B.S., University of Wyoming
Licensed Attorney, State of Colorado
Certified Financial Manager, Institute of Management Accountants (IMA)
Licensed Real Estate Broker, State of Colorado
Chris Greene, JD, has taught at Western since 2010. A Nebraska native who grew up in Arizona, he received his BS from the University of Wyoming in Finance. After working two years as an accountant and analyst for Mirage Resorts in Las Vegas, Greene went on to receive his JD from the University of Colorado at Boulder where he worked within the Entrepreneurial Law Clinic. He became a licensed Attorney in Colorado in 2003 and a licensed Real Estate Broker in 2018. Greene and his family moved to Crested Butte in 2004.
Greene has a diverse area of interests and expertise both in his personal and professional lives. Within Western, he has created courses and taught within a broad range of topics, including business law, hospitality and resort management, consumer behavior and marketing, sustainability, real estate, leadership, design thinking, and his primary focus of innovation, creativity, and entrepreneurship. He started his teaching career while working within the Governors Office of Economic Development in Denver where he helped launch and lead startup education programs for entrepreneurs around Colorado. In addition to teaching within the School of Business, Greene also leads a team of students on annual entrepreneurship training and support programs in rural Peru.
How did you discover Western?
I moved to the Gunnison Valley from Denver in 2004 after discovering the area in my travels around the state while working in the Governor’s Office. While I had heard of Western, I was unfamiliar with the school, it’s storied history, and the amazing students until I lived in the Valley.
What are some of the highlights of your career?
My college experience transformed me into an extremely curious and adventurous person, so my journey has been incredible so far. I started my professional life as the personal accountant for one of the most infamous casino operators in Las Vegas history before moving on to a much safer accounting and finance positions at Mirage Resorts. I eventually chose Colorado as my home, attended law school at the University of Colorado at Boulder, and after passing the bar exam, was appointed the Associate State Director of Colorado Small Business Development for Governor Bill Owens. At the end of his term, my wife and I moved to Crested Butte, Colorado and founded a small law practice and The Ruby, a boutique bed & breakfast that was ranked the top inn of over 550 Colorado B&Bs for over ten years straight. We have since sold The Ruby, but continue to explore and launch new ventures.
What excites you most about your field?
The current state of the world affects all of us. It fosters uncertainty, creates abnormal conditions, and raises unforeseen challenges. Innovators and entrepreneurs have been specially trained to address this type of uncertainty, work within constraints, and create truly beneficial, human-centered solutions. The world needs more inspired and courageous problem solvers and I am excited and grateful to be empowering future generations to create solutions together, with empathy and humility.
What is your favorite thing about the Gunnison Valley?
Besides the obvious and stunning beauty of the area, there is a more deliberate pace of life that allows me to notice and appreciate more of everything. At first it is a bit unsettling, but the absence of the distractions of a typical life has freed me up to explore, learn, create and grow in ways I never imagined possible.