Everything Brian Watson does oozes with his passion to bring hope, healing and opportunity to our world. Through innovative thinking and the heart of a life-long learner Brian is making a difference in the City of Denver, the State of Colorado and the lives of countless men and women. His life is evidence that he does not just “talk a good game” - rather he is one who lives an authentic life of devotion to his family, faithfulness in his friendships and integrity in his business. His entrepreneurial leadership, thinking and experience are invaluable.
Lead Pastor, Denver Community Church
I have known Brian Watson for several years. I have a lot of respect for him and for how he conducts himself. I have never done business with him, nor he with me. My friendship is simply out of respect for him. When a mutual friend asked me to meet him, while he was running for public office, I hesitantly agreed to do so. I say hesitantly not against Brian in any way; but generally I don’t get involved with politics. As a retailer, taking a public side means that I will alienate half of my customer base…so I can only hurt myself!
Furthermore, I don’t care for most politicians. They view their potential service to their constituents as a career, make decisions based upon pleasing the most of their constituents so they maximize their chance of being reelected; and don’t focus on what is actually best for their constituents long term.
But from the first moment that I met Brian, I knew that he was different. His sincerity was real. His interest in other people was real. But most important, he looks for the best way to improve things, long term. Whether it is an opportunity to turn around a losing building or he is thinking of political issues, his mind is focused upon what is really the best long term choice to maximize the value or help his constituents. His awareness seems to me to be more global than local. He wants what is best, for his community, for his business partners, and for everyone that he seems to come in contact with. His willingness to give of himself is sincere, and based upon a genuine desire to improve the situation. He has the utmost of my respect.
Chairman, Shane Co.
Shane Co. is the largest privately owned jeweler in the United States with 27 locations.
I met Brian Watson through his interest in the Afrikmall project, the largest single business venture in the African community in Colorado. Although I have been working on this project for the past eight years the last two have been the most productive due to Brian’s support. Brian’s support manifests his love for African and its people. I believe that although he saw the big risk he was taking in supporting Afrikmall, he was driven by his desire to see a successful African community specifically and the Immigrant community in general. This is one hallmark of successful leaders: they live in the future and help create culture.
It is said that a good pilot has a cool head because in times of turmoil in flight, such pilots can think. I have sat around tables with Brian Watson to solve very challenging problems. And before, during and after the meeting, this gentleman is so calm, allowing him to listen, ask questions and enable partners to shine in finding the right solutions. No wonder the consistently fruitful outcomes. When all is said and done Brian is happy when everyone at the table wins. This is ingrained in his persona, as all of us close to him see it also in his relationship with his wife, Patricia and their children. This is one hallmark of successful leaders: They are problem solvers through collaboration.
The very insightful May West, in what is one of my favorite quotes says: “We live once but if you do it right once is enough.” From watching Brian from a distance I see him as a person who is doing so much for communities across the state including schools, businesses and immigrant or citizens. I am not sure what Brian’s plans are but I see in him a very successful political leader and encourage him to give it shot. In my mind, successful leaders do what they do out of passion and from sincerity: “they come to the table when the meal is being prepared and not after the table is set.” This is one hallmark of successful leaders: they leave a legacy.
I watched almost a month of negotiations led by Brian on one side and I must say I have a lot to learn from this gentleman. It is a person of such high level of financial and business savvy, as well as negotiation skills that can make his financial dreams come to pass as they deal with financial institutions. This is one hallmark of successful leaders: they are savvy but are very thoughtful about what steps they take.
Cobina Lartson, Ph.D.
Founder & CEO, Afrikmall
Founder, Mfantseman Associations of North America
“If you are looking for a leader, look for his works.”
A long time ago, I learned that there is a tremendous difference between talkers and doers. Brian Watson is a doer.
From the time we met at a dinner several years ago, he impressed me as a man with a vision to get things done. He has accomplished that vision in Northstar Commercial Partners, working hard to develop resources into their highest and best use, not only for his investors but for the end users alike. Often, I run into Brian at the airport, going to look at another property and seek out a good return.
Brian decided to run for public office – a decision that is fraught with difficulty. He did it to better his community, and in whatever capacity – elected or not – he will.
