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December 2014 Issue

Cover Story

Colorado Companies to Watch 2014

By Lisa Ryckman

They’re past their infancy, but they’ve still got some growing to do. Consider this year’s 50 Colorado Companies to Watch teen-agers along the business spectrum, energetic second-stagers that have come a long way already and have the potential to go the distance. “Colorado Companies to Watch recognizes and celebrates the businesses that form the backbone of the state’s economy,” said David Tolson, chairman of the board for Colorado Companies to Watch and managing director of Platinum Sponsor CapitalValue Advisors. “The 50 winners selected

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Articles

Green Colorado 2014: Transportation

By Maria Martin & Nora Caley

TRANSPORTATION B-Cycle Bike-sharing system Boulder bouldercycle.com Not many companies can boast the growth Boulder B-Cycle has shown since starting in 2011. Marketing communications manager Kevin Bell says the system originated with 12 stations and will be up to 38 this year. B-Cycle digitally tracks its members and 150 bikes. About half of users are annual members, Bell says, while the others are primarily tourists or casual users. “One of our expansions will focus on transit hubs,” Bell says, explaining that the organization is financed from user fees, sponsorships and grants. Putting bikes in residential areas encourages people to pick up a bike and ride to hubs. The group’s employees calculate that since its launch, B-Cycle has saved 11,000 gallons of gas – and as an added benefit helped people burn countless calories. “On top of all. . .

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COCTW 2014: Food & agriculture

By Gigi Sukin

FOOD & AGRICULTURE Continental Sausage Denver Continentalsausage.com PORTRAIT: Continental Sausage manufactures sausage and charcuterie, distributed locally to restaurants and grocers such as Biker Jim’s and Spago in Beaver Creek; nationally, the meats are used in NFL Stadiums and other venues. DIFFERENTIATOR: Using old-world techniques since 1969 combined with new-world flavors, Continental attempts to source all of its products from within 500 miles of Denver to actively support the state economy. Unlike most American sausage manufacturers, Continental chops and emulsifies its products. The meat – derived from family farms and humanely raised – contains no antibiotics, steroids or hormones. MAJOR MOMENT: In 2003, a change of vision came with Continental’s “Never Ever Program,” requiring that no meats used contain any antibiotics,. . .

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COCTW 2014: Technology & information

By Mike Taylor

TECHNOLOGY & INFORMATION booj booj.com Lakewood Portrait: Web design and complex development specialist booj, founded in 2005, powers the technology behind large business platforms, including The Enterprise Network and Waste Management. Major Moment: From the outset, booj offered clients exclusivity in each market and only partnered with independent real estate brokerages. This helped create a network of companies to combat the franchises in their markets while still flying their own flag. The model fosters communication and camaraderie far beyond a traditional business partnership because members come together in a noncompetitive environment to share costs, discuss best practices and learn from each other. Booj stands by this model and has terminated contracts with big clients when they were bought out by franchises. Differentiator: With the movement toward. . .

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Made in Colorado: JVC bats, BuffaLoam, Bungled Jungle creatures

By Eric Peterson

BuffaLoam Compost and Soil Products Michael Duncan is an owner of Diamond Tail Ranch, as well as Duncan Oil and Silver Oak Winery in Napa Valley. The ranch in Glendevey (between Walden and Red Feather Lakes) has raised buffalo for the past 25 years, and currently has a herd of more than 700. Duncan looked to diversify his business and began composting buffalo manure in 2007. “Our wine is five years old before we sell it,” Duncan says. “We took that model to compost.” The aging process bumps the dung’s organic content from about 4 percent to 35 percent. “There’s a lot more to it than putting poop in a bag,” Duncan notes. $10.99 a bag retail. Made by Diamond Tail Ranch Co. Glendevey/Denver buffaloam.com Available at Natural. . .

