Bo Parfet is a successful entrepreneur, financier, adventurer, naturalist, and philanthropist. He is the co-founder and CEO of Denali Venture Philanthropy, an investment organization that funds entrepreneurs committed to social change. The organization is dedicated to solving issues in education, health care, and poverty eradication in communities around the world.
Parfet is a devoted community volunteer. He has earned the Presidential Volunteer Service Award for completing 4,000 hours or more of volunteer service throughout the world. He is an active member of the famed Explorer’s Club and Young Presidents’ Organization. Parfet is an advisory board member for Adventure Scientists, an organization working to address crucial environmental and human health issues. He also joins his family’s legacy as a board member of Gilmore Car Museum, a place near and dear to his heart as one of his first jobs was working with his grandfather to restore and preserve antique cars.
Bo Parfet comes from a long line of successful entrepreneurs and philanthropists. His great-great grandfather, William Erastus Upjohn founded The Upjohn Company, a pharmaceuticals company now a subsidiary of Pfizer. His great grandfather, Donald Gilmore served as president of The Upjohn Company, guiding it through World War II and the post-war economy, and is credited for transitioning the company to become a publicly traded entity on the New York Stock Exchange in January 1959.
One of Gilmore’s hobbies and great passions was in collecting and preserving antique cars. In 1966, Gilmore turned his passion into a non-profit organization focused on education and preserving the history and heritage of the automobile.
The Gilmore Car Museum not only preserves automobile history, it preserves the legacy of the Upjohn/Gilmore family. Bo’s father William U. Parfet is a classic car enthusiast and president of the Gilmore Car Museum’s Board of Trustees. Bo’s other family members take an active role on the board, in the organization’s efforts, and can regularly be seen enjoying the museum’s gorgeous grounds.
The Gilmore Car Museum is situated on 90 acres in rural southwest Michigan and provides visitors with nearly 400 exhibits from all eras, displaying more than 500 vehicles. The oldest car on display is the 1899 Locomobile Steam Car, and the most famous is the “Gnome-mobile”, a 1930 Rolls Royce gifted to Donald Gilmore by Walt Disney himself.
The Gilmore Car Museum sees over 112,000 visitors annually and has received accolades from car collectors, travel magazines and enthusiasts, and has been called an “entertaining lesson in 20th-century popular culture” by the Wall Street Journal. As a non-profit organization, it encourages community collaboration and partnerships and actively works to improve the community by promoting tourism in the area.
The museum and its history have been a part of Bo Parfet’s life since he was a child. An early passion, thanks to his father and grandfather, has been in preserving and collecting antique cars, and his first experience at earning, saving, and investing money can be attributed to his working on these classic automobiles. Parfet is proud to join the legacy of his family members as a board member of this historic public museum.
About Robert “Bo” Parfet
Bo Parfet is the founder and CEO of Denali Venture Philanthropy, a financial investment organization dedicated to positive social change. He is a philanthropist, mountaineer, naturalist, impact investor, and author. He is a member of the Explorer’s Club and Young Professionals Organization, an advisory board member for Adventure Scientists, and board member of the Gilmore Car Museum.
Parfet is from Kalamazoo, Michigan. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Colorado State University, a Master of Arts in Economics from the University of Michigan, and an MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. Bo Parfet currently lives in Boulder, Colorado with his wife and business partner Meredith, and their two children.