Top Company finalists
The challenges posed to businesses have been so frequently trotted out the past three years - often on the pages of this magazine - they hardly bear repeating. But what is worth noting as the economy continues to wobble are the businesses and organizations that are succeeding, and not with a win-at-all costs approach but with ethical principles and community conciousness intact, whether by seeing opportunity where others see only obstacles or simply by refusing to let obstacles derail their vision.
The 33 firms in 11 industry categories profiled on the following pages are finalists for Top Company, a program widely considered to be "Colorado's most competitive business award." (See the list of winners.)
Now in its 24th year, the Top Company program recognizes outstanding firms headquartered in Colorado or with a significant presence here, based on three factors: financial performance, community involvement and outstanding achievement, such as marketing innovation, product innovation or operational efficiency. Finalists are selected from a rigorous evaluation by longtime sponsor Deloitte. A panel of business professionals and policy officials then selects the winners in each industry category.
Winners in each category will be announced - and finalists recognized - at a special awards celebration Sept. 13 from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Seawell Grand Ballroom at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts. For registration information, contact Kelly Ness at firstname.lastname@example.org or (303) 662-5222. Or go to www.cobizmag.com and click the events tab.
Years in business: 10
CEO: Trevor Tice
Company snapshot: CorePower Yoga operates 55 yoga studios in Colorado, California, Oregon, Minnesota and Illinois. CorePower runs the largest network of yoga studios in the world and plans to open 10 to 15 studios a year, with the goal of growing to 100 in five years. Since its founding in 2002, CorePower has offered an athletic brand of yoga designed to appeal to mass markets.
Notable practices: CorePower studios are operated by professional business managers who monitor their profitability closely. Instructors are expected to be at the studio to meet with students 30 minutes before and after class. The company offers teacher training, yogi training and weight management and a line of retail yoga and lifestyle products.
Community involvement: Founder and CEO Trevor Tice started the Karma Yoga Project, based on the Eastern philosophical belief that all good deeds positively shape our future experience. Every CorePower Yoga studio participates at least monthly. In 2010, CorePower partnered with Michael Franti for his annual Harvest Ball. It held a benefit yoga class and concert in Broomfield, donating all proceeds to The Gathering Place - a daytime drop-in center for women and children experiencing homelessness and poverty. The company also partnered with the Colorado Chapter of the American Red Cross and raised more than $25,000 for Haiti relief efforts and more than $32,000 for aid in Japan.
Years in business: 16
CEO: Joe Assell
Company snapshot: GolfTEC teaches more than 20 percent of golf lessons in the U.S. through its Improvement Centers nationwide, offering instruction to both beginners and accomplished golfers.
Notable practices: GolfTEC's proven path to results is based on five factors: fact-based diagnosis, sequential lessons, video-based practice, advanced retention tools and precision-matched clubs. Its heavy focus on technology in golf instruction led the company in 2011 to either improve a current piece of technology or develop something new to meet marketplace demand, according to its vice president of technology, Ryan Ayers. That includes the development of a mobile version of the Player Performance Center, a customized website where clients can view their latest golf lessons.
Community involvement: GolfTEC's eight improvement centers in Colorado donated gift certificates for one-hour swing evaluations to local organizations, such as the Rocky Mountain Academy of Evergreen, Freedom Horizon Montessory and the Muscular Dystrophy Association. At the company's corporate headquarters, 40 employees donated toys to Toys for Tots for the holidays. CEO Joe Assell serves on the board of directors for the Boys and Girls Club.
Oskar Blues Brewery
Years in business: 9
CEO: Dale Katechis
Company snapshot: Oskar Blues is the first U.S. microbrewer to brew and can its own beer. Since launching its "Canned Beer Apocalypse" in 2002, the company has changed consumer perceptions about canned beer.
Notable practices and achievement: Oskar Blues uses lighter weight cans to reduce its carbon footprint. The company has grown more than 300 percent since 2008.
Community involvement: Since 2008, Oskar Blues Brewery has employed workers from Imagine!, a program that supports people with cognitive, developmental, physical and health related needs. The crew assembles "bling" - beer cans with mardi gras beads attached that the company hands out at events as a marketing tool. Most of the original hires from 2008 are still with the company. Owner Dale Katechis is involved in the community through donations, fundraising and support of local schools and charities.