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COCTW 2014: Toursim & outdoor recreation

And Energy & natural resources

By Mike Taylor

TOURISM & OUTDOOR RECREATION Niner Bikes ninerbikes.com Fort Collins Portrait: Founded in 2005, Niner Bikes designs, manufactures and sells high-end mountain bikes. Major Moment: There have been many, but one stands out: the decision by Niner to voluntarily recall one of its bike frames as the result of an unapproved change in the manufacturing process by a Niner supplier half a world away. Niner chose to maximize the consumer experience, though it came at an accumulated $1 million in expenses to the small startup. “Best of all, we learned much about ourselves, our commitment to our riders, and forever changed our culture and internal processes,” Niner Bikes President Chris Sugai said. Differentiator:  While larger companies must allocate resources to kids’ bikes, electric bikes, beach cruisers, etc., Niner focuses solely on the 29-inch. . .

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Sports biz: Data network answers Broncos’ need for speed in digital era

Why Wi-Fi matters

By Stewart Schley

There’s a trendy tech move happening in professional football these days: Shotgun formations and cornerback blitzes are sharing the field with cloud-based video and ultra-fast Ethernet connections. It’s a measure driven by a familiar football hunger: the need for speed. The vast consumer embrace of smartphones, the reliance on instant video for scouting, and the transformation of stadiums to high-tech entertainment theaters demands more bandwidth than old-school telecom systems could supply. That’s why teams, including the Denver Broncos, have ripped out legacy data networks and replaced them with state-of-the-art infrastructures optimized for the digital era. Comcast’s 2013 deal with the Broncos to supply high-capacity data networking capability exemplifies the modernization trend. Comcast supplies a pair of high-speed, dedicated network links. A private. . .

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COCTW 2014: Defense & homeland security

And Financial Services

By Gigi Sukin

DEFENSE AND HOMELAND SECURITY Stratom Inc. Stratom.com Boulder PORTRAIT: Since 2001, the self-funded organization has provided strategic solutions, advanced technologies and services to government and commercial clients, specializing in robotics, unmanned vehicles, sensor integration, payload development and system engineering. Between 2011 and 2012, revenues spiked 136 percent and are projected to increase by 37 percent year-over-year in 2014. Some of Stratum’s best-known clients include the Department of Defense, Boeing and the United Kingdom Ministry of Defense. DIFFERENTIATor: Stratom’s development in robotics, unmanned systems, machine vision and control algorithms has allowed the company to grow its intellectual property through research and development contracts. Moreover, the decision to pursue federally funded research projects and longer-term government. . .

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COCTW 2014: Bioscience

And Creative industries

By Gigi Sukin

BIOSCIENCE A1 Organics A1organics.com Eaton PORTRAIT: Since 1974, A1 Organics has been in the organic recycling game, successfully diverting more than 8 million cubic yards of waste from Colorado landfills, resulting in high-quality composts, mulches and other recycled materials, available to the landscape industry and others. Serving clients such as the City and County of Denver, Whole Foods, MillerCoors and others, the team expects to grow to 58 full-time employees and show 21 percent revenue growth  this year. DIFFERENTIATOR: A1 has led the development of compost, green infrastructure, LEEDs certification and erosion control specifications and products in the state. The company created a compost classification system for Colorado that is also in use nationally. A1 launched the first food waste diversion program in Colorado and was a key partner in the creation and. . .

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COCTW 2014: Infrastructure engineering

By Mike Taylor

INFRASTRUCTURE ENGINEERING Armstrong Steel Corp. armstrongsteel.com Greenwood Village Portrait: Founded in 2007, Armstrong Steel sells, designs, engineers and delivers steel building materials including mini-storage units. Through its network of preferred fabricators, the Greenwood Village-based company offers steel building kits along with all components (doors, windows, vents, skylights, insulation) for a complete steel building erected by the customer. Major Moment: The company distinguished itself by establishing an in-house engineering department, enabling it to take complete control of the design, detailing and engineering of its buildings. Among the benefits: Armstrong allows customers to make changes to plans without impacting design costs. This necessitated an internal shipping department to coordinate delivery, which created job opportunities. In almost every. . .

