Corky Messner, Founder
Corky Messner was born on November 15, 1956 in Altoona, PA into a blue-collar family. Corky’s father was an automobile mechanic and his mother was a waitress. At the age of 17, Corky joined the U.S. Army to attend USMAPS, then at Fort Belvoir, VA he entered West Point in the summer of 1975 and graduated in 1979, “Top of the Line, ’79”. While at West Point, Corky was a member of the football team, attended Ranger School and earned his Ranger Tab in the summer of 1977, and attended Jump School and earned his Jump Wings in the summer of 1978. Corky was one of the few West Point cadets to earn a football letter, Ranger Tab and Jump Wings while a cadet.
Corky served in the 3rd Infantry Division (Mechanized) in Schweinfurt, West Germany and the Berlin brigade from January 1980 until June 1984. His last duty assignment was as an Infantry company commander. After his service, he attended the University of Denver, College of Law and graduated with a J.D. in May 1987.
Corky started his legal career at the international law firm of Kirkland & Ellis. After working there for six years, and after a brief stay at a small firm, Corky founded the law firm of Messner Reeves, LLP in 1995. Today, Messner Reeves, LLP is a national full-service business law firm with 11 offices located throughout the United States and employs over 110 lawyers and more than 200 staff members. The most notable client of Messner Reeves, LLP is Chipotle Mexican Grill, which the firm began representing soon after Chipotle was founded and when it had only a few restaurants. Chipotle now has almost 3,000 restaurants throughout the world. From 2005 until 2018, Corky served as general counsel to Chipotle. Corky has made the notable accomplishment of persuading Chipotle to open a restaurant at West Point, which it did in 2020.
Corky ran for the U.S. Senate in New Hampshire in 2020 and won a hard-fought primary by eight percentage points, but lost the general election.
Corky has three children: an accomplished daughter, Kaley, who is pursuing a medical degree; Max, who graduated from West Point in 2020; and Thomas, who is a member of the West Point Class of 2022. As a West Point graduate, Corky has passed on the legacy of military and public service to his children. At Cadet Thomas Messner’s urging, Corky is honored to have donated his West Point Class of 1979 Class Ring to the West Point Class of 2022 Ring Melt.
Corky continues to practice law today and to grow the Messner Reeves, LLP law firm. He serves as Chairman of the Board of the Army West Point Athletic Association (which he was instrumental in starting). He founded the Messner Foundation and served on the Wentworth Watershed Association Board (which conserves property in the Lake Wentworth Watershed in Wolfeboro, New Hampshire). He also helped start the Rise School in Denver, CO. Corky is planning to launch a sister organization of the New Hampshire Advantage PAC at the federal level.