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GenXYZ Nominees Thrive: Kishen Mangat (2013) — Where is He Now?

Everyone was right when they predicted bright futures for these executives, entrepreneurs and nonprofit leaders. Ten-plus years after ColoradoBiz profiled these Top Young Professionals of Colorado, we revisited several to see where their career paths led them and what they are doing now.

Some are with the same companies; others have moved on to different businesses and new roles.

For some, change was inevitable as their companies were acquired or merged with other entities. For still others, the desire to start something new was irresistible. All are continuing to meet and exceed their own career goals and engage with their communities.

The Gen XYZ Awards are open to those who are under 40 and live and work in Colorado.

Kishen Mangat

2013: 39, Director of Product Management, Cisco Systems

2024: General Partner, Boulder Ventures

Until two years ago, Kishen Mangat was always a founder or an executive. Now he helps other companies grow their businesses. He says he does not miss being an entrepreneur.

“It’s a young person’s job,” Mangat says. “Your incentives change after you’ve done it.”

Mangat is a general partner at Boulder Ventures, which provides venture capital for IT and biotech companies in Colorado and the mid-Atlantic. Instead of enduring the grind that is the life of the business owner, he gets to select companies to invest in. “I still get a lot of the benefits of being in the entrepreneur and innovation arena,” he says. “But the employees don’t answer to me. They answer to their CEO.”

In 2003 Mangat founded BroadHop, which provided next-generation policy control and service management for carrier networks worldwide. Cisco acquired BroadHop in 2013, and Mangat remained as a vice president and general manager until 2022. “I had a lot to learn about operating at scale,”he says. “All my experience was operational, and being able to steer a much bigger ship was compelling. It significantly added to my experience and the people there were amazing.”

When BroadHop was acquired, Mangat says, it was a $10 million product line. By the time he exited nine years to the day of the Cisco acquisition, BroadHop was a $150 million product line. “The overall business responsibility I had was approaching one billion because of all the product lines,” he says. “I never expected I would have such a rich experience there.”

Before BroadHop, Mangat founded Amigo Systems, which was sold to POST, and he was co-founder of STS Hotel Net, which was sold to CAIS Internet, a KKR Company. “My motivation was always to achieve some level of success that would result in a high degree of freedom in how I spend my time,” he says. “I am a climbing and skiing bum, and I wanted that flexibility.”

At Boulder Ventures, Mangat leads the firm’s enterprise 5G investment strategy. His experience helps him discern which entrepreneurs are truly passionate about their businesses.

“You can just tell when it keeps them awake at night trying to figure out how to get ahead on what they’re doing,” he says. “Little things they say or do kind of register.”

Passion is not enough to make a business succeed, as the business owners also must have skill, ability and intellect. Boulder Ventures invests in Series A technology and life-science companies that have $1 million to $5 million in revenue and are working on scaling up. “The funding amount could be $2 million to $7 million,” Mangat says. “It’s not two guys in their garage with a dog.”

As part of the process, Boulder Ventures partners take the business owners hiking, snowcat skiing or rock climbing, if they are so inclined. Usually the prospects want to participate in these activities, as the personalities of tech company founders often match the traits of outdoor enthusiasts. “I think it’s risk taking and freedom and a characteristic of individualism and wanting to express yourself in a way that’s authentic,” Mangat says.

He explains that there is also a similarity in the trust issue.

When Boulder Ventures invests in companies, it typically aims to exit those companies within 10 years. “So for investors entrusting their capital, the capital is tied up for 10 years,” Mangat says. “It is a trust-based endeavor, and there lies another climbing motif, that someone is holding the rope.”

READ: Exit Planning — Study Shows Most Colorado Business Owners Are Not Ready to Sell Their Businesses

The climbing theme continues in Mangat’s community work. He is on the board of directors for Access Fund, a national advocacy organization that works for sustainable access and conservation of the climbing environment. “We work with land managers to make sure the crags are taken care of and accessible,” he says.


Nora Caley is a freelance writer specializing in business and food topics.

Metro State Unveils ‘Cannabis Hospitality’ Program

A new certificate program at Metropolitan State University of Denver aims to serve as a catalyst in reviving the state’s reputation as the “Silicon Valley of Cannabis.”

