Colorado Business Hall of Fame Laureate Sue Anschutz-Rodgers
The dynamo philanthropist is still collaring wild animals
Since its inception in 1990, the Colorado Business Hall of Fame has honored outstanding laureates who have made impactful contributions to the business community. The laureates are chosen each year from hundreds of nominations, selection committee chair John Freyer said, noting this year’s theme: “a mosaic of Colorado character and success.”
Rancher and philanthropist Sue Anschutz-Rodgers has always been adventurous and willing to test the thin ice, literally.
She tells the story of how as a youngster in rural western Kansas she was the one who volunteered to test the ice on the creek near her house after school to see if the kids could go skating.
In a diverse life as a businesswoman and energetic philanthropist, especially for causes in rural Colorado, Anschutz-Rodgers remains daring at age 81. She spent five weeks last summer in Africa camping in the bush, riding in helicopters and placing tracking collars on elephants and rhinos as a board member for Lewa Wildlife Conservancy of Kenya. She tells of one very exciting evening watching six lions outside her tent.
Anschutz-Rodgers was honored in November with a lifetime achievement award from the National Philanthropy Day in Colorado. She splits her time between work in Denver, ranching in Carbondale and many charitable causes.
She serves as hands-on president of the Anschutz Family Foundation, established in 1982, that has awarded more than 9,000 grants totaling more than $52 million to nonprofit and community organizations related to self-sufficiency, community development, economically disadvantaged, children and youth, seniors and the disabled. She led the foundation’s efforts in establishing the 25-year-old Colorado Rural Philanthropy Days that connects Front Range funders and rural nonprofit partners.
Assistant Kristen Berg calls her boss a whirlwind who knows how to get things done efficiently but also is kind, considerate and thoughtful.
Anschutz-Rodgers said she was “absolutely blown away” with the Hall of Fame honor and credits her achievements to her traditional American values learned growing up, including honesty, integrity and sincerity.
“I hope that people would remember me as, basically, doing the best I could in the area of philanthropy for those who are less fortunate,” she said.