April 2, 2010

A Love Letter to Thomas Jefferson…and the Spirit of Entrepreneurship. ~ Courtenay Veenis

“Do you want to know who you are? Don’t ask. Act! Action will delineate and define you…” – Thomas Jefferson

Tonight in Aspen, my dear friend Courtenay is throwing the town’s first annual Entrepreneur Throwdown. A girl with ambition and drive to match her creative mind and booming heart, Courtenay is aiming to bring together non-profits and small businesses for an evening of recognition and networking. Having witnessed the work and passion that she’s poured into this event, I asked Courtenay to write about why she values the entreprenureal spirit. She’s a go-getter, and says that she respects anyone who sees challenge as opportunity, and looks to build solutions. The below is her love-letter to Thomas Jefferson, and to entrepreneurship… ~ Merete Mueller

Dear Mr. Jefferson,

I won’t speak for all actions that took place under your wide wing of leadership, but simply put, I idolize your sermon.  I can feel you speaking to me, Thom. I look around me: Does everyone else who is roving about feel just as inspired as I? Not only are your words those of wisdom, but they read with great conviction:

“We might as well require a man to wear still the coat which fitted him when a boy as civilized society to remain ever under the regimen of their barbarous ancestors. “

What an honor it must have been for the man who chiseled them into this solid, perfectly spherical piece of stone which so humbly stands on the horizon of our Nation’s Capitol. And what an honor it is for me to lay beneath these words, cuddled and motivated by your leadership.  I can do it. We can do it. It just takes believing.

I didn’t have to visit our nation’s capitol to remember our founding fathers’ great foresight and fundamental incentives. Setting aside any flawed, subsequent, occurrences which did indeed take place across this land, I can’t help but admire what rests at the foundation of The American story. It took courage to stand alone and to fight radical change and following thy heart is an act fundamentally based in nurturing one’s passion. This is my inspiration.

Whether In Washington or on the great peaks of the Rocky Mountains I take holiday in your person: a tall, handsome (italics necessary), self-sustained, intelligent, passionate and worldly Virginian.  I, too, love Paris, Thom! Your thoughts on sustainable living and the community fuel my steps forward, assisting me in my efforts to pave a unique, but impressionable path. However, physically taking the journey back east, to rest for a moment or two by your side, fueled my confidence in the decision to go out on a whim, and capitalize (pun intended) on lessons learned from my life’s experiences and the revelations that follow, once and for all.

The Roaring Fork’s 1st Annual Entrepreneur Throw Down is going to be all that you, Mr. Thomas J., could have asked for: an evening dedicated to forward thinking, creativity and community. All so we can “keep pace with the times.”  The Entrepreneur embodies a “free thinker,” which is exactly as you were, my friend.

In many ways, your words and successful efforts restore my faith in mankind during these distressful times, both locally and globally.  What’s more, they restore my faith in me, in my ability to attain goals, to work in unison with others and to continue to communicate my passion for this magical world and its entire creative people. I hope, Thomas J., that I can spread this passion to my fellow neighbors, make a friend or two along the way and witness—may it only be one person or may it be millions—their first steps in following their dreams. It does indeed, start with one.

T.J., you were an advocate of the mind, recognizing its capacity to “develop,” “enlighten,” “discover,” and “change”—the four basic reasons for the Throw Down itself.  “Knowledge is [indeed], power.”  Here, here!

Resting on the steps of your monument, I was reminded of the great capacity of man—to love, to learn, to communicate and to grow. We shall use this freedom to change with the times, while never forgetting our meritorious values: honesty, integrity and compassion for thy neighbor.

Let us start small and think big, together.

With poetic verse or metaphoric prose, I may end up doing my great admiration for you a huge disservice (definitely no MFA in my future). So, I’m going to throw it out there and state it loud and clear: “Mr. Thomas Jefferson, you are the man of my dreams.”


Courtenay Veenis

Event info:

The Roaring Fork’s 1st Annual Entrepreneur Throw Down!
Friday • April 2nd, 2010 • 6:00 p.m.
Limelight Lodge • Aspen, Colorado

Because passion is the foundation to a successful business, but networking is the tower itself!

Hands down, this is THE way to debut your talents, crafts, and businesses before summer while having a blast at the same time!

What to expect…
• Come and learn about what the great, progressive minds in this valley are both blue-
printing and executing.
• Already an established business owner? This is your chance to stay up to date on
what’s happening. Knowledge is Power!
• Learn how to get involved, or simply come, enjoy, and support your friends and

What’s gettin’ THROWN DOWN? Besides a massive debut and exchange of hip,
entrepreneurial ideas?
• Extreme Extracurricular Sign-Up (everyone benefits, baby) • Live Music • Blogosphere Corner
• Photography and Baking Competition* • And yes, the bar will be open! It’s Aspen!

Price out:
• General Admission: $10.00 (proceeds TBA) • Door Prizes
• Display and Information Space: $15.00 (a limit will be necessary due to space, so inquire ASAP)
• Networking: FREE

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