Known around the country as one of the most influential paddlesports pioneers, it’s little surprise that Kent Ford’s favorite local business is Four Corners Riversports. Winner of the 2008 Inductee into the International Whitewater Hall of Fame and Legends of Paddling Award in 2015, Kent spent over 20 years on the international whitewater racing and coaching scene and has paddled no less than 330 rivers in 27 countries.
Since moving to Durango, he’s continued work in paddlesports on the other side of the camera, producing 18 DVDs, videos and books on paddlesports and influencing the education of half a million paddlers. The Carnegie-Mellon University graduate with a degree in Mechanical Engineering has taken his skills as an announcer at the Olympics to a more local level, serving as the founder and host of Durango’s Green Business Roundtable.
The Green Business Roundtable is a monthly lunch networking event that encourages collaboration among local organizations, seeking to inspire, educate, improve and network the business community on environmental and sustainability issues.
Why does being a Localist matter to Kent?
“If we didn’t have a Localist movement, we would look like Anytown, USA,” he says. “As a localist, I feel like a job creator. When I walk into a store, I know a friend working there, or I know the owner, or I know someone they do business with—so by shopping at all of those places, I am creating our local economy.”