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Craig Thomas

Chief Marketing Officer & Managing Director

Brightstar Capital Partners

Location: Denver, CO

Founded: 2015

Industry: Private Equity

Craig Thomas was a local TV news anchor when he chose to ditch the microphone and leave the news industry after more than two decades.

“I joined a private equity firm to start a marketing department that serves both the firm and its portfolio companies,” he said. “It was intimidating to make such a drastic move, but I learned that the skills you develop as a journalist are more transferable than you might think. Clear communication and messaging are essential regardless of the industry or the audience, whether it is internal or external.”

Thomas started working at Brightstar Capital Partners in 2019 as a vice president. The company is a middle-market private equity firm focused on investing in closely held family, founder or entrepreneur owned businesses where Brightstar believes it can drive value with the business’ management, operations and strategic direction.

Thomas’ initial focus was to structure and develop the firm’s internal and external marketing and communications. He came to the firm without any experience in private equity and operated as a marketing team of one, based in the firm’s Denver office. Thomas’ impact was felt immediately across the firm as he transformed how Brightstar communicated with existing and new portfolio companies. He also focused on the firm’s internal and external messaging. As a result, the Investor Relations team improved presentations to investors and employees across the firm, from CEO to associates, improved their presentation and communication skills during external and internal meetings.

Thomas was promoted to principal after one year. As principal, he became involved with Brightstar’s portfolio companies, helping them to optimize their marketing strategies and processes. In 2020, as the pandemic hit, Thomas led the difficult project of turning the firm’s in-person annual meeting for investors into a virtual event featuring firm and portfolio data presented through videos. He produced and developed content, directed videos and coordinated final editing.

In 2021, Thomas was promoted to managing director and chief marketing officer. In his new role, Thomas expanded his marketing team to three, enhancing Brightstar’s presence in Denver.

Thomas helped launch Brightstar’s recognition in the private equity industry and finance industry at large. In 2021, the firm rose from No. 330 to No. 175 in the PEI 300.

“This was due to the successful fundraising of the firm’s second fund, largely due to Craig’s informative investor marketing materials and coaching the Brightstar Investor Relations team on differentiating the firm through dynamic presentations,” the company said.

Presented by:

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Craig is a father to twin 4-year-old boys who make every day an adventure.

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