Dusty Kurtz | INTIX Interviews

Getting to Know: Dusty Kurtz

TicketsWest’s President puts family above all else. Here, he reflects on the importance of empathy, the value of relationships, growing up as a Broncos fan and his favorite waterside town.

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Who do you admire most and why?

My family. I was close with my mother and father. I’m getting to the point in my life where I’m experiencing the same things I remember seeing them go through when I was younger.  I have a whole new respect for what they did to raise a family and take care of us.
 

What is the quality you like most in a person?

Loyalty, whether professionally or personally.
 

What is the quality you most like in a colleague?

Loyalty, combined with honesty. That’s probably a cliché answer but I think it’s very important.
 

What qualities are important to you in a leader?

Empathy along with loyalty and honesty. I really appreciate those people who may not necessarily have the same job I’m doing, but they can relate to being in that kind of role. They understand what is being asked of you, which changes the dynamic of how they lead.
 

What or who is the greatest love of your life?

My wife and my two children.
 

Which talent would you most like to have?

Growing up, I was a big sports guy following a variety of teams, but I watched more sports than I excelled at, so I would say athletic prowess.
 

What do you consider your greatest achievement?

My family. Before I got married and had children, I didn’t realize the impact that could have on your life. When I look at them, I’m pretty proud.
 

Where would you most like to live?

That is a constant conversation for my family. I’m from Montana and think that’s ultimately the place we will call home. I also grew up in Europe for a few years. We were a military family and lived in Wiesbaden, Germany in the mid-80s right as history was unfolding. There is a part of me that would love to go back and experience that today.
 

What do you value most in your friends?

A sense of humor. My friends have always been my respite from the seriousness of life. We’ve been able to make each other laugh and that is important to me. It allows you to recharge your batteries.
 

Who are your favorite writers? 

I was a history major in college. I’m not sure I could pick a writer, but I have really enjoyed reading anything with historical significance.
 

What is your favorite venue and why?

I’ve had the privilege to work with many incredible venues but the heartstrings pull me back to where I got my start – the Brick Breeden Fieldhouse in Bozeman, Montana.
 

What is your favorite player of all time and why?

I would have to say John Elway. I was a passionate Denver Broncos fan and probably took it too seriously, but it meant a lot to me.
 

What is your favorite place to visit or place you’d love to visit and why? 

Aside from going back home to Montana, my wife used to live in Astoria, Oregon. It’s right on the Pacific coast where the Columbia River hits the Pacific Ocean. I’ve always appreciated small towns that are right on the water and seeing a completely different way of life than the one I knew growing up in the mountains.
 

If you could go back in time, what advice would you give yourself?

I was one of those people that allowed the pace of life to keep pushing me forward. I would probably tell myself to stop and appreciate the people around you.
 

What do you like to do in your spare time?

Spare time is family time. Between my wife and I, the kids govern a lot of that time, but it’s fun. It’s one of those things I never thought I would enjoy. I was always a sports and recreation guy, so it was a pick-up game of basketball or something similar. Now it’s all about taking the girls to do something fun as a family.
 

Why are you a member of INTIX? 

Within the industry, one of the things that matters to me is being an active participant. My mentor and one of my best friends, Duane Morris, who is the Director of Event Services at Montana State University, was a member of IAAM (now IAVM). I was envious of his relationships, the opportunities he had created for himself and his professional ties across the country. When I went to work for Jack Lucas at TicketsWest his values aligned with that. Jack immediately gave me the opportunity to become part of INTIX and encouraged me to participate. Now, 10+ years later, it’s nice to have established those relationships in the organization.
 

How do you use INTIX?

For relationships. I like being able to tap into those channels when I’m presented with challenges, need advice or want to speak with somebody who has experienced something similar and can relate back to my challenge. I like that I can call people from INTIX who I already have relationships with and experiences together, which allows me to access a huge knowledge base.
 

What does INTIX give you that is different from everything else you are doing?

I really value the people I work with locally, but there are times when you want a broader perspective. To talk to members experiencing the same kind of things but in a different environment, in different markets and with different priorities. It’s an opportunity to have a more well-rounded experience through other members.
 

Who is your mentor?

My good friend Duane Morris of Montana State University. He means a lot to me personally and professionally. Also, there’s Jack Lucas, TicketsWest’s President until his retirement in late March 2017. He gave me my start when I got married and decided to venture outside of Montana. He was my first phone call because his values aligned very well with the way I was taught to act in this business. I was very appreciative of those early lessons I learned: that relationships matter, to invest in them and to act with honesty and integrity.
 

What do you love most about your job?

The relationships. It’s fun to have a relationship where you want to fly in to a client site the night before because you want to be able to go out to dinner together. It’s not a task, it’s not job related, it’s just that you don’t get to see these people very often so you want to spend time together before the job that needs to get done the next day.
 

What do you love most about our industry?

We deal in passion. Sometimes it can come in the form of stress or a lot of immediacy, but on the flip side it’s a lot of fun to celebrate those moments when things go well with the people you worked alongside to make happen.
 

What is your most memorable INTIX moment?

Outside of the relationships and the people, the opportunities to reconnect.