About Our Founder

Where It All Began

In 1975, David Merage co-founded Chef America, a national frozen food manufacturer known for inventing and marketing Hot Pockets©, Lean Pockets©, and Croissant Pockets©. At the time of its sale to Nestlé in 2002 for $2.6B, the company had reached $750 million in annual sales, employed 1,800 people, and was growing at a rate of 15% per year, making it one of the most successful food companies in the world.


After the sale of Chef America, David Merage founded Consolidated Investment Group (CIG), a Denver-based investment management company specializing in capital markets, private equity, and commercial real estate.

Social Change

David Merage is a passionate venture philanthropist, and together with his wife Laura, has founded the David & Laura Merage Foundation which invests in social change resulting in children, families, and communities improving the quality and circumstances of their lives. CIG supports the work of the foundation and numerous non-profits by a multitude of volunteerism and in-kind support.


David Merage is a 2013 Ellis Island Medal of Honor Recipient. He was honored at an elaborate ceremony on May 11, 2013. In recognition of this prestigious honor, Governor John Hickenlooper proclaimed May 11, 2013 as David Merage Day in Colorado.