President & CEO
Project C.U.R.E.

Dr. Douglas Jackson serves as the President/CEO of Project C.U.R.E. Each week, Project C.U.R.E. delivers approximately three semi-truck loads of donated medical supplies and equipment to desperately needy people around the world. Since 1987, Project C.U.R.E. has delivered equipment and supplies to hospitals and clinics in over 130 countries. Project C.U.R.E. is consistently recognized with the highest Four Star ranking from Charity Navigator, and was named by Forbes as one of the top 200 charities in America.
In addition, Project C.U.R.E. sends teams of medical professionals to assist partner hospitals and clinics through the successful C.U.R.E. Clinic program, and provides hundreds of thousands of dollars of medical supplies to traveling doctors and nurses in the form of C.U.R.E. Kits. Recently, Project C.U.R.E. pioneered the design of Kits for Kids, a backpack filled with the items that mom’s in developing countries need to care for their children. More than 15,000 people volunteer with Project C.U.R.E. every year, making the organization one of the most efficient and effective grass-roots organizations in the country.

In addition to his work at Project C.U.R.E., Dr. Jackson has taught at the university level in the disciplines of finance, investments, leadership development, legal and international issues. Most recently at the Korbel School for International Studies, Douglas designed and implimented a graduate course entitled “From Disaster to Development: The Appropriate Response to International Crises.” He is a frequent speaker and lecturer to colleges and universities, as well as civic, corporate and community organizations.

Dr. Jackson is a Rotary International Paul Harris Fellow, and was the President of the Denver Rotary Club #31. He serves on the Board of Directors for InterAction, WorldDenver, The Nanda Center for International and Comparitive Law at the University of Denver, and the Rueckert-Hartman College for Health Professionals at Regis University. He is a member of the National Who’s Who, Registry #57689, and a graduate of leadership program LEAD San Diego. Past service includes the Institute for International Education which administers Fulbright Scholarships, Leader’s Challenge, and a Ruling Elder of Cherry Hills Community Church (EPC). Dr. Jackson received the Lifetime Achievement Award in Healthcare from the American Red Cross, the Civis Princeps recognition from Regis University, the 5280 Magazine Philanthropist of the Year, and accepted the CoBiz “Best Places to Work” and Colorado Ethics in Business Award on behalf of the team at Project C.U.R.E.

Douglas graduated magna cum laude from Northwest Nazarene University in 1982, receiving a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration. In 1985, he earned a Juris Doctor from the University of Colorado at Boulder, receiving the American Jurisprudence Award for Excellence in the study of law. In 1992, he was awarded a Ph.D. in Business Administration with an emphasis in finance and econometrics from the University of Colorado at Boulder, authoring a dissertation on leveraged buyouts and secondary public offerings.  Douglas is a member of the Alpha Delta Sigma and the Beta Gamma Sigma national honor societies.

Following his admission to the bar, Douglas administered the legal affairs for the international agricultural firm of CTB, Inc., a Birkshire Hathaway company. Upon the completion of his Ph.D., Douglas opened the Fermanian Business Center at Point Loma University in San Diego, California. As Executive Director, Douglas developed and implemented numerous programs and seminars to advance business opportunities for college students and business professionals in the San Diego community and abroad. In 1995, Dr. Jackson assumed the role of Provost at Colorado Christian University. In this capacity, he oversaw the academic, financial, operational, advancement and student life functions of the university.

Douglas lives in a converted warehouse in LoDo, Denver. He is dad to three beautiful daughters and is the son of Chief Uzoma of Nkume, a Nigerian honor bestowed on his father for Project C.U.R.E.’s work in Africa.

President & CEO
The Daniel's Fund

Linda Childears is passionate about the work of the Daniels Fund, and has served as its President and Chief Executive Officer since 2005. Bill Daniels appointed her as a trustee of his estate, and named her to the Daniels Fund’s original Board of Directors. Linda’s leadership reflects her strong dedication to preserving the philanthropic intent of Bill Daniels, and honoring his specific directions.