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The best advice I ever received came from a former boss

By Pat Wiesner

With college and a little bit of grad school behind me, I struck out in 1958 to “seek my fortune,” as they say. I had a degree in physics but I didn’t want to spend my days in a lab, so I figured being a sales engineer would be a happy medium. The best salesmen I knew were back-slapping, lunch-buying, joke-telling guys who had all the answers and could talk nonstop. I got a job in sales but a year and a half later no fortune had come my way. But before I moved on, one of my bosses gave me my first lesson: 1)  To be good at sales, talk a little and listen a lot. I was convinced that I was the world’s worst salesman, so I went back to technology and taught math and physics at DeVry University in Chicago. I worked hard to develop my listening skills and it helped a lot, mainly because people took it as a sign of my interest in them. I couldn’t help. . .

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COCTW 2014: Health & Wellness

By Mike Taylor

HEALTH & WELLNESS American Vein & Vascular Institute rmvein.com Pueblo Portrait: Founded in 2009, AVVI is a network of medical facilities offering minimally invasive vein disease treatments. It also houses a state-of-the-art vascular diagnostic lab. AVVI has locations in Pueblo, Parker, Canon City and Vail, as well as Arlington, Texas. Major Moment: Expanding into Arlington in 2012 was an important milestone for the company, which began with three employees and now boasts more than 50. Other key moments were the grand opening of AVVI’s corporate headquarters on the Riverwalk in Pueblo in October 2012, and the company’s corporate restructuring and name change in February (from the former Rocky Mountain Vein Institute and The Diagnostic Center). Differentiator: Of AVVI’s five physicians in Colorado, three are double-board certified and the. . .

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Executive edge: Sherry Ray

Business coach’s client list runs from CEOs to ex-Broncos

By Lynn Bronikowski

In the 1970s and 1980s, Sherry Ray ran operational divisions of Fortune 1,000 companies. Through the early-mid 1990s, she was a leading sales professional at now-defunct Pilot Research in Denver, until a chance meeting in a grocery store parking lot, when the self-proclaimed “energizer bunny” was convinced to make the professional pivot to business coach and acquired the necessary training to open Denver-based Ray Consulting Services in 1995. She is the author of Finding Traction: Recapture Your Drive at Work, which applies her experiences in corporate America to other professional playing fields. Q. A Gallup poll revealed that only 29 percent of Americans are engaged in their work. How do you help people re-engage? A. I. . .

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‘American Dream’ contest proves no business is small –

when it's yours

By Mike Taylor

Jennifer Bacon grew frustrated by the lack of nutritious yet tasty pancake mixes for her husband, David, and their five kids. So she came up with her own blend of whey protein, whole-grain flour and real fruit as a sugar substitute. The result: Flapjacked All-Natural Pancake Mixes, launched in February 2013 and now carried by about 1,400 stores. While David remains a pilot for American Airlines, Jennifer quit her job as an executive with Kimberly-Clark shortly before the unveiling of Flapjacked. It’s helped that she was a marketing specialist managing a million-dollar brand, now that she’s promoting her own. The Broomfield couple’s aim of getting Flapjacked to “more stores, more consumers and more mouths,” got a boost in mid-May when they won the regional “Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream” business pitch contest held at Mi Casa. . .

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The Economist: Things aren’t always what they seem…

...so look behind the headlines

By Tucker Hart Adams

I recently sent a congratulatory note to one of my favorite business reporters, Wayne Heilman at the Colorado Springs Gazette, for emphasizing an important point in an economic data release. Even though the unemployment rate increased 6.3 percent, almost 20,000 discouraged workers returned to work and more than 17,000 new jobs were created, reflecting optimism about the economy on the part of discouraged workers and employers, not that it caused unemployment to rise. Most business reporters — who should know better — missed this distinction, and so the general public missed it, too. As the reported unemployment rate has trended down during the past 40 months, it hasn’t just been good news. Sometimes the rate declined because more people left the labor force than lost jobs; employment actually declined. Remember, you aren’t unemployed unless you are. . .

