Who’s There: Ken Zimmerman
SUMMIT COUNTY – Ken Zimmerman has worked in many jobs in many parts of the country, but more than once, the pull of the mountains brought him back to Colorado. This latest homecoming, he said, looks to be the best yet.The new director of development for The Summit Foundation lived in Colorado off and on for 23 years, teaching skiing and coaching football at Arvada West.
He brokered commercial real estate, sold ski gear and worked in the athletic department at the University of Colorado. He also raised his two children (Brett, 32, and Darcy, 30) in the state.Most recently, Zimmerman spent 14 years as the director of development for major gifts at the University of Illinois, where he played football and earned both a bachelor’s and master’s degrees in the 1960s. Though he cherished his time at his alma mater, he knew it was time for him move beyond college athletics.”I spent one year testing the market for post-retirement job opportunities back in the Midwest and I got pretty bored,” Zimmerman said. “When you grow older, you come in touch with your mortality and realize that life is better when you give back to people. This (new job), in my mind, is an ideal scenario.”
Zimmerman is no stranger to the activities that Colorado has to offer, but his introduction to Summit County living, he said, has been especially positive.”There are so many things in this community that made me want to move (here), and since I’ve been here it’s far exceeded my expectations,” he said. “This place is absolutely amazing. I get the feeling that everybody’s down to earth. There are other ski communities where you really feel like you have to be a billionaire to move around in the social circles.”Far from dealing only with billionaires, Zimmerman said he has been continually impressed with the work of the Foundation and the connection that so many average citizens in the community have with the group.
The fact that he has been welcomed with open arms, he said, is a testament to the achievements of those involved with the Summit Foundation before his arrival.”Just in meeting people, I guess I’d have to prove I’m a really bad guy because they think I’m a good guy right now because I’m with this organization,” Zimmerman said with a laugh. “It’s phenomenal, and I love it.” A reception will be held Thursday. For more information, call the Summit Foundation at (970) 453-5970.
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