We are pleased to honor Jeff Kennedy with the inaugural Vail Centre for Entrepreneurship Torch Award. The Vail Centre Torch Awards celebrate those who exemplify our mission, Inspiration in Action, as leaders in our community. The Entrepreneurship Torch Award goes to an individual who has displayed a commitment to entrepreneurship exemplified through scalability, community engagement, and dedication. Jeff will be honored at the Vail Centre Torch Award Ceremony on December 11th, 2015 at the Lodge at Vail.
“Entrepreneurship success comes when I am able to have balance in my life.”
Jeff is the co-founder of Moe’s Original Bar-B-Que, founded in Minturn, CO back in 2001. After starting as a roadside barbecue joint, Jeff’s concept has now grown from its initial location within the Cougar Ridge Cafe to 40 successful restaurants and counting, operating across 12 states, practically debt free. Jeff instills a unique approach to his concept. According to Jeff, this approach is based on providing an atmosphere where patrons feel as if they are being treated to a dinner party every time they walk in to one of his restaurants. These efforts, along with fantastic products, have earned Moe’s the prestigious designation of Top 10 barbecue chain by USA Today, Relish, and the Daily Meal.
Born and raised in Huntsville, AL, Jeff has southern hospitality running in his veins. His relocation to Vail merged his passion for “public hospitality” and small town community. After being frustrated working in various Vail restaurants, Jeff pulled together his friends, Ben Gilbert and Mike Fernandez, scraping together what little money they had to bootstrap the Moe’s concept. At the center of it all is Jeff’s connection to his community. His strong belief in community engagement and the power of food has not only solidified the company’s position locally, it has also expanded this community-focus model across the country, influencing others to start a Moe’s of their own.
Jeff Kennedy attributes his entrepreneurial success to a healthy balance of work and family. His foundation is built on faith, family, and community, from which his entrepreneurial spirit is nurtured. According to Jeff, the task of a restaurateur is to provide great food and ‘sincere’ hospitality, with emphasis on sincere. Jeff notes that these are the main ingredients to building a healthy community, something that he is especially committed to. Further, Jeff’s engagement with Junior Achievement has opened doors to inspiring high school students toward pursuing careers in entrepreneurship.
Jeff believes that dedication is more than just developing a scalable business model. Dedication encompasses leading a life inclusive of family and overall balance. Jeff resides in Eagle, CO with his wife of 12 years, Meredith, and their two daughters, Gracen and Libba Jayne. Each day, he continues his pursuit of balancing his passions of raising a tight-knit family, exploring the outdoors, and hosting the perfect dinner party for those communities within his sphere of influence.
Jeff’s scalable approach, community engagement, and dedication to entrepreneurship, community, and family, makes him a stand-out selection for the Entrepreneurship Torch Award. His success is built on firmer ground than simply being in the right place at the right time. Rather, Jeff believes that entrepreneurship is about building an impenetrable culture and maintaining a high level of passion. According to Jeff, this is truly the recipe for sustainable success.
Please join us in honoring Jeff and our other community leaders at the 2nd annual Torch Awards. There are also opportunities to sponsor youth and provide scholarships for small business to attend. For more information, please visit the ticketing page.