David Merage is a successful entrepreneur and venture philanthropist. In 1977, David co-founded Chef America, Inc. with his brother Paul, best known for developing Hot Pockets. They successfully grew this company, expanding their product line and employing over 2,000 employees before selling to Nestle in 2002. Today, David runs Consolidated Investment Group (CIG), a Denver-based company strategically investing in real estate, capital markets, and private equity. David leads CIG in seeking optimal returns through direct investments, creative partnership structures, fund investments, and other innovative techniques. David also utilizes his knowledge of business and management to give back to communities that directly impacted his life. Along with his wife, Laura, he formed the David and Laura Merage Foundation, whose mission is to tackle complex societal problems and accelerate lasting solutions. The foundation invests in breakthrough innovations, launches new organizations, and mobilizes movements to reform laws. David and Laura have leveraged their foundation’s resources to launch RedLine, Early Learning Ventures (ELV), Equitas Project, Black Cube, CareForAllChildren, and Merage Foundation Israel. As venture philanthropists, David and Laura amplify the value of their philanthropic capital by sharing their business acumen and entrepreneurial spirit to help change-makers develop and scale their innovations.
Laura Merage is an accomplished artist and venture philanthropist who leads initiatives that impact the lives of thousands of people every day. Laura’s generosity has made a profound impact on Denver’s Art and Culture landscape, including the 2008 launch of RedLine Contemporary Art Center, an urban art laboratory fostering education and engagement between artists and communities to create positive social change. As RedLine flourished over the last decade, Laura envisioned another dynamic nonprofit, and founded Black Cube in 2015, a nonprofit, experimental art museum that operates nomadically and aims to nurture the self-sufficiency of artists and inspire people to experience contemporary art beyond traditional white museum and gallery walls. Laura brings her artistic and business expertise to these organizations and provides strategic leadership to the David and Laura Merage Foundation’s Early Childhood Education and Jewish Life initiatives. Laura serves on the University of Tel Aviv Board and is an emeritus board member for the Anti-Defamation League.