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Successful risks and overcoming fear

family outside

The Klusacek Family from left to right: Jamie, Selah (13), Grace (17), Noella (10), Anna (15) and Milan.

“There is reward on the other side of risks you take,” said Milan Klusacek – and he would know.   Klusacek is currently the creative director at cyber security company Red Canary, mentoring and coaching their creative team.  Previously he did social media for the Broncos.  To get this far, he took many risks along the way.

school photo from past

Milan Klusacek in 1997 when he came to Holly, Michigan as an exchange student from Prague.

Klusacek grew up in Prague with a supportive family who encouraged him to apply for an student exchange program in the United States when he was in high school.  “I felt a bit lost so it sounded like a great opportunity,” Klusacek said, admitting that he did not like school and tried to skip as much as he could.  Landing in Michigan, Klusacek learned many new things besides English; school became more interesting, he began attending church and he met a girl in the church choir.

Growing up as an atheist, Klusacek said he had a negative bias against the church.  He shared that he became “open to the conversation” as he attended church with his Michigan family and, ultimately, he became a Christian.

Klusacek had to return to Prague after a year but was determined to get back to the U.S.  “The future was very uncertain,” Klusacek said, with many obstacles to overcome, including spending the night in front of the embassy and ensuring financial means.  Klusacek’s visa went through and he received a full-ride scholarship to a college in Michigan.

“I started caring about school and being grateful to my parents for their investment.  I wanted to do my best knowing they had sacrificed for me,” Klusacek shared.  “Before, it had been all about me.”

After “passing notes” through college, Klusacek married Jamie, the girl from the church choir.  With three daughters and a fourth on the way, the couple made their way to Colorado to help start a new church with good friends.  While they were living in Parker, Klusacek said his wife would drive by Castle Pines and fell in love with the area.  Jamie told Milan, “One day we’re going to get a home there.”  And they did.

Klusacek talks about fear as something that holds many people back, especially people who are risk-averse, like he claimed to be initially.  The risks he took – coming to the U.S., showing up to work at a Broncos game without being very familiar with American football, feeling the pressure of moving his family to another state – all took courage.  Klusacek exclaimed, “Live in a way that when you look back, you won’t have regrets, like wishing you would have said yes.”


By Lisa Nicklanovich; photos courtesy of Milan Klusacek



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