Eric Liebold has been golf pro at The Broadmoor, a co-founder of an innovative local charity funding group, the creator of at least two successful startup businesses and currently is the COO of a long-established legacy company in Colorado Springs.
That’s the kind of varied and impressive resumé that any retiree would be proud of — but as one of the Business Journal’s Rising Stars, Liebold is just getting started.
He started out in Colorado Springs at The Broadmoor Golf Club, where he served as a golf professional for five years. In 2006, Chief Petroleum owner Vic Ziemer recruited him. Ziemer grew seriously ill and died in 2010 and absent both Ziemer and his spouse and business partner, Lisa, Liebold had to assume major responsibilities.
It was an abrupt transition, since Ziemer had been the customer-centric face of the company since 1972. The recession had affected Chief and its customers, so Liebold’s task was doubly difficult.
“This time was personally and professionally challenging for Eric,” said nominator Beth Braten. “He had the responsibility of purchasing and pricing millions of gallons of fuel and many other operational duties. Six years after Vic’s passing, Eric (now COO) and Lisa have worked together to double Chief’s sales [and achieve] significant profitability.”
In 2014, Liebold and two partners launched BivySak, a quarterly internet-based subscription service that sends customers boxes of discounted outdoor equipment. Although Liebold is no longer directly involved in management, the company (now located in Austin, Texas) is a vigorous competitor in a now-crowded universe of similar companies.
Liebold and his wife, Sumer, are also founders of Rocky Mountain Premier Furnished Housing, offering furnished corporate housing for relocating executives along much of the Front Range.
In addition, the couple co-founded an innovative charity, Couples Who Care.
“It’s a quarterly happy hour event,” said Beth Braten, “where couples gather for a short social event, nominate three local charities and vote for one. Once selected, all members write a check for $100 to that charity. One-hundred percent of the money goes to the charity — a simple and fun way to donate.”
Selected charities must have an office and presence in the Pikes Peak region. The group currently has about 50 members, and Liebold hopes to double that number in the future. In three years, the group has directed about $30,000 in contributions to local charities.
Liebold has served on the board of the Boys and Girls Club of the Pikes Peak Region since 2011, and is currently vice-chairman. In 2016, he was honored with a special president’s award at an event celebrating the 125th anniversary of the club, one of the oldest in the nation.
Married for 11 years, Eric and Sumer have two children, Claire and Jack. Whenever possible, they enjoy golfing, skiing and hiking with their kids.
“I can’t think of anyone that pushes himself harder to be better, do better and give better in all things,” said Chief Petroleum President Lisa Heiden.