Bolder Young Pros to Know

These young professionals stand out in their field for their achievements and success at an early age. Learn about young pros and their accomplishments in our blog series.

Young Pro to Know, September 2018: Jenn Tatro, Card Catalog
Young Pro to Know, August 2018: Michal Duffy, Out Boulder County
Young Pro to Know, July 2018: Katie Pribyl Dobbins, Safehouse Progressive Alliance for Nonviolence
Young Pro to Know, June 2018: Lindsey Sachs, COLLECTIVE/by Sachs
Young Pro to Know, May 2018:
Mike Hirsch, NOAA
Young Pro to Know, April 2018:
 Alina Nisenzon, Zayo Group
Young Pro to Know, March 2018: Brad Dober, NIST
Young Pro to Know, February 2018: Shawn Coleman, Terrapin Care Station
Young Pro to Know, January 2018: Gabi Boerkircher, Boulder County

Young Pro to Know, July 2016: Sarah Mirick, YWCA 
Young Pro to Know, June 2016:
 Josie Bunch, Graduate School of Banking at Colorado
Young Pro to Know, May 2016: Hannah Klemme
Young Pro to Know, April 2016: Elliot Forsyth, Wells Fargo Advisors
Young Pro to Know, March 2016: Beryl Durazo, The Inn Between of Longmont
Young Pro to Know, February 2016:
Andre Becklund, Citywide Banks

Young Pro to Know, November 2015: Nikki McCord, McCord Consulting Group
Young Pro to Know, June 2015: Kendra Prospero, Turning the Corner, LLC
Young Pro to Know, May 2015: Jack Jostes, Ramblin’ Jackson
Young Pro to Know, April 2015: Ian MacGregor, Skratch Labs

Past Blog Posts

5 Questions with Stacy Slawitsky, ZenConnect

1.     What is the most rewarding thing about your job now?

I get to help women biz owners who are super passionate about what they do make more money doing what they love so they can transform more lives and/or businesses.

2.      What are you hoping attendees take away from your discussion?

Numbers rock because if you look at them in a certain way, they can tell a story about your business. For example, they can tell you that:

Your actions aren’t producing income.

You need to charge more money.

You need help selling yourself.

And the list goes on.

Trading dollars for hours doesn’t serve you or your clients.

Strategy is important but to cultivate financial abundance externally, we also need to feel abundant internally.

3.      What would you say are the most important skills to have for someone in a position similar to yours?

Courage, self-awareness, perseverance and you need to be strategic in how you are going to get a consistent pipeline of client prospects eager to work with you.

4.      What advice would you give to someone looking to break into the industry in which you currently work?

Get a mentor who you resonate with, ditch the idea that your biz needs to be perfect before you launch and just do it!

5.      What is your dream job?

I am grateful to say it’s what I do now.

Finding Happiness in Helping Others

It’s about that time for swim suits, flip flops, ice cream, outdoor concerts, and many other fun summer activities! A great way to kick off your summer is by adding volunteering to your summer activities. Volunteering can help you get the most out of your summer. Consider using some of your time to give back to the community.

Volunteering has been proven to reduce stress, improve health, promotes personal growth and self-esteem, and allows you the chance to test out a career. While making a positive difference in the community or wherever you choose to volunteer, you can also network your way to finding possible career options. If you are already employed this is still a great opportunity to network and gain new connections in the greater Boulder area and beyond.

Here are some volunteer resources for you to use this summer:

Not only can you bring happiness to other people’s lives, but you can also discover many opportunities that you might not have come across otherwise. Volunteering brings a variety of people together and making connections in these situations may help you advance both personally and professionally. Please feel free to share any other volunteer opportunities on our BYP Facebook or Twitter. Here’s to a great summer!


Events Not To Miss This Summer

Anyone from Colorado can agree that the summers are nothing short of auh-mazing! If you are from Boulder or perhaps are new to the area, we have complied some of the best summer events that you should be sure to mark on your calendar.

Boulder Creek Festival – Make this Memorial Day Weekend one to remember. This event has said to be one of Bouler County’s favorites and includes three days of festivities featuring a large variety of events, activities, food and entertainment unique to the Boulder community.

BolderBOULDER – This 10k is one of the largest and best in America.  May 26thyou will see a mix of people and activities occur from belly dancers, a cooling mid-race slip ‘n slide break, an unexpected beer-and-bacon stop or the eclectic music as you wind around the course through the streets of Boulder. There’s so much to enjoy from start and finish.

