Playing in the Big Leagues
Ask Richard “Dick” Monfort about the secret to success in business, and he’ll probably tell you to stay focused on the task at hand, and never take your eye off the ball. As the Co-Owner, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Colorado Rockies, he means that literally and figuratively.
He’s a Colorado native who calls Greeley “home,” and a proud 1976 graduate of the College of Business at the University of Northern Colorado—which now carries the name of his father: The Kenneth W. Monfort College of Business.
“My father was a man of impeccable integrity, as was his grandfather. They worked their tails off in order to succeed,” he said. “They left a legacy that I work hard to continue.”
Monfort spend 25 years in the cattle business with his family’s company, becoming president of Monfort of Colorado, Inc. in 1987. After the family sold the company to Con Agra, he became president and CEO of ConAgra Red Meats in 1991 and retired in 1995. He helped launch the Montera Cattle Company in 1996, started several Brett Favre Steak Houses and owns the Hyatt Grand Champions Hotel in Palm Springs.
Monfort joined his brother Charlie in the general partnership for the Colorado Rockies Baseball Club in 1997. He took control of the Rockies in 2005. In 2007, the team won the National League championships with an improbable 21-1 run at the end of the season, sending the team to its first World Series.
You won’t find his office in a fancy high rise in downtown Denver. His office is as no nonsense as he is, located in a vintage two story brick building in Eaton, a small community outside of Greeley.
He is often honored for his philanthropic work, and serves on the board of directors of Denver’s University Hospital, the Colorado Economic Development Board and the Denver Zoo. He also serves on the Dean’s Leadership Council at the Monfort College of Business and is Chairman of the Board of Trustees for the University of Northern Colorado.
Through his foundation, he has provided scholarship funds for hundreds of students at UNC because, “every kid who is willing to work hard and get good grades should be able to go to college.” It’s all about keeping your eye on the ball.
• Swam on the varsity swim team while a student at UNC.
• Owner, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Colorado Rockies Baseball Club
• Believes every kid that's willing to work hard should get to go to college.
“I grew up in a family where it was a given that we would go to college, but there are so many kids who aren’t raised that way. I think every kid should have a chance to attend college.”
“When you think that the difference between a high school diploma and a college degree ends up being $1 million in your lifetime, it’s a great motivator to go to college.”
“I believe it’s important for every college graduate to give back to their university. Now that state funding is declining, we have to step up in order to make sure kids can get a college education.”