Have we ever been hitting the “impressive young professionals’ lotto” with our Have You Mets lately! - And the accomplished, community-minded and highly-respected Adam Daurio is another one of our shining examples!
Adam actually started his career as an attorney; and with his specialized management marketing skills, and event planning experience - added with an extensive knowledge and passion for the rodeo, everything equestrian, as well as the agricultural industry - making a career move to Executive Director and legal counsel for the SaddleUp! Foundation followed the trail Daurio’s been riding for some time.
Adam grew up in a very rural environment outside of Pueblo. He comes from a large Italian family where his grandparents had anywhere between 10 to 14 siblings. The family holds many reunions; and around 100 or so show up at the family Christmas celebration.
With his “agri way of life,” Adam says he knew Colorado State University in Fort Collins was the best undergrad school for him. Adam says: “I always knew though that I’d go on to get a law degree.” Adam took a year off and taught middle school before he went on to get his law degree at the University of Wyoming. He then moved to Denver and joined the legal firm Montgomery & Little and specialized in real estate transactions.
At age 30, Adam married the love of his life, Jennifer Olinger. They met when Jennifer did volunteer work at the SaddleUp! Foundation. They have now been married for 3 years and hope to start a family soon. Jennifer is a regional manager at CoBank in the lending division working with Renewable Energy business clients.
Daurio, a true steward of the West (with an outstanding work ethic) , says that his strong ties of coming off of the farm/ranch life makes him a perfect fit for what he is doing now as the ED of a therapeutic equestrian horse facility like SaddleUp! - as well as being their legal counsel.
When people ask Adam “Where did you buy that great belt buckle?” he can proudly say he won it! Daurio’s boots and buckles have miles on them… His hobbies include roping, reining, cowhorse, cutting and all-around western events. He’s competed in numerous competitions such as at the Colorado State Fair and has been a regional champion in the “cowhorse” competition.
Adam has challenged himself through the years with these competitive activities and realizes the importance of staying healthy and in top condition by now participating in strenuous boot camps and “tough” fitness classes that (aside from loving it) literally dare him to be at his best.
Adam and Jennifer Daurio carry themselves like true thoroughbreds and enjoy where the ride of life takes them. They have put much time and effort into philanthropy, and they feel it has given back to them 10-fold. This couple knows “it’s the right thing to do.”
As our interview comes to an end, and Adam Daurio is ready to “SaddleUp” for his next meeting, he graciously wraps it up by saying: “Helping out our causes is our main goal, and 75% of our wonderful friendships have come from it. Jennifer and I feel like part of the community - and they have embraced us!”
What’s new at the SaddleUp Foundation? Everything is new! In the last two years, SaddleUp! has made so many great strides. It is now considered one of the premiere equine assisted therapy facilities in the nation. Per week, it is serving more than 125 individuals with special needs and receiving more than 300 hours of community service from local philanthropists.
Besides your involvement with SaddleUp!, you and your wife Jennifer have supported many nonprofits and community endeavors through the years. Can you mention a few of them? Between Jennifer and me, we have been involved with Volunteers of America’s events such as Western Fantasy, Red Wine and Seafood, and events benefitting the Brandon Center. We have helped the Kempe Foundation, YMCA’s Janet’s Camp, Cancer League, Developmental Pathways, The Joshua School, Firefly Autism, Colorado Special Olympics, Families First, 4-H, Freedom Foundation, In a Mother’s Arms, Sewall Child Development Center, Global Down Syndrome Association and Colorado Horse Council. We are also very active with the National Western Stock Show, which supports scholarships for students seeking degrees in the Agricultural industry.
What social event has been your favorite through the years? I’m partial to SaddleUp!’s fundraising event, the Mini Cattle Drive, which is hosted in Larkspur, CO by Barnes Ranch. It is a great day of horses, cattle events, camaraderie, BBQ, beer, and live country-western entertainment. All this, and the proceeds benefit a great cause.