Boulder County Farmers’ Market
– Come enjoy a true Boulder gem every Saturday from 8:00am-2:00pm and every Wednesday from 4:00-8:00pm.  The market takes place on 13th street between Arapahoe and Canyon and prides itself on bringing you locally grown vegetables, meats, fruits, flowers, plants, gourmet cheeses and wines sold by the farmers who produce them.

Thursday Night Bike to Farm Tour – Locals and travelers alike will want to be a part of this incredible opportunity to experience a bike-to-farm dinner.  The bike tour begins in downtown Boulder, then you’ll follow the creek path to a beautiful farm.  Live music and wine tasting are sure to please any palate.  The trip includes a farm tour, guided bike ride and a three-course farm dinner! There are also more bike-to-farm options including a Tour de Farms Festival and Sol y Sombra Thursday Night Ride.

Taste of Boulder Dining Tour and Beer Tours – Boulder is known for great food and microbreweries and this tour is a perfect combination of both. Tours last between 1.5 – 2.5 hours (depending on the tour), where you are free to eat, mingle, drink, and eat some more!

Rocky Mountain Tea Festival – The Boulder Dushanbe Teahouse is putting on this festival and seeks to offer a non-competitive forum for lovers of tea to come and learn, taste, and discuss their favorite beverage. Be sure to check out the teahouse for afternoon tea throughout the summer!

First Friday Events in Boulder – From NoBo’s art walk to Sip n’Paint, be sure to check out these great festivities that occur throughout the summer!

These are a few events to start off your summer right. We hope you enjoy this year’s beautiful Boulder summer as much as we do!

Bolder Business to Know | Bolder Boulder 10K

Every Memorial Day, thousands of people gather in Boulder. Downtown Boulder and Pearl Street are bursting with spectators, music stations and vendors. But this is not a festival, or even an event of any normal caliber. It’s the BolderBoulder. And for the past 35 years, this 10K/6.2 mile race has brought in millions of people to Colorado, both participants and spectators, from around the world.

Encouraged by the suggestion of Olympic gold medalist Frank Shorter, Steve Bosley (President of the Bank of Boulder) decided to host the inaugural Bolder Boulder in 1979. The race, at that time finishing at North Boulder Park, brought in 2700 people and was won by nationally renowned runner Ric Rojas. 1980 saw the race almost double in participants, so much so that they had to move the finish point to Boulder High School to accommodate the large group of runners. In 1981, Bolder Boulder co-founder (and aforementioned Olympic gold medalist) Frank Shorter won the race, which had now found its permanent finish line at CU Boulder’s Folsom Field Stadium.

Today, according to the most recent statistics, the Bolder Boulder participant registration has increased 20 times that of the first year, now up to over 54,000 people, making it the fifth largest road race in the world. In 2012, the race costed over $2 million dollars to host but brought in over $10 million dollars of revenue for the City of Boulder.

Having gained international prestige, the BB has brought in international participants including Olympians and elite athletes from Ethiopia, Kenya, Mexico, Peru, Canada, Morocco, Guatemala, Ecuador, Australia, Japan and the United Kingdom.

But the race isn’t just for world-class athletes. Families and teams, children and elderly adults participant as well, with many groups dressing up in costumes or with cleverly thought-up themes. In recent years, a training program, “From Couch Potato to 10K” has been widely popular with the non-professional runners. You can choose your running level and the program works with your abilities to help train you for the 6.2-mile race.

Even if you don’t run in the race, hundreds of fans and spectators gather each year to cheer on those friends and strangers alike. Many people will host yard parties along the race route to watch and cheer on the runners. Some will even find their own unique ways of participating without actually running, including garden hose cool-down fountains, slip-n-slides and one notable house featuring a “Bacon Station”.

So whether you’re planning on running in the race this year or just planning on hosting a yard party of your own, don’t miss the Bolder Boulder this Memorial Day, Monday May 26, 2014.


Brian Pachtman | Owner of Ruya CrossFit

Meet Brian Pachtman. He is the owner of Ruya CrossFit in Boulder, which opened its doors in December of 2012. Pachtman has been a long time CrossFitter and has literally participated in it all over the world.

In addition to owning Ruya CrossFit, Pachtman also owns a consultancy for other CrossFit gyms around the world and is getting a few CrossFit events off the ground with a partner.  Between studying Strength and Conditioning,  Pachtman received his MBA focusing on Entrepreneurship and Investment Finance.

