Posted: October 01, 2012
GenXYZ: 10 more of Colorado’s Top 25 Young ProfessionalsBy the staff of ColoradoBiz
Karen Rowan, 38
Owner, Fluency Fast Language Classes
Path to success: Rowan has been teaching Spanish with TPRS (Teaching Proficiency through Reading and Storytelling) since 1995. As the foreign language department chair at the Colorado Springs School she worked with department members to create a preschool through the 12 Comprehension-Based Methods curriculum based on the Colorado State Standards, and taught eighth-through-12th grade Spanish classes. Rowan has a B.A in Spanish from Colorado College and an M.A. in Spanish and pedagogy from the University of Northern Colorado.
Making an impact: Rowan is the author of the Comprehension-Based Methods supplements for "Paso a paso and Realidades," published by Prentice Hall. She is the co-author of TPRS Gestures and Mini-Situations for "Look, I Can Talk More," with Blaine Ray. Rowan was the director of the National TPRS conference from 2003 to 2006 and has presented TPRS workshops for Rowan Workshops Inc. and Blaine Ray Workshops Inc. since 1996.
Connecting with the community: Rowan discovered a need within Colorado Springs Young Professionals several years ago for a friendly connector who would meet first-time attendees and connect them with other attendees. Group founder Jon Severson created an ambassadorship position for her. Also, after having volunteered for many years, she has joined the advisory board of the Bob Telmossee Christmas Giveaway, managing the food giveaway portion of that event.
Andy Seth, 34
LotusGroup Advisors Managing Partner
Path to success: By age 13, Seth had started a disk jockey company and earned full-ride scholarships to Culver Military Academy and Boston College totaling more than $250,000. He also started and sold two firms: a Web design firm and Golfstore.com. Seth then co-founded the LotusGroup Advisors investment firm.
Making an impact: LotusGroup Advisors currently manages $75 million and works with more than 120 individuals and families nationwide. Seth also has launched a business in Costa Rica in 2012 that focuses on making investments in startups and providing microfinance loans.
Connecting with the community: Seth and his staff at LotusGroup also serve Minds Matter of Denver as donors, golf tournament chair, director of volunteers, and mentor. Minds Matter results include: 100 percent of sophomores and juniors went to summer college programs; 100 percent of seniors attended four-year colleges; 100 percent of seniors earned scholarships. Seth was personally responsible for having raised more than $100,000 per year to fulfill the nonprofit’s budget. Seth also has developed a plan to once again double the students MMD serves over the next four years. Seth provides supplemental advice, fundraising, and event planning to help KIPP achieve its mission. This year, Seth helped raise more than $85,000 in a single evening when he was the auction emcee.
S. Brian Smith, 27
The Space Creators, President and Founder
Path to success: After receiving his education at Sewanee – the University of the South – and the University of Denver Daniels College of Business, Smith went to work for NorthMarq Capital, where he moved up to assistant vice president. However, he soon left to fulfill his entrepreneurial instincts. In short order he founded ForeclosureJet.com and the Space Creators.
Making an impact: The Space Creators opened Wazee Union in RiNo, Denver’s River North district in 2010.The building filled quickly, and he followed with Walnut Workshop in 2011 and Laundry on Lawrence in 2012. Now, the company represents more than 150 tenants across three buildings, and includes a real estate brokerage and building management group. Revenues have grown from $80,000 in 2010 to a projected $800,000 this year. Westword named Wazee Union and Walnut Workshop "Best Artists Community" in 2011, and Laundry on Lawrence was named "Best New Arts Project" by the paper in 2012. In addition, Smith launched Makers and Doers in 2011. Nearly 100 artists, creative businesses and entrepreneurs attend the monthly networking events, which are designed to cultivate a community of
Connecting with the community: Smith is chairman of the RiNo Neighbors District. Smith is also a supporter of the Rocky Mountain MicroFinance Institute, a nonprofit organization providing learning, lending, and coaching to grow community entrepreneurs who build businesses to advance along the pathway to self-sufficiency and self-worth.
Scott Van Daele, 34
Director of Operations, We Don’t Waste
Path to success: Van Daele in 2000 graduated from Metropolitan State College of Denver with a Bachelor’s Degree in journalism. After a stint in radio, and as director of marketing for parks and recreation for Los Angeles, he moved back to Denver in 2007. Van Daele was hired as the special events coordinator for Urban Peak, a nonprofit that serves homeless youth, raising more than $4 million in three years for the organization. There, Van Daele and volunteer Arlan Preblud noticed the quantities of food that caterers were throwing away. This inspired him to start We Don’t Waste.
Making an impact: Nonprofit We Don’t Waste in the past year has saved more than 500 tons of food from going to waste, instead providing more than 50 Denver nonprofits with food for the families and individuals they serve. Van Daele has created partnerships with some of the largest food providers in Colorado in an effort to help ease food costs for struggling nonprofits. Among others, these include: SYSCO, Aramark, Three Tomatoes Catering, Occasions by Sandy, CenterPlate, Epicurean, the Denver Broncos, the Colorado Avalanche, the Palm, Happy Cakes, Gigi’s Cupcakes, and King Soopers.
Connecting with the community: Van Daele is committee chair for Colorado Homeless Youth Awareness, committee chair for Denver’s Road Home PJ Day and Project Homeless Connect, annual events for which he helped to raise $3 million since 2008. He is the Denver Rescue Mission Gala Committee co-chair.
Zackary Lewis, 37
CEO and founder, Liquid Compass
Path to success: A graduate of the University of Colorado at Boulder Leeds School of Business, Lewis also is a veteran of the Marine Corps’ famed "Walking Dead" infantry battalion. He has launched three successful companies, founding Genesis Marketing Group while still attending CU. After Genesis Marketing, Lewis founded GlobalTRACK Technologies, an asset-tracking technology company.
Making an impact: Lewis’ third company, Liquid Compass, also was founded in 2001. The Liquid Compass Streaming Delivery Network provides live and on-demand stream hosting and Web services, and also offers an array of stream hosting services for desktop and mobile applications. Hundreds of radio stations stream their programming through Liquid Compass Streaming Delivery Network. The company also is the leading developer of customizable media players and radio streaming applications. Through Liquid Compass’ newly released player, LC PRO 2.0, radio stations have more ways to offer advertising and monetize their stations. It is the only radio streaming platform that currently offers full player takeovers, in-stream couponing, full social media integration and consumer polling.
Connecting with the community: Lewis promotes philanthropy through his company, which has made contributions to the Colorado Make-A-Wish Foundation for many years. Liquid Compass has also been a sponsor of events including the Sean "Ranch" Lough Memorial Scholarship Fund.