I grew up on the western slope in Granby. My mother was a 35 year 3rd grade teacher and my father worked for the National Weather Service. A middle child with two other brothers, we spent our time skiing and hiking around Winter Park, leading to a love for Colorado’s outdoors. I skied competitively and ultimately represented the US in the Olympics twice. I ‘retired’ from sport at the age of 21, largely uneducated but with a solid work ethic and enrolled into CU, where I was admitted with “probation status”. I ended up graduating summa cum laude and began working for a Colorado entrepreneur named George Gillett, acquiring and managing privately held companies. This led to a successful 18-year career as a private equity investor until 2014 when I decided to acquire my own company and become its CEO, which I have grown dramatically during my tenure.
When I turned 40, I began focusing more in the community; I suppose I had an awakening that we live in a special state that has given my family a lot, and now I need to put my shoulder and capital into investments that will improve our state’s health and vitality. As a registered independent, my investments have mostly focused on leadership development through my work at Quarterly Forum; Healthcare through investments into Denver Health; and Education, where we have created scholarships for approximately 120 first generation college students at Lamar Community College, Pueblo Community College and Colorado Mountain College. I have also supported Colorado’s entrepreneurial eco-system by investing in the Commons on Champa, a public campus for entrepreneurs as well as the co-creation of the Colorado Impact Fund, a $60 mm non-profit private equity fund solely dedicated to supporting Colorado Entrepreneurs with non-control growth capital.
Through this work, I also launched the state’s first fellowship program inspired by the White House Fellows Program for emerging executives to learn more about state government – in hopes of seeding a generation of future state leaders. I did this in partnership with CU, Governors Bill Owens, Bill Ritter and John Hickenlooper. Our inaugural class has 22 participants and represents some of the state’s best companies, including those from Grand Junction, Colorado Springs and Ft. Collins.
My interest in Colorado Concern is really focused on creating more alignment between our two organizations and a personal opportunity to more directly assist in driving constructive public policy in the state.