Meet David

Hard Won Experience

I help leaders surpass their goals, fueling their business strategy and tactics with experience, curiosity, humility, and conviction.

I have a background in Fortune 100 leadership at Intel and Walt Disney, numerous startups, mid-market companies, and family-owned businesses. I’ve advised, founded, or invested in 50+ companies over four decades.

I’ve been where you’re going: I’ve raised money, sold companies, acquired companies, helped employees buy a company, formed boards of directors, built partnerships within industry, and spent years in venture capital.

I’ve touched the B Corp world by forming a public benefit corporation, and love that ecosystem and their values.

I have also been a hands-on operator: building teams of leaders, launching products, building manufacturing operations from scratch, driving daily marketing and sales, as well as serving as the CMO (chief marketing officer).

Years ago I wrote code, and today I still love a good spreadsheet and can also edit marketing copy with ease.

While I started my career in technology, both hardware and software, I have now worked in the market segments of retail, hospitality and food, construction, apparel, infrastructure development, real estate, and numerous consulting / professional services practices.

I am especially passionate about employee ownership, benefit corporations, and anyone manufacturing in the U.S.

I recently helped the owner-leaders at Kitsbow Apparel expand their business, implement lean manufacturing to reshore production, and gain confidence in their own individual capabilities. Paying their production team a living wage, within 2 years they first matched, then beat their labor costs previously paid offshore in Vietnam and China. In 2022 they gained a 30% increase in new customers, without significant spending in ads. Their accomplishments, not mine.

I do similar work alongside my clients, adjusted and refined for their specific challenges and goals.

I am a frequent speaker on a wide variety of business topics, and enjoy moderating, facilitating, and leading workshops and training sessions.

I love travel, new places, exploring the outdoors, endurance sports, and nearly every kind of food (I make most of the meals in my family). I consider myself to be a very lucky human.

David Billstrom at the scene of a fire with his Swannanoa Fire and Rescue colleagues

A Parallel Life

In addition to my business life, I have also led a career in emergency services and adventuring in the outdoors.

I have served my community as a firefighter/EMT for decades (first licensed 42 years ago) as well as working both paid and volunteer in wildland fire, mountain rescue, wilderness search, incident dispatch and emergency communications, and teaching CPR/First aid.

I’ve worked as a climbing instructor, bicycle tour guide and cook, and served as safety director for numerous organized sports events. The outdoors are my happy place, and I always love a good emergency. 

David Billstrom being enthusiastic
David Billstrom
David Billstrom speaking at the 2023 Outdoor Economy Conference, with Will McGuire laughing