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Green Colorado 2014: Tourism/Hospitality/Restaurants

By Maria Martin & Nora Caley

Tourism/Hospitality/Restaurants Aspen Ski Co. Ski resorts Aspen Aspen Skiing Company (ASC) operates four ski areas - Aspen, Aspen Highlands, Buttermilk and Snowmass, two hotels, 21 retail locations, 15 restaurants and 580 beds of employee housing. The company has won the National Ski Areas Association’s Golden Eagle Award for overall environmental excellence in the ski industry six times, most recently in 2012. In 2012 ASC opened its $5.5 million coal mine methane-to-electricity project, which converts vented methane into 24 million kilowatt hours of electricity that is sold into the utility grid. There is also solar power from a 147 kilowatt solar plant in Carbondale and 20-plus kilowatts of distributed solar throughout ASC locations. ASC replaced 10 snow guns at Buttermilk with higher efficiency Rubis EVO guns, reducing 98 kilowatts of usage to 4 kilowatts. The. . .

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Mass communication: A moving target

Proposed media program addresses rapid changes in news delivery

By Gigi Sukin

We’re prone to make predictions about everything – the season finales of popular television, the winning team of the World Cup, the apocalypse, the economy, technology and everything in between. Though hardly impervious to market shifts or trends, academia is generally a little late to the game. More often than not, announcements of new courses, programs, certifications and degrees are met with public statements that start: “In response to the growing need for … “ And yet the University of Colorado Boulder is positioning itself as a future-betting ringleader as it weighs in on what’s  ahead for media, communication and information dissemination.  The 2011 shutdown of CU’s School of Journalism. . .

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Energy: Divided over drilling

Messages collide as fracking debate comes to voters

By Allen Best

Colorado’s record for oil production was set in 1956, and for decades it appeared untouchable. Last year, owing to the confluence of hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling, much of it in the Wattenberg field north of Denver, the record finally tumbled. Natural gas production was the fourth highest ever. It’s all good, said many in Colorado, citing the bonanza of jobs and tax revenues. But to Protect Our Loveland and other citizen groups from Broomfield to Fort Collins, drilling rigs dotting the night landscape like scattered Christmas trees represent threats, not energy security. The groups have been laying down lines in the tight sands and shales of the Niobrara and other formations. “We would like to know how our health and. . .

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Geospace data increasingly valuable to businesses

Mapquest founder aims to connect companies with chatter aggregator

By Gigi Sukin

As mass mobile access has grown ever more ubiquitous, location and time have become invaluable data points for businesses to vie for a place in the market. Perhaps that explains Perry Evans’ most recent startup success.  The founding executive of Colorado-based companies including Mapquest, Jabber and Local Matters, launched Closely in 2011 and secured $3 million in Series A funding led by Joe Zell of Grotech Ventures in March. “What we’ve seen over the last three to four years is that businesses can no longer rely on a simple formula for marketing,” Evans said of his platform, which helps small businesses navigate the social media landscape and connect with business providers. “You can’t just put an ad in. . .

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Green Colorado 2014: Consumer business

By Maria Martin & Nora Caley

Consumer Business Ecologic Designs Bags made from upcycled and recycled materials Boulder             Ecologic Designs sews bags and totes out of banners, billboards, tents, bike tubes, wetsuits, climbing ropes and other nontraditional objects. The company works with AT&T, Patagonia, Denver Metro State University, and others to divert used materials from landfills, and turn them into promotional products. The company also has a direct-to-consumer line called Green Guru Gear, available at bike shops and outdoor shops nationwide. In 2013 the company recycled and diverted from the landfill more than 12,314 pounds of bicycle tubes, 5,486 pounds of wetsuits and 845 pounds of climbing rope. The manufacturer uses zone heating, lights that turn off when the room is unoccupied, and workstations that sleep when not in use. The. . .

