It is always a pleasure to attend and support Brian Watson and the team at the Opportunity Coalition. I find the learning, collaboration and networking at these events to be very valuable for any business owner. Not to mention that you are supporting a great scholarship program.

It truly is an honor when I get to share some of my experiences with other leaders, break down the barriers and just have real conversations.

Tom Shane
Chairman & CEO
Shane Co.


I appreciated Brian Watson’s invitation to speak about how CU is bringing value to the state and the importance of higher education to a strong economy. You see from the start that the people involved with the Opportunity Coalition are there to learn more about issues and have a conversation about them. The more engaged and informed people are, the better off we will be in moving Colorado and the nation forward. Brian should be commended on dedicating his personal time for the greater good in educating Coloradans. With five decades in business and more than 25 years of involvement with higher education, I appreciate the value of more people understanding the connection between a strong higher education system and a strong economy.

Bruce D. Benson
University of Colorado


It was a pleasure to participate in a panel discussion regarding the challenges and opportunities in today’s banking environment.  The Opportunity Coalition is a driven group of business leaders who care deeply about our free market system.  The dialogue was both thoughtful and stimulating at the same time.  In addition, the excellent turnout on a poor weather evening demonstrated the shared passion of the attendees.  Thanks to Brian Watson for taking the initiative in leading this important endeavor.

Dave Baker


I had the opportunity to speak at the Opportunity Coalition and it was  a delight to address such a thoughtful and diverse crowd. Many of my remarks were controversial but the audience proved to be both receptive and welcoming. Thanks to Brian Watson's leadership, they are building a collaborative group that is willing to face tough issues head on, listen intently and move forward diligently.

Real leaders making real contributions.

Richard (Dick) Franklin*
Executive Director
Cleantech Open
*Richard is also the proud Father of 4-Time Olympic Gold Medalist, Missy Franklin


It was fun and energizing to present to the Opportunity Coalition since it consists of bright, informed, assertive business people focused on growing and improving their lives and businesses.  They had great questions – making it fun for me.  The Opportunity Coalition is an amazingly accomplished organization for being so new.  Its members learn a lot and contribute a lot.

Don A. Childears
President & CEO
Colorado Bankers Association


Since being introduced to the Opportunity Coalition - it has been refreshing swimming in a pool of talented & kind heart-ed people active in making a positive difference in our Colorado community. Listening to accomplished speakers sharing their wisdom and insights from their respective fields have provided kindle for thought and sparked some great conversation - at the event - and with friends in the ensuing days.

Brian Watson has created a unique and easy-flowing forum for business & community leaders to share ideas and "dents in the helmet" experiences that are part of the entrepreneurial experience. Growing a company can be a swashbuckling adventure that is best understood by those who chase their dreams despite the risks, hard work and uncertainty. I have found these gathering to provide some wind under my wings and a smile on my face driving home - being reminded that there are a lot really good people doing great things in our community through education and charity. The Opportunity Coalition is a real beacon. 

Nick Ault
 The Duffeyroll Cafe


The quality of the people attending the Opportunity Coalition event really make it stand out.  I attend and speak at many events, few have the depth of dealmakers that the Opportunity Coalition has attracted!

Steve Bigari
Stellar Restaurant Solutions


Brian Watson and his team have put together a great networking and learning organization with the Opportunity Coalition.  I’ve made some great connections with like-minded business leaders while also getting exposed to new business ideas and current topics that affect our business here in Colorado.  I would recommend anyone to attend who is looking to make interesting connections and to further their knowledge of what is going in Colorado business today.

Jon Maxfield
Vice President of Sales & Operations
Jet Linx


Any successful business person knows that the challenges and failures that pave the way for achievement provide some of the most robust education.  Brian Watson and his team have delivered an environment that allows you to hear directly from some of Colorado’s most influential and notorious entrepreneurs while at the same time have a personal conversation on how they have navigated their enterprises through various circumstances and periods.  I have attended several gatherings and appreciate never having heard the same story twice.

Steve Stillwell
Reed Street Capital Management


I have had the pleasure of attending 4 or more Opportunity Coalition events since the inception of the successful Innovation Pavilion business model. I find each event to be very informative and educational. The topics discussed are relative to me and my companies, and I always find a nugget of information that is worth bringing back to my team members. It's been said that iron sharpens iron.  The Opportunity Coalition allows me the chance to meet with, and connect with business owners and influencers, at a personal level that other groups do not have.  I'm looking forward to meeting more iron at future events.

