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GenXYZ: Our Top 25 Young Professionals, E to H

ColoradoBiz’s under-40 overachievers of 2016 prove age is really just a number


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Meet our Top 25 Young Professionals, E to H:

Dan Epstein, 30

Founder, Unreasonable Group

In 2009, Epstein co-founded the Unreasonable Institute, a Boulder-based nonprofit and business incubator for entrepreneurs. In 2012, the dog lover left to launch the Unreasonable Group, a private holding company of for-profit organizations including Unreasonable Adventures, Unreasonable at Sea and Unreasonable Media. The Unreasonable Group aims to partner with businesses to create a family of companies that will collectively put the greatest challenges of our time behind us.

Keo Frazier, 37

VP of Marketing, McWhinney

Keo Frazier always has a plan C.

“Because everyone has a plan A and B,” she says. “But no one ever has a plan A, B and C.”

That’s the kind of thinking that made Frazier the founder of two successful companies by age 29. At FOCUS, Frazier created guerilla marketing campaigns and conducted market research for major companies including United Airlines, TED, 1800 Tequila, Super Target and Washington Mutual. Her campaigns showed a 20 percent increase in sales and product distribution for her clients. Ready for a new challenge, Frazier sold her business in 2006.

Just two years later, in 2008, she founded KEOS Marketing Group, where she and her team created successful marketing and branding campaigns that empowered clients such as the University of Colorado, University of Denver, MSU Denver, Delta Dental, Denver International Airport, City and County of Denver and Stapleton.

As vice president of marketing at McWhinney, Frazier says she strives to make a difference every day.

“I sometimes wake up in the middle of the night wondering if I am making the most valuable impact on the world and in my life,” she says. “Making a positive impact on the world requires tenacity and forethought. You must have the tenacity to keep at it every day and the forethought to know what action or decision will actually make an impact. It is a challenge I welcome at every waking moment of the day.”

Cole Frock, 31

Program Director, Batky Howell/Skill Distillery

Working to close the tech-talent gap in Colorado and beyond, Frock has built a curriculum, program infrastructure and team to teach computer coding. Through Skill Distillery, Frock has helped dozens of individuals pursue a democratized educational opportunity and future career access and flexibility. He has helped counsel students who were struggling through the process and kept them in the program by providing thoughtful support. Frock has also worked to discover talented teachers and faculty to best serve students.

Kristin Golliher, 32

CEO & founder, WildRock Public Relations & Marketing

When Golliher started WildRock Public Relations & Marketing four years ago, it meant leaving a lucrative executive-level career to jump into the uncertain world of entrepreneurship. WildRock has grown from a one-woman startup to an award-winning team of six with clients nationwide. This year, WildRock won four gold awards and two silver from the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) Colorado Chapter.

Nic Gray, 37

CEO & co-founder, HyprLoco

Military vet Gray turned his experience as a gunner in Operation Iraqi Freedom into a high-tech startup, HyprLoco, a software company focused on location detection technologies. The latest product release is the Digital Concierge, which provides consumer intelligence to businesses on customers entering their establishments, allowing everyone to be treated as a regular.

Adam Hasemeyer, 34

VP of Business Development, Spire Digital

Hasemeyer got his start at software development firm Spire Digital in 2006 as a green 24-year-old, then rose through the ranks to become one of its top two executives. Since becoming VP of Business Development in 2013, he has used a team model to achieve growth, where members work together to bring in new business. Sales have increased threefold, and profits have quadrupled.

Natalie Henley, 30

President, Volume Nine

As President of Volume Nine (V9), Henley brings direction, strategic insight and support to the digital marketing agency’s team of experts and consultants. Under Henley, the company has seen 67 percent sales growth year-over-year, a 38 percent increase in contracts and a 20 percent increase in average sale price. Says V9 Founder and CEO Chuck Aikens: “Natalie has the respect of the team and has been a major contributor to changing our company culture.”

Chanda Hinton-Leichtle, 34

Executive Director, Chanda Plan Foundation

Chanda Hinton Leichtle became a quadriplegic at age 9, when an accidental gun discharge sent a bullet through her spine. Twelve years later, she weighed 59 pounds and was close to death.

Today, Hinton-Leichtle is living life to the fullest and changing other people’s lives as well. Through her foundation, she helps others with disabilities access the integrative therapies she credits with saving her own life, alternative treatments such as massage therapy, acupuncture, chiropractic and adaptive yoga.

“I like to problem-solve and discover options that break down whatever is preventing us from having successful human experiences,” Hinton-Leichtle says. “With health care being a significant part of everyone’s experience, the gaps and barriers with that portion of life are so important to me.”

In 2009, Hinton-Leichtle worked with policymakers to pass the Spinal Cord Injury Medicaid Waiver, which evaluates the efficacy of alternative therapies and consequential cost-savings for people with spinal cord injuries in Colorado. The waiver recently was extended and expanded through 2020, and the foundation has been designated one of two provider locations in the state.

Hinton-Leichtle does it all, from managing the day-to-day foundation operations, to fundraising and development, to community outreach, to advocating for policy changes, to inspiring clients. So far this year, she has raised more than $3 million of the foundation’s $4 million capital fundraising goal.

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Lisa Ryckman

Lisa Ryckman is ColoradoBiz's managing editor. Contact her at lryckman@cobizmag.com.

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