Years in business: 10
Managing directors: David Tolson and Chris Younger
Company snapshot: CapitalValue Advisors is a FINRA-registered investment bank and valuation firm focused on enabling entrepreneurial spirit. The managing directors have helped more than 400 company owners navigate critical capital markets that have helped them build value and reap benefit from years of hard work and perseverance.
Notable practices: CapitalValue Advisors' business model is built on relationships rather than transactions. As a firm, CVA becomes involved long before a client is ready to sell, to help increase value and reduce risk. The company has helped more than 400 clients over the past decade add value to their businesses in advance of selling.
Community involvement: CapitalValue Advisors believes its responsibility to the local community goes beyond making charitable contributions. It is focused on giving back to the local business community, making sustainable charitable contributions and helping to educate young professionals. The managing directors are active or former board members for Colorado Companies to Watch, the Association for Corporate Growth, the South Metro Chamber of Commerce, the Telecommunications Industry Association and other business and civic groups.
FirstBank Holding Co.
Years in business: 48
CEO: John Ikard
Company snapshot: FirstBank Holding Co. provides banking services such as checking, savings, certificates of deposit, health savings and individual retirement accounts and loans, including mortgage and home equity, auto and home construction loans. The company also provides such services to businesses. FirstBank is Colorado's largest locally owned bank and one of the best performing banks in the country.
Notable practices: The employee-owned bank reported that the past three years were the most successful since its inception 48 years ago, which it attributes to conservative management, a focus on credit quality and a long-term approach to customer service and growth. The bank prides itself on its high employee satisfaction and retention. Of the company's 2,000-plus employees, nearly half (more than 100 officers and 710 employees) have worked for FirstBank for 10 years or longer.
Community involvement: FirstBank donated more than $4.2 million in cash to Colorado charities last year, an increase of 24 percent from its 2009 contributions. The bank was the presenting sponsor for the inaugural Colorado Gives Day, which raised $8.7 million for 523 nonprofit organizations in Colorado.
IMA Financial Group
Years in business: 37
CEO: Rob Cohen
Company snapshot: IMA Inc., a retail insurance broker, is a subsidiary of The IMA Financial Group Inc., a diversified financial services company. Consistently ranked amongst the top 20 independently owned brokers in the United States, the employee-owned company offers a full range of risk management related products with offices in Dallas, Denver, Kansas City, Topeka and Wichita.
Notable practices: Because IMA is independent and employee-owned, it has a lower cost of doing business. It can re-invest in the company and is not beholden to produce profits for Wall Street shareholders. The company's financial-services practice helped numerous public and private companies navigate the 2007-2009 credit crises while retaining professional liability coverage.
Community involvement: The IMA Foundation gives a minimum of 2.5 percent of IMA's profits annually in order to meet its mission of making a difference in the communities in which its employees and clients live and work. IMA employees on average participate in 4,000 hours of volunteer work each year, including work with 30 local nonprofit boards. The company's Community Action Committee raises and donates money to charities selected and supported by IMA employees.
Years in business: 11
CEO: Kent Thiry
Company snapshot: DaVita Inc., a Fortune 500 company, is a leading provider of kidney care in the United States, delivering dialysis services and education to patients with chronic kidney failure and end stage renal disease. DaVita operates or provides administrative services at 1,642 dialysis facilities, serving approximately 128,000 patients. DaVita, Italian for "giving life," employs more than 34,000 people around the country.
Noteworthy achievement: DaVita's $101 million 14-story headquarters building will occupy close to 900 workers when it is completed in fall 2012. Approximately 600 people will work on the construction of the headquarters building throughout the duration of the project. Since announcing the move, DaVita has created more than 300 good-paying jobs with benefits in Denver, paid nearly $2.1 million in payroll taxes in Denver, and generated $1 million in revenue for downtown Denver hotels.
Community involvement: DaVita develops, participates in and donates to numerous programs dedicated to transforming communities and creating positive, sustainable change for children, families and the environment. The company's leadership development initiatives and corporate social responsibility efforts have been recognized by such publications as Fortune, Modern Healthcare and Newsweek.
Years in business: 11
Location: Greenwood Village
CEO: Jack McClurg
Company snapshot: HealthTrans offers health-care management solutions for employer groups, managed care organizations, coalitions, pharmacy benefit managers, workers' compensation plans, government-sponsored plans, retail pharmacy groups and specialty companies. The privately held company processes approximately 100 million claims annually for its clients, representing more than 15 million people.
