Managing Director, Boulder
“The freshness, the weather, the climate…it’s so much a part of what people love about being here.”
Joel Ripmaster first came to Colorado on a football scholarship at the University of Colorado. He grew up in Detroit, and his dad was an All-American and coach at Michigan State University, but Joel felt the urge to trade the Midwest for the mountains and forge his own path.
After graduation, Joel worked for four years honing his craft with a family friend who was expanding his real estate business into Colorado. In 1977, they opened an office together. And since then, Joel has been a broker, a managing broker, a broker-owner, and, now, a member of the Slifer Smith & Frampton family.
Why is it important to you to work for a locally focused real estate company?
I’ve spent my whole career as an independent. I tried lots of different things over the course of 45 years as an owner — and 50 years as a broker. You’re always looking for the best and brightest ideas to stay competitive. I’ve found that clients and agents and communities embrace local businesses for those entrepreneurial qualities. After knowing Slifer Smith & Frampton for years and following their lead in so many ways, selling my company to them was a natural fit. I love that they’ve stayed fiercely local. Our values aligned with them. Our sensibilities and instincts were the same. Keeping our communities’ money right here in Colorado is a big reason why I felt it was a great partnership.
What’s your favorite Colorado spot?
Chautauqua Park is a block away from my house. It’s a million acres of the most beautiful mountain range you have ever seen in your life. You can have dinner on the porch in the summer with your family and enjoy the most gorgeous sunset. Chautauqua Park has more visitors on an annual basis than Yellowstone! You have to see it to believe it.
Is there a local cause that is important to you?
I was a Colorado Buffalos student athlete 50 years ago, and I’ve been involved with the University of Colorado athletic department ever since. My daughter, Orly, who was also a CU Boulder athlete, and my son-in-law, a former CU football player himself, helped found an organization called Buffs4Life. And I’m proud to participate in that. We do dinners and host speakers to raise funds for our athletes in their time of need. Buffs4Life paid a $58,000 copay for a former student athlete who had breast cancer and couldn’t afford it. The work that Buffs4Life does literally saved this woman’s life. We also do a lot for mental health and suicide prevention, which is unfortunately very prevalent in former athletes. We’ve worked with mental health experts to create a program that has become a real gold standard for helping people in times of crisis.
We’re also very involved with the NIL (Name, Image, and Likeness) portion of the athletic program. It’s become a really big deal and I’m very proud of my daughter and son-in-law for everything they’re doing — for college athletes and for our Colorado communities.
Joel's Colorado Calling