We were introduced during a business meeting and when I later ran into him in a coffee shop, I asked if I could meet with him for Free Coffee with Aubrey. Two weeks later Jeff and I found ourselves in the same coffee shop, Park Avenue Coffee downtown. Our conversation touched on a variety of topics, and was very much a give-and-take. In our brief 25 minute chat I think Jeff learned just as much about me as I did about him.
He grew up in Littleton, Colorado but left after high school and moved to Hutchinson, Kansas, where his family is originally from. There he attended college and was a “sixth-generation Jayhawk”, before moving to Daytona Beach, Florida where he worked for a small weekly paper. “I wrote articles and sold ads. I did everything because it was a small town newspaper.”
The next stop in Jeff’s journey was Chicago, where he wrote for an alternative news weekly. While working here he attended a conference and met Ray Hartmann, the founder of the Riverfront Times. He was convinced to make the move here to St. Louis where he worked for the RFT for several years.
Many of us St. Louisans have heard of Coolfire now because of the original TV shows they’ve produced. Jeff enjoyed working for the company. “It’s a very entrepreneurial culture. There are loads of talented people on every floor.” He also loves being on the street generating ideas.
Jeff has two sons, Hutchinson, seven (named after the town in Kansas) and Lucas, five. They keep him busy with slumber parties, wrestling, mud and boy stuff. “I’m knee-deep in boy shit all the time...there’s nothing better, right?”
Last Jeff and I touched on the entrepreneurial scene developing in downtown St. Louis. I referred him to an article I read about an entrepreneurial gene. We were both enthusiastic about what is happening here.
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