Drew Gottenborg, Team Builder
WHO IS DREW GOTTENBORG?
At 10 PM on Alaska’s Denali, the sun still hung low on the horizon. Our team was nearing the end of a 14 hour descent from the 16,000 ft High Camp, descending down Motorcycle Hill to set up camp for our last night on the mountain. It was the fourteenth day of the expedition, the emotional highs of summit day had faded, everyone was cold, wet, hungry and exhausted. I felt a tug on the rope and looked up to see Sean, one of the climbers on my rope team, collapsed in front of me, struggling to lift himself back up onto his feet. In a fit of frustration, Sean kicks his gear sled (gear and supplies for each person exceed the amount that can be carried in a backpack, so a supplemental sled is required for each climber) and punctures a fuel can with his crampon. Diffusing the situation, I clipped Sean’s sled to my harness, strapped his backpack to my chest and ensured the team was able to safely descend to our last camp before getting flown off the glacier the following day.
Shouldering the load to help the team reach our goal is at the core of who I am. It took me 34 years to truly understand this, and it has now galvanized me to create SPUR.
SPUR is assembling the most talented entrepreneurs in the country to work as a team to identify, acquire and grow a select few private businesses. But we won’t be satisfied with just any team. We want the absolute best, and there is no more audacious, humbling and inspiring goal than Entrepreneurship Through Acquisition to attract superb talent.
By combining the professional expertise of the SPUR team with the extraordinary talent of our searchers, we will reach atmospheric heights. Let us rope up, aim high and work together to reach your peak.
For more on Drew’s career, see LinkedIn.
Will Sullivan, Offensive Coordinator
WHO IS WILL SULLIVAN?
While deployed to Iraq I learned the importance of teamwork, alignment, and the ability to go beyond your limits. As a 25-year-old Army Lieutenant, my platoon was responsible for 20 square miles, 7 towns and almost 10,000 people just north of Baghdad.
We fought together, we held our ground together and we built up our area to a level safety where new markets were built, kids walked to school again, doctors re-opened clinics and leaders from opposing tribes embraced. The 15-month deployment was physically and emotionally exhausting but we all learned to work together under great stress, achieve new levels of personal growth and we truly built something to be proud of.
When I decided to transition from the military I sought the same level of: (1) responsibility, (2) camaraderie, (3) excitement and (4) growth and I learned how hard it is to find all four facets.
Two years later, I was working for an energy company during an exciting time and was given tremendous responsibility over three states when a few bad articles in the NY Times about my CEO rocked our world. The daily work culture changed, our earning potential diminished and we were viewed differently because who we worked for. After having survived IEDs, firefights, and 3rd world living conditions I learned first hand how the pen is mightier than the sword. I never wanted to expose myself to so much risk carried on someone's else's shoulders again.
I knew I wanted to have greater control of my daily happiness, future and wealth so I started my journey to do so. I went to business school and worked in an ivory tower to learn executive polish but found boredom. It was clear I needed the fast pace of small business and was fortunate to become a COO of a private equity-backed 60 person business. I knew going into the role it was something I could do very well and enjoy, but I learned that having a kid will change your life. So I added "ability to be the father I want to be" on my quest to lead, grow, develop a team and build something great. I went even smaller in scale and focused on helping people lead themselves personally, professionally and financially. Here I learned the importance of focus, as multitasking means you won't become an expert on any one subject just an expert at being a generalist.
As I was really putting myself out there and telling people my journey and trying to help others with their journey I developed a lot of genuine connections. It was a friend of a friend that the turning point came and I found my path. With SPUR Acquisitions I can be a business leader, develop a team of other exciting business leaders aligned towards each other's personal and professional success and build something to be proud of.
For more on Will's career, see LinkedIn.