READ: Weathering the Storm — How the Colorado Cannabis Industry Can Thrive Amidst Market Disruption

MSU Denver will be the first higher-education institution in the nation to offer students a comprehensive view of cannabis hospitality, with an emphasis on the supply chain, said Shannon Donnelly, an affiliate professor in the University’s School of Hospitality and a former cannabis regulator for the City of Denver.

Students in the program will study a wide range of topics that will focus on the responsible sale and consumption of cannabis in dispensaries and in food preparation, she said.

“This represents a significant leap forward in formalized cannabis education,” said Donnelly, who developed MSU Denver’s cannabis curriculum. “We’re defining cannabis in hospitality.”

The University will offer an entry-level Cannabis Hospitality Specialist certificate and a more advanced Cannabis Hospitality Manager certificate. Both certificates will be offered to degree-seeking and non-degree-seeking students, with classes to begin this fall.

“We want to equip those working in the industry with the knowledge and skills to create an elevated experience, centered on high-quality, responsible customer service that can only truly be perfected through the hospitality lens,” said Donnelly. “If we’re going to create spaces that are safe enough for users of all levels to consume, we need to understand the entire supply chain.”

Along with the certificates, MSU Denver is forming state and international advisory boards that will provide recommendations to the University and collaborate on joint initiatives. The state board will aim to enhance student opportunities, develop curricula, promote social equity in the industry, foster research collaboration and identify financial resources.

READ: Cannabis Cares Program Aims to Provide Relief to Coloradans with Physical Disabilities

The international board, meanwhile, will aim to contribute to the global standardization of cannabis education, explore international job-placement opportunities, promote student-exchange programs and provide insights on global drug-law reforms.

“It’s encouraging to see MSU Denver hoping to optimize new methods of consumption that allow people to interact with each other in hospitality settings, while keeping safety and responsibility in mind,” said MSU Denver graduate Albert Gutierrez, owner and president of the cannabis company Bud & Mary’s and a member of the state advisory board.

Gutierrez emphasized the importance of the leadership and management courses that will meet a significant need in the industry. “We need people who know how to navigate relationships, since so many regulatory departments have to visit facilities to ensure compliance,” he said. “Sometimes, that professionalism is missing in this industry.”

CEO of the Year 2023 Finalist: Rich Benenson

Colorado is full of devoted entrepreneurs, business leaders and tech-savvy visionaries who are constantly taking the business world to new heights. It’s no secret that here, at ColoradoBiz, we love the Colorado business community. That’s why, every year, we spotlight the most impressive CEOs throughout our Centennial state and give credit where credit is due — to the forward-thinking minds constantly chasing the next great idea and upholding their business practices to the most purposeful ideals. We’re proud to introduce our finalists for CoBiz’s prestigious 2022 CEO of the Year award.

Rich Benenson

Managing Partner

Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck

Denver, Colorado


Under Rich Benenson’s leadership in 2022, Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck saw an increase in revenue, growth in attorney and policy professional hiring, new comprehensive wellness and leadership development programs, and expansion of the firm’s DEI program. 

One of Benenson’s most notable challenges was moving the firm to Block 162, a new 30-story office tower in downtown Denver. The move was the culmination of three years of strategic planning that began in mid-2020. Benenson foresaw that Brownstein’s employees needed a fresh, hybrid office space, one that offered space for in-person collaboration, because a fully remote-working environment wasn’t a long-term solution for a firm that thrives on relationships in a team-oriented environment. 

Benenson joined Brownstein in 2002 as an associate in the litigation department and has had experience at almost every level of the firm and chaired almost every firm committee. This provides him with unique insight into the many perspectives of employees, allowing him to make informed decisions that serve everyone at Brownstein. 

In 2022, Brownstein posted the highest revenue in the firm’s history, and it was the No. 1 lobbying firm in Washington, D.C., for all of 2022 and the first two quarters of 2023. One of Benenson’s biggest challenges has been fully incorporating the thriving lobbying practice into a legal framework. As a lobbying practice headquartered outside of D.C. that only established a presence there 30 years ago, there is no other firm that is on the same trajectory to learn from.

Benenson has successfully articulated a vision that aligns the firm’s legal and lobbying efforts to offer expanded services to clients. From strategic hires to expand Brownstein’s state government relations capabilities to encouraging a cross-selling mindset among all attorneys and policy advisors, there has never been more synergy between the law and lobbying practices. Attorneys and policy advisers are collaborating to better serve clients and provide innovative solutions. What started as an immense challenge when Benenson took on the role as managing partner has been harnessed into his greatest opportunity. 