Linda originally met Bill Daniels when he hired her company, The Financial Consortium, to help overcome the unprecedented operational, legal, and regulatory challenges of launching Young Americans Bank, his bank for kids. By the time of the bank’s grand opening in August of 1987, Linda had accepted Bill’s offer to become its President and CEO. Under her leadership, Young Americans reached nearly half a million young people.

Prior to Young Americans, Linda spent several years in “adult” banking. She served as President of Equitable Bank of Littleton, and Vice President of First National Bancorporation. She also served the industry as a board member of Colorado Bankers Association, Graduate School of Banking at Colorado, Colorado Student Loan Program, and as Chairman of the American Bankers Association Education Foundation.

Linda is active in the Denver community. She currently serves on the boards of Cheyenne Capital Fund, Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce, Colorado Association of Funders, Mountain States Employers Council, and Conference of Southwest Foundations. She is a member of the Colorado Ethics in Business Alliance Leadership Council and Mayor Hancock’s Denver Education Compact. She is past Chair of the National Assembly, National Camp Fire, and the Cherry Creek Arts Festival. Past board positions include Alliance for Choice in Education, Cherry Creek Business Improvement District, CollegeInvest, Colorado Meth Project, Daniels College of Business, Denver Metro Chamber Leadership Foundation, Denver Public Schools Foundation, DU Bridge Project, Foundation for Teaching Economics, Johnson & Wales University, Junior Achievement, Mile High United Way, National Foundation of Dentistry for the Handicapped, OpenWorld Learning, Young Americans Bank and Young Americans Center for Financial Education.

Awards and Recognition
Linda was awarded an honorary doctorate of Business Administration in Financial Services Management from Johnson & Wales University in July 2010, and was named National Philanthropy Day’s Outstanding Professional in Philanthropy in 2010. Other honors include Colorado Bankers Association Banker of Distinction, Girl Scouts of Colorado Woman of Distinction, the Athena Award in 1998, and honorary lifetime membership in Camp Fire.

Linda Childears was named Colorado’s "Outstanding Professional in Philanthropy" during 2010 National Philanthropy Day.

President & CEO
American Furniture Warehouse

American Furniture Warehouse president and CEO, Jake Jabs, is not a run-of-the-mill businessman by any stretch of the imagination. The fourth of nine children, Jabs was born and raised in rural Montana, and his parents were immigrants from Russia and Poland. He credits his family for providing him a strong work ethic, a sense of family and a love of music. In fact, this long-time musician's entrepreneurial career began in guitar sales.

Later, after a brief stint selling home electronics in the early 1950s, Jabs' first serious venture into the furniture business came in 1968 when he opened Mediterranean Galleries, a high-end furniture store with locations in Denver, Colorado Springs, Pueblo and Billings, Montana. The Mediterranean trend ran its course and the Galleries closed five years later. Shortly after that, Jabs came across an opportunity that would become his life.

American Furniture Warehouse was founded in 1975 when Jabs purchased the struggling, 90-year-old American Furniture Company. With just one location at 58th and Bannock in Denver, Colorado, Jabs brought in fresh marketing ideas and new business philosophies, including a name change to American Furniture Warehouse, which set the company on the path to success.

Under Jabs' leadership over the last three decades, American Furniture Warehouse is vastly different than the one-store operation he purchased in 1975. The company has expanded into a twelve-store operation that has experienced a remarkable growth trend over the years. As he has been since the beginning, Jabs is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the company and also leads the company's team of buyers - even taking multiple buying trips in the U.S. and overseas per year himself. Today, American Furniture Warehouse, which is headquartered in Englewood, Colorado, is one of the top retail furniture companies in the U.S. With sales topping $392 million in 2013 and with nearly 2,000 employees throughout Colorado, American Furniture Warehouse is one of the largest privately held businesses in the state. The company has thirteen locations throughout Colorado and Arizona; Aurora, Englewood, Centennial, Lakewood, Thornton, Westminster, Colorado Springs, Firestone/Longmont, Fort Collins, Glenwood Springs, Pueblo, Grand Junction, and Gilbert, AZ, with one soon to open in Glendale, AZ.

