John Ott and Premier Ventures, Inc.

The Denver Foundation

John Ott is a business owner, community leader, and, first and foremost, a father. Ott, a principal at Premier Ventures, Inc. which owns and operates some of Denver’s most iconic restaurants, had his life changed forever on December 13, 2013 as he and his wife Michelle stood in the parking lot of Arapahoe High School waiting for their daughter to emerge, unharmed, from the tragic shooting that took the life of her classmate, Claire Davis. The Otts live in the same neighborhood as the Davis family, but they were not well-acquainted at the time. Like so many in the Littleton community, they came together in their grief and in their commitment to making a change.

John and Michelle contacted The Denver Foundation to offer their restaurant and business connections to raise funds for the Arapahoe High School Memorial Fund Honoring Claire Davis, a memorial donor-advised fund opened by Claire’s parents. John had opened up his restaurant, Marlowe’s on 16th Street downtown, for charitable events many times in the past, but nothing compared to the incredible organizing that created the Love, Laughter & Libations event that raised over $65,000 for the memorial fund for Claire.

In the years since the terrible event, John and Michelle have become friends with the Davis family and share their commitment to fostering more compassionate, caring, and mindful school cultures. Recently, John and his business partner Mike Plancarte at Premier Ventures, Inc. (which includes Paramount Café, Governor’s Park, and Lala’s Wine Bar and Pizzeria in addition to Marlowe’s) have opened their own business fund with an aim to use philanthropy to build their communities and support work to end bullying, identify and help children with mental health issues, and foster safer, healthier school environments. The downtown locations are using featured menu items to allow customers to directly support their efforts.

All of this builds philanthropy on Premier Ventures' history of giving. Premier Ventures has helped raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for charity throughout its history and has always felt an obligation to give back to the community that has supported their restaurants for the past 40 years. Premier Ventures has opened its restaurants, provided items to a wide variety of fundraising efforts, and hosted an annual golf tournament in order to support many local organizations. Some of the organizations they have supported in recent years include: The Denver Voice, Developmental Pathways, The Rocky Mountain Hyperbaric Association, Safehouse Denver, Capitol Hill United Neighborhoods and the Rocky Mountain Down Syndrome Association. The Denver Foundation is proud to welcome Premier Ventures into our community of corporate donors.

Are you ready to make a difference with your giving?The Denver Foundation helps generous people like you to make a difference in our community and beyond.We can help you create a personalized fund to accomplish your philanthropic goals. If you have questions, contact Kelly Purdy with the Philanthropic Services Group, kpurdy@denverfoundation.org 

Contact us

Senior Communications Officer: Laura Bond | lbond@denverfoundation.org

Communications Associate: Dele Johnson | djohnson@denverfoundation.org 

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