Daniels alumni Trevor Kilpatrick (MBA 2010) and Erik Mitisek (BSBA 1999) have been selected for Denver Business Journal’s 2016 class of 40 Under 40 honorees.
The prestigious annual awards program recognizes 40 outstanding local professionals under the age of 40 for their business success and involvement in the community. The honorees were recognized on March 17, 2016, at an event and reunion to celebrate the program’s 20th anniversary. Winners from the past 19 years were invited to join the celebration, held at the Grand Hyatt Hotel Pinnacle Club in downtown Denver.
Kilpatrick is a project manager at United Launch Alliance (ULA), a provider of space launch services for the U.S. government and commercial customers and a 50-50 joint venture owned by Lockheed Martin and The Boeing Company. He works in the Human Launch Services division, which will put astronauts on Atlas V in 2017 and launch a Delta IV Second Stage on the SLS rocket in 2018. He has worked at the company since 2007.
He is also deeply involved with ULA’s STEM outreach initiatives at K-12 schools. Through ULA’s Launching Learning program, Kilpatrick goes to after-school programs to speak to and complete hands-on activities with the children. The program delves into high-interest topics for kids, such as space and rocket launches, as well as the career opportunities for engineers and rocket scientists. In the community, Kilpatrick volunteers with Denver Public Schools Career Connect, which offers courses in topics that prepare students for the workforce and higher education.
“It was such a great honor to be nominated, let alone to receive, the 40 Under 40 award from Denver Business Journal,” says Kilpatrick, adding that his passion for STEM education comes from his own childhood. “When I was a kid, I got into the FIRST Robotics Competition at my school, and it lit my fire for this industry. It means a lot to me to do this and show kids some of the cool topics they can explore. I enjoy being a resource to the next generation of scientists and engineers.” Kilpatrick attended Daniels part time for his MBA while working at ULA, and says that the program was “above and beyond” what he expected, helping him take his career to the next level.
Mitisek has built companies and communities in Colorado in the online software, luxury, consumer mobile and online real estate industries. He founded Next Great Place, a premium online travel network, is co-chair of Startup Colorado and is one of the co-founders of Denver Startup Week, the largest event of its kind to celebrate and promote entrepreneurship in Colorado. Since 2013, he has served as CEO of the Colorado Technology Association, during which time he spearheaded the creation of the Commons on Champa, a physical space and virtual community that brings entrepreneurs together in a vibrant gathering place.
“It’s an absolute honor to be included among this group of individuals who are doing great work in their jobs and beyond,” says Mitisek. “In the program’s 20th year, it’s incredibly humbling to look back on the list of individuals who have received this honor before me. For me, personally, I feel grateful to have been given opportunities to lead and contribute to a dialogue in the state around innovation and entrepreneurship. While I never intended to become a civic leader, the ability to build efforts like Denver Startup Week that will have a lasting impact on Denver and Colorado is the best surprise of my career.”
Earlier this month, Mitisek was named executive director of Project X-ITE, an interdisciplinary collaborative of the University of Denver that serves as the University’s hub for entrepreneurial activity, education and engagement. Oversight of the project comes from the deans of the Daniels College of Business, the Daniels Felix Ritchie School of Engineering and Computer Science and the Sturm College of Law.
Congratulations to these Daniels alumni and all of the 40 Under 40 nominees and awardees. View the full list of honorees at bizjournals.com/Denver.