At today's American Furniture Warehouse, customers enjoy the largest selection of quality, stylish home furnishings and accessories at the lowest prices in the state. What's more, American Furniture Warehouse is known to have the largest selection of furniture under one roof in the United States. American Furniture Warehouse makes a priority of working efficiently and keeping costs low, so that those savings can be passed on to the more than one million customers the company serves each year.

In addition to its mission of providing customers with the best furniture at the lowest prices, American Furniture Warehouse is deeply committed to giving back to the community. Jabs traveled throughout more than 50 countries over the course of his career as a major furniture importer as well as in his early years in the Armed Services. Those experiences have prompted him toward a lifelong study of various forms of government and business. In yet another form of giving back to the community, he often speaks to high school and college students on topics such as the basics of business and the keys to success. Widely known as an innovator and a pioneer in the home furnishings industry, Jabs is frequently sought out for comment on pressing industry issues.

This self-taught businessman credits American Furniture Warehouse's success to "the basic American philosophies of hard work, long hours, self confidence, the courage to take risks, the desire to give value and service to every customer as well as the passion for community service." In addition, Jabs has built a business where "honesty is the best policy" is not just a catch phrase; rather it is a core operating principle.

With more opportunities to grow and give back to the community, American Furniture Warehouse will continue to make a positive impact for years to come.


Featured Speakers:

President & CEO of The Colorado Banker's Association 

President of ANB Bank & Sturm Financial 

COO of 1st Bank 


President/CEO of the Colorado Bankers Association, Don Childears has served CBA since 1975, preceded by legislative and campaign work for a Congressman. He’s completed his Juris Doctor from University of Denver College of Law, and BSBA from Colorado State University, where he was student body president. Community activities vary including: First Amendment Council, Referenda C & D Finance Committee, Civil Justice League, Governor’s Y2K TF, Kids Voting, Housing Council, two graduate schools of banking, and political activities and campaigns. Business activities include ABA BankPac, Colorado Competitive Council Steering Committee, BancInsure, a publishing company, a network predating the internet, and a burglar alarm company. He frequently speaks (NBC Nightly News, ABA’s Annual Convention) and teaches government, political influence, and banking. Numerous awards include a Special Tribute by U.S. Senator Allard. He’s from Saguache (rural Colorado town) and is married to Linda, President of the Daniels Fund ($1.1B charitable foundation) and previous President of the Young Americans Bank (youth financial literacy pioneer) in Denver.


As president of ANB Bank, Koger Propst brings more than 30 years of experience in community banking with a focus on creating alignments that allow the bank, its employees and its customers to achieve mutual goals. He leads ANB Bank with a firm belief in the power of independent banking and its ability to help enhance lives and communities. For ANB’s customers, that means truly getting to know their personal and business needs at the root level and delivering exceptional, personalized service and quality products that enhance their lives.

Koger has spent his career with Colorado banks. He earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration.

Remaining active in the communities where he lives, Koger serves in board roles with a number of community organizations and leadership roles with state banking organizations.



Dave currently serves as the president of FirstBank in Lakewood, Colorado. During his 31-year career at FirstBank, Dave has served in a variety of positions, including executive vice president of FirstBank Holding Company and Chief Operating Officer. He was named President of FirstBank in 2010 and continues to serve as Chief Operating Officer of FirstBank Holding Company.

In addition to his work at FirstBank, Dave is on the board of the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce and Mile High United Way. He also serves as a trustee for the University of Colorado Foundation and on the University of Colorado Denver Business School Advisory Board. In addition, Dave and his wife, Laura, serve as the chairs for the University of Colorado Denver Creating Futures Capital Campaign. Previously, Dave has chaired Rocky Mountain Junior Achievement, the Colorado Bankers Association, and the Graduate School of Banking at Colorado.

