The Loveland Business Partnership (LBP) continues a tradition of community support by business leaders since the 1950s. LBP works with Loveland’s city leaders, educators, and businesses to create, fund, and lead initiatives that help Loveland continue to thrive. LBP’s Chairman of the Board, Doug Rutledge, talks about the purpose of the organization, his involvement in the community, and why he loves Loveland in this exclusive Q&A.
Q: Why did you choose to become a volunteer board member for the LBP?
A: A group of us who founded the Loveland Business Partnership believe that businesses have a responsibility to support the economic well-being of our community. We patterned this organization on a former business-led economic development group, the Loveland Development Fund, that was very successful going back into the 1950’s. The LDF was closed down in 2005, under the assumption that the role of the organization had been taken over by full-time economic development professionals representing the City and the Northern Colorado region. However, as time went on, we realized that we still needed the personal involvement of local business leaders. That’s when the Loveland Business Partnership was created.
Q: What do you love the most about Loveland?
A: There are a lot of reasons why I love Loveland! One of the top reasons is the spirit of volunteerism and community that people have here. People are willing to give their time to make this community better. Also, the physical environment is fantastic – from the mountains to the river, the setting is really beautiful.
Q: What is your proudest professional accomplishment?
A: One of the proudest professional accomplishments has been being a founding member of KL&A, Inc. We’re a regional structural engineering and steel construction firm with four offices in Colorado and Wyoming. We’re a successful company and have been able to grow to 90 employees within 25 years. Our company has become an important regional asset in structural engineering and steel construction.
Q: What is your proudest personal accomplishment?
A: Raising two good sons. After getting married and living in Denver for a short period, my wife Sheila and I decided to settle in Loveland because we thought it would be a good place to raise a family. We’re happy we did.
Q: Where would you like to see Loveland in the next five years?
A: I would like to see stronger support from the community for our schools, not only financially, but more involvement overall with our kids. I’d like to see the median income improve in our community. I’d like to see the opportunity for all our young people who graduate from our school system to stay here in Loveland. I love the idea of our kids going out into the world, learning all they can, and coming back to Loveland to make a life for themselves and their family here.