Michael L Simpson
Co-Founder & CEO
Industry: Workforce Technology
With the encouragement of certain people during his formative years, Simpson overcame a childhood of tremendous obstacles including abuse, dysfunction, his father’s PTSD, and multiple divorces. He learned to surmount hardships and believe in himself. Simpson found his focus, set his sights on the future, and never looked back.
Over more than 25 years in the software industry, Simpson ran product divisions for multi-billion-dollar companies, ran many new product initiatives for Novell, Inc., and became the SMO of SalesLogix. After the sale of SalesLogix, Simpson reflected on his success and decided to bring his innate passion for helping others to fruition. He moved to Russia and spent seven years mentoring young professionals from disadvantage backgrounds to be successful in business.
Upon his return from Russia, Simpson connected with psychiatrist Dr. Ron Young. Bonding over their belief that behavioral science was successful in helping people, they were driven by their shared desire to positively impact more people. They embarked on a mission to transform this powerful science into a scalable, digital form. In December 2012, Simpson and Young officially launched PAIRIN, an organization on a mission to make education relevant and hiring equitable.
“Our vision is to be the world’s premier competency-based employment and education marketplace for underserved populations,” Simpson said. “This will be accomplished when our education system, recruiting and job placement platforms, and employers all value and develop the skills that make people successful.” He added, “Their selective focus on GPA, degrees and hard skills are often poor indicators of being successful in the real world.”
Now, Simpson occupies a seat on the advisory board of Colorado Succeeds, participates in the Coalition for Career Pathways and Connecting Credentials and co-chairs the Denver Metro Tech Partnership. Additionally, Simpson has forged partnerships with countless organizations to serve the underserved including nine adult education programs in the state of Colorado. He has collaborated with individuals from the Community College of Aurora, Activate Workforce Solutions, Cross Purpose, Denver Workforce Services and its Opportunity Youth Initiative, Goodwill and PAIRIN to form the getIT Accelerated Tech Training program in February of 2019. Additionally, Simpson was recognized as an Inclusive Leader by GlobalMindED in 2019 and was a finalist for the CTA APEX Awards CEO of the Year in 2018. Simpson has also built a strong culture at PAIRIN, resulting in recognition of the company as one of Outside’s 50 Best Places to Work in 2018 and 2019. And these are just a few examples of Simpson’s honors, awards and selfless giving.
An unwavering vision. An impactful leadership style. A solid belief that others who lack the guidance to achieve success in their lives can. His positivity that is unstoppable. For all these reasons and more, Simpson has been named a Titan 100.
Needless to say, the time invested by other mentors in Simpson was worth every minute spent.
Greatest leadership lesson learned:
Authority is given for responsibility taken, but authority, in and of itself, is not leadership.
Michael is an award-winning chocolatier!
"A leader is anyone who takes responsibility for finding the potential in people and processes, and has the courage to develop that potential."
- Brene Brown