Notable practices: HealthTrans recently packaged a program to help municipalities provide discount prescription and health-care services to help lower costs for at-need and at-risk populations across the United States. HealthTrans then went after one of the largest markets for at-need and at-risk individuals and won a contract for New York. The company integrated its discount products and services into the city's private sector, including call center, local and community services, social media, grass roots, and public and private education.
Community involvement: HealthTrans sponsors several local and national events focusing on funding cystic fibrosis awareness and research, AIDS prevention and awareness, breast cancer research, stroke awareness and the advancement of student achievement and recognition. The company funded an initiative arranging for 50 disadvantaged families from the greater Denver and Boulder areas to receive a year free of membership in the HealthTrans Access discount health-care program.
University Physicians Inc.
Years in business: 29
CEO: Jane Schumaker
Company snapshot: University Physicians Inc. provides business operations and administrative support to the University of Colorado School of Medicine's 1,600 providers. Adjacent to the Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora, University Physicians offers a variety of administrative and health-care support career opportunities and serves as a resource for patients and physicians.
Outstanding achievement: University Physicians ensures that every time a faculty physician or health-care provider treats a patient, 10 percent of that clinical revenue is delivered back to the School of Medicine into the Dean's Academic Enrichment Fund. The fund supports competitive teaching and research programs within the School of Medicine. University Physicians has contributed $23.7 million in direct philanthropic contributions since 1986.
Community connections: University Physicians' new 184,701-square-foot building, which opened in fall 2010, is home to nearly 300 employees. The project was initiated as a result of the sale of University Physicians' existing administrative space to the Veteran's Administration in 2008. The new University Physicians building is the first commercial office development located in the Colorado Sciences and Technology Park, which is adjacent to the Anschutz Medical Campus. The University Physicians building received LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold Certification.
Years in business: 58
CEO: Mark Swanson
Company snapshot: Birko provides the meat, poultry and food industries with specialty chemicals needed for cleaning, sanitation and as aids in production. Its product line includes more than 200 formulations - from cleaners and sanitizers to processing and rendering agents - used in federally inspected meat plants. Many of the company's formulations are registered with the Environmental Protection Agency, and many of its chemical formulas and processes are patented.
Notable practices: Birko has developed 15 process and application patents and manufactures more than 250 cleaning, sanitation and production process chemicals. Many of its products are on the USDA National Organic Program list of allowed products for use by organic processors.
Community involvement: In honor of Birko's founder, The Ward Smith Memorial Scholarship was established at Texas A&M's Department of Animal Science in 1980. Birko supports several institutions of higher learning - including Colorado State University, Texas Tech, Texas A&M, Cal Poly and Fresno State - through volunteering and collaborating on research for the betterment of food safety. Third-generation owner and chairman Kelly Green serves on the National Meat Association's Board of Directors. She is a past board member of the National Women's Business Enterprise Council and Colorado Women's Business Chamber of Commerce. CEO Mark Swanson is the current president of the CSU Alumni Association Board of Directors.
EnviroTech Services Inc.
Years in business: 22
CEO: Roger Knoph
Company snapshot: EnviroTech Services develops products and services for road maintenance to clients in the United States and Canada. As public awareness and governmental regulations have increased over the years, the company has worked to develop products that are both economical and environmental. Its products and services include de-icing agents, dust control and soil stabilizing products, sensor and spray systems, and other specialty products.
Notable practices: With proprietary products in both de-icing and dust control, EnviroTech Services has established itself as an innovator in the road solutions industry. Quality control and the use of research and development are critical to outstanding performance in this industry. As the company expands and builds new plants across the country, quality control becomes even more obligatory.
Community involvement: Each member of the company's executive team as well as HR holds a position on the board of a nonprofit, including Weld County Boys & Girls Club, the Greeley Transitional House, Longs Peak Council Boy Scouts, Adams 50 Education Foundation and A Woman's Place. EnviroTech employees also volunteer at community organizations. Both money and time were donated toward building a house with Habitat for Humanity.
Years in business: 13
Location: Fort Collins
CEO: Curt Richardson
Company snapshot: OtterBox makes protective cases for handheld devices such as cell phones, iPods and iPads. The company has evolved from a maker of waterproof boxes geared toward outdoor enthusiasts to a developer of device-specific cases for electronic products.
Notable practices: OtterBox's revenue has grown more than 250 percent from 2009 to 2010; and its local employee base has increased from 140 last year to more than 300. It has expanded globally, with offices in Ireland and Hong Kong. To make this happen, OtterBox constantly innovates its business systems. It employs an aggressive strategic planning process that occurs bimonthly.