Dave earned a degree in business from the University of Colorado in Denver, Colorado and a graduate degree from the Pacific Coast Banking School.

Bruce Benson
President of the University of Colorado

Bruce D. Benson became president of the University of Colorado in March 2008. Since taking the helm of his alma mater, Benson has enhanced CU’s standing as one of the nation’s leading public universities, advancing the economy, health and culture of Colorado and beyond. He is the longest-serving CU president in more than half a century.

During Benson’s tenure, CU’s research funding has reached record levels (including the most recent, $774 million in 2012-13), supporting the university’s research strengths in biotechnology, health care, energy, and aerospace engineering, among others. He has led efforts to promote cross-campus collaboration that have resulted in cooperative academic programs and research initiatives, most notably CU’s Biofrontiers Institute, led by Nobel laureate Tom Cech.

CU has seen its five best fundraising years (including a record $258.8 million in 2012-13) under his leadership. Benson and his wife, Marcy, chaired CU’s $1.5 billion Creating Futures fundraising campaign, which exceeded its goal in November 2013. The campaign, the largest in university history, supported scholarships, academic enhancements (endowed faculty positions, programs), research projects and capital improvements across CU’s campuses.

Benson has guided efforts to successfully institute operational efficiencies, cut bureaucracy and improve business practices at the university. CU has secured legislation in the Colorado General Assembly that has allowed it to save millions annually in areas such as procurement, insurance and construction. He has also established a number of public-private partnerships to make the university more entrepreneurial and meet the needs of businesses in Colorado and across the country.

He oversees a system with four campuses (Boulder, Colorado Springs, Denver, Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora) with some 58,000 students (a total of 66,000 students pursue courses for credit). CU has some 27,000 employees. The university’s annual budget is $3.1 billion.

Before becoming CU’s president, Benson had already made his mark in business, politics, philanthropy, education and civic endeavors. He founded Benson Mineral Group in 1965, a year after earning his bachelor’s degree in Geology from CU. Throughout his business career, he has also been involved in banking, real estate, cable television and restaurants.

He has consistently been active in a variety of educational, civic and political endeavors. He was the Republican nominee for Colorado governor in 1994. Benson has received many honors recognizing his leadership in a variety of endeavors, but two are particularly notable: CU in 2004 granted him an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters, and in February 2009 he was named to the Colorado Business Hall of Fame.

Benson has three children and 10 grandchildren. He was born July 4, 1938, in Chicago.

Josh Stewart
Founder & CEO of XJET

XJet is the culmination of Josh's lifelong dream to create a unique brand, recognized worldwide for its genuine people, passion to serve, and commitment to shine as a beacon that inspires others to live their dream. 

XJet provides Seven Star Service centered around private air travel. XJet's exclusive private aviation club provides discriminating jet owners with an elite personal experience unlike anything else available. XJet combines seven-star service with the finest facilities in the industry and their strategic global network to deliver effortless private travel around the globe. 

The unique aspect of XJet allows us the advantage of providing their transient customers with a level of service that is unmatched by our competitors and delivered by a group of passionate individuals who love what they do. 

XJet opened its flagship location at Denver's Centennial Airport (APA) in 2007 and plans are underway to launch their first global hub at Dubai World Central (DWC) by 2014. 

John Harpole
President of Mercator Energy

Topic: "The U.S. Shale Gas Revolution: its Impact on Vladimir Putin and Jared Polis"

Mr. John A. Harpole is founder and President of Mercator Energy LLC, a natural gas services, brokerage, and research company representing both producers and end-users. Mercator currently assists end-users and producers in 12 states, moving 5 BCF of gas per month. Mercator also conducts special research projects for client groups exploring the impact of industry trends on various regional markets.

