A short Q and A with the extraordinary George (Geoie) Writer, Founder of Writer Corporation, CESR Advisory Board Member, CU Graduate and Leeds Donor. (George’s complete profile is posted after the interview).
As a business leader what are the key elements you think students need today in business education?
A strong background in finance and accounting, because you need to understand the math of the enterprise while understanding the integrity of the numbers from the very beginning of a business career. Marketing, advertising, entrepreneurship, and management should all be driven by the integrity of the numbers and without a strong accounting and financial background you can unknowingly be led in the wrong direction.
Why are ethics and values important in business decision making?
Ideally, one should start developing a strong moral compass at home at an early age. Ethics and values must be the cornerstone of any business. Any business that doesn’t adhere to the basic rules of integrity and fair dealing will eventually fail. We read examples of this in the news daily.
Why do you believe in CESR and its mission?
The popularity of this program reflects how important it is, as well as the growth being led by such an exceptional professor as Dr. Donna Sockell.
When you think about your giving philosophy, how does CESR fit in with your goals?
Higher education and especially ethics in business has always had a high priority in our giving philosophy.
George (Geoie) Writer, a Denver native, graduated from the University of Colorado (1957) and served as an officer in the US Navy. He founded the Writer Corporation in 1965, and as a residential community builder has built over 12,000 homes in 35 planned communities, including The Dam, Willow Creek, The Knolls, Castle Pines North, The Pond, South Park, North Park, Wildgrass and Meadow Glen in metro Denver, Devil’s Thumb in Boulder, Harvest in Ft. Collins, and Cottonwood Creek in Colorado springs.
He built Colorado’s first Planned Unit Development (PUD) as well as America’s first PUD to be underwritten by both the FHA and VA. The success of the Writer Corporation was based on the philosophy of developing communities that integrated parks and open space with diverse housing types. He also built Writer Square, a downtown Denver mixed use development. The Colorado Design Council named Writer Square the top architectural and functional urban development for the decade of the eighties. In 2006 Writer Square received the AIA 25 Year Award for Architectural Design of Enduring Significance.
George has received many national and regional awards, including National Builder of the Year in 1978. He also was honored as Colorado Builder of the Year in 2000 and Metro Denver Builder of the year in 1980. Besides being active on local and national home builder boards, he served several terms on the Residential Council and the New Communities Council of the Urban Land Institute. He has been a director of the Denver Chamber of Commerce, the Denver Real Estate Investment Association, Denver Civic Ventures, and the Denver Partnership. He also served on the board and executive committees of the First National Bank Corporation and the InterWest Financial Corporation as well as the board of United Banks of Colorado. He was Task Force chairman of the Colorado Front Range Project and co-founder of Colorado Open Lands. Additionally, he served on the boards and executive committees of Swedish Medical Center, Health One, and the Colorado Forum, and the Business School Advisory Council of the University of Colorado. Upon his retirement and move to Santa Barbara,he now serves on the board and was a past president of the Santa Barbara Maritime Museum, is a trustee of the Colorado Conservation Trust, and a member of California Concern, a Santa Barbara think tank.
George and his wife, Judy, have 5 children, 8 grandchildren and 3 great grandchildren.