Since moving to Denver, Dave Younggren has been an invaluable member of the Colorado community, and has dedicated himself to improving the lives of others. Younggren graduated from Stanford Business School in 1975 after serving in the U.S. Navy. With a background in business and passion for helping those in need, Dave’s presence in the nonprofit world is well-known. Younggren has served on the boards of Urban Land Conservancy, Colorado Children’s Healthcare Access Program, the Colorado Forum Fund, Urban Peak, The Spot, Colorado Nonprofit Development Center, Mackintosh Academy, and Denver Academy. He is also a member of the Colorado Forum and Colorado Concern.

After more than four decades of extraordinary work, Younggren announced his retirement as President & CEO of Gary Community Investments (GCI) and The Piton Foundation. Founded in 2012, GCI is based on the idea of using for-profit investment strategies to support The Piton Foundation’s philanthropic efforts. The Piton Foundation was founded in 1976 by Sam and Nancy Gary and is dedicated to improving the lives of Colorado’s low-income children and families.

Dave Younggren at the Mile High Vista Groundbreaking in 2011

Younggren has worked closely alongside business partner Sam Gary – whose vision led to the creation of ULC in 2003 – for many years. While the majority of Dave’s career was spent in the oil and gas industry, he dedicated the past seven years to helping Sam realize his longtime vision of combining private sector and philanthropic resources to improve the Colorado community.

“Even as we welcome a new leader to GCI, I want to share my gratitude for Dave’s service and friendship,” said Sam Gary. “Dave came to for work my energy company when he was fresh out of business school, and we built a decades-long partnership based on mutual respect, loyalty, and a shared commitment to doing well in business and doing good for the community. As CEO, Dave helped solidify my vision for doing philanthropy differently. As he moves into retirement, Dave will continue stewarding that vision as chairman of our board – and he will always remain my close friend.”

Dave and his wife Debbie Younggren

Founded in 2003 and launched with support from the Gary-Williams Energy Corporation, ULC has benefited greatly from the shared vision and leadership of both Sam Gary and Dave Younggren. ULC was created due to the quickly emerging need to preserve the built environment to ensure Denver remains affordable for everyone, today and tomorrow. Younggren also serve as the Board President from 2011-2013, and will continue to remain actively involved with ULC.

“Over the many years of working together at ULC, Dave has always brought wisdom, integrity and a sense of humor to every meeting. His thoughtfulness and leadership are big reasons for the successes that ULC has achieved,” said Rus Heise.

“Dave’s vision has been critical to ULC’s growth,” said Aaron Miripol, ULC’s President & CEO. “His understanding of business operations, finance, and strategic development continue to lead ULC into success. Dave helped ULC create an identity that went beyond a nonprofit into a place based community real estate organization– he helped craft ULC into what it is today.”

Younggren’s active leadership and visionary approach has crafted ULC’s nuanced approach to Denver’s real estate market. He has guided ULC through acquisitions that align with our mission and was instrumental in the creation of ULC’s master site development department. Through Younggren’s leadership, ULC has invested more than $110 million into the creation and preservation of affordable real estate across the Greater Denver Region.

“When ULC acquired the property at Mile High Vista, Dave understood that it would require multiple phases of development with multiple partners. Through his leadership, ULC advanced its work with the creation of the Master Site Department,”  said Aaron Miripol.

Dave, Debbie, and their grandchildren

Younggren also played a critical role in launching Elevation Community Land Trust (ECLT), a nonprofit organization making homeownership more accessible for Colorado families through the community land trust model. Established in 2018 by a collaborative group of funders as a public/private response to Colorado’s growing affordability crisis, ECLT has successfully acquired (x number) of homes. ECLT expects to acquire and develop 700 homes in its first five years, a vision set in place by Younggren and ECLT’s Advisory Committee. Younggren’s expertise and continued guidance has ensured that both ECLT and ULC remain financially and operationally stable.

Although he officially retired in December 2019, Younggren will remain engaged with Gary Community Investments as the Board Chair of both GCI and The Piton Foundation, in addition to serving on boards of partners including ULC and Elevation Community Land Trust. As he enters a very active retirement, Younggren can be found spending time with his close-knit family including two daughters, Amy and Sarah, four grandchildren, and Debbie, his wife of nearly 50 years. In addition to continuing to serve the Colorado community, you’ll likely find Dave fishing, hunting, golfing, and traveling with his family.

“Although my decision to retire is bittersweet, I am looking forward to this new chapter in my life, which will be dedicated to my family and continuing to serve the community,” said Younggren.

ULC is eternally grateful for everything Dave has contributed, and wishes him nothing but the best on this next chapter.