Ned Minor is at the top of his game in his profession – as well as on the basketball court every Wednesday night, where he plays basketball at a middle school with a group of young men, and he says, “It’s just plain fun!”
Co-founder of his law firm Minor & Brown P.C., Ned, with his riveting personality and flawless expertise, has guided and counseled thousands of business owners over the last 30 years on “when and how” to sell their businesses.
Ned, who also has a degree in English, loved to read and study the works of all the great poets and philosophers of our time. All the studying paid off, because Ned has mastered the art of philosophical thinking. Ned makes the business owners he works with feel at ease when they have concerns, doubts and fears about selling their businesses – which Ned says is a very normal part of the process.
Mr. Minor has authored the book, “Deciding to Sell Your Business – The Key to Wealth and Freedom,” and as Ned reflects: “As an entrepreneur, I started my law firm with a partner from scratch. We had no clients, but we had a good strategy and a marketing plan. We knew that we wanted to represent business owners. When you are a business owner yourself, you are empathetic as to what your clients are going through. I have imparted this and converted that knowledge and empathy into this book.” Ned goes on to say: “The book is designed for business owners who are contemplating selling their business. That decision-making process is clearly the most difficult and emotional process that most business owners go through because the business has been part of their identity, their platform in the community, and sometimes having to let that go is traumatic. My book is designed to take them through 55 questions, and answers that I give, which will absolutely crystallize their thinking as to what the right course of action is for them.”
Ned Minor is an upbeat guy with a great sense of humor who leads in business and the community with conviction. He is exuberant about his life - and optimistic about the future of our wonderful State of Colorado. Whether Ned is representing someone in a court of law, or having fun on the basketball court - or explaining the merits of our free enterprise system to young people, he is a dedicated, involved citizen who believes strongly that everyone should have a shot at a good life.
At what point in your life did you determine that practicing law was right for you? April 15, 1977. The day we opened Minor & Brown. I did not enjoy the practice when I worked for someone else. It was only after I opened the doors to my own law firm that I really started loving it, and not only appreciating the practice of law, but the business aspect of building and growing a law firm.
Can you share with us one of your favorite childhood memories? Yes, At age 12, being present at the game in 1957 when the University of Kentucky Basketball Team upset Seattle University, with the legendary Elgin Baylor, to win the NCAA Final Four Championship. It was the highlight of my spectator life. I got down on the floor, because everybody wanted to get down there, and they had three rings of ushers all around us, and I almost got squished.
At what point did you know you might have a knack for civic leadership? It goes back to the 1st grade when I was elected President of my class. From then on, every year I was President of my class, and my interest sort of went on from there.
What are your thoughts on the subjects of voters’ apathy and polarization in our country? As it relates to voter apathy, no matter what you do, certain groups of people are never going to get involved, and they are simply not going to exercise what I think is one of the most critical fundamental rights in this country – the right and duty to vote. It seems to me that a person who doesn’t vote, but still will complain about what’s going on in this country, and won’t take a stand to correct it, is very frustrating.
If the U.S. is to maintain the respect of other countries in the world, what needs to happen? It’s extremely difficult for the U.S. to maintain the respect of other countries for two basic reasons: 1) We are so wealthy and prosperous, which makes us the envy of the world, as long as we are that, people who are envious are not going to think kindly of us. No matter what we do, I don’t know that you can gain their respect unless you give them anything and everything that they want. 2) With the religious division that exists in this world today, between international religious extremists and terrorists stirring up fear and hatred, it’s really difficult to determine from one day to the next who our friends and allies are. I’m far less concerns with maintaining the respect of the rest of the world, verses practicing what Americans feel are their core values and beliefs and sticking to them. If you stick to them, then those that you have the opportunity to persuade will respect you. With respect, you maintain our core values as a country, which is laid out in the Constitution, and in our laws, etc. To me, that’s more important than seeking the respect of anybody else.
What do you think is the greatest problem we are facing in this country today? The liberal press and the liberal media. I believe that there is an agenda there that does not engender the proper fact-finding, and then the dissemination of the information does not come out in an unbiased fashion. I think that is extremely divisive to the country. I wish I could go on any conservative or liberal talk show and feel like I’m getting the straight scoop as opposed to a slanted spin.
What in your eyes is the “lowest depth of human misery?” The lack of educational and economical opportunities. This creates a lack of hope. Many citizens of the world will never get an opportunity to eliminate their misery.
What can we, as people, do to change this? Each individual must find his or her way of making the right contribution that does give people this hope. What better organization than Junior Achievement to do this. It’s so easy for each one of us to reach out and touch the next generation of employees and business leaders by participating in JA. Through JA, we teach these kids in kind all about the economic realities of what it takes to be successful in this country today. If we had more volunteers, we could reach more kids, and teach them what it takes to be successful in this free enterprise, democratic society. Our greatest accomplishments in JA are reaching the lower income schools that have no input or background in how free enterprise works. JA volunteers make a huge different. We can make a difference right here in our own backyard.
