Steamboat businessman, philanthropist receives top honor from University of Colorado

Paul Brinkman (Photo by Bryce Martin)

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — The University of Colorado’s School of Engineering and Applied Science honored Steamboat Springs resident and Colorado businessman Paul Brinkman with the 2021 Distinguished Engineering Alumni Award on Thursday.

“It’s a great honor,” said Brinkman, who graduated in 1996 with a bachelor of science degree in civil engineering. “It’s one of their top honors, so it’s obviously a great honor for me.”

Brinkman co-founded Brinkman Partners an integrated real estate company with his brother, Kevin in 2005. The two brothers grew the Fort Collins-based commercial development, real estate and construction company into one of the state’s most respected businesses with more than 150 employees and exceeding more than $250 million in annual revenue.

In 2016, in an effort to attract, retain and reward employees, the Brinkmans traded their ownership stake in the company and made it 100% employee-owned. The company’s core values are exhibited in its commitment to making the community better, and in 2018, the business became one of the first commercial real estate companies to become a Certified B Corporation. The certification means the business met the rigorous standards and a commitment to use profits and growth as a means to a greater end.

While CEO of the company, Brinkman was named as one of the top 25 CEOs in Colorado by Biz Magazine, was honored as Entrepreneur of the Year by Everitt Real Estate Center, was selected for the Real Estate Hall of Fame and became one of BizWest’s top 40 under 40 professionals.

The company also received numerous awards, including Best Start-Up Company of the Year by the Fort Collins Coloradoan, Small Business of the Year by the Fort Collins Area Chamber of Commerce and Mercury 100 Fastest Growing Companies by BizWeek Media.

Brinkman also created a culture of giving within Brinkman Partners that manifested in BrinkmanGives — a community impact program dedicated to giving to nonprofit organizations that strive to build and develop stronger communities, which is a core value at Brinkman Partners. In 2020, Brinkman was presented the Excellence in Philanthropy Award from the United Way of Larimer County.

Brinkman’s commitment to his community continued after he arrived in Steamboat Springs.

Brinkman serves on the advisory board of Junior Achievement of Routt County, where he encourages young people to develop financial literacy. He also is an active supporter of many other local organizations, including Routt County United Way, Steamboat Girls Lacrosse and Integrated Community.

Brinkman also gives back to his alma mater.

In addition to financially supporting the college and collaborative efforts with the Leeds School of Business, he volunteers a significant amount of time to better the College of Engineering and Applied Science and has served as a mentor for several students, assisting them in navigating the challenges of college and preparing for a career.

He is an active member of the college’s Construction Engineering Management and Department of Civil, Environmental and Architectural Engineering advisory boards. Brinkman also joined the Engineering Advisory Council in 2019.

In addition to Brinkman’s business success, he is also known as a dedicated husband, dad and family man. He is married to wife, Chresta, and they have four children, Isabella, Noah, Miela and Paul Greyson.

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