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Editor's Note: Top Company Awards: Standing the test of time

Editor Mike Taylor unveils the winners of the 30th anniversary Top Company Awards, along with the September-October 2017 issue


As we mark the 30th anniversary of the ColoradoBiz Top Company Awards and profile the 2017 winners and finalists in this issue, it’s worth noting that half of the 14 winners have been around longer than the award itself.

Longevity isn’t a Top Company criterion – candidates are judged on financial performance, community involvement and outstanding achievement – but staying power is a big indicator of a business’ ability to survive disruption and recognize new opportunities that a changing and turbulent world presents.

Take, for example, Christopherson Business Travel, winner in the Tourism & Hospitality category. Founded in 1953 as a two-employee travel agency, Christopherson now employs 433 and is the 12th-largest business travel agency in the U.S. While the internet has doomed many in the travel-service space, Christopherson has capitalized on it, investing in analytical travel software and other technologies, focusing on business travel and doubling down on growth, acquiring three travel agencies last year alone.

Joining Christopherson, our 2017 Top Company winners include:

Of course, any Colorado company around since the 1980s or earlier has survival stories of its own. All have dealt, at least indirectly, with the savings and loan crisis of 1988 and the collapse of the real estate market; the aforementioned disruptive emergence of the internet; the Great Recession of 2008-2009; health-care reform and repercussions for employee coverage; and even the legalization of marijuana and its unintended consequences.

Those last two developments – health care and the pot industry – are tackled elsewhere in this issue. In our Food Industry Report, Jamie Siebrase writes about restaurants losing workers to the marijuana industry in an already tight labor market. Margaret Jackson’s Health Care Report looks at an emerging model called direct primary care, an adjunct to insurance that gives patients better personal access to their doctor and, some employers say, saves their companies money.

All worthwhile reading for creators of Top Companies and those of us interested in how they do it.

To read the September-October 2017 issue of ColoradoBiz click here.

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Mike Taylor

Mike Taylor is the editor of ColoradoBiz magazine. Email him at mtaylor@cobizmag.com.

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