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September 2014 Issue

Cover Story

Accounting for sports

By Mike Taylor

 Illustration by Shaw Nielsen In terms of franchise value, the Denver Broncos top the list of the city’s pro sports teams, and it’s not even close. Forbes puts the Broncos’ value at $1.13 billion, which nearly matches the combined estimated values of Denver’s three other major sports franchises: the Colorado Rockies ($537 million), the Denver Nuggets ($427 million), and the Colorado Avalanche ($210 million). But team values are based on factors – among them the popularity and prosperity of a particular league, broadcasting rights, licensing

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Articles

State of the state: Fitness

Software company embraces health with Boulder move

By Mike Dano

“We believe that by providing a very unique work/lifestyle balance, we can differentiate ourselves from other employers and attract the best employees out there,” explained Marc Graveline, vice president of engineering research and development for German e-commerce company hybris. Graveline is heading up the construction of a new office in Boulder for the company, which will be located somewhere near Foothills Parkway and Pearl Street and is slated to open sometime this summer. In order to attract top-flight software engineers, Graveline said hybris’ planned office will feature a wide range of services generally designed for endurance athletes, including a CompuTrainer cycling room, treadmills, massage therapists,. . .

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Colorado cool stuff: Salted caramels, 3D buttons, recycled bags, monsters to love

By Eric Peterson

3D PRINTED COLORADO BUTTONS “I’m a Colorado native and I wanted to do something to give back,” says Debra Wilcox, co-founder of the 3D Printing Store in Denver. Her vehicle: a 3D-printed button that incorporates the Colorado flag and mountains into one distinctive bit of flair. Wilcox – who launched the 3D Printing Store with Kenton Kuhn in 2012 – gives a portion of each sale to Parkinson’s Disease research at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center. They’re taking off, gracing the lapels of notables like Denver Mayor Michael Hancock. They continually sell out, so they keep printing more – demonstrating the power of 3D printing technology. “The Colorado button is my story,” says Wilcox, whose. . .

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State of the state: Entertainment

Dazzling business turns a steady profit

By Cathie Beck

It’s well known that Donald Rossa owns and runs Dazzle Jazz Restaurant & Lounge, Denver’s iconic jazz club on Ninth and Lincoln streets – known by regulars simply as “Dazzle.” What many may be surprised by, however, is that Dazzle’s been profitable all 15 years it’s been in business, an astonishing feat in most jazz club circles. Lucky for the genre’s musicians and aficionados, Dazzle’s luscious live tunes hail from its halls 364 days a year. In 1998 Rossa convinced his pal, Miles Snyder, to invest in his vision, when few people frequented anything on the Lincoln Street strip. Rossa gave up his house, car, and other more lucrative career opportunities so he could realize his dream of a. . .

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The Economist: Back to the pesky immigration issue

By Tucker Hart Adams

Last month, I had the privilege of sitting on the stage as more than 1,000 graduates of CU Colorado Springs walked across to receive their diplomas. As each name was called and the corresponding student walked across the platform, the air was pierced with cheers and whistles. Last name after last name was not of Western European origin, many of which were cum laude or magna cum laude graduates. More than one-third were the first in their family to graduate from college. Almost all had worked full or part-time to help pay for their education. I leaned over to the two deans sitting beside me, both immigrants to the U.S., and whispered, “Isn’t it a shame those immigrants come to the U.S. and are nothing but a burden on society!” (For those of you who don’t know me, that was very much a  tongue-in-cheek remark.) There were two graduation ceremonies in. . .

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Rundles wrap up: 40

By Jeff Rundles

Long about the end of the first week in July – the 7th to be exact – I will have been a Coloradan for 40 years.  I didn’t set out from Michigan with that as a goal. I was, like so many younger folks at the time, headed to California, but had a friend here and thought a short vacation in the Rockies would be just the ticket. I joke sometimes that I stopped here for a two-week vacation and that I am still on it, and, to paraphrase The Grateful Dead, what a long, strange – and wonderful – trip it’s been. I’m not alone in that particular background. As a business reporter and editor for most of my Colorado tenure, I have come across not a few people who got posted here on their rise up the corporate ladder,. . .

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Executive edge: Barbara Raynor

Helping Denver navigate health care

By Lynn Bronikowski

On her 50th birthday, amid the cheerful wishes and celebratory notes, Barbara Raynor’s email inbox contained a note that moved her to take a stab at changing the world. The email consisted of a job description for the managing director’s position at Boomers Leading Change in Health  – a grassroots volunteer organization dedicated to improving health and access to health care for people across a seven-county metro Denver area. “Our tagline is, ‘It’s time to change the world again,’” said Raynor, now 53. “I’m proud to be a boomer and like being part of a generation that helped create an incredible amount of change; a generation that was not afraid to say, ‘This is. . .

