It’d be nice if we could say that QuikrStuff’s CEO, Bryan Wachs, gives back. But saying that would imply that the company is mature and profitable enough to generate dollars that can be given back. It’s a little early for that. So, for now, we’ll cut that sentence one word short and just say that CEO Bryan Wachs gives.
There are other things to give than dollars. Bryan gives the gifts of time, experience, sweat, and love.
For starters, Bryan is an influential participant in the economic development of Grand Junction and the broader Western Slope of the state of Colorado. For those not familiar with the term “Western Slope,” it refers to the western side of the Rocky Mountains and state of Colorado, where the landscape opens up onto the more rural Colorado Plateau and slants down to Utah’s beautiful red rock country and arid expanse. The Western Slope has different characteristics and needs than its counterpart, the more urban and prosperous Front Range.
Bryan worked with Startup Colorado to co-found and host the inaugural West Slope Startup Week in 2019, the mission of which is to offer a week of workshops and lectures for anyone who has started or wants to start a business, from tires to tech. The event grows each year, with happenings in the host community as well as home towns. Bryan was also instrumental in bringing TEDx to Grand Junction, donating his digital marketing skills to the successful launch, attendance, and retention of this annual event.
This past year, you could find Bryan volunteering for the Grand Junction Economic Partnership (GJEP) Welcome Wagon, a team of folks who plan and attend events for newcomers to the community. He also volunteered to package food with the Food Bank of the Rockies and box up Thanksgiving meals with a whole crew at Canyon View Vineyard Church. Being a big fan and supporter of local farmers, Bryan contributes his knowledge and time to the development of a future farmers’ cooperative and public market in the community.
Being a mountain biker and hiker, Bryan knows the value of an extensive local trails system. He tries to get out there to help with the Colorado Plateau Mountain Bike Trail Association (COPMOBA)’s trail maintenance once or twice a year. Also, he has set things up so that customers to the company’s website can opt to contribute to the organization.
Bryan loves working with youth and serves as the Entrepreneur in Residence at Colorado Mesa University (CMU) in Grand Junction. He co-founded and regularly hosted Go@CMU, a bi-annual event wherein local businesses could pitch their needs to students and students could then sign-up to collaborate with peers and business leaders to solve a problem (and, at the same time, complete the requirements for their senior project). Bryan supported a group of students committed to designing an app that would facilitate donating to local trails ridden and hiked. CMU business and engineering students, as well as their professors, are regularly invited to learn about the manufacturing, marketing, and leadership aspects of his local business, QuikrStuff. In QuikrStuff’s three short years, he has found ways to involve upwards of 30 university students–as interns with the company, testing design components and determining weight capacities, and helping to implement lean principles. Mentoring future entrepreneurs and engineers has always been a priority for CEO Bryan Wachs and he finds their contributions to be invaluable.
Bryan also mentors younger children, spending time weekly with two mentees–ages 9 and 13–through the Mesa County Partners program.
And, while talking about youth, it should be noted that Bryan has a hard time saying no to reservation rescues. He is currently the doting dad of two rescues, a three-year-old and a new puppy.
At the end of the day, there may not yet be extra dollars floating around waiting to be given away, but Bryan Wachs has figured out how to give in other ways.
And that, he does.