Currently working with Jessie’s Homes for Families to construct temporary residences for homeless families in transition, Colorado Coalition for the Homeless (CCH) has more than a quarter-century of experience as a community advocacy organization. Established in the mid-1980s, CCH is a nonprofit corporation focused on promoting legislative efforts to lower the rate of homelessness, safeguard the rights of homeless individuals, and support the growth of affordable housing for everyone.
CCH’s work over the years to blend housing, social services, and medical care into an easily accessible package has made a difference. Since CCH expanded its Stout Street Clinic in 1985, the organization has become the major source of medical care for homeless men, women, and children throughout the state. The clinic offers assistance to individuals coping with addiction and mental health conditions, fills prescriptions, operates a vision clinic, and assists with dental care. In 2012, the Coalition opened a new satellite location of the Stout Street Clinic in conjunction with a 101-unit building that provides a range of support services.
A few years ago, CCH partnered with the Economic Opportunity Poverty Reduction Task Force, which operated with the goal of reducing poverty by 50 percent over the succeeding decade. The task force assisted with the passage of eight legislative bills into law, including one that enhanced the capability of cities and developers to work together on affordable housing projects.
Supported through the generosity of businessman Rick Schaden and other members of its boards of directors and advisors, America’s Road Home (ARH), a nonprofit organization that works to end homelessness among the nation’s families, strives to fund programs connecting homeless families with the resources they need to become self-sufficient. ARH has lent its support to groups such as Urban Peak, which focuses on offering vital services to homeless and at-risk youth in Denver, Colorado, as well as Nexus C.A.R.E.S. in Dallas, Texas, which serves young women and girls trying to break habits of substance abuse.
ARH recognizes that the majority of today’s homeless individuals are people in family groups with young children. Affected by the serious economic downturn, they are people who have lost the ability to pay rent regularly and must often live in their vehicles or on the streets. Some sources estimate that more than 1.5 million children will experience homelessness in any given year in the United States.
America’s Road Home aims to work with government and nonprofit agencies to call attention to successful programs striving to end homelessness or alleviate its effects. Through a model of “causal capitalism,” ARH assists in fostering connections between donor funds and hundreds of organizations around the country that deliver direct services to families.
Smashburger, a leading fast-casual “better-burger” restaurant with more than 250 franchises, recently earned a sixth-place ranking on Forbes’ annual list of America’s Most Promising Companies. The list, which is in its third year, recognizes privately held companies with high growth and strong management and business models. Each year, Forbes chooses 100 companies for the list from hundreds of applications. The new list will appear in the February 2014 issue of Forbes.
“2013 was another strong year for Smashburger, and we are thrilled to be a part of Forbes’ annual list once again this year,” Scott Crane, Smashburger CEO, said in a press release. “The fast-casual industry has clearly resonated with the American consumer, and we are pleased to be recognized as the only fast-casual player on this list.”
Smashburger achieved a first-place ranking on the inaugural Forbes list, but it did not apply for the list the following year. The company has expanded worldwide and has plans to double its number of franchises in the next few years. Founded in 2007 on the vision of Rick Schaden of Consumer Capital Partners, Smashburger has a reputation for customized burgers, localized menus, and craft beers.
Three restaurants launched by Denver restaurant developers opened in January 2014 in the Los Angeles entertainment complex L.A. Live. Smashburger, Live Basil Pizza, and Tom’s Urban occupy most of the 24,000-square-foot space. ESPN Zone formerly operated in the location. Tom Ryan and Rick Schaden of Consumer Capital Partners, which created the three restaurants, told the Los Angeles Times that they wanted to introduce the three restaurant concepts to downtown Los Angeles and the tourists known for visiting L.A. Live for the sports and entertainment venues. The L.A. Live complex is across the street from the Staples Center and near several luxury hotels.
“We are big supporters of the resurgence of downtown Los Angeles,” Ryan told the newspaper. “We look for vital trade areas to open our restaurants, where people live, work, and play, and downtown L.A. is clearly moving in that direction.”
Smashburger and Live Basil Pizza offer customized menu items, and the L.A. restaurants will be some of the chains’ first in California. Tom’s Urban offers modern comfort food, and the L.A. location will be its second site in the United States.
Cities around the state of Colorado expressed interest in becoming a host city for the 2014 USA Pro Challenge, an annual cycling event that takes racers through the Rocky Mountains. The 2014 race will include a number of new additions to the event, including the first mountaintop finish, which will take place on Monarch Mountain at the end of Stage 3. So far, the host cities for the first six stages have been finalized. For the seventh and last stage, organizers have turned to fans for feedback about four potential options for starts and finishes in Golden, Denver, and Boulder. In addition, fans may vote for a Denver circuit race similar to the 2013 final stage.
The first stage of the 2014 event will consist of an Aspen circuit race, followed by a trek from Aspen to Mt. Crested Butte during the second stage. Stage 3 takes racers from Gunnison to Monarch Mountain, and Stage 4 involves another circuit race, this time around Colorado Springs. Stage 5 takes riders from Woodland Park to Breckenridge, and Stage 6 presents competitors with an individual time trial in Vail.
Customer loyalty programs are an effective way for restaurants to build a regular customer base. For a long time, businesses have offered cards and other means of tracking purchases for later rewards. Restaurants can take advantage of new technologies to more closely track customer activity and preferences.
