Published: Feb. 2, 2021

Could you share more about how you two met?Susan L. Sakmar & Kirk Hobbs

We met during our second year at CU while we were living at the same apartment building on the hill. The apartments were full of CU students, so there was a very active social scene and a group of us hung out all the time. It didn’t take long for us to become a couple and the rest is history – we married the year after we graduated from CU!

Why did you decide to come to Leeds? 

Growing up in Michigan, Susan couldn’t wait to head west to explore a new environment and, of course, take advantage of the big mountain skiing. Susan also knew she wanted to attend business school from the outset and CU Leeds offered one of the best undergraduate business school experiences available.  

Kirk grew up in Texas and, like Susan, wanted to explore a new state and had visited Colorado with his family on several ski trips. He also knew he wanted to attend business school, so CU Leeds was a great fit. 

What are some of your favorite CU memories?

There are many great memories of CU and Boulder – TGIF ski trips to Loveland, walking the Pearl Street mall on Halloween, ski trips to A Basin, Mary Jane and Vail, trips to Beau Jo’s Pizza on the way home from skiing if we could scrounge up $20 for a pizza, and, of course, watching the Buffs play football.  

Could you share an experience (or two) that was particularly memorable at Leeds?

The overall experience at Leeds was memorable in that the business school felt like a small program within a larger institution. As students, we got to know each other and our professors really well, which is unique for a large public school. 

Where has life taken you since you graduated Leeds?     

After graduation, we continued west to the San Francisco Bay Area and have been here ever since. Susan’s first job out of college was in corporate accounting for Chevron Corp. and her business degree at CU Leeds was instrumental in getting her first job. Kirk’s first job was working at a subsidiary of Steel Case where he focused on developing and implementing a quality control process and a productivity incentive program. From there, it was on to law school for both of us and then practicing law for several years in San Francisco. Susan was a litigator and ultimately got a LL.M. Masters in Law from Georgetown and transitioned to teaching. She has been a part-time law professor for almost 20-years.  She still has her roots in business and has been an active investor, always looking for opportunities, including a private investment in Vitamin Water prior to the $4B sale to Cola-Cola.  

Kirk worked as a lawyer for Cooley Godward where he provided legal counsel to start-up technology firms and venture capital partnerships. Kirk transitioned from law to business and was the founder/CEO of his own furniture company for many years and is now the CEO of ICU Eyewear. Traditionally a reading glass company, Kirk transitioned the company to also supply PPE (face masks and face shields) during the Covid19 pandemic, and this is now a core component of the business.  

What is one piece of advice/best practice that has stuck with you throughout your careers? 

No matter what job you are interviewing for, be sure to convey to the interviewers that you REALLY WANT the job! Employers want you to want to work there – if you are enthusiastic about the job and company, you’ll have a better chance of success.

Enjoy your college years and don’t worry if your first job isn’t your dream job. Life is a long journey and you’ll have many opportunities along the way. The most important thing is to keep moving forward!