Community involvement: Last fall, the company launched the OtterCares Foundation, the charitable giving arm of OtterBox. The foundation has three separate grant programs. The Impact Fund provides quarterly program-specific grants to projects directly advancing the foundation's mission of educating and empowering youth toward positive growth in Larimer and Weld counties. The Commuter Fund offers sponsorship and funding for charitable events in Northern Colorado. The Armor Fund supports youth athletics teams and clubs.
Years in business: 30
CEO: Norty Frickey
Company snapshot: The mission of blue onion is to be the premier idea generator for challenger brands. It does so by fostering an open, collaborative, entrepreneurial work environment. "This makes blue onion a fun place to work and do business," the family-owned company says.
Notable practices: Prior to the creation of blue onion in 2007, the organization consisted of four separate business divisions that essentially ran independently of each other. "In the years leading up to the advent of blue onion, market shifts and externalities beyond our control produced rather significant adverse affects on two of our divisions," the company says. "At that moment, we saw the need and opportunity to strategize and recreate our organization as a one-stop shop for advertisers by offering multiple marketing disciplines to prospective clients and cross-selling new disciplines to our existing client base."
Community involvement: In lieu of holiday gifts to existing and prospective clients for the 2010 holiday season, the company created a personalized holiday card along with a micro website for its 1,000-plus contacts. Clients could make a donation to the charity of their choice, including Children's Arc, Denver Health and Goodwill Industries of Denver.
Years in business: 10
CEO: Laura Love
Company snapshot: GroundFloor Media leverages the leading edge in social media, media and influencer relations, crisis communication, cause marketing, internal communications and experiential marketing to develop communications programs that tap into the growing desire among consumers for more public dialogue with the brands that serve them. GFM has collaborated on these public conversations with Qdoba Mexican Grill, The Children's Hospital, Examiner.com, Coors Light, Starbucks Coffee Co., Corporate Express and BNSF Railway.
Notable practices: GroundFloor Media has worked to form a new generation of communications firm that can help clients navigate the new media landscape, including the use of social media to both communicate with their customers and respond to crises. Over the past two years, the company has developed the GFM Digital Snapshot, a proprietary social media discovery and competitive audit.
Community involvement: Through its Pro Bono Partners program, GroundFloor Media provides public relations to nonprofit groups. From 2003 to 2010, the company worked with Tennyson Center for Children, which treats and educates abused, neglected or at-risk youth. GFM to date has donated more than 1,500 hours to the organization. In 2011, the company began working with Jeremy Bloom's Wish of a Lifetime and SafeHouse Denver. Other charitable programs include Get Grounded: Team members volunteer through a paid-time off program or receive cash grants for nonprofits, schools and other groups.
Linhart Public Relations
Years in business: 15
CEO: Sharon Linhart, managing partner
Company snapshot: Linhart Public Relations tackles everything from media relations to employee engagement to corporate reputation and brand-building. Its clients consist of top national and international companies, including such brands such as Chipotle Mexican Grill, Crocs, Red Robin Gourmet Burgers, Tiffany & Co. and Southwest Airlines.
Outstanding achievement: In the past two years, Linhart has hired nine employees and had zero turnover. It was just named one of only 50 winners nationwide of the 2011 Top Small Company Workplace award sponsored by Inc. magazine and Winning Workplaces. The award recognizes the best of the best among small- to mid-sized businesses when it comes to exemplary people, practices and outstanding workplace cultures. Linhart PR was named the 2011 Small Business of the Year by the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce, which recognized the firm for its outstanding business practices, community involvement, entrepreneurship, sustainability and productivity.
Community involvement: In 2010, Linhart PR provided $121,500 in pro-bono public relations services. Its work promoting the Boulder International Film Festival and director Oliver Stone's appearance this year helped attract 17,000 attendees and increased ticket sales by 9 percent. The firm also landed local and national coverage for the Colorado-based Wings Over The Rockies air museum.
Children's Museum of Denver
Years in business: 38
CEO: Mike Yankovich
Company snapshot: The Children's Museum of Denver creates a community where children, ages newborn through 8, and their grownups learn through play. The Children's Museum of Denver was established in 1973 by parents, educators and other professionals who wanted to create a hands-on cultural and educational institution for children and families.
