2019 Navigator: Kerry Shea sculpts leadership lessons from the ice rink
2019 Business Leader of the Year: Kerry Shea
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Kerry Shea learned his most important life lessons on the ice.
Now the owner and managing broker of Ascent Real Estate and vice president of sales and marketing for Resort Ventures West, those lessons have taken him a long way.
Shea grew up on the blue-collar streets of Detroit, where hockey was one of the few ways for a kid to enjoy the space between school and chores. The sport has since become much more than that.
“I love the game, and I think there is so much that it can provide,” Shea said, who serves as the board president of Steamboat’s youth hockey program.
Many of the values that guide his business leadership — commitment, teamwork, resiliency in the face of adversity — were sculpted from the sport.
“I am one that does not hesitate to get down in the trenches,” Shea said.
What: 2019 Navigator Awards
When: 5:30 to 8 p.m. Friday, Sept. 6
Where: The Steamboat Grand, 2300 Mount Werner Road
With such a mindset, he has helped to pioneer much of Steamboat’s recent development. In recent years, Resort Ventures West has steadily transformed land around Steamboat Resort into a lodging hub for vacationers. The Trailhead Lodge, where Shea has his office, is one such project, offering rooms with a front-row view of the mountain and a 5-minute commute to the slopes.
As someone who has lived in the area for decades, seeing Steamboat accumulate condominium complexes and hotels has come with some nostalgia for simpler times. But he acknowledged that growth is happening everywhere.
Shea believes one either can sit back and be a victim of change, or get involved to make sure such change is positive. That is part of the reason why he devotes so much of his time outside of work to philanthropy projects, such as the Ski 4 Yellow fundraisers, which raise money for local cancer-fighting initiatives.
“I really look at both business and the community as though it is wrapped in one package,” Shea said.
Vital to that package, in his opinion, is a robust hockey program. To that end, Shea has spearheaded fundraising efforts to support and grow the local teams. His daughters, 11-year-old Claire and 14-year-old Margaux, both play.
Ryan Dingle, a former professional hockey player who now coaches the Steamboat Wranglers junior hockey team, said Shea has been an invaluable asset to the program.
“He is a heck of a player, too,” Dingle said.
Shea brings the same fervor to the ice as he does to the office, according to Dingle.
“There’s an ongoing joke that he wants to make the hockey community as big as the skiing community here,” Dingle said.
BUSINESS LEADERS OF THE YEAR 1999 — Julie Green; 2000 — Rod Hanna; 2001 — Mike Lomas; 2002 — Andy Wirth; 2003 — Scott Ford; 2004 — Steve Dawes; 2005 — John Kerst; 2006 — Chris Diamond; 2007 — David Baldinger Jr.; 2008 — Rex Brice; 2009 — Chuck Porter; 2010 — David Nagel; 2011 — Grant Fenton; 2012 — Karl Gills; 2013 — Jim Schneider; 2014 — Ed MacArthur; 2015 — Bob Dapper; 2016 — Scott Marr; 2017 — Adonna Allen ; 2018 — Mark Walker
YOUNG PROFESSIONALS OF THE YEAR 2009 — Stacy Huffman; 2010 — Ryan Marsden; 2011 — Sara Ferris; 2012 — Stephany Traylor; 2013 — Chris Tamucci; 2014 — Sarah Fox; 2015 — Glen Traylor; 2016 — Nick Sharp; 2017 — Tara Weaver; 2018 — Jason Peasley
BUSINESSES OF THE YEAR 1999 — TIC; 2000 — Native Excavating; 2001 — Ore House at the Pine Grove; 2002 — SmartWool; 2003 — Ski Haus; 2004 — PostNet; 2005 — F.M. Light & Sons; 2006 — Off the Beaten Path bookstore; 2007 — Prudential Steamboat Realty; 2008 — Christy Sports; 2009 — BAP!; 2010 — Yampa Valley Bank; 2011 — Alpine Bank; 2012 — Colorado Mountain College; 2013 — Steamboat Ski & Bike Kare; 2014 — Yampa Valley Medical Center; 2015 — Rex’s Family of Restaurants; 2016 — Chief Theater; 2017 — Steamboat Springs Arts Council; 2018 — Freshies
SERVICE EXCELLENCE PROFESSIONAL OF THE YEAR: 2017 — Barbara Robinson; 2018 — Jason and Kelly Landers
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