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Consistently Keeping Promises Drives Manufacturer's Growth

Columbine Label Co. named winner in 2018's Top Company – Manufacturing category


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The term – manufacturing – refers to a range of human activities, from handicraft to high tech, but most commonly applied to industrial production, in which raw materials are transformed into finished goods on a large scale. The following three companies – ColoradoBiz magazine's 2018 Top Company award winners and finalists in the manufacturing category for 2018 – from Watkins to Rocky Ford, are modern and efficient craftspeople. Their businesses and the products they produce are infused with creativity, soul and original innovations. Check it out.


WINNER

COLUMBINE LABEL CO.

CENTENNIAL

Consumers walking down grocery and liquor store aisles might see hundreds of examples of Columbine Label’s work.

Each year, the company prints labels for as many as 1,000 food and beverage companies used on thousands of different products. Labels could include metalized material for craft beer bottles, vinyl for durable outdoor products, textured paper for liquor bottles, custom paper for foods or promotional lip balm, or plastic film for bottles. The company can print digitally directly from art to label for affordable services or use flexible printing plates for fast labels. The company has even printed a label in braille.

“What has fueled our success lies within our company culture and commitment to doing what we say we’re going to do,” President Greg Jackson says of the 30-year-old company. “We’ve found that culture of keeping promises — consistently — has allowed for the success of our customers and employees and has ultimately driven our overall growth.”

Company leaders realize labels can be a burden to post-use product recycling, so last year the firm earned L.I.F.E. certification, or Label Initiative for the Environment, to promote greener labeling techniques such as water-based inks and water-soluble adhesives.

The 29-employee company supports organizations such as the Cherry Creek Rotary Club and Oskar Blues Can’d Aid Foundation. The company provides matching funds when employees donate to the Arapahoe County Adopt a Family Holiday Giving Program.


FINALISTS

DONEK SNOWBOARDS

WATKINS

Named after a fast-flying, acrobatic breed of pigeon, Donek Snowboards was founded 30 years ago by University of Colorado mechanical engineering graduate Sean Martin.

Now the seven-employee company makes 1,000 custom snowboards a year engineered for each rider’s needs and specifications. The company focuses on high quality control, which appeals to top athletes who have ridden Donek boards to win four medals in the Paralympic Games and six medals at the
X Games.

The manufacturer is located in the affordable town of Watkins where Martin grew up. The Canadian-born owner started skiing at age 4, snowboarding at age 16 and making snowboards in high school.

Donek sponsors 60 amateur or adaptive U.S. and Canadian athletes with equipment and marketing assistance.


INNOVATIVE WATER TECHNOLOGIES

ROCKY FORD

This 10-employee company manufactures treatment equipment that brings safe drinking water to developing communities around the world.      

Established in 2007, beginning with five years of research and development, Innovative Water Technologies designs, builds and distributes pioneering water filtration systems. The award-winning company has provided 470 systems in 28 countries, with a focus on Latin America and Africa, with 300 more units currently contracted for India.

The keystone treatment system SunSpring Hybrid is powered by solar and wind and can process 20,000 liters of water per day. The lightweight SunSpring Mini system for first-responder situations can be powered by five different methods.

The employees are driven by the passion to help others, and that includes local assistance to school athletic programs and fire and police departments.

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Suzie Romig

Suzie C. Romig is a freelance journalist who has lived in Colorado since 1991. Her byline has appeared in newspapers and magazines across the state on topics ranging from small businesses to raising children to energy efficiency. She can be reached at suziecr@q.com

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