While some may question the efficacy of loyalty programs, studies have shown that they effectively convert first-time diners into return customers and even encourage them to visit more frequently than they otherwise would. In addition, a rewards program often encourages individuals to spend more money than they typically would without the promise of rewards.
In addition, restaurants can request customers’ e-mail addresses and other contact information to publicize upcoming promotions through e-mail lists and social media. An instant boost in rewards points at the point of sale in return for providing contact information encourages customers to provide such information. It also creates a wide network for sharing information about new products and events.
A successful Denver businessman, Rick Schaden serves as the chief executive officer of Consumer Capital Partners, a firm that he co-founded. Through CCP, Richard E. Schaden has been actively involved with the operation of several businesses. Among these, Rick Schaden serves Smashburger as the chairman of its board of managers.
A popular better burger restaurant, Smashburger has expanded to 29 states since its inception in 2007. In total, more than 243 Smashburger locations exist around the United States, with new locations slated to open in Boston, Bethesda, and Los Angeles by the end of 2013.
Key to Smashburger’s success is the company’s ability to customize a menu for every market. The restaurant uses only fresh, never frozen, certified angus beef and local ingredients such as fresh cilantro, truffle mushrooms, applewood-smoked bacon, and artisan buns. Smashburger’s commitment to high-quality, fresh, locally sourced ingredients truly sets this fast, casual restaurant apart from the competition. In the spirit of Smashburger’s local offerings, each restaurant features a local craft beer. For dessert, customers can choose from a variety of hand-spun milkshakes made with Haagen-Dazs ice cream.
The co-founder and chief executive officer of Consumer Capital Partners in Denver, Rick Schaden focuses on helping small businesses grow efficiently and sustainably. Outside of work, Richard E. Schaden remains dedicated to giving back to the community. One of the organizations that Rick Schaden supports is America’s Road Home. This nonprofit organization distributes funding to local government programs and charitable organizations that provide services aimed at getting families struggling with homelessness into stable housing situations.
America’s Road Home provides for other organizations around the country. In Denver and Colorado Springs, Colorado, Urban Peak draws funding from the organization to connect youths without a home to vital programming. In Dallas, Nexus C.A.R.E.S. uses funding to assist women dealing with substance abuse and their children through a unique treatment program. In Minneapolis, St. Stephen’s Human Services draws on the organization to connect individuals with housing opportunities, emergency services, and employment options. America’s Road Home also funds the Aromor Apartments, a 66-unit building for adults who were formerly homeless and their families.
Co-founder and chief executive officer of Consumer Capital Partners, Rick Schaden, has successfully invested in and grown a number of highly successful Denver-area enterprises, including Smashburger and Live Basil Pizza. As an advocate of entrepreneurship and community engagement, Rick Schaden strongly supports Millennium Promise, an organization dedicated to tackling the root causes of poverty around the world.
Millennium Promise seeks to empower people in regions of extreme poverty by helping local populations develop sustainable communities through the Millennium Villages Project (MVP). In addition to receiving direct aid, these project communities are incubated by a holistic approach that includes improving local access to education, health care, and technology, as well as encouraging entrepreneurship.
In western Tanzania, Mbola Millennium Village provides an example of blossoming small business planning among the area’s honey farmers. The rich, dark, locally-produced honey is highly sought after in markets in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. However, traditional honey cultivation and harvesting methods in Tanzania have generally resulted in very low outputs.
With the introduction of modern techniques, MVP is helping Mbola’s farmers increase honey outputs tenfold, as well as produce a higher quality product. Perhaps more importantly, the organization has advised these farmers on best business practices, thereby helping them to more effectively commercialize their honey. As a result, nearly 200 area farmers formed the Luwola Honey Producers Cooperative Society in 2012. This effort has allowed the farmers to eliminate expensive middlemen, more effectively advertise their product, and market it at a fair price.
In March 2013, the Cooperative acquired full legal registration. Today, the group has established access to 3000 beehives and has created a five-year business plan. As a result, Mbola Millennium Village is now looking forward to a stable income - a first step toward food security and eventual economic success.
As the CEO and co-founder of Consumer Capital Partners (CCP), Rick Schaden has made a name for himself pioneering new restaurants, including Smashburger and Live Basil Pizza. But Rick Schaden has invested in more than just eateries. He is also heavily involved with the USA Pro Challenge, a Colorado cycling stage race.
In 2011, Richard E. Schaden helped found the event, which made history in Colorado by attracting over a million spectators in all three years of its existence. In 2013, the USA Pro Challenge continued to expand, in part by introducing two events for amateurs.
The first, the Pro Challenge Experience presented by UnitedHealthcare, started in Fort Collins, Colorado, and gave fans a chance to ride some of the hardest terrain on the planet. The ride began at New Belgium brewery and featured a 30-mile, 52-mile, and 108-mile route. The longest route sported the most difficult terrain and a prize: its fastest finisher won hospitality tent passes and an amateur chance to ride a time trial before pro competitors.
The second event, the 9K Sprint Challenge presented by DaVita, was a running race that took place on the same 9.4-mile course the pro cyclists rode. The run awarded prizes for fastest man and fastest woman, as well as best costume.