In 1904, Flower’s great grandfather founded Hartman Brothers in Montrose, a store that sold carriages and bicycles. “By 1908, the business transitioned into vehicle sales, representing the Ford Motor Company, and switched to Dodge in 1915,” Nominee Flower said. “It has been in our family ever since.”
But Flower didn’t start out in the family enterprise. After graduating from Colorado State University in Fort Collins with a BS in finance in 1990 and an MS in corporate finance in 1991, he worked at Andersen Consulting, where he designed and programed billing systems for large phone companies, and the FMI Corporation, a regional investment banking group, both in Denver.
“I learned how to prepare business plans, valuations, compensation structure, marketing plans, along with a variety of other services,” he said. “This was very satisfying work and it provided me with an excellent business background.”
Flower never considered returning home and working in the family business until he received a call from his father in 1999. “Being a great salesman, he convinced me to come home and run the store,” he said. “It has been one of the best decisions of my life. At the time, we had a staff of approximately 16 people, including my dad, mom, sister and brother, making it a true mom and pop shop.” Today, the business, which he owns with his brother, Fritz, employs more than 100 people in three locations in Montrose and Steamboat Springs, Colorado.
With such deep roots in the state’s retail automotive industry, Flower has held numerous leadership position within the Colorado Automobile Dealers Association, having served as chairman, vice chairman, treasurer and secretary of the group. “I believe that we were very successful during my tenure as chairman in grassroots legislative efforts in Colorado,” he said. Flower also serves on the Motor Vehicle Dealer Board for the state, a position appointed by the governor.
As the current chair of the Denver Auto Show, Flower has worked tirelessly to generate interest and build attendance among consumers at the annual event, as well as to promote the preview gala that benefits the Denver Post Community Foundation and the Clear the Air Foundation.
In addition, he serves on the board of HopeWest, a palliative care, hospice and grief support organization in the region, and TRAC (Tourism Retail Advisory Committee) for the city of Montrose, as well as having been on the board of the Montrose Chamber of Commerce from 2003 to 2007 serving in all of the seats, finalizing as the president in 2007.
For his good works, Flower, a 1985 graduate of Montrose High School, received the Distinguished Alumni Award from the Montrose Education Foundation in 2019. “Receiving this award was a very meaningful to me,” he said. “I was given the opportunity to speak at the graduation ceremony and give thanks to our community for the support they have shown our business and family for many generations.”
He added, “We support our local community with our time, money and talent. We have been involved in major donations to our community recreation center, our new hospice facility, our community amphitheater and our new Boys & Girls Club. By coming back to run our family business, I was fortunate to have the opportunity to give back and make a difference.”
Flower was nominated for the TIME Dealer of the Year award by Tim Jackson, president and CEO of the Colorado Automobile Dealers Association. He and his wife, Kristen, have two children.