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2014 Top 10 Most Powerful Salespeople

The first five

By Jamie Siebrase

Sure, these charismatic folks know how to network their tails off and could probably sell the Brooklyn Bridge to a New York native. But being the best in a biz brimming with charmers takes something more: a sense of humor, organization, tenacity – to name a few of the traits that earned our finalists their top spots. And, according to the Harvard Business Review, while different training and backgrounds are required to sell various products and services, basic sales dynamics transcend all industries. “Many sales executives feel that the type of selling in their industry … is somehow completely special and unique,” write David Mayer and Herbert Greenberg in What Makes a Good Salesman. But, the authors found, “The dynamics of success remain approximately the same in all cases.” Gino Malara of Northern Electric couldn’t agree more. One of our. . .

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Green Colorado 2014

50 businesses striving for a smaller footprint

By Maria Martin & Nora Caley

The aphorism, “a rising tide lifts all boats,” is doubly true of businesses dedicated to preserving or improving the health and wellness of the planet. These companies not only positively impact the environment; they encourage others to do so, and a growing number of them go well beyond recycling paper and turning off the lights. “I think nationally you are seeing a lot of big corporations say they are becoming greener because they know it is popular,” said Lyn Halliday, president and CEO of Environmental Solutions, a Steamboat Springs firm that provides sustainable business coaching and certification. Halliday says sustainable initiatives can range from switching to more efficient light bulbs to constructing living buildings. . .

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COCTW 2014: Advanced manufacturing

By Gigi Sukin

ADVANCED MANUFACTURING Diversified Machine Systems (DMS) Dmscncrouters.com Colorado Springs PORTRAIT: Founded in 2003, Diversified Machine Systems (DMS) is a designer and manufacturer of three- and five-axis computer controlled cutting machines, known as CNC routers, and custom-engineered machining centers. The original equipment manufacturer (OEM) primarily supplies the aerospace, automotive and consumer goods industries. DIFFERENTIATOR: DMS attributes some of its growth to its market-by-design strategy: Machinery is developed only when a specific market need is determined. This approach has allowed the manufacturer to flexibly design its tools and foster uniquely collaborative client relationships. Moreover, the machines are designed for repeated disassembly to fit in shipping containers for international transport and are easily put back together. MAJOR MOMENT:. . .

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Crafty bean scene

State of the state: Food & beverage

By Laura Cook Newman

To die-hards, the black-velvet and rich fragrance is more than buzz-worthy – its a recharging refreshment with $30 billion in annual U.S. sales attesting to its eye-opening appeal. Shop-by-shop, roaster-by-roaster, Colorado is earning its star on the coffee-lover’s map. What’s making this emerging coffee scene unique? People “The unique thing about the craft of coffee is that at every level, the human element is key,” said Philip Goodlaxson, roastmaster at Corvus Coffee Roasters in Denver. “From sourcing coffees, which builds relationships with farmers who care deeply about their craft, to using senses: taste, sight, smell, when roasting the bean. Coffee is a socially impactful craft.” Similarly, brothers. . .

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Green Colorado 2014: Nonprofit/government

By Maria Martin & Nora Caley

NONPROFIT/GOVERNMENT FortZED A partnership with local government, academia and industry formed to work toward creating sustainable communities Fort Collins Fortzed.com FortZED proves that teamwork can change the world. Originally designed to transform downtown Fort Collins and the main campus of Colorado State University into a model community for a leading and replicable net Zero Energy District funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, the mission has since expanded to turn all of Fort Collins into a paradigm of alternative energy sources through conservation, efficiency, renewable sources and smart technologies. According to Bruce Hendee, the chief sustainability officer for the City of Fort Collins, it started as a grass-roots movement. Starting small has helped the three collaborating parties — CSU, the City of Fort Collins and the Colorado Clean Energy Cluster. . .

