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Recognizing 100 CEOs & C-level Executives

Jeffrey Abel

Managing Principal

Abel Design Group

Location: Denver, CO

Founded: 2001

Industry: Architecture & Design

From an early age, Jeffrey Abel heard stories and advice from his father about the benefits of owning a business. Abel’s father set a good example of entrepreneurship and how to achieve it.

Abel put those lessons into practice and launched Abel Design Group, in Houston, in 2001, at the age of 30, with only two employees. Within a few years, his business had grown to Austin and Denver. Most recently, Abel Design Group has expanded to Atlanta. Today, the architecture and design firm has 45 employees nationwide.

“Risks are inherent to starting any company and for me, the most significant risk I took was expanding the business to other cities,” Abel said. “This decision required me to trust the leaders in Denver, Austin and Atlanta, as I couldn’t be physically present to lead the team in those locations. It was a valuable lesson for me as I learned to let other leaders take charge and lead effectively.

“Starting the company at a young age was also a significant risk, but I was confident in my abilities. However, growing the company meant that I had to believe and trust that others also had good ideas. These experiences taught me the importance of trusting others, delegating responsibilities and empowering leaders to ensure the success of the company.”

Abel Design Group has its sights on growing from a mid-size operation to a firm with locations in most metropolitan cities in the U.S.

“Furthermore, we expect to continue to incorporate technology into our everyday design process,” the company said. “[Abel] ultimately wants to pioneer a process that will allow efficiencies internally, within our design team, and bridge gaps that we may currently be facing. This process […] will allow clients options to bring their chosen designs to fruition. The goal is to not only speed up the current process but continue to help our staff with the final delivery and enhance the creativity of our projects. This will benefit our designers and better serve our clients as they grow their businesses as well.

Abel Design Group has been on the Interior Design magazine Rising Giants list from 2015– 2022.

Abel has served as part of the University of Texas School of Architecture advisory board for the last five years.

“In my opinion, the crucial qualities for effective leadership in today’s world are centered around empathetic listening and understanding of individuals’ personal lives and circumstances,” Abel said.

“Furthermore, leaders should encourage and empower their team members to take active leadership roles while also providing opportunities for all team members to lead. By letting leaders lead and promoting active leadership within the team, organizations can foster a culture of collaboration and accountability, leading to overall success.”

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To celebrate Jeffrey’s 40th birthday, he participated in the popular “Running of the Bulls” in Pamplona. This is one of Spain’s most spectacular festivities.


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