Mr. Harpole is a frequent speaker on natural gas pricing, transportation issues, and liquefied natural gas imports to such organizations as the Process Gas Consumers Conference in Washington, DC; CERI North American Natural Gas Conference in Calgary, Alberta; Colorado Oil & Gas Associations Annual Natural Gas Strategy Conference and the Wyoming Natural Gas Fair. Mr. Harpole is a board member of the Independent Petroleum Association of Mountain States and Chair of the Natural Gas Transportation and Markets Committee, board member of the Colorado Oil & Gas Association and Energy Outreach Colorado.

Mr. Harpole has provided testimony to the House Energy Resources Committee and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, on natural gas issues and is qualified as an expert witness in a number of venues. Mr. Harpoles articles on natural gas issues have appeared in Harts Energy Markets, American Oil & Gas Reporter, Natural Gas Focus, The Rocky Mountain Landman, and Oil & Gas Investor. Mr. Harpole was the author of the Royalty-in-Kind to Low Income provisions in the Energy Act of 2005.

Mr. Harpole and his wife Lisa are also currently co-chairs of the Board of Trustees for Seeds of Hope. The mission of the Seeds of Hope Charitable Trust is to make the tremendous benefits of Catholic education available to Denver's children living in economically disadvantaged areas.

Brian Watson on Why Competition is a Good Thing

Brian Watson, Founder and CEO of the Opportunity Coalition, invites you to attend upcoming Opportunity Coalition events, including John Harpole, Founder and President of Mercator Energy, on Aug. 21. Join the Opportunity Coalition at http://opportunitycoalition.com/join. The fall line-up includes Josh Stewart, Founder and CEO of XJet, in September; and Bruce Benson, President of the University of Colorado, in October.


*Richard is also the proud Father of 4-Time Olympic Gold Medalist, Missy Franklin

Dick is the Regional Director and Co-Founder of the Clean Tech Open which has grown to become the largest clean tech accelerator in the world!  The Clean Tech Open has aided over 865 companies who have collectively raised over $1 Billion dollars and created thousands of jobs.

Dick is also the CEO and Founder of Envirobrand which helps companies embark on “Triple Bottom Line” strategies and social innovation in order to help maximum their organization-wide profits.

Dick is also the Former President and CEO of the REMAX Wildlife Experience, the Former COO of Circadence and the Former President of IT International.

Dick brings 35 years of CEO, COO, CSO, SVP level experience with corporations such as Reebok, Coors, Head Sports, Seven-Up, TCI, Nestle etc – to name a few.

In 2008, the South Metro Chamber awarded Richard the “Volunteer Leader of the Year” award. In 2010, he was nominated for the “Governor’s Award for Cleantech Leadership.”

And last, but certainly not least, Dick is the proud Father of Four-Time Olympic Gold Medalist, Missy Franklin.  Missy is also a world record holder, the 2012 AAU Amatuer Athlete of the Year, a Five-time Olympic Medal recipient and the first female to win Six Gold Medals in a World Championship in Barcelona.

Richard "Dick" Franklin, the Executive Director/Co-Founder for the Rocky Mountain Cleantech Open talks about opportunities in heating and cooling solutions for buildings (smart buildings), infrastructure upgrades, water desalination, carbon mitigation, methane capture, drones, robots and satellites.

Click here to see the video gallery of Richard Franklin addressing the Opportunity Coalition.

Listen to Northstar's CEO, Brian Watson, getting interviewed on Fox News KCOL
July 25, 2014

Fox News KCOL interviewing Brian Watson as their feature guest to get his thoughts with regard to Forbes Magazine's recent article whereby they ranked Denver and Fort Collins in their top five cities to grow a business in.  Brian was brought in as an expert to speak from an entrepreneurial perspective.


Topic: "Making a little toffee for a few of our friends"

Doug Simons, President of Enstrom Candies, Inc., answers questions from Brian Watson, Founder and President of the Opportunity Coalition, following remarks from Simons on June 12, 2014.

