Denver, Colorado , United States
|Last Modifed||User 13|
Feb 26, 2004 09:05am
|Info||Name: Rutt Bridges |
Hometown: Albany, Georgia
Resident: of Denver, 22 years
Education: BS in Physics, and an MS in Geophysics from Georgia Tech
Profession: CEO of the Bighorn Center for Public Policy and Chairman
Family: 2 sons; Jeff and Cody
Frequently, when people meet Rutt Bridges, they are inclined to do one of two things – thank him for being the driving force behind getting the Colorado Telemarketing No Call List passed and ask him the origins of his name.
“The name Rutt is actually on my birth certificate,” he says in a resonant baritone twinged with a southern drawl. “I grew up in Albeny, Georgia and my dad had a best friend named Jarrett. When they were kids, Jarrett’s mother would stand on the porch and call him for dinner by yelling Jar-rutt! Jar-rutt! So his nickname was Rutt and I guess my father liked it because that’s what he named me.”
In 2001, the Colorado General Assembly passed legislation that allows consumers to protect themselves from many unwanted telemarketing calls. “It was one of the toughest battles fought over at the legislature,” says Rutt. “We were able to get enough grassroots political pressure to get it passed.” By adding your telephone or fax number to a list (at [Link] telemarketers are no longer allowed to call you and if they do they are fined up to $2,000.
Rutt grew up in the South with two older sisters and started working for his father drilling water wells when he was just a kid. This was about the same time he discovered his love of building rockets and blowing them up. “I hunted and fished and worked a lot outdoors,” he says. “But I also built a lot of rockets, some five feet tall, filled with liquids and explosive chemicals and I loved to blow them up. It’s a miracle I never got hurt, although I did blow some pretty big holes in the ground,” he says.
After working for Chevron, then relocating to Denver in 1981, Rutt started a software company related to oil and gas exploration that he has since sold. “When I sold my software company I was fortunate to get more money than I could spend in my life and the real upshot is now figuring out how to do good with it,” he says. “I’m involved with a lot of philanthropic things.”
Rutt is the CEO of the Bighorn Center for Public Policy, a non-partisan think tank focused on quality of life issues for Colorado, and the Chairman of Quest International Management Company, a private venture capital fund. He is quick to note that Quest is not in any way related to QWEST, the telecom company.
When asked about his future plans, Rutt says, “I’m not really sure what the future holds for me. But I try to stay cognizant of the fact that life is a finite thing. And if there’s something you really want to do, then you’d better get on with it because you never know which day will be your last.”
Rutt, who is single, has two children, Jeff, 22, and Cody, 13. He lives in the historic Denver Dry Goods Company loft building built in 1913 and occupies the space that used to be the Tea Room Restaurant on the fifth floor.