by alison berkley | February 20, 2012 | People
Soledad and Bob Hurst enjoy the view from the ridge
When I pull into Red Butte Ranch, I’m not exactly sure where the main house is despite the clear directions that were e-mailed me by Soledad Hurst. There are several buildings and a large barn with enough spaces to call it a parking lot, so I leave my car there. The property is sprawling, with a swimming pool, horse pasture and panoramic views, but it’s also nestled into the steep hillsides of the Roaring Fork River Valley.
In a way, it’s the perfect introduction to Bob and Soledad Hurst’s world, at least the one they’ve created in Aspen (the couple resides in Paris part-time).
“We both come from modest backgrounds,” Soledad says as we settle into the couple’s living room that overlooks downtown Aspen and the surrounding mountains. “So it’s very important to us, as citizens of this community and of the world, to help people who are at a disadvantage. We feel a responsibility. It’s what drives both of us to some extent.”
When it comes to drive, both Soledad and Bob have plenty of it. She graduated from Yale Law School and worked in New York as a lawyer and investment banker, and has served on the FINCA board for a decade. Bob retired as vice chairman at Goldman Sachs after 30 years. Currently, he is a partner at Aspen-based Crestview Advisors, and is cochairman of the Whitney Museum of American Art.
But for the most part, this powerful couple has taken all the ambition they’d put into their careers and focused it on the nonprofit sector. “You have to be passionate, to work with causes that have personal meaning; that resonate. It has to be about more than giving or raising money,” Soledad explains.
When it comes to local causes, the couple is dedicated to supporting the cultural arts. Bob calls the Aspen Music Festival and School and The Aspen Institute “the twin cultural pillars of Aspen.” He serves on the board of trustees at both The Aspen Institute and the Aspen Music Festival and School. And the Hursts recently made a significant donation to The Aspen Institute to support community outreach programs. Soledad serves on the board of trustees for Theatre Aspen, is VP of the board of trustees of the Aspen Country Day School, where their two young children go when the family is in Aspen, and serves on the board of directors of The Buddy Program.
“We have made a conscious decision to get involved with this community,” adds Bob. “That’s our focus moving forward. We want to get involved. We want to make a difference.”
photography by robin proctor