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“The default for most manufacturers and retailers before we came along was to destroy returns.” Kristin Langenfeld, Co-founder and CEO, GoodBuy Gear My expectations were completely wrong entering this episode with Kristin Langenfeld. I’d expected she would tell me the story of a woman who started selling her own used baby gear, then slowly expanded…
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“If you love a band that’s coming to Red Rocks and you’re 21 years old, I'll find a way to give you that time off.” Tom Luersen, President, CoralTree Hospitality   This episode came together because a longtime friend, Dani Stern, now an executive at CoralTree told me over beers recently that he quit his last job to come to CoralTree. In fact, that …
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“We’re building homes in about 9 days at 20 stations, so every house stays at a station about 4 hours.” Charlie Chupp, Founder and CEO, Fading West This is the second recent episode about a Colorado company building alternatives to traditional single-family homes (see also Studio Shed – Still Leading the ADU Industry). It’s because the lack of atta…
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“I EXPLAIN TO CUSTOMERS HOW I WORK, AND THEY TRUST ME.” Fernando Ledezma, Ledezma Concrete This episode is out of my comfort zone – and refreshingly so. Generally, I’m with high-flying entrepreneurs leading business that have raised tens of millions of dollars and are pursuing hockey stick growth. Tia and Fernando Ledezma charmed me when they repla…
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“It’s fun to be in a business where you have to decide where to pursue the opportunity.” Jeremy Nova, co-Founder, Studio Shed   Jeremy was my guest via Zoom during the pandemic. Sometimes it’s fun to circle back with a prior guest to see how they’ve evolved – either the leader (see this focus in the episode “Starting from Skratch, Maturing as CEO” …
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“My #1 job is to run this great company… and (create a brand) that helps me get this message out there that there’s a different way to lead a company.” Kerry Siggins, CEO of StoneAge… Author and Speaker I’ve been skeptical and bewildered as I’ve watched Kerry Siggins mature as the CEO of StoneAge while simultaneously leaning in to becoming an autho…
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“I would say (to athletes), you know why you get paid? You’ve got to be able to bring value and sell products.” Chase Garrett, Founder & CEO, Icon Source “NIL” – Name, Image, and Likeness” – the idea that “amateur” athletes now get paid for helping to products, has upended amateur sports. Chase Garrett, with a background working with prominent athl…
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“We have customers tell us that we’ve helped them become better chefs.” Janet Johnston, Co-founder, Savory Spice Shops I begin this interview with a bit of a rant about how so many passion-based retailers fail, barely holding on long enough to save their pride after working 80-hour weeks for less than minimum wage. Savory Spice, now with 30 locatio…
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“We always had a method to capture demand... we established a waitlist of over 5,000 people.” GG Edwards, Co-founder & CEO Gnara (formerly SheFly) 20% off PROMO CODE below in show notes! Successful startup stories based on an “OMG, what a great idea!” product are always fun. When I spoke with GG Edwards, it was a day before she was set to announce …
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“We believe that big boxes stifle innovation because you start chasing volume.” Dustin English, Chief Experience Officer, Voormi I was interested in speaking with Dan English, Founder and CEO of Voormi because I saw a few Voormi garments in specialty retailers and thought it would be interesting to explore competing against the big name brands. Thi…
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“I was taken under the wing of one of the most prolific surgeon entrepreneurs of the 20th century.” Dr. James Mault, Founder and CEO, BioIntellisense I’ve had a little visibility into the world of medical devices. It’s not for the faint of heart (a bit of a pun). The road is so long, so slow, so arduous, and SO expensive – and potentially impactful…
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“It’s conservation through commerce. If people didn’t like eating bison there wouldn’t be 500,000 today.” Bob Dineen, Founder and President, Great Range Bison I like bison burgers. Just putting that out there. As much as I like talking with CEOs of unicorn tech companies, speaking with the founder of a bison company that has 40% of the GLOBAL marke…
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“We’ve got to be the market for mountain bikers… what do WE want to ride?” Chris Conroy, President, Yeti Cycles I like mountain biking and I have a bike that when it was new, was pretty good. My friends who are serious about mountain biking a) tease me about my bike now, and b) are super jealous that I had the President of Yeti Cycles in the studio…
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“WHEN YOU’RE SOLVING A VERY CHALLENGING PROBLEM WITH TECHNOLOGY YOU CAN ATTRACT EXCEPTION PEOPLE.” Dax Craig, CEO of Pie Insurance I spent my first year out of college selling life insurance and it was the worst year of my life. It’s not a surprise that as I got ready to prepare for this episode, I wasn’t excited. I had to remind myself, “This is a…