And now his leadership at the Opportunity Coalition is bringing together some of the regions best thought leaders to inspire us all to do better in the things that matter.
Brian reminds me of the words of the renowned anthropologist, Margaret Meade who said, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” Brian Watson is one of those thoughtful, committed citizens, and I’m proud to call him a friend.
President & CEO, Project Cure
Project Cure is one of the world's largest medical and equipment supply nonprofit organizations.
The Brian Watson's of the world are a rare breed.
I first met Brian at a ground breaking ceremony being conducted at a building that his company had just purchased and was re-purposing to provide jobs and economic commerce and aid to a much needed area in Aurora. Prior to that I had heard of Brian and some of the other things he was doing in the communities around the state.
I have come to know Brian better now and know he is truly one of the good guys. One of the guys who has a real passion for his country and to give back and seems to do so whenever he has the opportunity. My wife and I are radio show hosts and had the pleasure of interview Brian a few weeks ago about some of the projects that he and his company are engaged in.
His leadership with the Opportunity Coalition further shows his willingness to bring the best and the brightest before an ever growing number of business people to share their stories of success and failure because you cannot have one without the other.
My wife and I feel honored to know Brian and his family and look forward to many years working on projects together to become the change we wish to see in the world.
Denver Chapter President, American Conservatives of Color
We all know someone who is larger than life, inspires us, challenges us and is always there to mentor and guide us. I have had the good fortune to work beside Brian on a number of projects over the last 4 years and in a time when we are all concerned about leadership in our lives, our country and the world, Brian is a beacon.
Whether it’s business, charity, family or politics, Brian is a roll up your sleeves and get it done leader. He gets so much accomplished in a day that I’ve told him it appears he must have a body double. He gives direction but fosters creativity and collaborative effort and brings people together to accomplish what might have previously seemed impossible. Brian has an extraordinary gift, which he doesn’t take for granted, to reach out to people of all walks of life and connect on a personal level and encourage and foster success. He’s a modern day renaissance man who is as comfortable in a tuxedo as he is in camouflage, he works hard and he plays hard. You can tell a lot about a man by how he treats his wife, his family and his horse – Brian is in his element when he is surrounded by all of them and it’s always evident by how incredibly happy and giving they are, even Apache.
I’m honored to call him friend and look forward to much future collaboration.
Loan Officer, Cornerstone Home Lending, Inc.
Brian, when I wrote the book on personal responsibility as the price of individual freedom and the driving force of American exceptionalism, it was self-starting leaders like you in the realms of business, politics, and civic betterment that I had in mind. These days when a high ideal of citizenship seems endangered in our shallow selfish culture, you walk the talk and set a practical example that’s so valuable. So thanks, my friend, and keep up the good fight. The battle is its own reward.
Former, Senate President
Author, Responsibility Reborn
In drafting a testimonial letter for Brian the biggest obstacle I find myself facing is describing him without sounding as if engaging in blatant or excessive hyperbole.
As the head of two young but thriving organizations (Rocky Mountain Black Conservatives and American Conservatives of Color) I’ve had the opportunity to spend (waste) time with many people who are big on talk, short on action. Brian is most certainly not one of those individuals. He is that rare person who says what he’ll do, does what he says. All the time. Every time. No exceptions.
Not only has he been an indispensable mentor, confidant and supporter, I have personally seen him consistently employ his considerable drive, determination and abundant natural leadership qualities not for selfish purposes but for the betterment of fellow human beings—from all walks of life. His contribution of time, talent and resources are of the variety that will leave a legacy far exceeding his years on planet earth. The level of respect and admiration Brian commands across the state of Colorado is second to none. That reputation is rapidly growing on the national stage also, as well it should.
Our organization, this city, state and country are the better for Brian’s presence in them; I am pleased and honored to call him supporter, partner,...friend.
Brian Watson is one of the smartest, most creative and well-connected people I know.
He puts his talent and fortune behind those people and causes he believes in whether political, personal or charitable.
He helped the Cancer League, a 100% volunteer organization, with donated space to plan and collect items for our Hope Ball, helping us to achieve our goal of $1million per year for cancer research in Colorado.