Mike TaylorMike Taylor is the editor of ColoradoBiz.

CEO of the Year 2023 Finalist: John Barry

Colorado is full of devoted entrepreneurs, business leaders and tech-savvy visionaries who are constantly taking the business world to new heights. It’s no secret that here, at ColoradoBiz, we love the Colorado business community. That’s why, every year, we spotlight the most impressive CEOs throughout our Centennial state and give credit where credit is due — to the forward-thinking minds constantly chasing the next great idea and upholding their business practices to the most purposeful ideals. We’re proud to introduce our finalists for CoBiz’s prestigious 2022 CEO of the Year award.

John Barry

President and CEO

Wings Over the Rockies

Denver, Colorado


Managing, inspiring and leading large groups of people during challenging times is John Barry’s superpower. That made him the perfect person for the job when he took over as president and CEO of Wings Over the Rockies in January 2017 and was tasked with opening a second site at Centennial Airport, now known as Exploration of Flight (EOF). 

Barry, a retired U.S. Air Force major general with a long list of career accomplishments, quickly assembled a team from the Wings board and staff that worked to negotiate a zero percent loan from the Walton Family Foundation for $3.3 million that allowed the first building to be completed within 18 months. This second Wings site also houses a charter middle school for more than 200 students that opened in 2020. In the works and slated to open in 2024 are a Food Hall and additional hangar. 

Other notable accomplishments of the past year under Barry’s watch include: welcoming more than 135,000 visitors representing 50 states and 31 countries to Wings; continuing the “Behind the Wings” video series on PBS, with airings in 100 markets and in 39 states and more than 9 million YouTube views; completing and updating two new Wings exhibits; developing new and innovative educational pathways that are at the core of Wings’ mission to help prepare and inspire Colorado’s youth for careers in aerospace; facilitating students building 80 percent of Wings’ RV–12iS aircraft with support and help from Wings staff and volunteers (Barry flew all the test flights for certification); awarding 22 Colorado students the James C. Ray Foundation Flight Training Scholarships in 2023, bringing the total to more  than 125 flight training scholarships worth more than $1 million since 2019. 

Barry, who grew up in a one-bedroom apartment in the Bronx, served in the U.S. Air Force for more than 30 years before retiring in 2004. He was a fighter pilot, logging 270 hours of combat time. He served as president and CEO of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Metro Denver (BGCMD) from 2014 to 2016 and was superintendent of Aurora Public Schools for seven years, from 2006 to 2013.  


Mike TaylorMike Taylor is the editor of ColoradoBiz.

CEO of the Year 2023 Finalist: Peter Svedin


Founder and CEO: Lifetime Windows & Siding

Denver, Colorado


Peter Svedin grew up in Sweden, dreaming of playing professional hockey and idolizing former Colorado Avalanche great Peter Forsberg. But business, not hockey, would be Svedin’s destiny. He came to the United States on a student visa, and in 2006 he took a job in Denver, selling windows. 

“I knew I could do it better,” he says. In 2009, from his one-bedroom apartment, Svedin devised a winning formula that would combine sales, customer service and high-quality products. Lifetime Windows & Siding was born. Today the home-remodeling company generates annual sales of $65 million, with 150 employees and locations throughout the Denver and Phoenix metro areas. Along with windows and siding, the company’s offerings have expanded to include doors, baths and showers, roofing and solar. From 2021 to 2022, the company’s sales grew 21 percent. 

“At Lifetime, we believe growing people is the key to our success,” Svedin says. “The way we take care of our people is how our people are going to take care of our customers.” 

The company supports a number of community causes. Through the Stout Street Foundation, Lifetime offers employment and mentorship to program participants and graduates. Since 2021, it has helped provide 1.4 million meals to Food Bank of the Rockies through donations and on-site volunteering. It has partnered with other suppliers for the Veterans Community Project of Longmont to provide roof and solar supplies for 26 homes in a veterans’ tiny home community; it supports Firefly Autism by providing campus building solutions and sponsoring annual events; and it partners with the Colorado Rockies to sponsor the annual Strike Out Hunger program, contributing approximately 10 meals for each strikeout to the Food Bank of the Rockies.  


Mike TaylorMike Taylor is the editor of ColoradoBiz.

