Adam Morley stands out.
He’s tall, so that gives the mustachioed 32-year-old an instant advantage when it comes to visibility. But mix in his eye for fashion (check out the socks), his involvement in the community and convivial personality, and Morley rises from mere standout to a 2019 Rising Star.
Morley moved to Colorado Springs nearly 20 years ago and has made it his mission to impact the community through his ventures.
But for the Illinois native, those go beyond businesses and organizations and border on passions.
In 2012, Morley was working at a sales job for a cable and internet company and purchased a home downtown.
“I knew that if there was anything good happening in the Springs, it would be downtown,” he said.
Soon after, Morley quit his sales job and began focusing on providing freelance social media marketing. He found inspiration hanging out at Epicentral Coworking and Wild Goose Meeting House.
“Other people around Epicentral got my wheels turning about doing my own thing and starting a business — using my talents in other ways,” he said. “Hanging around those people got me on a path of having my own business and quitting my day job.”
Then Morley’s sister married the guy who would one day be his business partner.
“Taylor Draper is my brother-in-law and business partner at Wolf & Key,” Morley said. “He has a background in design and web development and lead generation, so we kind of combined efforts … and decided to make Wolf & Key a real thing.”
In addition to the marketing company he co-founded and operates, Morley helped give life to the local vintage motorcycle nonprofit Boulder Street Moto and, inspired by his support at Epicentral, was instrumental in launching the co-working space Welcome Fellow.
Samuel Thomas Elliott, Morley’s nominator for the Rising Stars award said that Morley “strives to promote [Colorado Springs] as a great place to live, no matter what initiative he is a part of. He looks for ways to get involved in the city, serve on committees/boards where he can make a difference (not just fill a seat), and lend his expertise in any way that will help us as a … community. He is wholeheartedly involved in our city and seeing it thrive!”
Morley said, when he moved downtown in 2012, “there really was nothing. I just kind of had this hunch. … There were all these different things that could be done here — there was room for it.
“There is the camp that moves to the big city to chase opportunity. Then there are those who stay in a small town and create the opportunity. Both are really hard in different ways. But I’ve always been the stick-around-and-build-something-strong type of person.
“It may take longer and be harder, but if you stick around, you could be the face of this town and help it grow.”
What do you want to be when you grow up?
“Who knows? It just depends. … I know I’ll have to make a difference whatever I do. I can’t just push papers around an office.”