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Breck woman left Iowa only to fall for a man from her hometown

BRECKENRIDGE – Jane Brown knows all too well how small a world we live in.

The Breckenridge woman was born in Council Bluffs, Iowa, where she attended Abraham Lincoln High School. Little did she know that more than 20 years later she would meet her husband, Rick, who attended Lewis Central High School on the other side of town.

Brown attended Iowa State University in Ames, where she wanted to earn a degree in fine arts or architecture, but her parents convinced her to switch to business so she could find a job more easily.



She graduated with that business degree in 1983 and fled the Midwest.

“I didn’t know where I wanted to be, what I wanted to do,” Brown said of her 720-mile road trip to Dallas. “I wanted to be in a big city – Dallas, Denver, Los Angeles.”



Her parents urged her to find work in Omaha, Neb., where they worked, but friends in Dallas lured her south.

“My life was just beginning,” Brown said. “I wasn’t going to begin it in Omaha.”

Brown arrived in Dallas during rush hour and was immediately taken with the big city.

“I was in such awe,” she said. “There was all this cement, these big buildings, big freeways. There were all these fancy cars and big-haired blonde women. I was excited, but in a way, I was a little scared.”

She started what she calls her “job campaign” in May 1983 and worked at three jobs she detested before the $3,000 she’d brought with her to Texas started dwindling. Brown admitted she was beginning to wonder what she was thinking.

“It was hot, I didn’t have enough money to head to Denver or Los Angeles and start (the job search) all over,” she said. “And I wasn’t going to go back home – no way. Dallas it was.”

She landed a job with Sprint, then an up-and-coming telecommunications firm that GTE had purchased. Her base pay of $12,000 was augmented by her 2 percent commission – which netted her $38,000 at the end of her first year in the real world. She thought she was swimming in money.

Brown stayed with Sprint for 18 years, traveling all over the world.

But on a ski vacation to Breckenridge in 1999, she was looking at real estate when she met a man who would win her over and bring her to the Rocky Mountains.

Like Brown, Rick was from Council Bluffs. His photo, taken at a game pitting the two high schools against each other, was in her yearbook.

“We know some of the same people,” he said. “We were probably at some of the same parties and didn’t even know it.”

They married on Valentine’s Day, 2000, a year to the date after they met.

Brown then moved from Dallas to Breckenridge, transferred her job to Denver and began commuting back and forth.

He has two sons from a previous marriage: Jason, who just graduated from Boston University and is vice-president of sales for Student Works Painting in Boston; and Nate, who just graduated from Summit High School and plans to attend art school in Boston.

The couple had a baby, Audrey Isabella, in December, at which point Brown decided to stop commuting to Denver every day and to branch out on her own.

Now she is the vice-president of sales for the United States in a startup company called Adeo Partners. The company provides technical sales support for companies that want to break into new markets but aren’t ready to sell their product yet. Her two major clients are InfoNet and Sprint.

“It was a little scary,” she said of starting a business. “But one aspect was selling to Sprint. That made it easy to make the decision. I get to stay here and still travel.”


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