Business

Five Richest Coloradans Today — and the One Tied With Donald Trump

Pat Stryker has some famous company on the latest Forbes 400 list.
Pat Stryker has some famous company on the latest Forbes 400 list. File photo
Each year around this time, Forbes magazine reveals the identities of the wealthiest Americans — and since 2014, we've highlighted the five richest Coloradans according to their position on what's popularly known as the Forbes 400. But while the same quintet appears on this year's roster as was the case three years ago, there's been a notable shift in position that's lifted Fort Collins's Pat Stryker into a tie with President Donald Trump. As of today, October 24, though, Stryker is worth more.

How so? The Forbes 400 roster for 2017 includes each individual's net worth as of October 17, as well as what's dubbed "Real Time Net Worth," updated daily. In the case of both Stryker and Trump, their October 17 net worth is calculated at $3.1 billion, leaving them tied for 248th among the top 400. One week later, Trump's value hasn't risen, but Stryker's has, bumping up to $3.3 billion.

Stryker and two of the other Coloradans on the list have risen on the Forbes 400 since last year, while two have slipped a bit, including the state's richest person — again.

Our introductions to the five include Forbes data from 2014 to 2016 and excerpts from their respective bios from the magazine.


A stand-in graphic for James Leprino. - FILE IMAGE
A stand-in graphic for James Leprino.
File image
Number 5: James Leprino

REAL TIME NET WORTH as of 10/24/17: $3.1 B
2017 FORBES 400 NET WORTH as of 10/17/17: $3 B

James Leprino owns the world's largest mozzarella cheese maker, with $3 billion in annual sales. His Leprino Foods exclusively sells cheese to Domino's, Papa John's and Pizza Hut. The company also makes cheese by-products like whey protein, lactose, and sweet whey powder used in baby formula and yogurt. It started in 1950 with his father, an Italian immigrant, who had a Denver corner store that sold specialties like fresh mozzarella balls. Today, Leprino Foods has more than 50 patents. Those innovations are essentially how Leprino created the "pizza cheese" that Americans eat today.

2014 Forbes 400 ranking: 194
2015 Forbes 400 ranking: 211
2016 Forbes 400 ranking: 232
2017 Forbes 400 ranking: 264


click to enlarge Pat Stryker accepting a 2014-2015 Service Above Self award from the Rotary Club of Fort Collins. - ROTARYCLUBOFFORTCOLLINS.ORG
Pat Stryker accepting a 2014-2015 Service Above Self award from the Rotary Club of Fort Collins.
Number 4: Pat Stryker

REAL TIME NET WORTH as of 10/24/17: $3.3 B
2017 FORBES 400 NET WORTH as of 10/17/17: $3.1 B

Pat Stryker is a philanthropist and founder of Bohemian Foundation, which supports strong communities through music, the arts and civic programs. Her grandfather founded Stryker Corp., which sold $11.3 billion in medical equipment and software in 2016. In 2016, she and her brother, Jon Stryker, gave a combined $10 million to fund the nation's first memorial to the victims of racial terror lynchings. In September 2017, her foundation offered to match Coloradoans' donations to hurricane relief up to $3 million.

2014 Forbes 400 ranking: 324
2015 Forbes 400 ranking: 293
2016 Forbes 400 ranking: 264
2017 Forbes 400 ranking: 248

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts