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Recognizing 100 CEOs & C-level Executives
Craig Thomas Brightstar Capital Partners

Craig Thomas

Chief Marketing Officer

Brightstar Capital Partners

Location: Denver

Founded: 2015

Industry: Private Equity

The most significant risk Craig Thomas took was embarking on a profound career transition, stepping into the unknown, a leap into unfamiliar territory with no guarantee of success. In 2019, he transitioned from a well-established role as a journalist and TV news anchor to a marketing position at Brightstar Capital Partners. “I didn’t know how much my skills would transfer into the world of private equity, but thankfully, the risk I took has turned into an extremely rewarding second act in my professional career,” said Thomas.

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.

Since he was named a Titan 100, Thomas said his standout achievement this year was helping to drive the raise of more than $1.1 billion for the firm’s Fund III while aiming for a final close of between $1.2 and $1.4 billion in quarter 1 of 2024.

“I’m especially proud because we navigated through one of the toughest years for private equity fundraising in two decades, exacerbated by rising interest rates, economic uncertainties and the major decline in private equity transactions,” said Thomas. “My role involved crafting compelling narratives and creating materials that showcased what differentiates our firm from others in the space.”

Thomas has also focused on positioning the company to be the first adopters of AI and ChatGPT in the private equity space, leading to a successful renaming and rebranding of the firm’s portfolio companies. “In the coming year, I’ll focus on continuing to harness AI for marketing our firm and across our portfolio,” said Thomas. “Using AI is the definition of working smarter, not harder.”

Recognizing a need to foster an environment for the next generation of leaders, Thomas has dedicated himself to overseeing the company’s internship program, targeting college students from underrepresented communities and those who don’t have a big pipeline into private equity. “This initiative is crucial, particularly in private equity, a traditionally exclusive industry,” he said. “Our goal is to provide these students with firsthand experience that allows them to see what it would be like to work in private equity, know what skills they’d need to gain, and begin developing their networks that are so essential for their future success.”

Thomas has also found great value in being a part of the Titan 100 program. “The greatest value has been building relationships with impactful people, both personally and professionally,” he said.

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Did you know?

My secret superpower isn’t very secret, it’s the ability to communicate. No matter the audience, from a CEO to one of twin 5-year-old sons, you can only have good outcomes if you are able to communicate effectively. Ultimately, that’s what I do best, although it tends to work better with almost every audience except my sons. Go figure.


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