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Alumni of the Plains
Award Recipients
Gary Debus 2014 Alumni of the Plains


Gary Debus
Executive Management
9693 Chanteclair Circle
Highlands Ranch, CO  80126


  •  Senior executive with 20 years of management experience in private and non-profit industries.
  •  Polished interpersonal skills and key spokesperson for business and trade associations.
  • Creative taxable bond financing ($45 million).
  • Successful negotiation and closing of multi-million dollar real estate acquisition deals in Highlands Ranch.
  • Leader of organizations with multiple locations, 700 employees, and $25 million budgets.
  • Development of lifestyle elements for 90,000 residents in Highlands Ranch.
  • Owner’s representative for planning, design, and construction projects in Colorado and Wyoming (over $100 million).
  • Hold and manage land and financial assets of over $100 million.
  • Increase of rental and food and beverage revenue more than 2.5 times in last two years and most successful development events in business eleven year history.
  • Initiate and negotiate successful business exit strategy for a non-profit.
  •  Recognized as a business leader in the South Denver Metro Area.


Debus & Company, Highlands Ranch, Colorado (January 2014 – Present)
Debus & Company provides business management and consulting services in real estate development industries, including real estate property management services, business development, entitlements, and real estate negotiations.

The Wildlife Experience, Parker, Colorado (June 2011 – January 2014)
The Wildlife Experience is a 501(c)3 non-profit event center, wildlife art and natural history museum with a unique purpose; to get people of all ages outdoors with an $8 million budget, 50 employees, 250 volunteers, 150,000 square feet of facilities, and multiple business lines.
President and Chief Executive Officer
Key Responsibilities
• Provide executive leadership, direct development efforts, identify business opportunities, and develop strategic plans for both earned and raised revenue.
• Known as the face of and spokesperson for the organization in the Greater Denver community.
• The President and CEO reports to an 11 member Board of Directors made up of business executives and professionals from a broad range of industries.
Key Achievements
• Rental and food and beverage revenues more than doubled (2.5 times) in two years from $600,000 to $1,600,000 through aggressive marketing and leadership.
• Negotiate contracts for exhibits and state-of-the art 2D and 3D digital theatre equipment.
• Provide oversight management for the two most successful development events in the history of the organization (more than doubling net revenues).
• Develop key new strategic partnerships with like-minded for profit and non-profit organizations enhancing the bottom line.
• Reduction of marketing plan expenses strategically through technology, social media and specific targeted media buys with business growth as the result.

Highlands Ranch Community Association, Inc., Highlands Ranch, Colorado (1991 to 1996 and 1997 to 2011)
The Highlands Ranch Community Association is the largest mixed-use property owners association in the United States with 700 employees, $25 million budget, multiple locations, providing community services to over 34,000 homes and businesses and 90,000 residents.
Community Manager and CEO
Key Responsibilities
• Provide executive leadership to key staff, develop and execute the strategic plan, and increase general operating revenues.
• Be a community leader in the Denver Metro Area.
• Develop plans for long range capital facilities, land acquisition, planning, design, and construction of assets.
• Create funding plans for planning, construction, and equipping projects.
• Lead political processes for land acquisition, development projects, and other important community projects.
• Create lifestyle elements and brand for Highlands Ranch.
• Reported to a 5-member Board.
Key Achievements
• Recognized as an industry expert with regard to large-scale developments and property owners associations, worldwide.
• First time taxable bond issues for an owners association in the United States (3 series for $45 million).
• Executive leadership for 700 employee business.
• Successful short and long-range strategic and capital facilities plan execution creating owner equity growth over 20 year tenure for a new development (33,000 new homes).
• Acquisition of 8,000 acres of open space for community benefit (recreation, ranching, wildlife and habitat preservation) and sales of developable property.
• Creation and management of two successful 501(c)3 non-profit supporting organizations (cultural and scholarship based).
• Development of twenty profitable supporting property management business operations.
• The face and voice for Highlands Ranch.

Teton County, Jackson Hole, Wyoming (1996 to 1997)
Teton County is the Gateway to Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks with over 3 million visitors per year, a $25 million budget, and key support services for citizens.
County Manager and Director of Administrative Services
Key Responsibilities
• Management of all County Commissioner Departments (Finance, Planning, Public Works, Housing Authority, Parks and Recreation, Health, Roads and Levees, and Open Space).
• Served on Teton County/Jackson Joint Powers Authority Board.
• Representative to Jackson Hole Airport Authority.
• Reported to 5-member Board of County Commissioners.
Key Achievements
• Successful public facilities sales tax campaign.
• Served as Interim County Treasurer (an elected position) following a vacancy.
• Construction of a new library, new administration building, negotiated a settlement for a construction defect in a previously constructed recreation center, and began renovation on an old courthouse.

Logan County, Sterling, Colorado (1985 to 1991)
Logan County provides county government services to a 21,000 person rural community with 150 employees, a $20 million budget, over 2,000 miles of county roads, and multiple sites.
County Manager

Self Employed, Iliff, Colorado (1983 to 1991)
Owner and operator of successful land planning, engineering, and ranching business enterprises.


Bachelor of Science Degree, Mining Engineering
Colorado School of Mines, Golden, Colorado

Professional Community Association Manager, PCAM
Community Associations Institute



Douglas County Fair & Rodeo, Board of Directors and Marketing Chair.
National Speaker, community management, real estate and land planning professionals.
Roundup Riders of the Rockies, exclusive gentlemen’s western riding club, 2012 Colt of the Year Award.
Coalition to Preserve Douglas County, Executive Committee Chair.
Past Chair of the Colorado Legislative Action Committee, Community Associations Institute.
Auctioneer, multiple charity benefit auctions annually.

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