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Diversity Corporation of the Year finalist: McGeady Sisneros PC

By Gigi Sukin

From partner to paralegal, McGeady Sisneros is a well-respected, all-woman law firm that serves a male-dominated market of commercial and residential real estate, construction, municipal finance and Colorado Special District law. But the legal team’s community support extends far beyond the courtroom, with the organization’s ongoing charitable contributions setting a high bar for peers and competitors alike. McGeady Sisneros extends its efforts to nonprofits such as: the Aurora Economic Development Council, the Denver Rescue Mission, HomeAid Colorado, the Mizel Museum of Judaica and more, creating a diverse and engaging list of options for its team to collectively contribute. “What our firm supports and each of these organizations have. . .

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Sport biz: No fishing

By Stewart Schley

Ben Rifkin realized the Denver Cutthroats had an image problem. “Two or three times a day we’d get phone calls from people asking about the fishing trade show,” says the affable president and general manager of Denver’s newest professional sports team, which is poised to begin its second season in October. The culprit was a two-word tag line displayed on the Cutthroats’ website and on a large banner hanging from the side of the Denver Coliseum. It said, “Go fish!” For a little-known team in a competitive sports market, it was a confusing line that failed to get across a basic idea: The Cutthroats are a hockey team. One of Rifkin’s first moves was to banish the “fish” slogan and replace it with the more direct line, “It’s a great day for Cutthroats hockey,” that will appear on advertising and promotional. . .

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Brainstorming in Steamboat

Mountain town adds spark to summer corporate retreats

By Kyle Ringo

Employers planning a corporate retreat face the dual challenge of deciding on a site that advances company goals but that still feels like a reward. Many discover that harmonious middle ground in Steamboat Springs, a community of nearly 17,000 located 160 miles northwest of Denver and named for its hot springs, which remain a relaxing draw for those looking to unwind and find a little inspiration. But decades before it became known as Ski Town USA, Steamboat Springs was understood to be a summer retreat for well-to-do families and individuals. All these years later, the town at nearly 6,700 feet in elevation in the Yampa Valley has retained its authentic Western charm and ability to attract the vacation crowd year-round while building a reputation. . .

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Office space evolution

Companies going smaller, cheaper and mobile

By Mike Dano

Perhaps unsurprisingly, a hot topic of discussion these days is how companies can capitalize on technologies that untether and mobilize employees. If an employee can move from a desktop to laptop computer, can that employee suffice with a smaller desk? If the contents of a file cabinet can be digitized and saved onto that laptop, can a company reduce its physical space? And if that employee can take his or her laptop home and work from there, does the company need an office at all? “It’s definitely a topic of conversation with almost every client in some form or fashion,” acknowledged Dan McGowan, senior vice president at the Denver branch of Jones Lang LaSalle, a financial-services firm focusing on commercial. . .

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State of the state: Environment

Advocates rally around Colorado River

By Maria Martin

It doesn’t have the distinction of being the longest river in the United States. Nor is it the deepest or most navigable. Instead, the Colorado River has the regrettable designation as the nation’s most endangered river, according to the advocacy group American Rivers. By 2050, scientists predict the flow of the river – which runs through seven states – will decrease by 10 percent to 30 percent. But there’s good news, said Gary Wockner, of the Save the Colorado River campaign, and Molly Mugglestone of Protect the Flows. Wockner said a polluted river has the ability to spur communities and businesses into action, regardless of conflicting politics or social beliefs. “The Colorado River is the. . .

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Healthy debate

Change was warranted, but is Obamacare the solution?

By Maria Martin

Mention the Affordable Care Act to a business owner, a health care provider or any of the millions of uninsured people who have struggled to pay medical costs, and you’re likely to stir up a lively conversation. The Affordable Care Act (ACA), officially named the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, was signed into law by President Obama in March 2010. Its aim is to dramatically increase the number of Americans who receive health insurance, in part by streamlining delivery of health care and improving patient outcomes. Many complain that the word “affordable” has no place in the name of the Act, while reactions from individuals who aren’t covered by employers are mixed. But most of those involved in providing that health care agree on this: The time for change is now. Debbie Welle-Powell, vice president of accountable health and payer strategies. . .

