Most Admired CEO Header 1024x384 - Cardinal Group Companies Alex O’Brien Named a Denver Business Journal 2023 Most Admired CEO

DENVER, CO — October 3, 2023 — Cardinal Group Companies CEO Alex O’Brien has been named one of Denver Business Journal’s Most Admired CEOs. The honor distinguishes O’Brien as an esteemed chief executive among his peers.

Each year, the Denver Business Journal honors outstanding executives at companies with a strong presence in Denver. An outstanding CEO is an innovator, standard-bearer, role model, and transformational leader. Their contributions impact the organization they head as well as the community in which they serve. A commitment to financial success, quality, workplace wellness, diversity, and philanthropy are hallmarks of an exceptional and admired chief executive.

Nominated by his Cardinal colleagues, O’Brien has proved himself to be an exemplary leader as CEO by consistently driving organization-wide growth while maintaining his commitment to the Cardinal culture. His dedication to people-centered leadership has inspired consistent success and serves as a standard for leaders in the industry, with Cardinal being the only real estate company to be named a Glassdoor “Best Place to Work” in 2023.

“Alex’s relentless pursuit of excellence at Cardinal extends to all avenues of the organization. His culture-focused leadership and commitment to sustainable and positive growth have allowed Cardinal to flourish into a standout leader in the industry,” said Peter Lynch, Chief People Officer at Cardinal.

O’Brien was promoted to CEO at the height of the pandemic in May 2020. Despite the unprecedented uncertainty, he led the company to portfolio growth of nearly 30% while attracting the industry’s top talent, adding 850 new team members during that period. This growth ranks Cardinal in the top 2% overall for career opportunities in the U.S. real estate industry by Glassdoor. For the first time in the company’s history, it was named to the National Multifamily Housing Council’s list of the Top 50 National Multifamily Operators, positioning the company as the 41st largest multifamily operator in the country.

O’Brien is tackling some of Denver’s most pressing issues head-on. He is a founding market sponsor of Entryway, a national nonprofit that transitions at-risk individuals and families or those experiencing homelessness to economic self-sufficiency by providing them with career training in entry-level multifamily housing jobs, job opportunities, and discounted housing. Entryway launched last month in Denver.

O’Brien is also committed to serving his community through involvement in numerous community and non-profit organizations. He sits on the board of two U.S. Military veteran non-profit organizations and serves as a mentor to veteran groups, youth leagues, and business development groups.  

O’Brien is a co-founder, current board member, and instructor on leadership character and principles for Valor Bridge, a non-profit that provides U.S. Military veterans with a direct path to long-term career success in the private sector. He also serves on the Board of Directors for Salute Colorado, another non-profit that supports veterans in their transition from military service through education, mentorship, and community. 

He believes his mentor in the Marine Corps made him the leader he is today, and he strives to help guide the next generation of leaders. He received the Navy-Marine Commendation Medal for his service, an award given to service members who, while serving in any capacity within the Navy or Marine Corps, distinguish themselves by heroism, outstanding achievement, or meritorious service. 

Denver Business Journal and title sponsor Bank of America will recognize the accomplishments of O’Brien and the other Most Admired CEOs at the Most Admired CEO awards dinner on Thursday, November 16, at The Ritz-Carlton Denver.

About Cardinal Group Companies

Cardinal Group Companies (“CGC”) is a fully integrated real estate management, investment, construction, consulting, and marketing firm focused on multifamily and student housing throughout the country. Headquartered in Denver, Colorado, CGC affiliate companies are all firmly built atop the company’s “Cardinal Culture.” Since 2007, CGC has been operating successful partnerships, focused on creating efficiency and above market performance via their commitment to challenging the status quo of the industry. To date, Cardinal Group Companies has developed several best-in-class initiatives, which have earned the company national recognition year after year. CGC’s management platform oversees nearly 90,000 student housing beds and nearly 40,000 total units across the U.S., including CGC’s owned portfolio and third-party managed properties.

To learn more about Cardinal Group Companies, please visit

Media Contact:

Cardinal Group

Ainsley Robinson