Good Company — Becky Takeda-Tinker & CSU Global

Explore an insightful interview with Becky Takeda-Tinker, President and CEO of CSU Global, discussing the value of online education, the evolving role of AI in learning and her personal journey in higher education. Gain valuable advice on pursuing a post-secondary degree and discover the future of education in a post-pandemic world.

READ: Good Company — R.T. Custer & The Vortic Watch Company

Hometown: Danville, California

What she’s reading: “2030: How Today’s Biggest Trends Will Collide and Reshape the Future of Everything,” a book by Mauro F. Guillén about trends that are rapidly changing our world. “Especially coming out of Covid, I love looking at what people think the future may hold.”

Becky Takeda-Tinker

President and CEO of CSU Global


ColoradoBiz: From artificial intelligence to the evolution of online education, there’s a lot to cover. Before we dive in, though, can you share advice for readers who are working full-time, thinking about pursuing or completing a post-secondary degree? 

Becky Takeda-Tinker: If you’re considering going back to school to earn a degree, start by researching programs that are asynchronous, where coursework can be completed on your own time, from any location, to fit within your schedule. In addition to flexibility, prospective students should consider the value and return on investment expected from the education. How will a degree help propel your professional and personal goals? That’s the key. For many students, particularly adult learners, online education is the best solution. Look for a program that provides curriculum aligned with the latest industry standards, and always seek programs from a regionally accredited nonprofit university that emphasizes career-relevant pathways. 

CB: That’s right, CSU Global is the country’s first 100 percent online accredited public university. What degrees are offered, and how do enrollment and degree progression work?  

BT: We offer career-relevant bachelor’s and master’s degree programs, along with certificates, mainly for working adults and nontraditional learners. Our eight-week courses start every four weeks throughout the entire year, and we offer every course every term. The whole idea is to make an advanced degree accessible to all learners.   

CB: It’s hard to talk about accessibility without also talking about the rising cost of college. I think many of us are wondering if a post-secondary degree is still worth the price tag. And while we’re on the topic, is an online degree a more economical option?  

BT: What we know based on third-party data is that the ROI for every 1,000 dollars spent at CSU Global is 4.9 times the investment, which is strong. How does that compare to other institutions? That’s anyone’s best guess. It’s worth noting that pursuing an online versus in-person program can eliminate costs associated with on-campus housing, student fees and transportation. Plus, online programs at institutions that serve nontraditional students often have pathways to apply previously earned college credits toward their programs. CSU Global, for example, accepts up to 90 credit hours toward a bachelor’s degree. I’ll add that debt isn’t always a bad thing if you have a plan, and if earning your degree will help you move beyond where you are today. I really believe education is an investment in one’s future. That’s why I’m back at CSU Global.  

CB: You helped build CSU Global in 2008, then you took a hiatus. Why’d you come back? 

BT: I started my career in private equity, but I found myself in a phase of life where I felt it was time to give back to society. I got my Ph.D. in 2007, with the intent to teach higher education. In 2008, I applied to be a community college instructor, and somebody passed my resume along to CSU Global’s HR department. I got a call asking if I wanted to work on the school’s career-relevant curriculum. We opened in 2008 to 200 students. By 2009, CSU Global had about 900 students, at which point I knew we needed to apply for regional accreditation. Being the first fully accredited, public online university was unique at the time. Back then, there were seven other state systems that had tried to create a similar entity, but they were unable to get stabilized. We were driven to be nimble because of the nontraditional students we were created to serve. When I left in 2020, to work on Colorado’s economic recovery, we’d graduated over 20,000 students. I was asked to return to help facilitate the next chapter of CSU Global, and who can ignore a challenge like that coming out of Covid?   

CB: Why the interest in higher education? 

BT: My husband is retired Air Force, and I am very much about American competitiveness. Not everyone needs a college degree, but for those who want it, it’s important to be able to have credible, high quality, affordable education. But it’s more personal than that. My dad was the first in his family to go to college. This was after the war, after they got out of the camps, and I understood that education made a difference in our lives, in how our family was living compared to others in our neighborhood. My dad worked three jobs while going to Berkeley. That’s how he was able to pay for school, but he didn’t really get the full academic experience. CSU Global represents, in my mind, a way for students having to work full-time to still be connected to their peers and have relationships with their instructors. 

CB: Are you referring to the Japanese American internment camps? 