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Top 50 Minority-Owned Companies 2013: Familiar faces

Top three spots in annual ranking a repeat of 2012

By Gigi Sukin

A year ago, in our July diversity section that includes a ranking of the state’s top minority-owned companies based on revenue, we reported that No. 1 Venoco Inc. was also one of Colorado’s top public companies. But if you were paying really close attention to our Top 100 Public Companies list last month, you’d have noted the tiny asterisk sitting atop the oil and gas exploration and production company’s name. That’s because Venoco shareholders completed a “go-private” agreement with founder and executive chairman Tim Marquez, who already owned more than 50 percent of the company. The transaction closed last October. The top three in the 2013 minority-owned list are identical to last year’s, with Venoco followed by two auto dealerships, Mike Shaw Management and Alpine Buick GMC. Along with the revenue-based ranking, we recognize. . .

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Minority Businessperson of the Year finalist: Andrés Espiñeira

By Gigi Sukin

If you’ve attended a concert, wedding or other remarkable event in the last decade, you may have noticed the swelling sea of smartphones overhead, used to capture clips of such memorable moments. Andrés Espiñeira noticed and decided to capitalize on the mass craving to share audiovisual stories. The founder and CEO of Pixorial Inc. aims to connect people through video storytelling – both in the Colorado community and around the world. An immigrant from Venezuela with Spanish roots, Espiñeira relocated to the U.S. to attend Stanford University in Palo Alto, Calif. He earned his business and technology stripes working for Oracle and Netscape in the companies’ formative years and later relocated to Colorado. . .

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Minority Businessperson of the Year finalist: Don Kelin

By Gigi Sukin

Don Kelin – a member of the Caddo Nation of Oklahoma – considers himself an “Indianpreneur,” employing the traditional values of his Native American people in his professional and personal transactions. “He’s passionate about Indian people,” said Dee St. Cyr, director of corporate development at CADDO Solutions and board chair for the Rocky Mountain Indian Chamber of Commerce of Denver (RMICC) – an organization founded by Kelin in 1989. “If community members come to him, he gives them whatever it is they need: a place to stay, groceries, a job. He doesn’t do it for the recognition.” And he runs his business the same way. With more than 23 years of experience and a roughly. . .

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Minority Businessperson of the Year finalist: Annette Quintana

By Gigi Sukin

In 1990, sisters Annette and Victoria Quintana shared a vision to support companies and government entities in unearthing the best and brightest technology talent to bolster their organizations and projects. Thus, the two Native American and Hispanic businesswomen co-founded Denver-based Istonish Inc., an information technology services company that has evolved and expanded into an international minority and woman-owned staffing and consulting business, serving clients in telecommunications, medicine, consumer food products, aerospace, insurance and government. Today Annette – the littler sister – serves as chairman while Victoria is the company’s CEO. “We are proud to be part of an increasing number of minority. . .

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Diversity Corporation of the Year finalist: Geocal

By Gigi Sukin

In a line of work characteristically dominated by white males, 24 years ago Ronald Vasquez established his leading geotechnical engineering, construction and mechanical testing firm – consistently and diligently including minorities and females on his small team. And thanks to their expertise and hard work, sound recommendations and reliable test results, Geocal’s clients are confident in the firm’s decision-making ability for design and construction projects. Geocal’s nationwide assignments range from work for the Department of Transportation and other federal government agencies to contributions to Colorado’s Regional Transportation District (RTD) expansion project. But “Ron is not one to toot his own. . .

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Diversity Corporation of the Year finalist: Advanced Circuits

By Gigi Sukin

For 24 years, Advanced Circuits has made printed circuit boards used to mechanically support and electrically connect components. Though it’s the fourth largest circuit board fabricator in the country and one of the 50 fastest-growing tech companies in the state for 10 years consecutively, Advanced Circuits’ claim to fame is that it is the only company of its kind that boasts 100 percent U.S.-based manufacturing, rather than outsourcing its production processes. “We want to support our communities. We’re in a terrific industry, and it’s not going anywhere anytime soon,” said Julie Young, the company’s human resources manager. What’s the secret to the circuit board manufacturer’s. . .

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Colorado small businesses likely to see premium spike

By Jamie Siebrase

If you’re a small-business owner or you purchase insurance on the individual market, there’s a good chance you’ll see substantially higher premiums come October, when your provider releases 2014 annual renewal rates. That’s because under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), rating will be limited for small groups – those with fewer than 50 employees – and individuals as of next Jan. 1. Here’s what you need to know about rating under the new federal law. Brian Berglund, a partner at Bryan Cave-HRO, a multinational law firm with more than 1,000 lawyers worldwide, has been analyzing nuanced employee-benefits issues such as rating laws for the past 32 years. “Not surprisingly,” says Berglund, “if there were no laws, an insurance company would charge premiums based on the risk they’re insuring.” A car insurance company, for. . .

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