Doug Simons, who became president of Enstrom Candies Inc., in 1987, has turned a “Mom and Pop” business into a competitive, high-quality producer of confections. Under his leadership, two manufacturing facilities and corporate offices have been constructed. He has also brought innovation through technological advancements to both the mail-order and manufacturing sides of the business having assisted in the development of cutting-edge machinery to allow for continuous- production of Enstrom’s premiere product, World-Famous Almond Toffee.

Throughout the last 50 years, Enstrom Candies has expanded their product line to include toffee popcorn, truffles and delicious gourmet chocolates. Thanks to Granddad Chet, they are celebrating over fifty years of a treasured family business; over fifty years of watching eyes light up and smiles appear when people taste the world’s finest almond toffee.  Most importantly, they are celebrating more than fifty years of honoring Granddad’s philosophy that “we’re just making a little almond toffee for a few of our friends.” 

See a video gallery of Doug Simons addressing the Opportunity Coalition.


Topic: "Trust but Verify: Lessons from Life and the Diamond Trade"

Tom Shane, Executive Chairman of Shane Co., spoke to the Opportunity Coalition on May 15, 2014, in a presentation titled, "Trust but verify: lessons from life and the diamond trade."

Shane Company or Shane Co. is the largest privately owned jeweler in the United States. The company is a direct diamondruby, and sapphire importer that operates twenty retail stores across the United States and their website ShaneCo.com. The company was founded in 1971, and is based in Centennial, Colorado.[2]

Tom Shane, at right, addresses the Opportunity Coalition on May 15, 2014, as Brian Watson, Founder and CEO, looks on.

Tom Shane, at right, addresses the Opportunity Coalition on May 15, 2014, as Brian Watson, Founder and CEO, looks on.

The company promotes their retail locations and website through radio commercials that prominently feature the company’s founder, and CEO, Tom Shane and the tagline "Now you have a friend in the diamond business."

Tom Shane graduated from the University of Colorado in 1970 with a degree in business administration. In 1971 he founded modern-day Shane Company, although his family has been in the jewelry business since The Great Depression. His grandfather, Charles Shane, launched the family into the jewelry business in 1929 when he purchased his first jewelry store in Cleveland, OH. Richard Shane, Tom Shane's father, joined his father and brother, Claude Shane, in the business after World War II. Several years afterward, Richard and Claude split their business interests into two large jewelry chains in the Midwest, opening the first stores with the name Shane Company. Throughout the following decades, Tom Shane grew Shane Co. from a one-store-operation into a jewelry store chain with twenty locations in thirteen states.

See a video gallery of Tom Shane addressing the Opportunity Coalition.


Topic: "Becoming a Good Ancestor"

Increased adolescent drug use, organized crime incursion, banking regulation uncertainty and higher prices for industrial property are some of the health, public policy and business risks from the decision by Colorado voters in 2012 to legalize marijuana, according to a discussion April 17, 2014 at the Opportunity Coalition, featuring Colorado State Attorney General John Suthers.

John Suthers was appointed Attorney General of Colorado in January 2005. After serving for nearly two years, in November 2006, he was elected - by a large margin - to serve a full four-year term and he was re-elected in 2010, again by a large margin. 

As Attorney General, John represents and defends the interests of the people of the state and is chief legal counsel and adviser to state government. He has initiated successful programs to protect children from Internet predators and to reduce mortgage and foreclosure fraud.

Prior to becoming our Attorney General, John was nominated by President Bush to serve as the US Attorney for the District of Colorado where he represented the United States in all criminal and civil matters within the District of Colorado. Before that, Gov. Bill Owens appointed John as the executive director of the Colorado Department of Corrections where he was in charge of nearly 6,000 employees and an annual operational budget of approximately $500 million.

John started his career in private practice in Colorado Springs until his first run for public office when he was defeated an incumbent to be elected District Attorney of the Fourth Judicial District. After two terms, he returned to private practice until the call from Governor Owens.

