A Tribute to Denis Beaudin
Denis Beaudin retired from BG Buildingworks, Inc. on March 23, 2015, after more than 23 years of leading the firm. BG’s success over the decades – and spanning the ups-and-downs of U.S. economic cycles – reflects Denis’ belief in “recession-proofing” the firm through diversification in market sectors and geographies. He was also an early believer in sustainable design for building systems, and became a champion for the U.S Green Building Council’s (USGBC) LEED™ certification program. One of BG’s early projects, the Sundeck mountain-top restaurant owned by Aspen Skiing Company, became the 11th project in the world to receive LEED certification under the pilot program.
Denis and his partners, Tom Ganze and Ed Herrera, founded BG Buildingworks in 1991 with offices located in the Vail Valley and metropolitan Denver areas. Their early business was centered on healthcare and high-end homes in the Rocky Mountain region, and soon expanded to include hotels and resorts as the ‘90s progressed.
“Aviation was the key,” says Denis, who piloted the firm’s aircraft to job sites often inaccessible by commercial flights. “Our own aviation allowed us to expand further into the western U.S., and, in turn, work directly with hospital facility directors who assigned us to work with their architects. Instead of following the architects to projects, we did it the other way around.” The firm’s hospitality work also grew, expanding beyond the region to Vermont, Florida and Mexico.
Denis’ penchant for doing things differently – whether as an early adopter of sustainable design or being in the place where projects would likely be — is consistent with his perspective on looking for opportunities before they’re clearly in view. He often says, for example, that running the business of BG was like driving a car: You look past the hood ornament and down the road to see not only what’s coming and where you’re going – but to anticipate what’s around the curve.
The Road Ahead
The road ahead for Denis remains full of opportunities. In completing the transfer of BG ownership to his leadership team, he also has purchased in full the NRG Design Build, Inc. entity formerly owned jointly with several other BG shareholders. With an eye to applying his entrepreneurial talents to NRG, he also expects to be able to enjoy more time pursuing personal interests.
“We are all grateful for Denis’ service and contributions to BG and its clients. He personally recruited me straight out of college and I’ve never looked back,” says Dan Koelliker, BG’s new president and an 18+ year veteran of the firm. “The BG culture that Denis inspired has been one of ‘work hard, play hard,’ and it has led to camaraderie among staff and with clients – as often evidenced by the weekend snowcat ski outings or backpacking trips. While Denis will be missed, his legacy remains. He built the leadership team that takes BG forward now, and it is with great enthusiasm that we celebrate the opportunities ahead for all.”