15 Feb Alumni Board Scholar Profile: Q&A with 1997 scholar Alex Gordon
Members of the Boettcher Scholar Alumni Board are interviewing their fellow Boettcher Scholars to help the community get to know one another better. The following Q&A was compiled by Boettcher Scholar Gergana Kostadinova.
Scholar Year: 1997
College(s), Degree(s), and Graduation Year(s): University of Denver, B.A. in communications, 2001; starting executive MBA program at DU in spring 2017
Tell us about your current work and how long you’ve been doing it. What is your favorite aspect of your current occupation?
Since co-founding Syntrinsic Investment Counsel eight years ago, I have served in a variety of roles at the firm. Currently, I am the chief operating officer as well as the chief compliance officer. As a boutique investment firm that specializes in financial stewardship advice for nonprofit organizations, I have been able to blend my problem-solving skills with my passion for giving back to the broader community. In addition, I enjoy moonlighting on the weekends as a DJ and videographer for weddings and private parties. This allows me to explore my artistic side and love for music.
What role has being a Boettcher Scholar played into where you are and what you are doing now?
Twenty years ago I had no idea that becoming a Boettcher Scholar would be one of those key inflection points that changed the course of my life. Not only was I receiving the financial award to finish my education debt free, but there was a longer-lasting benefit. I was welcomed into an extended family of Scholars that provide such a diverse network which I can tap into for professional or personal advice. Now I am continuing that tradition by finding ways to be a role model for the next generation of Scholars.
Tell us about your involvement in activities, organizations, or groups outside of work.
It has always been important to me to have three pillars in my life — a loving and supportive home life, an engaging professional life, and an authentic community life. When all three are solid, I feel happy and content. My community life has included coaching my sons’ soccer teams, leading 13-year-olds through an unforgettable trip to Costa Rica and serving as a board member of a supporting foundation. More recently I have chosen to expand my knowledge of Denver through my involvement with the Denver Metro Chamber Leadership Foundation’s Leadership Denver program.
What’s the best advice you’ve received and what advice do you have for new graduates entering your career field?
One of my favorite memories of my first rock concert, Jethro Tull, was the song “You’re Never too Old to Rock ’n’ Roll if You’re Never too Young to Die.” These words have been ingrained in my soul ever since. The first part is a reminder that you should never forget to do the things that you love best, no matter what age you are. The second part solidifies the statement by putting the listener on notice that tomorrow is not guaranteed so you better live in the now.
If you could have dinner with one person or a few people from history, whom would you choose and why?
There are plenty of people I would love to have dinner with that are still alive, but I am going to hold out hope I may still have that chance. So, I would like to have dinner with a fictional character from the book and musical Les Miserables. Jean Valjean’s life is one that was filled with amazing challenges and tests of his character. I admire his ability to make the most of the chances he was given and stay true to his life of paying it forward. I would also enjoy the opportunity to hear a personal performance of the best songs from my favorite musical.
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