BT: Yes, it was the internment camps. My dad was in them starting as a toddler until about 7 years old. When they were released they had no money/savings, no place to live etc., so they somehow made it back to Sacramento where they had been living prior to the war, and ended up running a hotel in a not-so-good part of town. There were five kids and my grandmother, who spoke very little English at that time, but at least they had a place to live and food to eat. From that environment my dad decided that getting a degree could provide a better life, so as he grew up, he put himself through UC Berkeley to earn an electrical engineering degree, and from that he married my mom and started our family of three girls and helped the rest of his family. 

CB: OK, I’m bringing up the elephant in the room now. There used to be a stigma with online education. How have online degrees evolved over the past few decades

BT: In the early days, to prove online education credibility, the institution provided extensive annual third-party data regarding student workforce success, to show that high quality online education could provide a return on investment. Online programs have grown exponentially since then, with many brick-and-mortar campuses launching their own fully online courses, so they, too, have become proponents of online education. Even before the pandemic, interest in online programs was growing, due in part to its flexibility, as well as technological advances making online courses more engaging. With new tools and resources, the student experience keeps getting better, and the quality of content has improved. One result of the pandemic is we’re seeing a significant shift in higher education in general, including fewer high school students choosing to pursue a traditional, in-person, four-year degree program. There’s a greater trust, today, in online and hybrid programs from accredited schools. A number of online institutions are now regionally accredited, meaning they went through a comprehensive, peer-reviewed process that ensures a consistent standard of quality. But it is not just online education that has changed. The interests and needs of students changed, too. In early 2000, the number of American high school graduates going to college began declining. What I think we’re seeing is a market that’s very differentiated. People who are looking for higher education are very clear in what they want now.  

CB: So, is online education the future for all learners in the wake of the pandemic, or is this still a niche group of working and nontraditional students?  

BT: The future is solutions that can be customized to meet students where they’re at, and give them what they’re seeking. Hybrid is a popular option now, not just at school but work. Everyone wants to do a couple days in and a couple days out. I think having the options available and transferability is big now, along with stackability.  

CB: Did the pandemic help to legitimize online programs? 

BT: At the beginning of the pandemic, on one hand we saw an unprecedented opportunity for innovation in online learning. On the other, many misconceptions grew around the quality of online programs. Many schools were forced to move quickly to what we consider emergency remote learning. Teachers and students moved to virtual platforms in a matter of weeks, which does not reflect the quality of a truly robust online program like ours. And yet thanks to the technological advances that have taken place in every industry sector during the pandemic, there has also been a positive shift in perceptions of online learning. The pandemic not only altered education — it also altered the way we work, and students who earn a degree online are equipped with the skills needed to succeed in a fully remote or hybrid work environment. 

CB: Speaking of contemporary changes, what do you see as the increasing role of artificial intelligence in education? 

BT: In a lot of ways, AI is a very helpful technology, and since all industries are now tech-driven, I think it can help us learn what we need to do to get to the next level of global competitiveness. When I look at AI, I’m not at all afraid of it. I’m very comfortable with it, but the education has to be there on how to use it to help students learn. When I came back to CSU Global, I knew we needed to do some course revisioning. Our mission is to serve nontraditional students toward professional success. Beyond academic success, we want to provide the skills needed for workplace advancement. How do we make assignments relevant to a workplace application, so that students understand the value of the work that’s assigned? That’s what we’re tackling right now during this exciting time.  


Jamie Siebrase is a freelance writer based in Colorado.

GenXYZ 2023 — Taylor Rosty

They’re uncommon achievers, whether as entrepreneurs, CEOs, nonprofit leaders, visionaries critical to their companies’ success or, in some cases, all of those roles. This year’s Top 25 Young Professionals figure to continue making a difference professionally and in their communities for years to come.

Read on to learn about the 2023 Top 25 Young Professionals and to see the list of this year’s top 50 finalists.

READ: GenXYZ 2023 — Top 25

Taylor Rosty, 28

CEO, Lasso Digital | Denver

In three years, Taylor Rosty has transformed a small, two-person healthcare marketing agency into a 12-person communications, marketing and fundraising consultancy aimed at helping nonprofits further their missions. Rosty led the agency through a rebrand and restructuring. Under her leadership, Lasso Digital has become one of the only firms in Colorado that combines a full-service marketing agency with a full-service fundraising strategy.