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Business school to offer problem-solving seminar

By Leah Samuelson

St. Louis-based Washington University’s Olin Business School – ranked No. 2 worldwide by The Wall Street Journal – made its Executive MBA program available in Colorado last September, and in mid-fall the school will offer a “Design Thinking & Innovation” seminar to “drive breakthrough innovation through customer focus” and teach participants how to solve “the right problems … beautifully,” according to Samuel Chun, assistant dean of executive programs, Olin Business School. The one-day user-experience course is designed for “entrepreneurs, corporate executives, engineers, scientists … anyone with an interest in how to develop creativity and become more innovative,” said Chun, who is spearheading the program with Bruce Lindsey, dean of the graduate school of architecture and urban design.. . .

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Green Colorado 2014: Real estate/construction/development

By Maria Martin & Nora Caley

REAL ESTATE/CONSTRUCTION/DEVELOPMENT   Growing Spaces LLC Greenhouse kit manufacturer Pagosa Springs growingspaces.com The CEO and cofounder of Growing Spaces says she laments the political nature of environmental talk these days. “The reality is, no matter what side you’re on, we’re facing unprecedented droughts and disasters,” said Puja Dhyan Parsons, who has owned the Pagosa Springs-based greenhouse company with her husband, Michael Udgar Parsons, for 25 years. Since 1989, the company has designed and manufactured geodesic Growing Dome kits that utilize renewable energy and creating jobs in Southwest Colorado. The company has been grid-tied since 2008. Solar powered shop heaters and extra insulation have saved Green Spaces $9,000 in heating costs since 2004. Rather than investing in infrastructure buildings for storage, Growing Spaces uses. . .

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Green Colorado 2014: Communication/technology

By Maria Martin & Nora Caley

COMMUNICATIONS/TECHNOLOGY   Vermilion Strategic graphic and Web communications Boulder It’s no wonder that in addition to its award-winning work with nonprofit, educational and civic organizations, CEO Bob Morehouse says he is most proud that his team is determined to make a positive impact in the world. To start, its 6,000-square-foot building is wind powered. Every event is zero-waste, and employees are encouraged to find alternative transportation to work. And through working with Eco-Cycle, Vermilion was able to get the company close to 90 percent zero waste. The communications crew stands behind the City of Boulder’s goal to be fossil-free by 2050. “We want everyone in Boulder to be excited by this,” Morehouse says. Working hard to not only talk the talk, Vermilion has done its best to make its early 1980s facility more sustainable, from. . .

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Green Colorado 2014: Health care

By Maria Martin & Nora Caley

Health care   DaVita Healthcare Partners Inc. Kidney care services Denver             DaVita operates or provides administrative services at 2,074 out-patient dialysis centers in the U.S., serving approximately 163,000 patients. DaVita reduced its facilities’ energy consumption by nine percent since 2010, by ensuring equipment is running full throttle. Eleven centers in the Northeast use energy management systems (EMS) to reduce consumption. DaVita has also driven a 14 percent reduction in water usage, saving 400 million gallons per year.             Recycling programs include toner and cell phones, and DaVita has an environmentally preferable procurement program. New programs for 2014 include piloting managed print systems to drive down overall paper. . .

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Green Colorado 2014: Financial/Consulting/Professional Services

By Maria Martin & Nora Caley

Financial/Consulting/Professional Services   Alpine Bank Financial services provider Glenwood Springs             Of Alpine Bank’s 37 branches, the bank owns and manages 25, which were part of the Green the Banks by 2012, which set energy reduction goals against a 2006 baseline. By 2012 the locations had a 16 percent reduction in energy use, 35 percent reduction in paper use, 39 percent reduction in water use, and 100 percent reduction in fleet fuel. Alpine Bank eliminated couriers in 2010, and the bulk of documents are now transmitted electronically.             In April Alpine Bank opened its first Denver location at Union Station, and will buy 80 solar panels to offset 85 percent of the estimated energy use in the branch. alpinebank.com  . . .

