Top Stories December 1, 2017

Ford Takes On Couloir

by Jackson Hole. Media

The Silicon Couloir Board of Directors is very pleased to announce Jennifer Ford as their pick to replace outgoing Executive Director Scott Fitzgerald.

Ford is a well known Teton community leader and business owner who first came to the area in the summer of 2000 as an outdoor guide and educator for CityKids Wilderness Project and later other outdoor organizations including the National Outdoor Leadership School.  She has an undergraduate degree from Georgetown University and a law degree from the University of Colorado Boulder.  Ford founded Frederick Mountain Group in 2011 with the goal of bringing growth strategy and tools to implement those strategies, to small and mid-sized businesses.  Her passion for the greater Teton region brought her back to the valley in 2013.

Of the transition into the new position, Jenn said, “I am honored and excited to step into this leadership role with Silicon Couloir. A longtime fan and volunteer of SC, I look forward to working with the Board, Trustees, volunteers and the community at large to continue our work to foster entrepreneurship in the Tetons.”

Current  Executive Director of Silicon Couloir Scott Fitzgerald announced earlier this Fall he would be moving on to pursue his startup children’s media company, Buddy Pegs, full time. His departure triggered an extensive recruitment process, which ultimately led to the selection of Ford.

Chairman of the Silicon Couloir Board, Bill Watkins, feels the recruitment process Silicon Couloir implemented not only assured that the organization found the right E.D., but also served as a recruitment model for the local entrepreneurial community. “We were fortunate to have a deep bench of candidates from both Teton County, Wyoming and Teton County, Idaho to interview for the position and took that as a good indication of the impact Silicon Couloir is having across our entire community. Through our process, Jenn rose to the top,” said Watkins, who has taught his A-Player Hiring seminar through the Silicon Couloir Business Micro Intensive. “Recruitment is one of the most daunting aspects of running a successful business. Many companies and nonprofits fail because of poor team building. If you can’t develop a team of A players then you’ll always be a B level company.” said Watkins.


Under Ford’s leadership, Silicon Couloir is looking to strengthen existing programs such as Chance Meetings and Pitch Day, as well as launch their new Teton Entrepreneurs And Mentors Service, and continue working closely with Central Wyoming College on the Startup Intensive and Leadership Intensive.

The community is invited to come meet Jenn and learn more about the organization at our next Chance Meetings on December 4th from 5 – 7pm at JH Still Works production facility south of Jackson.


About Silicon Couloir

Silicon Couloir is a 501c3 nonprofit that aligns entrepreneurship with community vision to promote a diverse economy and healthy environment for current and future generations. The group was born out of Charture Institute’s first “22 in 21” conference in 2011 when Founders Liza Millet, Chris Hessler, Nathan Adams and Breck Kling began brainstorming how they could better support the entrepreneurial community around the Tetons. After a few years of bootstrapping the organization, the group decided to expand their fundraising efforts in 2014 and bring on the group’s first paid E.D.  Founding Board Member Chris Hessler said, “We really just want to give back and support the community that we have all fallen in love with. We feel there is huge value in connecting people who bring an incredible amount of business and intellectual capital to our community with those who have the energy to drive their own entrepreneurial journey. Silicon Couloir is the organization that can connect everyone and serve as a national model of how to strengthen a community this way.”

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photo: linkedin

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