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“There’s more value in learning and team development than in avoiding a mistake.” Ian MacGregor, CEO, Skratch Labs Ian was also my guest for Episode 75 about 2 years ago. At that time, Ian explained that he’d been an “accidental” CEO. I wanted to catch up with Ian and see how he was maturing as a leader, as a CEO. I almost chose this quote to lead …
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“Engineers joined us because they saw the people already here whom they’d admired, and now could work with and learn from.” Joe Laurienti, CEO, Ursa Major I wanted to learn about rocket engines from a rocket scientist, so of course I was excited to interview Joe Laurienti, founder and CEO of Ursa Major, based in Berthoud, Colorado. Joe and I had a …
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”Our first few people who joined us, joined as full-time volunteers.” Josh Ross, Humanitix Global disruption of the entrenched oligopoly of ticketing – and doing it as a “for purpose” business with no equity investors and volunteers as its first “employees.” Humanitix did that. Starting in Australia and becoming a dominant player there emboldened H…
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We’ve gone from $300,000 on credit cards to over $1Billion in three year revenue with no debt. Dan Dietrich, CEO, Jogan Health I was introduced to Dan Dietrich of Jogan Health by my friend David Pritchard of Denver Angels. David told me, “You need to know Dan – his company growth has been explosive!” When I learned that in three years, the company …
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”It’s not only SEO. It’s not just Pay Per Click (or the tactic one knows)… it’s a FUNNEL – there are so many different pieces.” Jerid Schumacher with Clint Macklin, VEA Technologies I’m proud to know Clint Macklin and Jerid of VEA Technologies. They’ve been sponsors of ProCO360 for quite a while, helping me manage the website. While VEA is a full-s…
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The aha moment was when I saw the ability for local businesses to better reach those in their community. Josh Ritzer, founder and CEO, Nigh Technologies After 134 episodes of ProCO360, I tried something new: an early-stage startup introduced to me by its PR firm. I intrigued with the mission of Nigh to support local business, and checked out the te…
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I was hiring kids older than me so they could drive me around to do detailing. Adam Pitale, Founder & Chief Detailer You’ll love this episode. It’s a fun story of Adam Pitale, a teenager who grew up in Southern California and built a little car detailing service business for spending money. As Adam strived to do more cars, he grew determined to fig…
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“A 10-year cycle on billion-dollar projects wasn’t going to be sustainable… particularly given the threats we were seeing from our adversaries.” Dirk Wallinger, CEO, York Space Systems I went into my podcast recording with Dirk Wallinger hungry to learn about the business of designing, manufacturing, launching and managing small satellites. In fact…
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“I have friends at large companies trying to solve this problem sending me 200-page engineering drawings… We have an idea and we build it.” Jack Barker, Founder and President, Innovative Water Technologies I first heard of Innovative Water Technologies’ SunSpring water purification product when it was up for the People’s Choice for the Colorado Cha…
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“A few food-tech startups reached out about their companies… when I started digging into it I was like, this is a STORY.” Nikki Wentling, Technology and Innovation Reporter, Denver Business Journal Despite having so many amazing tech sector CEOs on ProCO360, it’s really hard to stay caught up with Colorado’s tech sector. One of my favorite tools is…
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“Seeing the amazement on customers’ faces, knowing that they will look through the dome and see the stars… gives me goosebumps.” John Gibson, Owner & CEO, Secret Creek I’ve always been drawn to yurts, tipis and tents – there’s something both novel and romantic about the structures, particularly today’s upscale versions, so I was eager to speak with…
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“We strapped some cameras and sensors onto my old Cub Cadet riding mower and drove around.” Jack Morrison, CEO, Scythe I love a great niche (I’ve started about 50 posts with that phrase). Even more, I love a business in a great niche that solves a big and PAINFUL problem that needs almost no explanation before a customer interrupts and says, “I WAN…
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“We enable human beings to reach their potential all around the planet.” Yancey Spruill, CEO, DigitalOcean I’ve known Yancey Spruill when he was a leader at DigitalGlobe, at SendGrid where he was CFO/COO and helped take the company public, and now as CEO of DigitalOcean – a public company with revenue that will likely exceed half a $ billion in 202…
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“Workers are drawn to, and most productive in, workspaces with which they identify.” Josh Freed, Founder and CEO, Proximity When Josh Freed and I first did an Episode of ProCO360 in 2019, Covid was not yet a thing and coworking was just expanding from new and novel to an established niche option for conducting business. Ha, all that seems so long a…