“I needed to round out my education and skill offering to my athletes, my business, and also my CrossFit gyms.  A great coach knows the information and also knows how to make it relatable to everyone.  It is a good feeling when your ideas behind community and fitness programming can help the first CrossFit gym in Egypt…or anyone else for that matter.”

Pachtman is extremely proud to say that Ruya keeps people safe because of the programming while also creating continuous personal records for their elite and non-elite athletes.

Pachtman did almost all of the renovations, painting, and knocking walls down himself in the 3000 square foot space off of 32nd and Valmont.  He describes CrossFit as a different business model than most exercise studios.

“Amenities aren’t and shouldn’t be the main focus to someone’s fitness.  The things that keep people coming back to a specific CrossFit gym is actually their fitness, the level of fun they are having, and the tightness of the community.”

So how do you create a following or true family-style community?

“The community is the end all be all for Ruya.  Everyone knows each other’s name.  They know what is going on with each other. This common pain and common sacrifice is what creates a quality community.  Ultimately, this creates a sense of accountability and an un-intimidating atmosphere.  If you don’t show up for a week to work out, you better believe someone is going to ask you where you have been!”

As globally minded as Pachtman is, he brings everything back home with the CrossFit events.  One event series is called Operation Guardian Games and all sponsorship dollars are set to benefit The Navy Seal Foundation and a similar organization called One Team One Fight.

“The cause gives me a sense of purpose at the moment and I cannot think of a better group of people to help than those who fight for my freedoms.”

Pachtman loves his job for a few reasons.

“One of the great things about CrossFit is that there are always new things to learn or improve for the athletes.  This creates a true coaching atmosphere instead of a trainer/trainee atmosphere.  This means the athletes respect the coach’s knowledge and come to CrossFit because they genuinely want to learn, not because they just need someone to put them through the paces.”

“People ask what my goals are with Ruya.  It is surprisingly simply stated yet difficult to accomplish.  My goal is to change people’s lives.  From the beginning, I just wanted to concentrate on my current members.  I knew if I could provide the best possible community, coaching, and programming, Ruya would thrive.”

Check out Ruya CrossFit for a free intro to CrossFit every Saturday at 12 noon and see what it’s all about.

5 Questions with Bob Bolak | President & CEO of Sandler Training

Looking forward to next week’s Brain Food Lunch, “How to Craft the Ultimate 30-Second Elevator Speech” at Zolo Grill, we sat down with Bob Bolak to get to know him and more about his experience.

1)  What skill(s) have you learned through this line of work that you didn’t have before you began?  

It will sound trite to say, but advanced communications skills. It’s a funny thing, when you TEACH communication skills, your own become stronger – even though, I am still a ‘work in progress.’  We do a lot of  work training middle managers (those that often only get small doses training on these kinds of things – if any at all).  When we teach them how to teach it to the people they manage, their own skills get stronger.  We have a saying at Sandler: “Those that teach it, often learn it best.”

2)  What would you say is the greatest challenge facing young professionals in today’s career world?

Some professionals are not direct in their communication and rely too heavily on passive forms of communication (email/texting etc.) vs. having phone and face-to face conversations.  We see this in the companies we consult and train from Fortune 500 companies to solo entrepreneurs in Boulder County.  It’s a BIG problem and is creating major challenges for these companies.

3)  Who has been your biggest cheerleader/influencer in pursuing your career?

My wife Jamie. Several years ago when I started the company I would was working 6am-10 or 11pm every day. She was so sweet and supportive, she would make me a lunch every day because I was either eating at my desk or in the car between client visits. Often in my lunch she would put a sweet little note like: “You got this.” Or, “I believe in you Bob.” I’ve had an enormous advantage to always have had such a supportive life partner.

4)  How do you measure success in your line of work?  

a) By doing the behaviors I commit to do on a daily & weekly basis.

b) By making regular weekly, monthly progress on the specific goals I’ve diagramed out (there are 8 life goal areas)

c) By regularly looking at my vision board to be sure that one, I am advancing in the direction of my goals and dreams and two, to remind me of why I am doing the hard work (many of the hard work things are things I’d rather not do).

5)  If you could choose to pursue any subject simply for the joy and pleasure of learning, what would you choose to study and why? 

I would learn to play the violin – I love the emotion of a well-played solo violin piece. It is so pure, with no place for the music or musician to hide.