As for a more well-known event, I would have to say Western Fantasy. I love the atmosphere of fine western wear, fine dining, fun games of chance, and a country music concert.
Who is the most interesting celebrity you have met? Garth Brooks. Incredible to hear his story about being one of the most famous international recording artists and then making the decision to pretty much become a stay-at-home dad.
As they ask in Vanity Fair - What is your current state of mind – where are you at in life right now? Content. Jennifer is the most amazing spouse - I work with incredible people - I am generally surrounded by wonderful family and friends – and I have the best two dogs (Zeus and Buckles).
What do you consider your greatest achievement? Marrying Jennifer (Seriously, have you seen her? And, she is twice as smart and nice than she is beautiful). A far second is my law degree.
What is the best advice you have ever received? My mother always told me – “Experience life!” Meaning, do everything you can to meet people, work hard, play hard, travel, and just simply take advantage of every experience possible.
What are your sources of income for your nonprofit SaddleUp! Foundation and what fundraising events do you have coming up? SaddleUp! is supported by incoming revenue from some of its therapies. It receives grants from corporations and foundations and private donations. Lastly, SaddleUp! conducts fundraising events.
Our premiere fundraising event is the SaddleUp! and Pack Your Bags, a Denver Suitcase Party. This year the event is August 17, 2012, at the Mayo Aviation Hangar. This is quickly becoming one of the Denver area’s most talked about social events. The concept is incredible – come to the party with your suitcase packed with hopes of being the grand prize winner of a VIP trip. The winner is chosen through a raffle drawing (every event ticket is also a raffle ticket and gives each guest one entry into the raffle). Once announced, the winner, and a guest, walk out of the event venue, board a private jet, and immediately get whisked away for a VIP weekend in Napa Valley. The evening also features a live auction, silent auction and games of chance, fully hosted bar and food from local restaurants and caterers, and live entertainment.
What word describes you best? Balanced.
How would others to describe you? Ha… I have no idea. It definitely wouldn’t be “patient.” Hopefully they would say something close to “original.”
What was your first job – as a teen? I was a lifeguard and swim instructor at the local pool.
I ask most of my married folks this – “What do you think is the secret to wedded bliss?” It’s a secret, I can’t tell you.
Who do you consider your main mentor in life? My horse Slick. I received Slick when I was 15 years old and have had him by my side for the past 18 years. I have spent more time with that horse than any human, and he has taught me more than I can account.
What are your favorite “words of wisdom?” You can do anything, but not everything.
What are some of your other hobbies or interests? For lack of a better word, I am a gym-rat. I love to workout, lift, run, and participate in fitness boot-camps. I am also an avid competitor in showing horse; mainly western reining and cowhorse classes. I also love to travel.
If you could go anywhere and do anything right now – where and what would it be? I would take Jennifer to travel Italy.
What do you see yourself doing 10 years from now? Mainly, I hope that I will be a father of at least two children. In 10 years, the kids could be up to 9 years old, involved in sports, and Jen and I could be overworked, underpaid, and exhausted from chauffeuring kids around. Ha… the American Dream, right?
What are some gifts your parents gave you that money can’t buy? My family. I am blessed to have been raised in the setting of married parents, an incredible older sister, and with all of my grandparents, aunts and uncles, and cousins. I grew up just southeast of Pueblo, CO, in a rural setting, and lived on the same property as many of my family. Family that did not live next door to me lived no more than 15 minutes away. When my parents were working, I was raised by my grandparents (all of my cousins were raised this way). I did not know it wasn’t normal to spend most days with your extended family, especially Sundays (spaghetti dinners every Sunday). At Jennifer and my wedding, we had just over 1,000 guests, and I would say about 600 of them were my relatives.
Is there anything you wish you'd done differently so far? Sure. Lots of things, but I can’t go back, so no sense in talking about them now.
What would you like your legacy to be? / What would you most like to be remembered for? Simply, being a good person. Whether that is a good businessman, husband, father, brother, son, friend, etc… I just want people to say, “Yeah, I know/knew Adam. He is/was a good person.”