May 5


Posted by KKovaly on May 5, 2016

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – May 5, 2016 – Steve Kaczmarek, CEO and owner of Borealis Fatbike Company, presents his keynote address about the importance of working hard, identifying opportunities and giving back at Pikes Peak Community College’s (PPCC) 2016 Commencement, 10:30 a.m., Saturday, May 14, New Life Church Auditorium, 11025 Voyager Parkway.

Giving back has been a central theme in the lives of these graduates. In 2014, when most started their academic journey at PPCC, the college launched its multidisciplinary Service Learning Initiative. Last year more than 800 PPCC students, many of them graduating on May 14, served the community, partnering with more than 30 community organizations.

“Steve’s speech is particularly timely and relevant to our students. An entrepreneur and innovator, Steve fully understands that success is not just about hard work and dedication, but also about service and giving back to community,” said PPCC President Lance Bolton. “I am excited for our students to hear from such a seasoned leader and learn from his experiences.”

Following Kaczmarek’s keynote, PPCC Student Government President, Trista Sebastian, will deliver her message to fellow graduates titled, “The Sky is the Limit.”

“Another timely message, Trista’s speech highlights that a community college education prepares students for success,” Bolton added. “We know 98 percent of our past career and technical (CTE) grads immediately entered the job market or were accepted into four-year universities. I have no doubt this year’s grads are positioned for the same, if not greater, success.”

The 2016 graduating class totals 1,617 students ranging in age from 16 - 71. Sixty percent will receive an associate degree, while 40 percent will receive a career or technical certificate. One third represent minorities and 10 percent are active military, veterans or dependents.

PPCC will recognize specific graduates at the ceremony in the areas of: outstanding leadership, inspirational achievement and outstanding service to the college. An award will also be presented to a PPCC employee who has contributed his or her time, passion and labor in service to students and local community.

Prior to the graduation ceremony, a medallion ceremony honoring military and veteran students for their service begins at 9:30 a.m. in the theater.


Born and raised in Milwaukee, Wis., Kaczmarek grew up competitively sailing in the Midwest. He attended Colorado College and transferred to Pepperdine to finish his Economics degree. Upon graduation, Kaczmarek spent 15 years in the printing and packaging industry before starting his own highly successful packaging company.

In 2012, he began teaching the Entrepreneurial Class at Colorado College (CC). While there, he became the Director of Innovation and Entrepreneurism and developed the Big Idea for CC. During the Big Idea, Steve met a student who worked in the Fat Bike industry and test rode a heavier and less agile version of what Borealis produces today. 

One year later, Kaczmarek formed the Borealis Fatbike Company, combining his track record of successful start-ups with his love of mountain biking and understanding of high-tech materials used in the sailing industry. Today Borealis produces the fastest and lightest Fat Bikes in the world. The company currently ships to more than 22 countries and is considered the leader in Fat Bike technology and components.  

He stays active in the local business community and serves on the boards of the Regional Business Alliance, Colorado Springs Conservatory, UCCS Business School and The Foundation for PPCC.


Pikes Peak Community College is in its 48th year of operation and has been accredited by the Higher Learning Commission since 1975. It is a two-year college offering 158 associate degrees and various certifications in career and technical fields. With three campuses and two military education centers in El Paso County, PPCC serves approximately 20,000 students annually.



Karen Kovaly
PPCC Media Relations Coordinator
Cell 719.235.2987
Office 719.502.2082