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Joe Goorman works hard and gives back

Joe Goorman, 39

Director of Commercial Sales & Development, American Furniture Warehouse | Englewood

Joe Goorman will be the first to tell you that while he might not be the biggest, fastest or smartest person in the room, hes definitely the hardest-working. And his colleagues couldnt agree more.

Joe was the companys top sales associate for many years and set a new standard for success,” co-worker Jessica Rose says. He worked with new and veteran sales associates to create sales strategies that pushed them to become better sales professionals and increase their income.”

Since starting Commercial Concepts by American Furniture Warehouse five years ago, Goorman, who turned 40 after his GenXYZ submission, has built a successful portfolio of over $40 million in project sales and has won ColoradoBizs Best of Colorado” office furniture dealer three years running.

Goormans work with Easter Seals of Colorado has ensured the success of all of their new build and remodeling projects, to which AFW has donated more than $250,000 worth of new furniture. He and his wife help fundraise for the Childrens Hospital Young Professional Group and support nonprofits including the Matthew Shepard Foundation, Project Cure and the Denver Dumb Friends League, among others. Goorman recently finished a three-year board term with Elephant Energy, a nonprofit dedicated to using the power of entrepreneurship to solve energy problems in rural Africa. 

His No. 1 goal: Continuing to build a successful business career that enables me and my family to give back to our community.”

This article is part of the ColoradoBiz’s 2021 Top 25 Young Professionals. Click here to read more about the latest class of up-and-coming movers and shakers

Margaret Selzer’s vision transforms living spaces

Margaret Selzer, 38

Founder & Principal Designer, RIVER+LIME | Denver

As a 30-year-old starting her own business, Margaret Selzer worried that there wouldnt be room in the market for her full-service interior design firm, RIVER+LIME.

I was told, Theres always room for another good one,’” she says. This simple statement gave me a lot of confidence. It continues to give me confidence as my business grows and we stretch toward new ventures.”

Selzers firm, which works across the design process, specializes in resorts, vacation destinations and challenging projects in mountain locations like Snowmass, Telluride and Vail, as well as Big Sky, Montana, and Lake Tahoe, California. In the past three years alone, RIVER+LIME has seen 30% year-over-year revenue growth.

I attribute my own success to having a vision and creating milestone goals to get there,” Selzer says.

Projects have included Lone Mountain Ranch, one of National Geographics Unique Lodges of the World; the historic Transfer Telluride Project; and Electric Pass Lodge, a sustainable building in Snowmass set to begin construction this year.

Selzer participates in Big Brothers Big Sisters mentor 2.0 program, and her firm has transformed living spaces for people transitioning out of homelessness through the Joshua Station Spruce-a-Room program.

Her No. 1 goal: To live joyfully as an example of whats possible.”

This article is part of the ColoradoBiz’s 2021 Top 25 Young Professionals. Click here to read more about the latest class of up-and-coming movers and shakers.

Jordan Deifik’s coworking space and mentoring program for Colorado attorneys

Jordan Deifik, 38

Owner, LawBank | Denver

Jordan Deifik lives by the words his father taught him: Know what you know—and what you don’t. Be true to thyself. And be the best you can be.

Whether running a business, mentoring other professionals, or working within the community, these sayings are the cornerstone of all I do,” he says.

As the co-founder of LawBank, the largest and first-ever coworking space for attorneys in Colorado, Deifik has brought together more than 115 lawyers from diverse backgrounds and experience. LawBank initiated and created the first-ever Mentoring Circle group for solo and small law firm attorneys through the Colorado Attorney Mentoring Program supported by the Colorado Supreme Court.

Deifik plans to expand into Las Vegas and Chicago and to partner with larger law firms to fill their vacant space through subleasing arrangements with smaller firms. He also is developing a collaborative marketing agency for small law firms. 

He has managed billions of dollars of assets, created millions of square feet of business property, and developed an entirely new type of coworking space for attorneys that is fostering a fresh, collaborative approach to law nationwide,” business partner Jay Kamlet says. And he is just getting started.”

His No. 1 goal: Excellence — to be the best I can be at whatever I choose to pursue.”

This article is part of the ColoradoBiz’s 2021 Top 25 Young Professionals. Click here to read more about the latest class of up-and-coming movers and shakers

Joe Montoya brings his best to everything he does

Joe Montoya, 35

Co-Owner & Senior Director of Residential Services, Namasté Solar | Denver

The best career advice Joe Montoya ever got came from his grandma after he got his first job at 15 flipping burgers.

She encouraged me to approach that job (with) the mindset of bringing my best to every shift,” he says. Above all, she said to work hard and focus first on my tasks before even thinking of another role or set of responsibilities.

I have approached every role since that first job through this lens, and it has not once let me down,” says Montoya, who supports a team of 75 as one of Namasté Solars senior leaders.

In 2019, Montoya oversaw the installation of 6.25 megawatts of home solar in Colorado—the equivalent of removing the CO2 emissions from 4,869,132 pounds of coal. His division hit a sales record, and his improved service division repaired nearly 1,000 systems, many of which were not originally installed by Namasté. In addition, Montoya has added more women to his teams and in leadership roles in support of a company effort to diversify Namasté Solar and the industry.

Montoya helped forge a partnership with Habitat for Humanitys Harmony Cottages community in Fort Collins, installing solar on 48 new homes to help make them even more affordable.

His No. 1 goal: To continually grow the solar installation footprint for the industry and Namaste Solar in a way that demonstrates that doing business differently is not only rewarding but also very impactful for all stakeholders.”

This article is part of the ColoradoBiz’s 2021 Top 25 Young Professionals. Click here to read more about the latest class of up-and-coming movers and shakers. 

Michael Graham’s pandemic pivot delivered 300,000 meals to homebound Coloradans

Michael Graham, 37

Owner & Managing Partner, Lost City Denver

One of Michael Grahams biggest successes arose from one of his biggest setbacks.

COVID-19 shut down his second Lost City coffee shop about a month after it opened. Within days, Graham and his Lost City co-owners brought together four like-minded organizations to create the Denver Metro Emergency Food Network, dedicated to addressing growing food insecurity.

The basement kitchen of the Capitol Hill location became the staging ground for the more than 300,000 meals delivered to homebound Coloradans. Graham also repurposed his Lost City RiNo locations outdoor space for a weekly pay-how-you-can farmers market to provide affordable or free food to Denvers Globeville and Elyria-Swansea neighborhoods. On weekends, the RiNo location hosts socially distant concerts to benefit local artists and music industry professionals.

For me, success is creating new ways to bring positive impact to my community,” says Graham, who takes to heart advice he received to look for the crossroads of totally different disciplines and seemingly disconnected life experiences (to) create original value and impact.”

At his day job at Guidehouse Consulting Engagements, Graham specializes in economic equity issues. His most recent project supports development of training, communications products and innovation analysis around global U.S. efforts to combat HIV/AIDS.

His No. 1 goal: To never take this wild ride or the people I meet along the way for granted.”

This article is part of the ColoradoBiz’s 2021 Top 25 Young Professionals. Click here to read more about the latest class of up-and-coming movers and shakers.

Caleb Munro’s mission to empower Colorado’s youth

Caleb Munro, 39

Executive Director, Youth Celebrate Diversity | Greenwood Village

In 1994, the first statewide Cherry Creek Diversity Conference drew students from 18 schools—including Caleb Munro.

Four years later, he became a volunteer. And in 2014, Munro took the conference to the next level with the creation of Youth Celebrate Diversity (YCD), a nonprofit designed to provide youth with the skills they need to speak out about injustice and to feel safe in their schools and communities.

Our nonprofits model is all about paying it forward and empowering others,” Munro says. When I see teens who were once marginalized and struggling now being proud of their identity and energized to make positive change in their schools and communities — thats success.”

With the pandemic making the usual conference impossible, Munro took the process virtual and revised the YCD website to offer valuable online resources and trainings for both students and educators, as well as a step-by-step guide for students to create or expand a social justice/diversity club.

Munros achievements include organizing the Mountain West Regional Diversity Conference for West Slope students, as well as diversity conferences in Wyoming and New Mexico. He also helped organize the inaugural Colorado Summit for Inclusive Teen Athletics and Activities and created   workshops for educators on Teaching for Equity and Social Justice.

His No. 1 goal: To bring YCDs programming to every high school in Colorado, and eventually expand our work into other states, including Arizona, California and Texas.”

This article is part of the ColoradoBiz’s 2021 Top 25 Young Professionals. Click here to read more about the latest class of up-and-coming movers and shakers.

Kayla Garcia leads to make impactful change in her community

Kayla Garcia, 32

Community Affairs Manager, Molson Coors Beverage Co. | Golden

Kayla Garcia can remember every mistake, failure or missed opportunity in her professional career—and how she responded in the moments after.

I always get back up after the feeling of getting knocked down,” Garcia says. I work harder, but mostly importantly, I take time for reflection and to learn.”

In addition to leading Molson Coorscommunity affairs and investment strategy for Colorado, Garcia manages the companys national community programs for Hispanic, Asian, sustainability and United Way partnerships.

She recently updated a decade-old Hispanic college scholarship program to triple its nationwide impact, and she leads Coors Light Lideres, which awards a $25,000 grant to a Latino-led nonprofit.