Notable practices: The museum's mission is to create a community where children and their grownups learn through play. The Museum addresses critical issues in the community including the need for play-based learning and safe spaces for childhood development. Studies have repeatedly shown that creative and imaginative play is central to the healthy growth and development of a child. It has formed collaborative partnerships with other organizations like multiple school districts throughout the region, Colorado Ballet, Opera Colorado, National Western Stock Show and Denver Botanic Gardens.
Community involvement: The Children's Museum works with public school systems and other nonprofit organizations, and also receives significant financial support from foundations, corporations and individual donors in the Denver community and across the nation. "We see our collaborations as critical to our mission. By working with other community organizations, we often open our doors to groups that might not otherwise visit us, either because of time or money."
Denver Rescue Mission
Years in business: 119
CEO: Brad Meuli
Company snapshot: The Denver Rescue Mission is the oldest, full-service Christian charity in the Rocky Mountain region. "Our chief goal is to restore the poor and homeless to society as self-sufficient community members. Through the provision of food, shelter and health services, as well as clothing, household goods and furniture, Denver Rescue Mission first addresses the intense physical needs of the disadvantaged."
Notable practices: The Denver Rescue Mission has five facilities through which it offers the following programs: New Life Rehabilitation Program, Transitional Housing Program, Family Refugee Services, Family and Senior Homeless Initiative, Emergency Shelter, Food Services - meals and food boxes, and Client Services - including a health clinic. Through the Global Ministry Outreach, DRM offers consultation, resources and support to city/rescue missions around the world and has partnerships with missions in Glasgow, Berlin and Cape Town.
Community involvement: The Denver Rescue Mission's Community Outreach Programs include the Easter Banquet. More than 550 men, women and children are served an Easter meal, receive a foot washing and medical examination, new socks and shoes, and Easter baskets. Fall community outreach events include the distribution of food boxes to families and banquets at the shelter at Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Years in business: 92
CEO: Robin Wise
Company snapshot: Junior Achievement is the world's largest organization dedicated to inspiring and preparing young people to succeed in a global economy. Through a dedicated volunteer network, Junior Achievement provides in-school and after-school programs for students that focus on three key content areas: entrepreneurship, financial literacy and work readiness. The goal is to teach concepts through experiential learning, allowing young people to put their new knowledge and skills into practice.
Notable practices: JA has three educational pillars:
Entrepreneurship - JA students recognize opportunities and organize resources to maximize innovative thought and creative activity.
Financial Literacy - Students have the personal financial knowledge necessary to effectively meet personal fiscal challenges and obligations, take advantage of economic opportunities, and plan courses of action to achieve goals.
Work force Readiness - Students possess the knowledge, attitudes and skills required to demonstrate their readiness to successfully engage in meaningful and productive work.
Community involvement: Junior Achievement Rocky Mountain trains 3,400 volunteers to teach students through relevant, responsive, innovative programs in more than 500 participating schools. It reached 100,000 students throughout Metro Denver, Northern Colorado and Southern Wyoming during the 2009/2010 school year. Educational competitions like the JA Stock Market Challenge and JA Business Week enhance learning.
Flatiron Construction Corp.
Years in business: 64
CEO: Tom Rademacher
Company snapshot: With a construction volume of more than $1 billion, Flatiron is one of the leading providers of transportation construction and civil engineering in North America. Its core competencies include major bridge, highway and rail projects. Flatiron's projects have been recognized by some of the construction industry's top owners, associations, organizations and publications the past two decades.
Notable practices: As a testament to the company's safety commitment, Flatiron worked more than 5 million man-hours in 2010 without a single lost-time incident - an achievement nearly unheard of in the heavy civil construction industry. Flatiron is 75 percent below industry average for recordable and lost-time incidents.
Community involvement: Flatiron has partnered with Bridges to Prosperity to provide citizens in isolated Central American communities access to essential health care, education and economic opportunities by building footbridges over impassable rivers. Flatiron also works with Colorado elementary schools in math, engineering and science achievement programs, called "MESA," designed to increase the number of economically disadvantaged and underrepresented students studying engineering, mathematics and science in college.
Northern Electric Inc.
Years in business: 10
CEO: O.J. Fleming
Company snapshot: Northern Electric handles electrical contracting and design, construction management, fast-track installation, low-voltage control wiring and "anything in between." Project sites have included the Pentagon building, nuclear weapons facilities, co-generation plants, prisons and mines.
