Jason Rohlf lived in Iowa for 30 years before taking a leap of faith and moving his family, wife Leah and their three children, to Colorado two and a half years ago. They moved to be closer to family and to help grow Leah’s father’s church, Beggars' Gate. Since that move, Jason founded The Armory and the Rohlf family has grown by one.
Jason is a construction estimator for a lumber yard in Iowa. He also takes on freelance work in the same industry. His education as a structural engineer led him to the industry straight out of college, and it’s a job in which he has excelled.
“My job is to put together the materials list for construction projects,” explained Jason. “In the first six month I’d done as many jobs as another guy had done in a year. This job just came naturally to me.”
When Jason first asked his employer if he could work from Colorado, they said no. However, after he informed them that he was quitting and moving to Colorado, they changed their minds. Jason is the only remote worker at this company, and while he loves the ability to work remotely, he admits that it hurts his chances of career advancement at the company, and he won’t receive any significant raises.
“But you can’t put a price tag how much freedom I have now; to have The Armory, to do freelance work and to be home at 4 p.m. every day. I get an extra hour and a half at home now, and that’s huge for my kids,” he said.
Jason first learned about coworking while he was still living in Iowa. At first he thought it was ridiculous. Who would give up working at home to go work in an office, he thought. Once he began thinking about working remotely, and after touring a coworking facility in Fort Collins, the concept began to make sense.
After six months of living in Colorado, Jason began laying the groundwork for a coworking space in downtown Loveland. In another six months, he opened the doors at 411 N. Railroad.
“It’s actually been a very different experience than what I expected,” said Jason.
A lot of the people who had said they would join a coworking space if one opened in Loveland, didn’t follow through, however, a new community began to form. The type of person who has been attracted to The Armory is a group of individuals who seem to be doing things that they find personally meaningful.
“Right now, I feel like my job at The Armory is to be the connector between people,” said Jason. “I feel like this would be my role at any coworking space, even if I wasn’t the founder.”
“My big picture goal for The Armory, say five years from now, is to be the home for the start-up and innovation community I see here developing here in Loveland,” he added.
When he’s not working, Jason enjoys spending time with his wife and four children, ages 7, 5, 2 and 6 months. This summer they did a few hiking and camping trips, and are working to become a “Colorado” kind of family.