Luke Wyckoff
Social Media Energy


The Opportunity Coalition has been an eye-opener for me.   Brian Watson and his team have created a unique platform for the business leaders of this great state to share common threads of wisdom, innovation, and success in a not so common world.  I personally relish the opportunity to speak to the other attendees and  network.  One of the powerful ingredients to each speaker's presentation for me thus far has been their indulgence to reveal their failures. My background has been in baseball for the past thirty years and there is no other sport that epitomizes failure as the ultimate learning curve.  If you FAIL seven times out of ten as a hitter, you are deemed one of the game's most proficient performers.  The  pitcher with the most wins, Cy Young, also had the most losses. Nolan Ryan had the most strikeouts but also issued the most walks.  Reggie Jackson struck out more times than any hitter in history.  All three men are Hall of Famers, representing the best ever in their business!  Overcoming failure therefore, in my opinion, is the most important and distinguishing element between those  who truly succeed and those who don't.  In baseball , business, and in life!

Attending many of the Opportunity Coalition seminars to this point and listening to leaders speak about their professional and private journeys has fortified my suggestion that success is to be celebrated but the ultimate lessons in business and in life, were those learned when we were knocked down and had to get back up.  It has been inspiring, educational, and thought provoking to attend these seminars and I look forward to the next one.

Wayne Hagin
Award Winning Sportscaster 
Former Voice of the Colorado Rockies, St. Louis Cardinals & New York Mets


You would be hard pressed to find more inspiring speakers than the ones assembled by the Opportunity Coalition. They present a monthly helping of business and social leaders who are true authorities on diverse subjects ranging from energy to politics. From building a retail empire to raising a world champion to finding one’s invincible vision. The Opportunity Coalition enlightens and illuminates, and has directly led to new business for my firm. I highly recommend them for anyone hungering to enhance their personal lives and build their respective careers.

Gregg Bergan
Pure Brand Communications


I have now attended five Opportunity Coalition events and have found each one informative, educational, and uplifting.  Brian Watson has presented an excellent group of speakers each month to give the audience new approaches to work ethics, entrepreneurial spirit, and core values that serve us all well.  

The networking opportunities with leaders in our community,  is an excellent added bonus, but the additional benefit in attending is knowing that the financial fees that are generated from this gathering goes to scholarship awards. 

I highly recommend attending the Opportunity Coalition. 

Ron Saidy
Senior Vice President, Business Development
First National Denver


The Opportunity Coalition has combined several key elements to equip and empower local professionals to network and gain insight from some of the best business leaders in Colorado. I have been equally as impressed by the talent of speakers and their subject matter as I have been by the level of professionals in attendance. The quality and values of the OC are certain to help build a better Colorado business environment for years to come, and I look forward to being a part of it!

Lou Braun
Vice President, Insurance Brokerage and Consulting (IBC)
Wells Fargo Insurance Services USA, INC.

I’ve enjoyed attending the Opportunity Coalition programs.  Hearing the iconic Tom Shane, for example, speak about the role of integrity in his business and industry.  It was a fascinating view into the mind of someone I’ve often heard about, though never met. 

David Tabor
Senior Vice President, Business Partnerships
Colorado Association of Commerce & Industry


Participating in the events at Opportunity Coalition is an excellent way to learn best practices across several disciplines.   In our rapidly changing world, being prepared for the marketplace requires not only a specific expertise, but also a high-level  grasp of several sectors of our economy and society in general.  Speakers at Opportunity Coalition offer the nuts-and-bolts of their life experience, knowledge and wisdom including failures, so others can succeed.  Brian Watson is doing a great job and taking the lead with this initiative.

Emmanuel K. Eliason
President  & CEO
Eliason Consulting Group


I have had the opportunity to attend multiple Opportunity Coalition events, and I am looking forward to attending many more. Brian Watson and his team organize a first class event that draws successful and driven individuals from all areas of our community who are interested in collaborating and networking with like-minded professionals. The speaker at each event offers extremely valuable insight into business, community involvement and personal growth; as Brian has labeled their "Golden Nuggets of Wisdom." I also appreciate the conscious effort by the Opportunity Coalition to give back to our surrounding community. I would highly recommend attending an upcoming event.

Jonathan Hachmeister
Development Manager
JHL Constructors, Inc.


The networking event at Innovation Pavilion was one of the best I have attended in over a year. I have been in business for over a year and the quality of people I met there was great from the perspective of networking and business mentoring. I was particularly impressed by Brian Watson's humility - how he was personally greeting all the people who came to the meeting and that's how I met Brian for the first time at the meeting. I am inspired by the idea to use business as a platform to do good in the world. I was also impressed by Josh's (CEO of XJet) talk that evening. I have aspirations to be one of the best in the field of film and video production and Josh's and Brian's talk that evening re-ignited my aspirations. This meeting created possibility for some of the best mentoring and connections I can get to realize my vision, to be my best, and thus make this world a better place. Thanks for hosting this event and I am looking forward to next. 

Sanjay Gupta
It Can Be Pictures