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2014 Most Powerful Salespeople: The next five

By Jamie Siebrase

Paul Collanton Service Source Denver servicesource.com SELLING POINT: Led his direct reports to close more than $80 million from end-users in all verticals, including banking, technology, health care, life sciences, state and local government. What’s the key to your sales success? “We sell our services to software companies and develop products that enable customers to do renewal sales themselves. Every relationship you cultivate ultimately has an impact on your sales pipeline. Most memorable for me was when a client at IBM noticed the blogging I was doing on the side and encouraged me to do a podcast, which led to a new business. Since then, the podcast has been nominated for a few awards and we are starting to attract clients from social media,. . .

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Rundles wrap up: Prepare for fracking fatigue

The new "F" word

By Jeff Rundles

What the Frack? We’ll all be asking that question with a sense of disbelief in the coming months as millions of ad dollars are poured out by pro-fracking forces and their opponents to convince Colorado voters that their side, and their side alone, represents truth, justice and The American Way. No matter what you believe, by November you’ll look at “Frack” as the new “F” word, guaranteed. It’ll be the subject to avoid in polite company. It refers to hydraulic fracturing – an extraction technique that’s all the rage right now, though it’s been around in one form or another for about 70 years. Essentially, fracking involves injecting water, sand and chemicals at high pressure into existing oil and gas wells, which somehow loosens natural gas, unrecoverable through standard wells. The process is said to be generating a boom. . .

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Tech startup: PrintReleaf

By Eric Peterson

INITIAL LIGHTBULB: After 11 years with Louisville-based LaserCycle, Jordan Darragh pivoted to clean-tech before debuting his innovative printing business. At energy intelligence provider EnerNOC, Darragh became familiar with carbon offsets and sought to apply the principles to corporate printing with PrintReleaf, planting a new tree for each one that was logged for paper. “There’s been 5 billion acres deforested over the last century – 100 billion trees,” said Darragh. “There’s obviously a need … as we evaluate the global forestry system.” In a Nutshell: After three years of R&D, Darragh officially got started this March. “We had to figure out how we were going to reforest on a cost-per-page. . .

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Real estate: Labor pains

Building surge leaves contractors scrambling for workers

By Margaret Jackson

Cranes dotting the skyline are a sure sign that Colorado’s construction industry and overarching economy is improving from the devastation of the 2007-2009 recession. But the newfound challenge contractors are facing is finding skilled laborers to build their projects. Big developments like the renovation of Denver Union Station, Denver International Airport’s new hotel and transit center, as well as countless multifamily projects and office buildings, are exhausting the labor force. That – and the fact that many skilled laborers left the industry to work in oil and gas fields or relocated to find opportunities in other markets – has forced the postponement of many projects and increased the cost of others, including the. . .

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CU Denver’s Anschutz Center hosts ABC’s ‘Extreme Weight Loss’

State of the state: Health care

By Katie Feldhaus

The state’s health and wellness sector got a good dose of publicity when the ABC documentary series “Extreme Weight Loss” descended on metro Denver. The reality show, which premiered May 27, documents a 365-day weight-loss journey of 17 people classified as clinically obese. Participants spent the first 90 days at University of Colorado’s Anschutz Health and Wellness Center (AHWC) in Aurora. Dr. Holly Wyatt, medical director at AHWC, helped the program’s participants lose weight safely and learn how to keep it off. “We’ve never had a doctor on the show with an expertise in weight loss,” said Matt Assmus, executive producer for the show. “Holly and the Anschutz team were very proactive with our participants by following their weight loss to seek out what was working and what wasn’t. We learned a lot about the science. . .

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