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“Business and life are about happiness – and a lot of both are about suffering and getting through the hard times.” Matt Brown, Author, Entrepreneur and Podcast host Matt is a super accomplished entrepreneur, author, and podcaster who is in the process of moving from Africa to Colorado, making ProCO360 is an early connection for him here. He’s a hi…
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“We are so fortunate – we have more subscribers than any other theater in the country.” Janice Sinden, President & CEO, Denver Center for Performing Arts The last time I spoke with Janice Sinden was pre-Covid, and I was fascinated to learn how DCPA had survived being shut down and losing $100 million during the pandemic. That was a great conversati…
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“When you’re inventing something, there’s no end in sight until you get there.” Shea Gerhardt, Founder & CEO, Buderflys My friend and past guest on ProCO360 Colin McIntosh (Sheets & Giggles – No Bluetooth. Just Fabric and Elastic.) posted something about Buderflys that caught my attention. I did some research and found that this is a great story ab…
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“I’m a realist about the convergence of technology, culture and the outdoors.” Robin Thurston, Chairman and CEO, Outside, Inc. Do I seem a bit star-struck in this episode? If so, it’s because I was. I’ve been a fan of Outside Magazine since I moved to Colorado decades ago – and its many niche brands including Warren Miller Films, Ski Magazine and B…
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“This episode is even richer in content than I’d hoped.” Dave Tabor, host, ProCO360 Putting four leaders of companies know for corporate culture together for a conversation about “Deliberate Culture” turned out to be better than I’d even hoped. With so much talk out there about how in today’s war for talent, it’s more and more about culture, the qu…
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“Your zip code is a better determinant of your health than your genetic code.” Dan Greenleaf, President & CEO, Modivcare I’m embarrassed to say that Modivcare is the largest Colorado-based public company I’d never heard of. It has over 30,000 employees and $2 billion in revenue. My conversation with CEO Dan Greenleaf is a revealing look a company t…
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"It’s incredible how much we understand the subsurface a mile underground...” Brent Lewis, CEO, Carbon America I’ve always wondered, with some skepticism, about the idea of addressing global warming by capturing carbon emissions and putting them underground… and how on earth (under Earth?) we could keep it there. Exploring this topic with Brent Lew…
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"We’re largely making a bet that they have the vision to build something great and special...” Chris Erickson, Co-founder & Managing Partner, Range Ventures This is a very entertaining and instructive podcast episode! It was a blast to hear the CEOs of two initially bootstrapped companies that recently received millions of dollars of VC funding tal…
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"We score people based on attitude, effort and performance, and if attitude and effort are good, we’ll give a very long leash on performance.” JB Kellogg, Co-founder & Co-CEO, Madwire Madwire has been amazingly successful. It now has 600 team members helping small businesses grow. What intrigued me most about interviewing co-founder and co-CEO JB K…
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"It’s that moment that you say, if this thing matters that much to me, if I’m that passionate about it – that’s what gets me through...” Brian Egan, Co-founder & CEO, Evolve It took me a while during prep to understand the difference between Evolve and VRBO, AirBnB, Booking.com. Then I didn’t understand that they aren’t competitors, usually. Evolve…
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"I had this realization that these people have an abundance of (sewing) skills and we’re teaching them to do janitorial work, or work in slaughterhouses.” Jeremy Priest, Co-founder, President & CEO, Knotty Tie Co. So many companies are aligning with causes with which they share an audience, often supporting those non-profits with a percentage of sa…
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HE SAID HE WOULD NOT LEAVE HIS CITY – HE WOULD FIGHT BACK. Yulia, resident of Kharkiv, Ukraine I’ve gotten to know a freelancer in the Ukraine who sent me heart wrenching messages about his and his wife’s life. His home is in Kharkiv, just 20 miles from the Russian border and under heavy attack. I went “off topic” and did an interview with his Engl…
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"It was rough… 3 months we were closed - $15M in earned revenue – GONE." Bert Vescolani, President & CEO, Denver Zoo Since I was a young boy I’ve loved the Zoo. In 5th grade after school I’d sneak into the Buffalo Zoo by hopping a hidden fence, and I’d just watch the monkeys. Interviewing Bert Vescolani was a thrill for me – so many questions… abou…
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"You would hope that businesses aren't thinking about this over the long run... they're not thinking about should I buy equipment now because I think it's going to be more expensive later." Nick Sly, Denver Branch Executive, Kansas City Federal Reserve With all that’s going on in the economy, some key economic issues are top of mind, even in the en…
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