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American Securities Senior Advisor Reflects on Career

Davis School of Business Speaker Series sponsored by Vectra Bank featured Senior Advisor of American Securities Paul Rossetti

Senior Advisor of American Securities Paul Rossetti spent his Thursday afternoon engaging in a discussion with CMU students, community leaders, business owners and faculty in front of a live audience. The discussion, which launched the Colorado Mesa University Davis School of Business Speaker Series, was sponsored by Vectra Bank and was filmed by mass communication students. Associate Professor of Management and Academic Head Davis School of Business Carlos Baldo, PhD, introduced Rossetti and Associate Professor of Economics Nathan Perry, PhD, who facilitated the discussion. 

The hour-long conversation covered everything from Rossetti's days in the U.S. Air Force Academy, to his time in venture capital and private equity, to career and life advice. 

The entirety of Rossetti’s resume is an impressive spread. During his time at the U.S. Air Force Academy, Rossetti obtained his Bachelor of Science in Aeronautical Engineering and later a master's in Aeronautics and Astronautics from Purdue University. He then decided to pivot and try out the world of business, and graduated from Harvard Business School with his MBA. 

Over the course of the next 40 years, Rossetti obtained positions at Bain & Company, Dysson Kissner Moran Corp, Patricof Ventures and eventually landed a role at his current company, American Securities. Upon the request of two of his friends, who were partners in the business, Rossetti joined the private equity firm in 1997. When introducing himself to the audience, he joked, “They call me a senior advisor, which is like being vice chairman, which [means] you have no responsibilities, except for showing up when you want to.” 

“How do I get a senior advisor job?” laughed Perry. 

“Well you have to work for thirty years and then they finally find that for you,” joked Rossetti. 

Rossetti’s career had its ups and downs and stressed the importance of taking to reflect on the decisions that brought on one's current situation, and to learn and grow from those experiences. 

Throughout the discussion Rossetti spoke about the many lessons he gained from his time in the military, highlighting stories from his Air Force days. 

“What’s the best advice given all your experiences that you can give to our students who are trying to be successful and get the career they want?” asked Perry. 

Rossetti, without missing a beat said, “Okay, another Air Force story." He concluded it with this advice: “Moral of the story is, no matter what you’re doing, you just go be the best you can be at it. And that’s the key to success at the end of the day. Doing the best job you can do all the time and that will pay off for you in the long run.” 

A number of CMU students in attendance were recipients of the Guardian Scholars program created by CMU Trustee Ron Davis, which currently serves 50 CMU students from Eagle County, Colorado, who all demonstrated financial need. One student simultaneously thanked Rossetti for his support and asked what moved him to contribute to the program. 

“I think Ron Davis has done a fantastic job with Guardian Scholars and Future Pathways. It’s the best program I’ve ever seen," said Rossetti. "It’s a fantastic program and I'm happy to support." He continued by emphasizing the importance of the program for Eagle County residents and noted the desire to expand the program to Mesa County as well. 

Trustee Davis had the opportunity to close out the discussion with the final question of the night. Davis highlighted CMU's ranking as a first-generation serving institution, which opens up all kinds of opportunities for families. He asked Rossetti about what advice he would give to first-generation students who are unsure of what direction they want to go in. 

Rossetti echoed a common theme of the night, telling students to be bold and ask for help. "We all need mentors. No matter who you are, take full advantage of using [your professors] as mentors and find someone you resonate with and ask them to be your mentor. I’m sure they’d be more than happy to do it, and don't be shy about it." 


Written by Madelynn Fellet