CEO of the Year: Medium company finalists
Rudy, Gerald and Arthur Gallegos, Gallegos Sanitation
Founded in 1959, Fort Collins-based Gallegos Sanitation grew out of a part-time lawn mowing and hauling business and today boasts a 70-truck fleet of waste and recycling vehicles serving Northern Colorado and Southern Wyoming.
Among the company's firsts: introducing the first automated garbage collection truck to the streets of Fort Collins in 1961.
Gallegos Sanitation ranked No. 11 on this year's ColoradoBiz Top 50 Minority Owned Companies list and No. 98 in the ColoradoBiz Top 250 Private Companies ranking with revenues of $13.3 million in 2009.
Gallegos Sanitation is co-owned by brothers Gerald, the president; Arthur, vice president; and Rudy, the treasurer. Under their leadership, the company was named a 2010 Torch Award winner in Northern Colorado by the Better Business Bureau and was named by the Colorado Association of Recycling the 2010 Business Recycler of the Year. With 140 workers, it is the 27th largest family-owned company in Colorado.
Gallegos provides area residents with both curbside recycling of standard materials such as plastic, glass, metal and newsprint, along with green-waste collection. The company constantly seeks routing improvements and experiments with alternative fuels to reduce its carbon footprint.
- Mike Taylor
Kathy Boe, president and CEO, Boecore
Kathy Boe has 28 years of engineering and information technology experience with federal and commercial clients. Her IT and engineering services firm in Colorado Springs employs 130 people and offers a variety of engineering services for the Department of Defense, which honored the company in 2008 with the Nunn-Perry Award.
Boecore ranked No. 16 in the ColoradoBiz Top 100 Woman-Owned Companies list and grew revenue 14 percent in 2009. It was named a "Best Colorado Company to Work For" in 2007 in rankings featured in ColoradoBiz and has more than doubled its revenue in the past three years. Boecore also owns BPS, a technical staffing subsidiary.
Boe earned a bachelor of science degree in management from Pepperdine University. She began her career as a software programmer and supervisor at Raytheon (formerly Hughes Aircraft Co.) in 1981.
She started Boecore in 2000 from the basement of her home. The company has operations in Huntsville, Ala.; Albuquerque N.M.; Fort Gordon, Ga.; Fort Huachuca, Ariz., and Fort Belvoir, Md. Its customers include the Missile Defense Agency, Air Force Space Command, Army Intelligence and Security Command and the Defense Intelligence Agency. The company focuses on cyber solutions, enterprise networks, modeling and simulation, space mission engineering, and war-fighter training.
In 2009, Boe was named a Rocky Mountain region finalist for "Entrepreneur of the Year" by Ernst & Young.
- Mike Cote
Curt Richardson, founder and CEO, OtterBox
Richardson founded Otterbox in 1996, starting out making waterproof and crushproof boxes for outdoor enthusiasts but soon narrowing his focus to handheld devices.
The pivotal point in the company's evolution came in 2007 when it introduced the Defender Series case line, a slimmer design than the company's original Armor Series. The Defender Series appealed to a large market while still offering the trusted OtterBox protection against dirt, drops and scratches. This expanded market reach gave OtterBox the leverage to form strategic partnerships with several original equipment manufacturers and wireless carriers. The Fort Collins company now makes cases for iPods and other electronics.
The demand for Otterbox products is evident in its recent growth.
Richardson credits some of his business success to his involvement with E-Myth beginning in 1999. The "entrepreneurial myth" refers to the idea that most businesses fail because the founders are "technicians," not managers; they were inspired to start a business but lacked the knowledge of how a business is run. Richardson says that by developing an understanding of E-Myth, he was able to embrace the idea that systems run a company and people run the systems.
The results speak for themselves: Otterbox, which has about 200 employees, was named a 2009 Colorado Company to Watch, one of 50 up-and-coming enterprises investing in people, technology, infrastructure and their communities. This year the company climbed to No. 38 among the state's Top 250 Private Companies ranked by ColoradoBiz with 2009 revenues of $48.6 million, a 377 percent jump over the previous year.
- Mike Taylor