Q: What’s your occupation? Explain your career, your accomplishments and professional highlights.
A: I started Tap Truck Fort Collins, a tapped up mobile bar bringing local favorite beers to special events with a unique and fun flare. We help clients build their menu, connect them to the right breweries and liquor stores and serve their special events with upbeat energy and bartending excellence. Starting this business has been one of my proudest accomplishments as a young professional. I have found the skills from my degree in interpersonal communication to be super helpful in my profession of connecting with my clients.
Q: Tell us about yourself, your history and how you came to be where you are now.
A: I was born in Kalispell, Montana to my adventurous and entrepreneurial parents, Cathy and Kirk Gentry. My mom raised me from age 6 on during the school year in Fort Collins. I received the Daniels Fund scholarship for volunteer work and merit, so naturally I chose to attend a private college in L.A. I earned a degree in communications and worked for a nonprofit helping teens and young adults with disabilities in Chicago. I learned quickly that I wanted to be my own boss and give back through business.
Occupation: Owner and founder of Tap Truck Fort Collins
Q: Tell us something unique about you.
A: Growing up, I spent the summers on a fly-fishing guest ranch in the wilderness of Montana, which helps to explain a lot of my personality. I only have birth sisters, but the fishing guides were like big brothers. I learned to love fly fishing, biking, rafting and service. We were given responsibilities like bringing coffee to guests and cleaning cabins. Our motto was “work hard so you can play hard later!”
Q: What do you consider your biggest accomplishment, either professionally or personally?
A: Professionally, my biggest accomplishment has been building my business over the first year to one that I am becoming increasingly happy with. One specific highlight has been working with the OtterBox team to bring bar service to their annual employee block party with three bar setups and a team of 12 servers. Personally, my biggest accomplishment has been investing in myself through therapy, friendships and pursuing hobbies that are life-giving.
Q: Where do you see yourself in five years? In 10 years?
A: Hopefully doing what I love and spending as much time as I can with loved ones outside. I could certainly see myself growing Tap Truck Fort Collins into a fleet of vintage vehicles to provide the Front Range with fun bar services that highlight all the great local breweries. I would love to work with local nonprofits too.
Q: What piece(s) of advice would you give to your younger self?
A: I would love to tell myself to soak in every moment rather than looking toward the future to bring fulfillment. I would highly suggest taking a few business courses in college as well. I would also suggest getting into yoga sooner to improve all sorts of things.
Q: How did you decide on a mobile bar service/beer truck?
A: My decision to start a mobile bar business was based on a few things. I have a love for people, beverages and creating extra special experiences for events. With over eight years of food and beverage service experience, I recognized that it’s more than just a great latte or tasty cocktail. It’s about the overall feeling of being welcome that makes for a memorable experience when getting a drink. I worked for a few nonprofits as a youth leadership coordinator, where I got to mentor young people and plan cool events. I learned quickly that I love getting to be a part of the special event planning process and seeing the result. In combining my beverage service and event planning skills, I landed on starting a mobile bar. I decided to take a chance on myself. In doing so, I’ve come to know so many great people, learned a lot about weddings and served a ton of great beer.
Q: What made you want to be your own boss? How did your family influence that?
A: My family greatly influenced my decision to start a business. My dad taught us about the importance of entrepreneurship from a young age during the summer months we spent at Spotted Bear Ranch, a guest ranch he owned and managed with great effort and joy. He showed us the importance of serving people well while doing something you really enjoy. My mom worked varying roles in her career: She was the Loveland parks director in her younger years and a caregiver for people with dementia later on. No matter what her professional title was, she was always passionate about caring for those in front of her. Her life showed me what it looks like to choose life daily, and being my own boss gives me the freedom to do so. Having passed from a battle with cancer in 2015, I use her Cathy-isms in my brand and daily life to further her impact and continue her love for life.