Rett Ertl is a native Coloradan. He began studying Russian in high school and received a bachelor’s degree in Russian, and a master’s degree in Slavic Languages and Literature. In the mid 1980s, back in Boulder, he became an avid fan of Summer Swim League, where his children swam with the children of Philip and Lena Gordon. Philip Gordon was the one who asked Rett if he would be a board member of the Boulder Dushanbe Sister Cities Project. Rett agreed to be on the board, which lasted about a year and a half. At that time, he went east to get yet another degree, an M.A. in Political Science. For the next twenty years, Rett was in and out of Boulder, creating a business importing nesting dolls and other products (including carved Santas, bicycle frames, ball bearings, and chemicals) from Russia, and working as a USAID consultant in Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, and Afghanistan. In 2017, Rett was again recruited onto the BDSC board, this time by his neighbor, Aldona Siczek, and took on a BDSC president role in 2018.
Since coming back to the board, Rett has been fortunate to visit Tajikistan three times, and he looks forward to returning soon. The position as BDSC president is rewarding, especially when helping to coordinate and support the many activities that Boulder Dushanbe Sister Cities become involved in, all of which help to develop relationships with the wonderful people of Tajikistan. In his spare time, Rett is writing a book on the history of Eldora Ski Area, which his father purchased in 1967, and he managed from 1982 to 1985.