Ever heard the phrase: “Make your hobby your job and you’ll never work another day in your life?” Well, that can be said of Dean. Currently COO of Leopard Cycles, a manufacturer of high-performance carbon fiber bicycles, Dean is living his dream by developing and bringing to market some of the best bikes the industry has to offer.

Educated in analytical chemistry and business administration in the late ‘80s, Dean has held consulting and management positions for a variety of companies in the following industries: High Technology, Chemical Manufacturing and Environmental Services. He served on numerous advisory and corporate boards and was a Venture Partner with C3 Investments, a mid-late stage venture fund based in Los Altos, Ca. whose portfolio went up in smoke with the dot-com meltdown.

Not getting any younger and haunted by the memory of leaving a promising competitive cycling career on the table in his 20s, Dean took a long-shot and slipped through the closing window of opportunity in 2005. He successfully crawled back up the ranks of the cycling world earning his upgrade points against racers half his age. In 2007 he found himself “The Rookie” on a professional team based in Mexico and rode two seasons before retiring from international racing. He may not have ridden in the Tour de France (a dream from youth), but many he raced against as a pro did. His goal now is to get Leopard’s bikes in the Tour, and his new race is against the 800-pound gorillas of the industry, which he is stealing customers from one bike at a time.

Basing his 100-mile test rides out of Burlingame, Ca., Dean lives there with his wife and two kids, both avid cyclists under the age of 8.