During 2001, Bill Guman served as mayor of Colorado Springs — for about 10 days.
He was the senior member on the City Council at the time. Mayor Mary Lou Makepeace was traveling outside the country and Vice Mayor Leon Young was in the hospital. So Guman was tapped to lead the city.
But politics isn’t Guman’s legacy. He cites the dozens of developments he planned and designed during the last three decades as his contribution to the city.
Guman recently took time to tell CSBJ about himself and his company.
Organization: William Guman & Associates Ltd.
Hometown: Long Island (Commack, N.Y.).
How long have you lived in Colorado Springs: Thirty years
Education: Bachelor’s degree in landscape horticulture from Colorado State University.
A few words about your company: Our emphasis is on land planning, entitlement and landscape architectural design of commercial, municipal and federal sites.
Since 1982, we have planned and designed a wide array of developments in the Pikes Peak region and throughout Colorado, northern New Mexico and Wyoming.
Recent accomplishments: I am very pleased that the charter I applied for to start Via de Cristo of the Rockies was accepted by the National Lutheran Secretariat governing body during 2007. This statewide movement and ministry for spiritual renewal has been very well received.
Biggest career break: Being retained during 2003 as the project planner for the 6,420-acre Santa Fe Springs mixed use development in Falcon. Our client gave us a lot of latitude in defining what this new community just east of Colorado Springs would some day look like.
The toughest part of your job: Selling a vision that I know will take the community in the right direction to people who sometimes do not fully understand — or simply refuse to understand — what “vision” is.
Someone you admire: My father, no doubt. He overcame obstacles that could have been a setback and became a great success in his chosen career.
About your family: My wife, Cathy, and I will celebrate 29 years together this November. Our son Billy, 24, is the graphics manager for Whole Foods here in town, and is also a burgeoning tattoo artist. Our daughter Courtney, 21, is a senior at the University of Northern Colorado and has started student teaching in Windsor as part of her elementary education curriculum.
Something else you’d like to accomplish: My life so far includes dozens of fascinating chapters and I have met dozens of fascinating people who have had a profound impact on making me who I am.
I love to write, and there is a novel taking shape somewhere in my head that will some day become a reality.
I also have attended the Willow Creek Leadership Summit for the last several years, and each time I have come away with a strong sense of being called to help those less fortunate, especially children.
Cathy and I sponsor two children through Compassion International, and I know my future will likely include travel to Africa or India to fulfill this call.
How your business will change in the next decade: Given the current economy it’s safe to say that I will not be retiring any time soon. But to keep my company’s perspective on community design and development fresh I have taken steps to ensure that “new blood” has an active role in management and decision making in my business so that it remains viable and competitive well into the next decade.
When I began this business, all of our planning work and design was prepared on drafting boards. We now use electronic technology and design programs that enable us to convey our ideas in ways I never would have thought possible.
In 10 years, I am certain that we will be making use of design technology that does not exist today.
What book are you currently reading? “Fathered by God,” the newest book by local author John Eldredge.
What is the one thing you would change about Colorado Springs? I would like for it to be more accepting of new ideas, particularly with regard to community development as we continue to grow.