We are honored to know Brian and deeply respect the impact he is making in Colorado.
Certified Christie's International Broker, Kentwood Real Estate
Realtor and WWII Veteran
Brian Watson is an accomplished entrepreneur and successful business leader. He’s exceptional as he has a diversified portfolio of professional and personal interests. Most important however is his deep love of Colorado and desire to create and expand opportunities for all who he meets. What is remarkable is that he is personable and interested in the person he is speaking with. He is interested in their perspective and view on a wide variety of topics. Steady and consistent in his own strategy, philosophy and beliefs he is respectful of others opinion and is searching for common ground on mutual areas of interest.
As a former elected official, Chamber of Commerce CEO, and military officer my career has almost entirely consisted of working with people of different experiences and backgrounds to solve problems in communities and business. Of the thousands of people I’ve worked throughout my 25 years of business & public policy, Brian is in the very best category as he combines his personal drive, business acumen, sense of community, desire to do good and caring for those he is around.
I’ve had the opportunity to work with Brian closely on the activities of the Opportunity Coalition, events for major organizations around metro Denver, the American Lung Association, and the launch of the Orion spacecraft from Kennedy Air Force Station. All have been noteworthy and in each the best is yet to come. We’re fortunate to have his leadership in Colorado and if you have a chance to partner with him, you’ll find the experience to be personally rewarding and we’ll all be the better for it.
It goes without saying that Brian is a master communicator, a passionate connector, and a natural born leader with truly exceptional vision and discipline.
Most notably, however, Brian is a man of integrity with an incredible heart and love for others. He is a giver with a deep-rooted compassion for all people, regardless of their age, background or ethnicity.
In addition to being a giver, Brian is also a doer. He is a man of action that drives incredible results to the initiatives that he aligns himself with.
Brian also has an amazing, contagious enthusiasm for philanthropy, community, business, politics, faith, and family that one simply can't deny.
I cannot say enough good things about Brian. He is, without question, one of the very best men I know.
I have known Brian as a commercial real estate colleague for over 20 years.
I admired his tenacity and entrepreneurial spirit when he ventured off on his own to start Northstar Commercial Partners, leaving behind a successful brokerage career at Cushman & Wakefield. He seemed to have a keen eye for unrealized value, turning around overlooked assets.
But it was only recently that I had the good fortune to work directly with Brian as his leasing agent when he purchased Cherry Creek Place I. Brian hit the ground running making smart value-add improvements to the property literally in the first week after closing. As a result, interest in the property grew, and because of his responsive win/win deal-making approach, we have leased 47,000 sf in 6 months. Occupancy has climbed from 69% to 81%, and the property is well positioned to continue to appreciate through leasing success.
As a broker, it is a pleasure to work with an owner who “gets it”, treating tenants as valued clients not an adversarial party. I look forward to working with Brian for years to come.
President, Vector Property Services
You can tell just by meeting him that Brian is a natural leader. He is also a philanthropist, a concerned citizen, a good businessman and most importantly, a great family person. He works hard at all these activities, and succeeds at all his endeavors.
It is a pleasure and a privilege to have worked with Brian on both the business side through Northstar and on the success of the Opportunity Coalition.
Senior Partner, Polsinelli
Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “It is one of the beautiful compensations of this life that no man can sincerely try to help another without helping himself.”
The aforementioned quote comes to mind when I think of Brian Watson and his involvement in business, politics, and philanthropic endeavors. I am of the firm belief that each of the areas where Brian becomes involved, there is most likely a positive result on behalf of the stakeholders.
Brian is a unique individual and a quick study. He generously shares his time, talent, and treasure as a parent, businessman, and community leader, for the benefit of others.
By living life fully while being in the service of others, Brian has made a positive difference at many levels for many people.
Businesswise and personally, I look forward to strengthening our relationship through developing our mutually beneficial interests.
Geoffrey R. Bailey
President, The Bailey Company, LLLP
Board Member, Erie County Investment Co.
Board Member and Former Chair, Good Times Restaurants Inc.
Neigh, Neigh, Neigh!
Brian's trusted American Paint Horse