Adventurous Spirit – Bold Move
Monday, February 18, 2019
A host of variables factor into whether or not a new venture will succeed or fail. Location is one of the primary considerations. Some places simply have strategic advantages over others.
Parker, Colorado has a range of attributes that make it appealing to entrepreneurs. When Doug Crozier was asked to be the founding CEO for the Solomon Foundation, he had the option of locating the new Church Extension Fund anywhere in the United States. He chose Parker.
Crozier cites the Town’s growth potential and exceptional quality of life as aspects that tipped the scale in favor of Parker. It proved to be a sound decision. Since locating in Parker nearly a decade ago, the Solomon Foundation has experienced significant growth.
The Right Location for Growth
Crozier and his wife lived in Orange County, California for 25 years. When it was determined California didn’t have the right political and economic climate for the Solomon Foundation, they looked at major cities in other parts of the country, including Phoenix, Dallas, Indianapolis and Denver.
Ultimately, the Denver area won out. Crozier notes the cost of doing business and general economic climate in Colorado is more favorable for starting a company than other areas they considered. The Denver area’s central location and “exceptional airport” were also significant benefits, according to Crozier. Since he travels about 180,000 miles each year, he enjoys the convenience of being located only 30 minutes from the airport.
The Croziers also appreciated the value they were getting for real estate compared to California. “When we moved here, our personal cost of living went down 45 percent,” says Crozier.
Once the decision was made to settle in Denver, they narrowed it down to the metro’s south side and finally to Parker. Quality of life was a primary consideration. “Personally, we liked the style of living in Parker. It’s more rural. It’s like living in the country,” Crozier says, adding that since it’s a great place to live, it’s easier to attract both local and national talent.
The Solomon Foundation was established in Parker in late 2010. The 501(c)3 nonprofit offers fixed rate investments to people who attend its affiliated churches, the Independent Christian Church and Churches of Christ.
Crozier compares the Church Extension Fund to credit unions in terms of being designated to serve a specific segment of people. Money raised from these investments is made available for loans to help build church facilities for congregations in the Restoration Movement Christian Church across the U.S.
The Solomon Foundation has been growing rapidly. Initially, it leased office space at the Meridian International Business Center. Through a partnership with Southeast Christian Church (SECC) it built the 60,000-square-foot Solomon Centre in 2015 at the corner of Jordan Road and Pine Lane.
The facility houses the Church Extension Fund’s national headquarters and is also home to SECC’s administrative offices and youth facilities. It also houses one of the largest area Christian counseling centers and Southeast Community Outreach (SECOR), a nonprofit that assists the needy and feeds about 1,500 area families each month.
The Solomon Foundation is now in the midst of constructing a new building nearby for SECOR, which has outgrown its current space. “It’s a great organization doing great work, feeding people in need from all across the southeast side of Denver,” Crozier explains.
Parker has proven to be a fertile environment for the Solomon Foundation to grow. It grew from zero to $530 million in less than 8 years and has now made 240 loans across the U.S and Eastern Europe. It’s currently the sixth largest Church Extension Fund in the country.
Crozier has no regrets about choosing Parker. He loves the town and appreciates that leaders are allowing growth but also carefully planning for the future. “It’s an attractive place to live, which makes it easier to hire employees locally and nationally, because people love Colorado. And Douglas County is a great place to raise a family,” he says.