Like the subject of a Jack Kerouac novel, Ed Rudolph has covered a lot of ground during his 47-year sports and business career.
From winning a silver medal in the 1962 Olympics for speed skating, setting a world record in 1963 and being inducted into the U.S. Speed Skating Hall of Fame, to founding a successful commercial real estate marketing and development company in Colorado Springs, he’s made quite a mark.
Rudolph’s resume includes the assembly of a four-block residential section of North Tejon Street for Penrose Hospital’s expansion, initial residential neighborhood development in Rockrimmon at Discovery, North Face and South Face, and participation in infill projects such as the Southern Cross shopping center, the SoDo-Southside Johnny’s block redevelopment and 1 City Centre.
Most recently he brokered the sale of the Garden of the Gods Campground.
And somehow, this athletically-inclined entrepreneur makes it all look easy.
“I love to fly fish, and I’ve been lucky to spend time with some of the top executives in the country,” he said. “You can tell a lot about a person’s skill in business by the way they approach fly fishing.”
Rudolph took time recently to tell CSBJ about himself and his business.
Company: The Rudolph Co.
Hometown: Northbrook, Ill.
How long have you lived in Colorado Springs: 39 years
Education: Bachelor’s degree in business and marketing from Weber State University, Ogden Utah
A few words about your company: The Rudolph Co. is a marketing and development company as well as a licensed builder with a portfolio of more than $200 million in projects. They range from residential subdivisions to medical, industrial and multifamily development, all with marketing as the key element.
Recent accomplishments: In April, Rudolph was inducted into the U.S. Speed Skating Hall of Fame after serving as the youngest member of the 1960 Olympic team and on the1964 and 1968 Olympic teams.
The developer joined Goodwill’s Board of Directors this year.
Biggest career break: Being the developer of the “Discovery” development, the first PUD (planned unit development) in Colorado Springs.
The toughest part of your job: Always looking for — and finding — the right opportunity.
Someone you admire: My parents. They led by example and had great family values. My dad owned his own business, was the winningest Olympic coach and was also named to the Speed Skating Hall of Fame. My mom provided spirit, self esteem and motivation.
About your family: Married to a great gal, Gwen, for 43 years. We adopted newborn twin boys, Jason and Ryan, and were blessed to have a daughter, Morgan. Jason and Ryan are married and Morgan is getting close, maybe. We have three grandsons, ages 9, 6 and 4 months.
Something else you’d like to accomplish: I’m working on several new projects including a new action sport with my son, Jason; a security identity project with my son, Ryan; a new concept for marketing in the automobile industry and developing an athletic theme park with a children’s park component. I am also in the process of working on a couple of redevelopment projects.
How your business will change in the next decade: Timing. The old rule was location, location, location. This is still the rule but now timing is crucial. If your timing is off, you’re a dead man.
What book are you currently reading: “Warhol” by David Bourdon
What is the one thing you would change about Colorado Springs: Community involvement. It would be great to have every resident volunteer to get involved with a city project in support of where he or she lives. It’s easy for us to complain and argue rather than take an active role in trying to resolve our differences. We all have our agendas, but in real life there are ways to compromise that benefit the majority.