Justin Gold | Owner & Founder of Justin’s Nut Butter

Peanut butter and chocolate is probably the ultimate match made in heaven. The only way the combo could get any better would be to put it in a spread, or a handy to-go pack that won’t get smushed out of shape in a pocket or backpack.  Justin Gold, Boulder entrepreneur and owner of Justin’s Nut Butter, has done just that, with his variety of nut butters (in convenient squeeze packs) and candies. Paired with a commitment to using all-natural, organic, GMO-free ingredients, Gold has found overwhelming success in his business producing the nut butters and peanut butter cups, particularly given his unconventional background.

“I grew up in a small rural town in Western Pennsylvania with dreams of becoming an environmental lawyer until I interned at a law firm in college and, well, changed my mind.”

Gold’s grandfather started one of the first “health food” stores in western Pennsylvania in the 1960’s, and Gold credits him for giving him an early introduction to natural products. In college, Gold worked towards earning a degree in environmental studies, helping to organize field trips to hazardous waste facilities, landfills, meat packing plants and dairy farms. These factors, coupled with his vegetarian lifestyle and his upbringing, helped to solidify Gold’s dedication to sustainability and using organic and natural products for what would become Justin’s Nut Butter.

“Imagine telling your parents that you are giving up a law degree for the opportunity to make peanut butter… They were totally supportive and that has made all the difference.”

Gold moved to Boulder shortly after finishing college where he worked as a waiter and at an outdoor store for several years until his company was stable enough to launch.

The inspiration for Justin’s was born from Gold’s vegetarian lifestyle and eating lots of peanut and almond butter during his many outdoor adventures. Originally starting with jars sold at farmers markets, it was Gold’s squeeze pack that really helped launch his company nationally.

“I was on a long mountain bike and was sick of my bars and gels and just wanted a packet of peanut or almond butter. The squeeze pack innovation instantly put our company on the map with national distribution in Whole Foods Market and Starbucks.”

Today, 11 years after Justin’s was founded, the nut butters are sold nationwide in a variety of flavors and styles, from classic peanut butter to chocolate hazelnut butter and maple almond butter (Gold’s favorite).  It was a natural progression then, to break into producing organic peanut butter cups. Gold capitalized on the classic combo of chocolate and peanut butter, much like the ever famous Reese’s, but with an all-natural, organic spin to them in both milk and dark chocolate peanut butter cups.

As any business owner will tell you, Gold is simultaneously challenged and rewarded by the things that come each day, pulling him in a hundred different directions all at once. His day-to-day work is rarely ever the same, but he tries to keep things consistent, as best he can.

“My day always starts with a workout then getting to the office first so I can rock out to music while I catch up on emails.  The rest of the day blows by with meetings, projects, etc.”

Gold strives to stay true to Justin’s mission, using quality, organic and all-natural ingredients that come together in delicious, vegan, gluten- and GMO-free products.

Looking to the future, Gold hopes to continue to meet the growing demand from his increasing fan base, keeping them stocked with delicious Justin’s products.

“It sounds crazy, but my big milestone is to have us in a position where we have plenty of inventories to sell to our customer who are constantly out of stock. We’ve never had the opportunity to catch up with customer demand.”

As for his participation with the Boulder community and Bolder Young Professionals, Gold encourages all budding entrepreneurs and young professionals to follow their passions and start somewhere.

“Our economic future lies within the courage and curiosity of the young minds. I’m thrilled to be involved with organizations that support and encourage intellectual curiosity at young ages”.

Rick Oberreuter | Owner of Originality Design

As a young boy, Iowa native and owner of Boulder-based Originality Design, Rick Oberreuter was fascinated with drawing.  A fan of sports and the Chicago Cubs, Oberreuter’s childhood home was littered with caricatures and Pearl Jam logos, foretelling his career as an artist and graphic designer.

Oberreuter attended college in Minnesota, majoring in graphic design and advertising before coming to Colorado in 1999, where he attended art school for two years at the Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design.

In 2006, after working on side projects during weekends and late nights, an opportunity opened up for Oberreuter to leave his job at a traditional agency and start his own business.  And so Originality Design was born.

Like any self-owned and operated business, breaking out with Originality Design had its challenges.  Oberreuter admits to being burned a few times by clients not paying him.

“I love doing design, but with your own business, you’re also everything else- the bill collector, the marketer, you are answering the phones.  You have to take on a lot more tasks than if you just had another job at an agency.”

Of course, there are perks to owning your own business, including significantly more creative freedom and being able to work his own hours.  The rewards more than make up for the challenges.

“I work with a lot of start-ups and you have people or businesses that don’t have much money and they put a lot of stock into your expertise.  They trust you to do something good.  When I see that business succeed a year or two later, that’s pretty cool.”

