Region 9 Economic Development District of Southwest Colorado

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SCAPE Co-Founders Named Economic Development Leaders of the Year

October 02, 2014

Gary Masner and Jim Mackay have been jointly awarded the Economic Development Leaders of the Year by the Region 9 Economic Development District (Region 9) Board of Directors. Masner and Mackay helped co-found the Southwest Colorado Accelerator Program for Entrepreneurs (SCAPE) and are highly involved as business mentors and investors.

The SCAPE program supports the creation and development of high growth, job creating companies in Southwest Colorado, by offering in-depth mentoring, office space and an equity investment to help businesses enter markets and raise capital. Since beginning in 2013, the program has graduated 5 business ventures creating 8 jobs and leveraging $435,000 in investment.

Masner has experience with everything from start-ups to billion dollar corporations. He is currently serving as CEO of Advanced Mobile Propulsion Testing.

“I think my core strength is business and finance strategy. I can help companies get off the ground, as well as formalizing exit strategies for people who want to sell their business,” he said.

Masner earned a Bachelor’s in Mechanical Engineering from the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY prior to his MBA from Stanford University. Additional experience includes running a computer company, 10 years in venture capital and starting and selling two companies.

Mackay’s experience in business-to-business software development spans over 25 years, starting on the engineering side and eventually migrating to sales and marketing. He has founded or co-founded four companies, one which had a successful exit in 2011 and two which are still active. MacKay also co-founded Durango Tech, a local group of more than 350 people interested in technology and involved in the promotion and avocation of technology related careers in the area.

Ed Morlan, executive director of Region 9 EDD said, “Both men really pushed for the development of the accelerator program and had the vision to make it happen.”

Masner and MacKay were recognized at Region 9’s annual meeting held on September 25th.

The Economic Development Leader of the Year award honors individuals for their achievement and commitment as leaders in economic and community development efforts. The award was first given in 2001. Previous winners include: Joe Keck, Tom Maley and Neal Stephens, from Montezuma County; Bryce Capron, Dove Creek business owner, Former Fort Lewis College School of Business Dean, Tom Harrington Ph.D.; Emily Meisner, Ignacio Chamber; Laura Lewis Marchino, Assistant Director of Region 9; and the late Leonard Burch, Southern Ute Tribal Chairman.

For more information, please contact Region 9 at 970-247-9621 or visit