John has authored five books, including his most recent, "No Higher Calling, No Greater Responsibility: A Prosecutor Makes His Case."

He graduated magna cum laude from the University of Notre Dame with a degree in Government in 1974 and from the University of Colorado Law School in 1977.

John and his wife Janet have two daughters: Alison is a Deputy District Attorney in Denver and Kate is a procurement analyst for the Defense Department in Pearl Harbor and a Lieutenant Commander in the U.S. Navy Reserves.

See a video gallery of Colorado State Attorney General John Suthers addressing the Opportunity Coalition.


Topic: "5 Steps to Revive America"

Answering a question at the Opportunity Coalition on March 20, 2014, former U.S. Sen. Hank Brown, R-Colo., proposes that term limits are a way to make Congress more responsive. Join the Opportunity Coalition at http://www.opportunitycoalition.com/join.

Throughout his 40-year career, Hank has held several positions in public service. Most recently, Hank served as the 21st President of the University of Colorado (CU). His tenure at CU is marked by successes with record enrollment numbers, donations, diversity growth and the largest increase in state funding seen in the university’s 131-year history. His leadership was instrumental in increasing the university’s federal research funding to $640 million and reforming its governance process. 

Prior to his time at CU, Hank was president and CEO of the Daniels Fund where he is credited with reducing the organization’s overhead by 35 percent and shifting $2 million per year to increase grants and scholarships. From 1998 to 2002, Hank served as the 11th president of the University of Northern Colorado.

Hank spent six years serving Colorado in the U.S. Senate, five consecutive terms in the U.S. House representing Colorado’s 4th Congressional District and four years in the Colorado Senate. From 1969 to 1980, Hank served as vice president of Monfort of Colorado.

From 1962 to 1966 he served in the U.S. Navy, where he volunteered his service in Vietnam and was decorated for his combat service as a forward air controller.

See a video gallery of U.S. Sen. Hank Brown addressing the Opportunity Coalition.




Topic: "Inspiration, Instigation, Innovation"


Steve Bigari is the Founder and CEO of Stellar Restaurant Solutions.  Stellar Restaurant Solutions is the premier restaurant carry-out order processing organization in the world.  Steve was mentioned in the book, "The World is Flat" by Thomas Friedman, and resides in Colorado Springs.

Steve Bigari is a tireless entrepreneur and innovator who has successfully started 14 companies and has made his mark on the quick service industry over the two decades. As 19-year McDonald’s operator of 12 restaurants and innovation chairman at McDonald’s, Mr. Bigari helped inspire, instigate or innovate now familiar products such remote call center ordering, credit and debit card acceptance, Ronald’s Playplace,  and the Made For You™ production model. Mr. Bigari still holds the Drive Thru world record of 374 cars in one hour!

Mr. Bigari’s reputation in the restaurant industry as an expert in convenience has catapulted him into the top 5% of all consultants in the restaurant industry with the Gerson Lehman Group (GLG) of 150,000 consultants. He is the winner of the 2006 Colorado Springs Business Citizen of the Year, the owner of three restaurant industry patents, and a graduate of United State Military Academy at West Point.  He has been inducted as an Ashoka fellow (www.ashoka.org) a lifetime honor for his philanthropic efforts. 

Mr. Bigari is the author of "The Box You Got: Transforming the World You Live In." A highly sought-after speaker, Mr. Bigari has spoken before the Bankers Association International, the US Treasury and the FDIC on the support for the need for greater collaboration and innovation in America.

Mr. Bigari founded Stellar Restaurant Solutions out of his twenty years of experience as an operator and consultant. SRS is a disruptive model of innovation designed to help transform leading restaurant companies like Chipotle and PF Chang’s to sell more food and make more money.

He is the proud husband of Brenda, father of 5 amazing children and 4 beautiful grandchildren.

See a video gallery of Steve Bigari addressing the Opportunity Coalition.