Special Edition: Get to Know the SDR Team
SDR Ventures is delighted to present an inside look into the life of our principal and co-founder, Andy Limes.
Born to Work
SDR started after Andy and co-founder Chris Bouck noticed an under-served community of small- and medium-sized business owners. With their prior experience with investment banks and M&A (from the business owner/operator perspective), Andy and Chris decided to dedicate their expertise to this community. “We have genuine affinity and appreciation for the business operator and entrepreneur,” Andy said. “We were trying to apply our skills for the benefit of that group.”
Investment banking has allowed Andy to personally help serve the driving force of our economy, small businesses. Small- and medium-sized businesses provide more new jobs for the country than the S&P500 companies. Through mergers and acquisitions, these help develop the economy and sustain jobs, which is why Andy believes it is so important to support this community. “There is something special about a person that starts with an idea and builds a business,” Andy said. “We want to help those people.”
Andy believes his lack of a traditional investment banking background allows him to explore beyond the traditional standards and protocols of investment bankers to think more like business owners do. Previously, Andy had a career as a CPA and as a business owner. Inspired by his father and grandfather, Andy has always felt a passion for the financial side of running a business. “Numbers, accounting and finance are in my DNA,” Andy said.
Andy’s most rewarding experience has been watching his businesses grow. He was able to watch his previous transport refrigeration business flourish from locations in one state to five, and he has cherished a similar growth story with SDR. Although he knew SDR was satisfying an under-served market, Andy never expected the company to grow as it has. “I’ve always said you’ve got to like what you’re doing and the people you’re doing it with, and we’ve found that with SDR,” he said. “We have some genuinely great people here, and I like working with them.”
Andy attributes his business success to four consistent practices: “Multiply your time, solve problems, add value and think like owners. We have the luxury of thinking about what’s the best thing for the business, and then determining who are the best people and the best teams. Opportunities follow from there.”
Andy has also treasured client interactions throughout his career. “I love hearing the stories and being on the front end of our engagements,” Andy said. “I enjoy the variety of creating and structuring a deal, and figuring out how the pieces fit together. My best ability is to make complex things as simple as possible.”
At Home in the Rockies
Andy has been a resident of Colorado for 35 years. Throughout that time he has taken advantage of our ideal climate by golfing and walking the High Line Canal. Compared to life in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where Andy grew up, Denver life is faster paced, but Andy has found it to be the perfect place to raise his three daughters. “I remember their first soccer goal and I remember walking them down the aisle,” he said. “They are really good girls and they married really good guys, so we have a good crew of eight now.”
Andy’s faith is an intrinsic part of who he is. In his spare time, he teaches Sunday School. He and his wife, Barb, have been attending the same church for their entire time in Denver, finding it the most consistent part of their lives.
If Andy were to give his past self some advice, it would be to enjoy the journey more. “I always acted five to ten years older than I actually was at the time,” Andy said. “I enjoyed the milestones more than the journey.” Nevertheless, Andy loves where he is now, and he is now enjoying the journey.
Andy is looking forward to finishing out his career at SDR and continuing to watch its growth. He wants to leave a lasting legacy at the company by ensuring the next generation will continue to develop the values that SDR was founded on.
“And someday, I’ll be a grandpa, and that will be very cool,” Andy added.