Roseville Optimist Club speaker says follow your passion

“Life is meant to be played all-out,” said Ron Peltier to members of the Roseville Area Optimist Club, adding that he grew up in a culture of high expectations.

Peltier played hockey at Johnson High School and then under Herb Brooks at the University of Minnesota, before going on to teach high school English, though teaching turned out not to be his passion.

Peltier told his story on Sept. 14 to a group of more than 100 members of the Roseville Area Optimist Club, an organization that promotes networking, positive thinking and service to others.

After hockey and the teaching false start, Peltier earned an MBA at the University of St. Thomas and got involved in real estate, working his way up to being president and CEO of Edina Realty. 

With the real estate crash in the late 1980s and some investors pulling out of Edina Realty, Peltier took ownership of the company, a subsidiary of Home Services of America. He ended up with billionaire Warren Buffett as a partner.

He talked about meeting Buffett, whom he called the most respected businessman in the world. On Sept. 11, when the World Trade Center collapsed, they played golf together, because much was closed down. Even though the news was crazy, Buffett didn’t even answer his phone — he was instead focused on their golf game, Peltier said, getting a little choked up.

At an age when others might consider retiring, Peltier started 7 Vines Vineyard in Dellwood, named for his seven grandchildren and the number he wore as a hockey player. Peltier said that for years he’d been eying a lovely parcel of land, once part of railroad baron James J. Hill’s property, and it had finally become available for purchase, so he snatched it up. 

The first grape vines were planted there in 2011 and the vineyard and winery have become Peltier’s new passion.

The Roseville Area Optimist Club meets the second Friday of the month from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30  p.m. at the Roseville Radisson Hotel at 2540 Cleveland Ave., for networking, lunch and an inspirational guest speaker. The cost of lunch is $20. The meetings are open to the public but reservations are required. For more information, call Zola Burns at 651-604-3145 or email her at


- Pamela O’Meara can be reached at or 651-748-7818.

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