October 10, 2019
"Any time you put money first, you're probably going to make the wrong decision. Any time you put people first, you'll make the right decision."
David Birzon, CEO, Snooze Eatery
I was super curious entering my interview with David Birzon of Snooze Eatery. I wanted to know a couple of things in particular… First, how do you build a food concept without having it feel like a CHAIN? Second, my fascination with how seemingly few breakfast restaurants can get eggs to the table HOT, while most can’t. Both answers are about culture. When David Birzon asked team members why they choose to work at Snooze, the answer is, “Because you believe what we believe.” You'll enjoy my interview with David on building a business with people who can be their true selves.
September 24, 2019
“Nothing is going to teach you leadership skills like running a company. I started by assuming I knew nothing, asking a lot of questions, listening to what people told me to do, and then acting on it.”
Kerry Siggins, CEO, StoneAge
When I interviewed Kerry, she was fresh off a late-night flight from The Netherlands. That didn’t stop her from bringing energy and insights to our conversation about being a young (too young?) new CEO taking the reins in an established family-owned company – in a male dominated industry in which she had no experience. Great lessons for entrepreneurs and leaders at any stage in their career!
September 5, 2019
“The beer business is not glamour, it’s not all beer drinking. It’s a giant dishwashing job!”
Dave Thibodeau, Founder and CEO, Ska Brewing
I had a great time with Dave Thibodeau, founder of Ska Brewing. We laughed a lot while we talked about the business of building a Top 100 brewery. Spoiler Alert: Ska is named for their favorite beer-making music!
August 22, 2019
“I’m not there to run my own agenda. This is about the mission of the organization. I’m there to STEWARD that mission.”
Jandel Allen-Davis, CEO, Craig Hospital
You, like I, have probably heard stories of Craig Hospital’s tremendous successes, sometimes with stories of celebrities who have been treated at Craig. Planning for my interview with its CEO, Jandel Allen-Davis, I really wanted to explore how the leader of such a well-established and successful organization steps into that role, and what we can apply from how Craig operates to our businesses.
August 8, 2019
“When we started, there was nobody commercially making these… we turned it into a new sport and that feels really exciting.”
Thor Tingey with Sheri Tingey, Alpacka Raft
Continuing my tour of SW Colorado, I met with Sheri and Thor Tingey, the mother and son team that started Alpacka Raft of Mancos, Colorado. Sheri tells the story of Thor’s first packrafting trip using an early product that fell far short of Thor’s needs on a long backcountry trip. Upon Thor’s return, he asked Sheri, a ski wear designer and maker, to “please make me a raft!” From those early designs, Alpacka Raft was born, launching the new sport of “packrafting.” The photo on the right is me trying out an amazing 2-person Alpacka Raft!
July 25, 2019
Passionate entrepreneurs are inspiring.
They are even more inspiring when they share their #1 barrel of whiskey, aged 8 years – and they do it during the interview in front of a live audience.
“It’s important to me to be connected to every barrel – and more to be connected to everybody who works here.”
Al Laws, Laws Whiskey House
Al Laws ended a successful career on Wall Street to move to Colorado and start Laws Whiskey House – imagine, studying and learning all you can, investing millions of dollars, and then waiting YEARS as it ages to find out if you could achieve all you’d dreamed you could. Hear why Al has a tatoo of a gargoyle sitting over a whiskey barrel. This was a LIVE audience podcast held in the private barrel room of Laws Whiskey for subscribers of the PROCO360 newsletter.
July 11, 2019
I love a great niche.
MUNIRevs is growing 50% a year, and is earning big-name clients, by developing a product for its niche customers and delivering exactly what they need.
“(as CEO) you can tend to want to do it all... knowing that it was OK to make that next hire… propelled us to 50% growth the last two years.”
Erin Neer, Founder and CEO, MUNIRevs
Does providing software to government sound boring? It did to me even as I entered the interview with Erin Neer, CEO of MUNIRevs.
I am amazed at how successful the company has become, recently signing the city of Dallas as a client, offering a solution to help municipalities track short-term rental revenue, and launching a product that online businesses can use to navigate the incredibly complex obligation of collecting sales tax. I left the interview blown-away at what I think is a tremendous illustration of the power that exists at the intersection of niche mastery and continuous innovation to meet market opportunity. Have a listen!
June 24, 2019
CEO of Mayfly Outdoors (world-renowned Ross Reels and Abel Reels) on building a specialty brand in the outdoor industry.
“Being an entrepreneur in Colorado is like being on a team you didn’t even know you were on!” - David Dragoo, CEO, Mayfly Outdoors
I took PROCO360 on the road to Montrose, Colorado to visit Mayfly Brands. You’ll enjoy learning how supporting its western slope community and environment is an integral part of his growth strategy.
June 6, 2019
“Yup.” 2018 sales: $850,000. 2019 forecast: $6 million. Joyful, candid entrepreneur shares a quintessential story of inventing and marketing a consumer product – Matt Hyder, Founder & CEO of Recoup Fitness.
“My teacher failed me – she didn’t believe I really had a check from the San Francisco 49ers.” Matt Hyder, Founder & CEO, Recoup Fitness
I PROMISE: YOU WILL LOVE THIS INTERVIEW. It contains a truly a “quintessential” entrepreneurial story, told candidly. Quitting college with one semester to go, sleeping under his 3-D printer so he could reload it all night, bootstrapping by learning how to do everything from mold-making to digital marketing… Matt’s is a story of really hard work, passion, enthusiasm, humility... and being single.
May 23, 2019
Sam Gilliland on how he brought the “Traveling Gnome” to Travelocity, and on becoming CEO of Cherwell.
“If you add value with a human touch, great, let’s keep that human touch. If you’re not adding value there, let’s automate it.”
Sam Gilliland, CEO, Cherwell
Cherwell, with 500 employees and based in Colorado Springs, provides IT Services Management to clients around the world. I wanted to interview its new CEO, Sam Gilliland, to learn about “the man who brought us the Gnome” (Travelocity), and the difference between growing into a substantial CEO role, and stepping into the role of CEO another business, which he recently has done. You’ll enjoy our conversation about balancing “human touch” vs. automated service.