DU Alumna Amanda Mountain Embraces Role as CEO
Mountain sees importance of a healthy work-life balance
University of Denver alumna Amanda Mountain (MPS ’15) has been quite busy since graduating. Not only did she become a first-time mom, but she has risen to the top of the corporate world by becoming president and CEO of Rocky Mountain PBS.
If anyone knows how to effectively balance college, work and family, it’s Mountain. While enrolled at DU, she served in leadership at PBS, and during her second year at DU she relocated from Colorado Springs to Denver to take on an increased role as chief membership and marketing officer. Five months ago she took over as president and CEO, a role that has her overseeing day-to-day operations and leading a capital campaign to build a public media center in downtown Denver.
“To serve in the highest leadership role of any organization is a privilege. To do so at an organization like Rocky Mountain PBS is truly extraordinary,” Mountain says. “We are one of the most trusted brands in the state, and our nearly 80,000 members count on us to help better prepare the children in their lives for school and beyond. [PBS] also provides a window into the world that frequently leads to a better understanding of ourselves and our relationship with others.”
In addition to leading Rocky Mountain PBS, Mountain says she’s focused on building and strengthening relationships within the organization and the broader Colorado community. It’s a big role to take on, but Mountain is up for the task.
Mountain says that studying organizational leadership at DU’s University College helped prepare her for her job at PBS. From building on her strengths in collaboration and negotiation to expanding her leadership abilities, Mountain says she received the tools she needed to succeed.
“My time at DU was central to my career advancement. I learned from others in my program how to seek out and integrate diverse perspectives into my leadership style,” she says. “I added new tools to my professional toolbox that expanded my business vocabulary and problem-solving skills to more effectively take on the challenges of a complex, shifting media environment. To be successful in any career, you must be able to build upon the ideas of others or to sacrifice your ideas for the greater good.”
While hard work pays off, Mountain says it’s important to have a healthy work-life balance. That’s the mentality she is leading with at PBS — creating a culture that accommodates vibrant, meaningful lives outside the office. As a leader, she says, it’s her responsibility to change and create culture. It’s not just advice she lives by, but advice she gives to future DU graduates as well.
“Our parents were right — there is no substitute for hard work. That being said, hard work doesn’t always need to equate to long hours, which can be unsustainable for many,” Mountain says. “In fact, it is often those very experiences that lead to higher performing organizations and a more diverse workforce. [I’m] devoted to learning how to balance career with family and community.”