Rick Dakin

Coalfire CEO, co-founder Rick Dakin dies while hiking near Colorado Springs

LOUISVILLE — Rick Dakin, co-founder and chief executive of Louisville-based cybersecurity firm Coalfire Systems Inc., died Saturday while hiking with his family on a trail near Colorado Springs, the company confirmed in a statement Tuesday.

Rick Dakin
Rick Dakin

The El Paso County coroner’s office had identified Dakin, 63, on Monday, but offered no other details about him at the time, the Colorado Springs Gazette reported.

A spokeswoman for Coalfire said Tuesday that an official cause of death has yet to determined.

According to the Gazette, Dakin collapsed Saturday morning while hiking on Barr Trail and was pronounced dead on the trail about three hours later after fellow hikers’ and first responders’ efforts to save him failed.

“We are deeply saddened to announce that our co-founder and CEO Rick Dakin passed away suddenly over the weekend while hiking with family near Colorado Springs,” the Coalfire statement read Tuesday. “We are all shocked and our thoughts go out to the Dakin family.

“Rick was a great and inspirational leader and will be greatly missed. We will continue to be inspired by Rick’s vision, which is incorporated into the very fabric of Coalfire’s DNA.  His greatest love was for his family. Our sympathy goes out to them and to all who were touched by this extraordinary man.”

Coalfire officials announced that Larry Jones, chairman of the company’s board, will take over as CEO effective immediately.

Dakin, a U.S. Military Academy graduate, co-founded Coalfire in 2001 with president Kennet Westby and executive vice president of sales and marketing Alan Ferguson. The company provides risk management and information technology compliance for companies, helping them comply with financial, industry and health-care mandates, as well as assessing their cyber risks.

Coalfire has grown rapidly, particularly in recent years. The company has 300 employees spread among offices in Atlanta, Boston, Dallas, Denver, Las Vegas, New York, San Diego, Seattle, Washington and the United Kingdom. About 100 of the employees are in Colorado.

Prior to founding Coalfire, Dakin was president of Centera Information Systems, an e-commerce and systems integration firm. He also served as a past president of the Denver chapter of the FBI’s InfraGard program.

Dakin is survived by his wife Carol, son Luke, and step-sons John and Jeff Baer. Memorial services for Dakin have not yet been announced. In lieu of flowers, his family is requesting that donations be made to the Harambee Foundation, a charity co-founded by Dakin’s son Luke that raises money for orphanages in Kenya.