A day in the life of Oberreuter has a relaxing start, beginning when he wakes up, he takes his dog for a walk and then gets coffee.  Working mostly from home, Oberreuter usually has three to five projects at any given time.  To break up the monotony, Oberreuter will work on one project for 30 minutes to an hour, take a break and go for a walk or a hike, then will come back and work on a different project.

On the occasion when he is stuck or out of ideas, Oberreuter will take a pen and pad up to his favorite hiking spot in Boulder, Gregory Canyon or to the Boulder Reservoir, or he’ll flip open a copy of Boulder Weekly.

“One of my art teachers once said the best thing you can do to get unstuck is to cheat”.

Skimming through the pages of a magazine, Oberreuter will take little details of logos he likes– a color or a line shape– and incorporate those details in to his own work.

As a designer, Oberreuter is always pushing himself to do better work and not settle for average.  This work ethic is attributed to one of his art school teachers.

“He pushed me to be conceptual.  If you would come to class unprepared, he would yell at us, and it was brutal, but he was great because he always pushed us to be creative.  You think you’ve got something, but you could always push it farther, do it better.”

Being a Boulder-based business, just about 90% of the projects Oberreuter and Originality Design take on are related to sustainability.

“Being in Boulder, I’ve really been involved with a lot of sustainability and organic businesses.  I really want to work with businesses and companies and non-profits that do good for the community.”

Most recently, Oberreuter redesigned the logo for our very own Bolder Young Professionals (formerly Boulder 2140).  Having previously attended events and happy hours organized by Bolder Young Professionals throughout 2013, Oberreuter knows the value of networking and making connections.

“I don’t want to hide behind my logo and the best way to meet people is to get out there and have a beer with someone or have a conversation with them.  Having those conversations is the best way to make connections.”

Oberreuter continues to make connections and has even joined as a volunteer for the Bolder Young Professionals marketing committee.

We hope Oberreuter and Originality continue to experience much success from his time with Bolder Young Professionals.

5 Questions with Nancy Chin-Wagner | Founder & CEO of Nancy Chin-Wagner, LLC

This month, we’re sitting down with Nancy Chin-Wagner and finding out a few things that make her tick, and what to expect from her Brain Food Lunch later this month, “Network Your Way to a New Job”.

1). What skill(s) have you learned through this line of work that you didn’t have before you began?

Let me tell you, I had very few networking skills when I moved to Boulder.  Today, networking is a lifestyle for me.  The skills I have learned have propelled me to another level in business.  One skill I find paramount in business is building relationships.  People need to know, like and trust you before doing business.  Another skill is having the right attitude when you meet people.  Love what you do, feel inspired and smile!  Following up with prospective clients and clients is another important skill.

2). What would you say is the greatest challenge facing young professionals in today’s career world?

The greatest challenge facing young professionals in today’s career world is being prepared in the pursuit of your dreams and aspirations.  Business is not an extension of the university you graduated from. It’s your life.  It’s your ability to go anywhere in the world and be a successful person in business as an entrepreneur or in a corporation.  Are you ready?  Who do you know?  Where do you begin?

3). Who has been your biggest cheerleader/influencer in pursuing your career?

My biggest cheerleader is my husband.  He is so supportive, especially with all the nights I am out networking! I am also blessed with so many friends who are inspiring, trustworthy, supportive and loving.  They wish me much success!

4). How do you measure success in your line of work?

The measurement of success to me is from people whose lives I have touched, changed and made a difference.  I help people through some tough moments including:

a) Working up the confidence to enter a networking event

b) Starting a conversation and breaking the ice

c) Building their confidence and self-esteem

d) Being able to build relationships and go to the next level

These are only a few ways I help. Helping others make a difference through relationship building and helping others succeed in business make me feel I have succeeded.

5). If you could choose to pursue any subject simply for the joy and pleasure of learning, what would you choose to study and why?

I would choose to travel. Traveling would enable me to learn about people, their behavior and culture in other countries. What are their needs and how can I help?  Would they need a PowerConnections Group, YES!  We all are constantly learning and changing.  Isn’t that great?

Quote from The Blindside movie:

Sandra Bullock’s character, Mrs. Tuohy adopted Michael Oher when he was in high school.  He currently plays offensive tackle for the Baltimore Ravens, #74.  One scene is her sitting with her lady friends at a posh restaurant.  One woman said “You are really changing his life.”  And Bullock’s character said, “No, he’s changing mine.”

I enjoy helping others and making a difference in people’s lives.  Even a hug and smile helps!