Rosty has secured large contracts, including an extensive two-year contract with the Wyoming Department of Education and a statewide advertising contract with Connect for Health, Colorado’s healthcare marketplace. She has crafted a company culture that allowed the company to retain 100% of its team during the Great Resignation, motivating her team to perform while celebrating them as human beings. She has been running the company while being a first-time mom. Most of Lasso’s growth occurred while Rosty was working from home with her newborn, who made appearances on Zoom calls.

For community work, Rosty is vice president of the board of directors for Project Safeguard, a Denver nonprofit helping survivors of gender-based violence (sexual assault, stalking, domestic violence) access critical legal resources. She graduated magna cum laude from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania with a bachelor of science in economics with a focus in marketing, and is an alumni interviewer for the University of Pennsylvania.

Motivated to serve people, Rosty serves nonprofits through her work at Lasso and leads the firm with a spirit of servant leadership and humility that allows her team to feel seen and heard.

GenXYZ 2023 — Terence Rogers

They’re uncommon achievers, whether as entrepreneurs, CEOs, nonprofit leaders, visionaries critical to their companies’ success or, in some cases, all of those roles. This year’s Top 25 Young Professionals figure to continue making a difference professionally and in their communities for years to come.

Read on to learn about the 2023 Top 25 Young Professionals and to see the list of this year’s top 50 finalists.

READ: GenXYZ 2023 — Top 25

Terence Rogers, 33

Chef/Owner, Sullivan Scrap Kitchen | Denver

According to the Natural Resources Defense Council, U.S. restaurants generate an estimated 22 to 33 billion pounds of food waste each year. Chef Terence Rogers wants to change that, and his restaurant, Sullivan Scrap Kitchen, has sustainability in food, staff and community as the core of its mission. Rogers reduces food waste by finding creative ways to utilize ingredients and repurpose items before they end up in compost.

Rogers is also the chef and owner of TBD Foods, a premier farm-to-table catering company. Having both businesses operate out of the same building allows for full cross-utilization of ingredients. He focuses on local sources for all ingredients for the restaurant and catering company and works with local farms, ranches, mills, cheese purveyors, honey suppliers and more. 

He started TBD Foods in 2014 out of his apartment in Somerville, Massachusetts, hosting pop-up dinners. He moved to Denver in 2016 and continued hosting pop-up dinners and catering small events. In the winter of 2019 he opened Lil Scrap Kitchen as a pop-up sandwich restaurant out of his commissary one day a week to sell items that were “waste” from catering events. From there Sullivan Scrap Kitchen opened during the pandemic in July 2020. 

In the summer of 2022, Rogers changed the concept of Sullivan Scrap Kitchen from sandwiches and burgers to a plant-focused, small-plates menu that changes throughout the year. Sullivan Scrap Kitchen offers discounts to the teachers and administrators at the school next door, Denver Center for 21st Century Learning.

GenXYZ 2023 — Kellan Moore

They’re uncommon achievers, whether as entrepreneurs, CEOs, nonprofit leaders, visionaries critical to their companies’ success or, in some cases, all of those roles. This year’s Top 25 Young Professionals figure to continue making a difference professionally and in their communities for years to come.

Read on to learn about the 2023 Top 25 Young Professionals and to see the list of this year’s top 50 finalists.

READ: GenXYZ 2023 — Top 25

Kellan Moore, 36

President/Owner, Lind’s Plumbing and Heating | Fort Collins

Since taking over Lind’s Plumbing and Heating after the death of its owner in 2018, Kellan Moore has grown revenues by more than $5 million per year. In fact, 2022 was Lind’s best year with more than $30 million in revenue. Moore continues to be inventive in expanding the contractors the company does business with, and he has found ways to keep costs low to grow profits while growing the business as well. Lind’s, founded in 1984, is a full-service plumbing and heating contractor and does residential and commercial projects. 

During the pandemic, Moore expanded the company both in revenues and personnel. A graduate of Colorado State University with a bachelor’s degree in construction management, Moore takes pride and ownership of not only the company’s performance but also of its employees. He strives for financial success and growth. He continues to promote internal growth of employees with company-provided training and testing.

Moore is active in many children’s outreach charities, such as Child Safe, Hearts and Hands, United Way and Colorado Youth Outdoors, giving more than $200,000 since he started at Lind’s. For the past four years, he has organized a donation drive with Lind’s employees, vendors and partners for the Kissmas Wishes program. In 2021, Lind’s packed more than 10 company vehicles full of donated items for this cause. His passion to help underprivileged children in Northern Colorado has driven these activities.

