President and CEO
Location: Denver, CO
Denise Burgess had a journalism degree, a successful radio career and no interest in joining her dad’s heating and air conditioning business. Her father, Clyde, asked if she would help him with some marketing materials for the company, and she agreed.
Her efforts brought in more clients, and the company needed her help managing the financial administration of the business.
Soon, she was working full time for Burgess Services LLC, and today she serves as president and CEO. Under her leadership, Burgess Services has completed many large projects like the Wellington Web Building and the Corps of Engineers building in Miami as well as large data centers around the country.
She grew her father’s heating and air conditioning business into a nationwide firm, specializing in construction management, commissioning, and quality assurance/quality control. Since 2010, she has added community development into Burgess’ portfolio.
The company’s success is a reflection of her impressive leadership skills. “You can only lead if you have the ability to listen,” she said. “People will look for your leadership when they can trust you the ability to listen, weigh options, make decision and take responsibility for the loss and give credit for the win.”
Burgess Services is based in Denver but has plans to grow to a nationally known entity after a recent expansion into Houston.
The company plans to develop classes for minorities to let them know more about this field of study and partner with the community colleges or universities to create a four-year degree plan and internships. Burgess Services LLC aims to connect with the Girl Scouts/Boy Scouts of America to reach younger students early on and develop a STEM program focused on the field of construction.
Burgess was named among the Top 25 Most Powerful Women by the Colorado Women’s Chamber of Commerce, a Woman of Distinction by the Girl Scouts of Colorado, and was a recipient of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Humanitarian Award and the Davide E. Baily Small Business Advocate Award.
The Burgess Family Fund has donated to over a dozen Colorado organizations with a goal of funding the education of minority women interested in STEM and construction.
Burgess has served in the following capacities: Co-Chairman for the City of Denver’s Construction Empowerment Initiative/Disparity Study Task Force (2012); Member of Political and Business Leaders Delegation to the White House (2012); Chairman of the Denver Urban Renewal Authority (2009 &2011); Denver Urban Renewal Authority Commissioner (2004-2012); Association General Contractor Foundation Board; Colorado School of Mines Board of Trustees; Building a Better Colorado Executive Committee; Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce Board (Chair 2017-2018); National Small Business Association Board; Denver Urban Renewal Authority (Chair 2010-2011); Co-Chair Construction Empowerment Initiative; Advisory Council Governor Appointed to Colorado Workforce Development Council (2020).
Denise received her certificate in construction management from the University of Denver and credits her degree in journalism with preparing her for the extensive amount of writing that is required in the construction industry.
“To remain influential is to understand the times and circumstances you are currently in and how you can assist to make conditions better now and in the future,” Burgess said. “My passion is making a way for those who have limited opportunity — a path forward with my work and future endeavors.”
"To remain influential is to understand the times and circumstances you are currently in and how you can assist to make conditions better now and in the future."