GroundFloor Media was surrounded by a few of our client stars at the recent Denver Business Journal presentation of their annual “Forty under 40” honorees March 16.
The winners? Drum roll please… Nick Agro of Whirled Peas Catering, Phil Smith of Starbucks Coffee Company and Karl Maier of Market Force Information, Inc. – as well as past winners, Whirled Peas’ Marc DesRosiers and GFM’s own Laura Love. Thus, the GFM table was literally bristling like an entrepreneurial Energizer Bunny – though the Fantastic Five managed to quiet their Blackberrys just long enough to applaud the achievements of the other deserving honorees during the two-hour luncheon.
And no honoree seemed more deserving than Slavica Park. The Dean of the English as a Second Language Department at Emily Griffith Opportunity School, Ms. Park sparked a wave of humility throughout the capacity crowd when she stood to accept her place as one of the 2007 honorees. A 34-year-old refugee of the Bosnian civil war, Park arrived in Denver in 1997 after surviving sniper attacks and other horrors of war – not being able to speak a word of English. However, in 10 years she has not only mastered the English language but has presided over the school’s program, significantly enlarging the department and doubling its funding. Now that’s starting something from the Ground Floor!
Being one of the (just slightly) older members of the GFM table, Jim Dissett applauded loudly when DBJ Publisher Scott Bemis jokingly remarked that – since honorees seemed to get younger every year – perhaps the paper should start at “Fifty Under 50” program in the near future. Jim’s all for that, Mr. Bemis. After all, some folks don’t hit their stride until middle life – just ask Whistler’s Mother.
Here’s to next year and to another round of Denver’s up-and-coming leaders taking their places beside a proud “Forty Under 40” alumni group. Let’s just hope none of them have to face down sniper fire to make it to the podium.