GUEST COLUMN — President of Bank of America and DDP on the Power of Economic Diversification

Downtown Denver has positioned itself for continuous growth and success despite the challenges and changes stemming from a post-pandemic environment. Denver ranked sixth for the fastest-growing city in the US economy and as the best large city to start a business. Denver’s quality of life attracts talent, innovation and venture funding, which is contributing to significant economic growth in the area.

Recently, the Downtown Denver Partnership (DDP) hosted its 2023 Economic Outlook, focusing on perspectives from industry leaders about how businesses — from startups to established companies — are navigating economic challenges and opportunities, their stories of success and their predictions for Denver’s future. Participants and business leaders gained insights and tools to help them make the decisions and implement strategies needed to navigate emerging economic conditions and ensure success.

READ: Open for Business — Four Priorities for Maintaining Colorado’s Economic Competitiveness

According to the DDP, Denver venture funding soared to an all-time high of 1.9 billion in Q2 of 2022, a 111% increase. To sustain a vital and thriving downtown area, attracting new businesses to relocate is not enough. Investing in the expansion of large corporations is not the full story either. Our future economy will be shaped by our ability to start and grow small businesses right here in Denver.

Recognizing the impact small businesses and entrepreneurs have on our local economy and business community, Bank of America deploys the resources, tools and capital to help businesses launch and grow. As we examine the impacts of an uncertain market, small business owners nationwide are concerned about key economic factors such as inflation, commodities prices and supply chain, fueling anxiety around their overall outlook. According to Bank of America 2023 Small Business Owner Report, while the majority of U.S. small business owners (72%) are concerned about the impact of a potential recession, 76% are confident their business could withstand the downturn.

Moreover, despite the continued impact of inflation and supply chain issues, 65% of business owners anticipate revenue growth in the next 12 months. Additionally, findings from the Bank of America Institute suggest that small businesses saw little interruption to their operations in March, with spending growth in line with recent trends. Notably, payroll spending growth ticked up even as wage inflation decelerated in March, pointing to resilient small business hiring despite the uncertainties.

READ: Unlocking the Power of Data for Small Businesses: How Data Implementation Drives Business Growth and Success

Inclusivity and economic prosperity for communities of color

Through local partnerships with organizations, capital, tools and personalized service, Bank of America does everything we can to help businesses grow and realize their dreams. For example, the bank has invested in the launch of the New Community Transformation Fund (NCTF) in Denver, the first Black-owned, woman-led venture capital firm in Colorado. The fund invests in early to mid-stage businesses owned and operated by entrepreneurs of color. This investment is an example of how the bank directs capital and resources to expand the business sector, support the workforce and strengthen the overall community.

By accelerating the flow of capital into funds that invest in Black/African American, Hispanic-Latino, other under-represented minority- and women-led businesses, we can help level the playing field and drive greater job and wealth creation in Colorado.

READ: Celebrating Black Business Owners in Boulder — Leontyne Ashmore’s Barefoot-inspired Shoes

New and emerging technologies

Looking to the future, business owners believe new technologies will be critical to risk reduction and success. Many business owners have already begun aggressively incorporating new technologies. An earlier publication of the Bank of America Small Business Owner Report noted 70% of business owners reported having adopted new digital tools and strategies, including accepting more forms of cashless payments and banking more via online and mobile apps. Longer-term, 44% of business owners plan to prioritize digital sales over brick and mortar, and many believe that cybersecurity and automation will be critical to success.

How and where we work in 2023

Normalization of remote work has slowed the return to office, which in turn, has increased office vacancies to historic levels. While downtown Denver is currently at a 55% occupation rate during the weekdays, above the national average, the shortage of skilled talent is driving companies to offer commute-worthy office spaces and amenities to retain and attract talent as employees continue to demand flexibility. The power of place is increasingly important, positioning downtown Denver and the quality of life we enjoy as an appealing place for talent to establish their roots in, especially from higher-cost coastal cities.

Through the spirit of collaboration and cooperation, we can work together to solve big challenges and make bold moves to grow our economy. At the end of the day, vibrant communities + strong business = a great city.


Kourtny Garrett HeadshotRaju Patel HeadshotKourtny Garrett is the President & CEO Downtown Denver Partnership and Raju Patel is the President of Bank of America Colorado