Richard Dalton, MBA ’87, began his business career with Empire Savings Bank’s finance department shortly after earning his MBA from the University of Colorado Denver. His career flourished and by 1996, Dalton was walking the halls of CoBiz Financial. He is now Executive Vice President and Chief Operations Officer and has helped the firm grow from 40 employees and $200 million in assets to the 550 employees and $2.5 billion in assets the company has today.

“My MBA opened the door to some very good opportunities for me,” recalls Dalton. “I’ve leveraged that education and experience while working with some very talented people here. As a result, we’ve built an organization that is one of the premier financial services companies in the western United States. I’m very proud of that.”

Dalton is equally proud of his company’s charitable accom¬plishments.

The company’s philanthropic activities include serving on the board of the Griffith Centers for Children as well as hosting fundraising events. “We throw a charity party annually and collect donations to benefit at-risk youth. In the eight years we’ve been putting on the BizBash, we’ve raised $1.5 million,” says Dalton. “I believe that being involved in the community is critical to the success of any business.”

Dalton credits his time at CU Denver’s Business School as a contribution to his success. “Looking back on my career, I’d have to say my MBA provided me a fundamental building block to many of my accomplishments.”

The MBA program was challenging at times. The team-based course work was very demanding of a family man working full time and going to school. “In hindsight though, it was one of the best learning experiences for me because as you advance in the business world, it’s imperative that you understand group dynamics, how to work in a group and are able to move a group toward a goal.”

The CoBiz vice president feels so strongly about education that he encourages his employees to take advantage of the company’s tuition reimbursement program. “I believe it’s important to give employees educational opportunities. A high percentage of our staffers attend CU Denver and they’re delivering good value for the tuition, books and fees we pay for them.”

Dalton also emphasizes the importance of living a balanced life. “I try to exercise daily and make time for my family. That’s a core value here at our company and we regularly stress it to our employees to create a healthy work and life balance.”

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