What do you consider one of your proudest achievements? Remaining married for 37 years, and having one beautiful 25-year-old daughter. She’s been the gift of our lifetime. Also, completing my book.
Do you have a favorite social or charitable event you like to attend? The Colorado Business Hall of Fame which is co-sponsored by the Denver Chamber of Commerce and Junior Achievement. It’s like the Academy Awards for our state business leaders; and every year we honor 5 to 6, a combination of living and deceased laureate, who have had a significant and dramatic impact on the State of Colorado. It is a tribute to business and free enterprise.
If you could go back in time, with the knowledge you have today, what advice would you give yourself? Lighten Up!
What are your hobbies, or favorite leisure time activities? I’m still playing in a basketball league with a group of these young guys who rent a junior high school gym here in Denver. It goes from Oct. 19, through the end of March, and we go 4 on 4, full court for about 2 hours every Wednesday night. If I quit playing, I know I’ll never be able to do it again, so I’ll be celebrating my 60th birthday in November on one of the nights that we play. I also play golf, and enjoy traveling with my wife & daughter.
You are a highly respected and successful attorney, what has been the key to your success? Surrounding myself with bright and talented people who do what they do well which allows me to do what I do well.
How can we help our young people be better informed about the issues of today? This is tied in with the issue of broadening your reach today. It starts at home with the family and having open and informative communication, verses a lecturing setting. Discussing things with your own kids, engaging them in discussions and debates and just having intelligent discussions with them. If you are involved outside of the home with youth organizations that focus on youth issues, then typically that organization has a message that they are trying to deliver, and you weave in that message.
Do you have a favorite motto, quote, or words to live by? Yes from Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar: “Reputation, Reputation, Reputation, Oh I have lost my reputation. I’ve lost the immortal part of myself, and that which remains is bestial.” That was Young Cassias speaking. Once you’ve lost your reputation in the community, you lose your creditability, and you have no ability to lead or do anything positive.
As you look back, who in your life was your greatest mentor? 1) My father who taught me a lot of the right things to do, and 2) My father in law, who is an attorney back in Syracuse, and he opened up a lot of doors for me in the legal world and the gave me the opportunity to get into the practice of law.
Tell us about one of your greatest adventure? When we my young bride and I left the security of her family in Syracuse, and elected not to go back to the security of my family in Louisville Kentucky, and like two young pioneers (she’d never been West of Buffalo New York), came to Colorado to embark on a new life, 32 years later, I’m still living that same adventure because Denver still embodies that pioneer spirit. Moving to and living in Colorado continues to be the greatest adventure of my life.
What is something you can’t live without? Sunshine!
What do you like most about living in Colorado? People are drawn to Colorado because of the mountains. They fall in love with it. It’s the climate, sunshine, and the people – and the opportunities that are here.
Do you have an economic forecast for the City of Denver – and Colorado? Let’s talk globally. Mid-term and long-term is extremely strong. We have invested in the infrastructure of this town by passing things like “Fasttracks,” by reauthorizing the SCFD (Science & Cultural Financial District). We’ve shown that we are very proud of this city; it goes back 10 years ago when we voted in DIA. You look at what this city has accomplished in the last 10 years: Coors Field, the Pepsi Center, the fact that we are one of only 2 cities that have all the major sports franchises. The DCPA, the new Ellie Caulkins Opera House, the new Denver Art Museum, etc. Our biggest challenge, and the greatest decision that we need to follow through on, is to show that we are willing to continue to invest in the fundamental basics of our infrastructure, roads, schools, health care, higher education. If not, then we will take a colossal step backwards that will be too sweeping and might and not be corrected in my lifetime.
Is there something you would still like to learn how to do? Speak French so that when I go to St. Barts, I could converse in verses more then just Oui, and Non, and Qu’est-ce Quec’est which means “What is it?”
What’s in the future for Ned Minor? To continue along in the same path of growing this law firm, and finding the next opportunity to contribute to this community. Serving as the 120th Chairman of Board of the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce was the most humbling honor I’ve ever had, and one of the most exciting, fulfilling, inspirational and perspective changing 12 months of my life. That’s going to be hard to duplicate, but I’ll look for the opportunity.
What do you most want to be remembered for? My 3 point Jump Shot! Seriously, for my desire to reach out to anybody and everybody, no matter at what station in life. To have done what I could to help them achieve whatever it is that they are trying to achieve, whether it was calling the janitor of the building by his first name, and asking him “How are things going today?” - to our highest officials – having the opportunity to get to know these people, and somehow or another, directly or indirectly, having a positive impact on their lives is what I’d want to be remembered for.
Well, Ned, you have already accomplished your most desired life goal, .....to be remembered for your 3 point jump shot! In fact, there are many at Greenwood who still quake in their sneakers at the mere thought of "Ned, the Sharpshooter".
Congratualtions on all of your accomplishments off the court. They are even more remarkable than the basketball prowess of a boy from Louisville.