Corporate Express Executive Receives Entrepreneurship Award From CU-Boulder

Published: Oct. 12, 2000

Gary Jacobs, executive vice president and founding investor in Broomfield-based Corporate Express Inc., today was awarded the 2000 Dean's Award for Entrepreneurial Excellence by CU-Boulder's College of Engineering and Applied Science.

In making the award, Dean Ross B. Corotis said Jacobs' "exceptional leadership and innovations epitomize the goals of the comprehensive, technologically based education found in our country’s leading engineering colleges."

Jacobs, who earned his bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from CU-Boulder in 1970, guided Corporate Express through a period of rapid growth from a private, regional product distribution firm to a multinational sales leader in several product categories.

Corporate Express is now a $5 billion business-to-business office products, computer products and software distribution division of Burhmann N.V., a multinational business services group in the Netherlands.

After financing the founding acquisition of Corporate Express in 1988, Jacobs served as a company director through September 1990. In November 1992, he joined Corporate Express as executive vice president and chief financial officer. In that capacity, he was the senior executive responsible for the firm’s numerous public and private debt and equity financing transactions, including its successful initial public offering and secondary equity offering, many public and private mergers and acquisitions, a leveraged recapitalization and negotiation of the 1999 merger with Buhrmann N.V.

Jacobs stepped down as chief financial officer in June 2000 to pursue other entrepreneurial interests, while retaining the position of executive vice president.

Before joining Corporate Express, Jacobs established an investment firm and co-founded Capital Associates, a project and equipment financing firm. He served as executive vice president of Capital Associates from 1978 to 1990, leading the company’s successful IPO, among other projects.

Prior to that, he worked for Storage Technology Corp., where he was responsible for the firm’s bank relationships, sales and lease financing programs, and sales of computer products to financial intermediaries.