As the youngest-ever development director at the Denver Inner City Parish and later in a similar position at Mile High United Way, Garcia raised millions to support nonprofits and human service programs.

Garcia serves on state and national nonprofit boards that reflect her passions: Denver Leadership Foundation; Girls Inc. Metro Denver; Metro Denver Economic Development Corp.; and the Congressional Hispanic Leadership Institute, among others.

Being on the right track of success is when someone elses life is positively impacted as a result of your work,” she says. And when you think you are getting close to reaching the destination of success — do more.”

Her No. 1 goal: To be a leader of impactful change for my community.”

This article is part of the ColoradoBiz’s 2021 Top 25 Young Professionals. Click here to read more about the latest class of up-and-coming movers and shakers.

Alex Koenigsberg is raising the bar in grant funding

Alex Koenigsberg, 34

President and Founder, Arula | Fort Collins

Alex Koenigsberg was coasting through community college when he reconnected with his best friend, Kevin Burrell, home after four years in the Marines.

And everything changed.

Maybe it was the military, or maybe he just grew up, but Kevin was far more focused and driven than either of us had ever been,” Koenigsberg says. I was inspired.”

So he finished community college in one semester, earned a four-year degree in business administration and got his first adult” job.

I essentially created more opportunity for myself in a few short years than I had in my entire life prior—all thanks to an example set by my best friend,” Koenigsberg says of Burrell, now an aerospace engineer. I 100% owe Kevin for where I am today.”

Today, Koenigsberg is the founder and president of Arula, which started as a nonprofit consulting and grant-writing company with a unique fee structure that collects fully only if the grant is successful.

His 50% success rate has raised more than $1.3 million in grant funding for clients including nonprofits ChildSafe Colorado, Idea Wild and Living Her Legacy. Koenigsberg also serves as business development officer for two for-profits, Quorum Prosthetics and The Dough Bar, which has increased sales by 30%.

His No. 1 goal: To be a positive role model for the next generation.”

This article is part of the ColoradoBiz’s 2021 Top 25 Young Professionals. Click here to read more about the latest class of up-and-coming movers and shakers.

Paige Goss succeeds at the edge of her comfort zone

Paige Goss, 35

CEO, Point Solutions Group | Denver

For Paige Goss, life begins at the edge of her comfort zone.

Getting comfortable being uncomfortable allows you to challenge what you thought was possible for yourself, your organization and your life,” says Goss, who started Point Solutions in 2017 with a vision to improve diversity in the federal and commercial technology space.

Colleague Sarah Jolly says Goss displays an unwavering tenacity for getting things done, and her passion for others shows through all her business decisions.

Although time and money are at a premium for this young mother and business owner, she gives both away tirelessly in an effort to make a difference and continue to forge a path for those coming behind,” Jolly says.

A proud LGBTQ community member, Goss currently chairs the YP board for the Colorado Women’s Chamber of Commerce.

Her No. 1 goal: To continue to push whats possible for female executives, CEOs and leaders in our community.”

This article is part of the ColoradoBiz’s 2021 Top 25 Young Professionals. Click here to read more about the latest class of up-and-coming movers and shakers.

Alexandra Gardner is a galvanizing voice in the tech community

Alexandra Gardner, 29

Senior Product Designer, Pinnacol Assurance | Denver

Nothing has contributed more to Alexandra Gardners success than her failures.

Failure has given me grit, an undeniable knowing that no matter what, I will figure it out,” she says. I am a dyslexic, ADHD, diabetic female working in tech. Everything about that screams, Best of luck, kid; you ain’t gonna make it.

As one of the few senior designers in Colorado blockchain technology, Gardner is a galvanizing voice in the tech community, says her mentor, Meranda Vieyra. She has developed unique, award-winning programs, created nationally recognized education tracks, and is instrumental in innovating for people-centric blockchain technology systems throughout the state and beyond.”

As a designer for WolfPack—a blockchain solution that enables people experiencing homelessness to build work history, earn token funds to purchase goods and prevent wage theft – Gardner and her team won the ETHDenver 2020 Impact Award.

Art is a passion; Gardner completed the Colorado Business Committee for the Arts 2019-2020 Leadership Arts Program and aspires to join its board. As an advocate for marginalized communities, Gardner plans to lead a panel of blockchain community members at Denver Startup Week in a discussion of social justice and minority inequality. Indigo Theory, her ethical hacker group, also leads the industry in developing solutions to current events.

Her No. 1 goal: To use my particular skill set to organize change within my community. I want to be a voice and give a voice to others who feel they don’t have one.”

This article is part of the ColoradoBiz’s 2021 Top 25 Young Professionals. Click here to read more about the latest class of up-and-coming movers and shakers.