year of the new century was spent “doing for others,” she said. She raised her son, worked in her brother’s dental office and looked after her parents in Alexandria, Louisiana. But that 1982 visit to a college roommate clung to her like Louisiana humidity. She’d asked herself on that fateful visit to the box canyon, “How do I figure out a way to live here?”

Guillory decided it was time when her son went off to college. Thus began her best chapter. She could at last, she said, begin living for herself.

Within her first year in town she acquired her real estate license and got work selling fractional memberships for the River Club.

That job, she said, propelled her forward.

“It launched me into wanting to know what the right steps were to move forward and to learn from the old-timers,” she said.

She honored those so-called old-timers at her installation celebration, recognizing Steve Catsman, Dirk de Pagter, Sally Puff Courtney, Dan Shaw and TD Smith for their “contribution of 40-plus years of paving the way for Telluride to become one of the most unique destination resorts in North America,” Guillory said in her remarks at the banquet. She called it the Legacy Legend Award, creating what she hopes will become a new tradition in the real estate community, and pronounced her colleagues’ experience “priceless.”

“I came to appreciate their input and endless experience and recognize how they helped carve this town into what it is today,” she said.

Guillory has been on the TAR board since 2009, serving under 10 past presidents. She is now a broker associate for Telluride Real Estate Corp. As president elect she is charged with choosing a past president liaison. From an organization established in 1987, she had a long list from which to choose and selected George Harvey. She lauded Harvey for his long service of local representation on the state and national level. Both Harvey and his wife, Becky, accepted the invitation, much to Guillory’s delight.

“I’ve gone to several conventions … and it’s an honor to hang out with the Harveys at these events,” she said. “They know everyone and everyone knows them. It’s like walking into a function with a rock star.”

What Guillory enjoys most about her profession is how potential clients become instantly smitten with Telluride.

“I love seeing people from every walk of life come here and become so enamored,” she said. “It humbles me.”

Open houses, Guillory said with a laugh, are when she and her colleagues “solve the problems of the world,” but also marvel at Telluride’s singular qualities.

“This box canyon has a lot to do with it,” she said. “It’s our living room. And what people get is a feeling of being a part of this community, a feeling people never feel in the big cities.”

In keeping with Guillory’s overall bubbly and warm nature, she chose Mike Lynch to induct her. Once she learned that her introduction wasn’t required to be delivered by a state-level Realtor whom she didn’t necessarily know, she jumped at the chance to invite Lynch. She said his sense of humor set the tone for what was a lively and fun evening, brimming with laughter and friendship.

Guillory’s colorful life includes a number of notable highlights that will leave some people declaring, “I did not know that!” She got her pilot’s license when she was eight months pregnant in 1978 and right after that, she welcomed her son into the world. In 2014, she saved a friend’s life with the Heimlich maneuver on the Telluride resort’s gold course. But not much can top 8th grade, when “The coolest thing I’ve ever done in life” happened: “I saw The Beatles in Houston in 1965.”

More than 120 people attended the installation ceremonies at The Peaks. Along with Guillory’s installation, other annual honors were bestowed on TAR members. They went to First Time Homebuyers Assistance Fund representative Kiplynn Smith; Presidential Award winner Marty Stetina; Community Realtor of the Year Teddy Errico; Affiliate Individual Volunteer of the Year Daniel Zemke and Community Affiliate of the Year, Tricia Maxon of Community Banks of Colorado. The award for Best Open House went to George and Becky Harvey; Hilary Taylor was named Rookie of the Year and the Affiliate of the Year designation went to Insurance of the San Juans. Matt Hintermesiter was Realtor of the Year.