2018 Colorado Business Hall of Fame Laureate Bio: Richard Saunders

Richard “Dick” Saunders spent most of his childhood on the East Coast before moving to Colorado to attend the University of Denver.

In 1959, Saunders entered the construction business as a laborer, later going on to become a carpenter, concrete foreman, painter and finish carpenter. In 1962, during his senior year in college, Saunders went to work for R.N. Fenton Construction as a trainee, and during the next 10 years advanced to office manager and ultimately vice president.

In 1972, with 13 years of experience in the industry, Saunders followed his entrepreneurial sprit and founded Saunders Construction, Inc. His foundation for the business was honesty, performance and accountability – defining characteristics of the company to this day.

As chairman and primary stockholder of Saunders Construction, Saunders has overall decision-making authority with regard to company strategies and fiscal policy. He provides strong leadership to the board of directors and remains active and up-to-date in all aspects of the company’s significant activities.

Saunders lends much of his time and money to better the communities in which we live and work. He has served on as many as 14 boards at a time for most of the past 40 years, generally promoting children, education and civic causes.

Saunders serves on the boards of Colorado UpLift, ACE Scholarships and the Foundation for Urban Youth Ministries. Saunders is an honorary board member of Mental Health America of Colorado, board member of the Institute for Children’s Mental Disorders and is a lifetime trustee of the Colorado Ballet board.

He has received countless awards and honors for his charitable work, including the Volunteers of America Humanitarian Award, the University of Denver Evans Award, the Samaritan Institute Award and the Kempe Children’s Foundation Award for Community Service.

Saunders is married to Jeanne Portmann Saunders. He has three children, two stepchildren and five grandchildren.

One thousand attendees paid tribute to the 2018 Colorado Business Hall of Fame laureates at the unforgettable 29th annual Colorado Business Hall of Fame induction celebration, presented by UMB Bank. The event was held on Jan. 25 at the Hyatt Regency Denver at Colorado Convention Center. View photos from the event>>