Notable practices: With advancements in technology and building controls, the role of the electrical contractor has changed dramatically, mandating that electrical contractors provide effective solutions and forward-thinking innovations. Northern Electric is addressing this mandate by providing the construction industry more advanced operational efficiencies and professional expertise for the field installation and construction management of highly complex, integrated special systems.
Community involvement: Northern Electric's compassion is often quite personally based. For example, when a Northern employee learned that a subcontractor had lost his daughter to a car accident, the Northern team donated time and money to the foundation that had been established in the teenage girl's name - the Amanda Pound Foundation. And when a Northern employee's granddaughter was stricken by Spinal Muscular Atrophy, employees became a major sponsor of Families of Muscular Atrophy and have made fundraising efforts for the organization a priority.
Years in business: 36 (U.S.), 105 (global)
President and COO: Peter Beaupré
Company snapshot: PCL builds in three main sectors: buildings, civil infrastructure and heavy industrial. PCL's family of companies has an annual construction volume of more than $5 billion, making it the largest contracting organization in Canada and one of the largest in the United States.
Notable practice: PCL believes you must have all three elements - people, profits and philanthropy - to truly be a construction leader and employer of choice. It is a 100 percent employee owned company. In 2009, PCL launched a Quality Management Enhancement Initiative for its U.S. operations. This began with a review of existing operations and procedures across all U.S. operations to gather the "best of the best" quality practices.
Community involvement: As a construction company, PCL builds buildings, roads and bridges. As individuals, PCL employees build communities. One of many examples: President and COO Peter Beaupré, a board member of Mile High United Way since 2005, implemented the PCL "Million Dollar Club" for MHUW's Lights On After School program. He creatively challenged PCL employee/owners to raise $1 million for the cause in four years. The goal was achieved in three years.
Years in business: 13
CEO: Greg Byles
Company snapshot: GTRI is a consulting-solutions integrator with IT expertise serving enterprise, federal and state government, health care, educational and other markets nationwide.
Notable practices: This year alone GTRI has developed numerous cutting-edge solutions. Cisco Systems awarded GTRI the Federal Healthcare Partner of the Year and Outstanding Customer Solutions Partner of the Year for the West in March. GTRI also provides guidance, support and testing for medical-device companies going through the regulatory submission process. Clients who maintain their service support contracts with GTRI are provided with a free service that allows them to manage their computer network inventory and accurately track maintenance contracts using an online tool.
Community involvement: GTRI supports a variety of nonprofits and other charitable organizations. Focus areas include social welfare, health care and education. Employees are granted paid time off each year to participate in a charitable endeavor within GTRI's network of partners. GTRI's Matching Gifts Program takes employees' community contributions and doubles the amount. Gifts of $25 or more are matched dollar-for-dollar up to $250 per employee annually. GTRI is engaged in charitable activities with numerous organizations including: Denver Options, The Children's Hospital, Colorado Youth for a Change, Denver Health, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Colorado, The Denver Rescue Mission, National Veteran Wheelchair Games, Wounded Warriors, Habitat for Humanity, and the Women's Vision Foundation.
JG Management Systems Inc.
Years in business: 10
Location: Grand Junction
CEO: Jerome Gonzales
Company snapshot: JG Management Systems is a professional-services firm offering program and project management, facility assessments and operations support, engineering design and analysis, environmental management and support, and technical services to government and private-sector clients nationwide.
Notable practices: Operational efficiency has allowed the company to achieve triple-digit growth, maximize profits, build the company benefits infrastructure and provide community service. Exceeding the EEO quota for minority and female employment, JGMS boasts 24 percent minority employees and 39 percent female. JGMS is an active member of Employer Support of the National Guard and Reserve (ESGR), an affiliate organization of the Department of Defense that helps civilian companies protect the rights of the employee should they be called into service to defend the country. ESGR has recognized JGMS twice by presenting JGMS with the Above and Beyond award in 2010 and the Patriotic Employer award in 2011.
Community involvement: The corporate goal of JGMS is to provide 4 percent of net income to charitable organizations; Last year's contributions equated to 12.2 percent of net income. Additional contributions are made by providing resources, or in-kind services. In addition, all JGMS employees are provided 40 hours of company paid time off each year to support the charitable organization of their choice, whether in their local communities or across the world.
Years in business: 10
CEO: Carl Fitch
Company snapshot: Statera is a business and technology services and solutions provider that helps companies large and small optimize organizational performance by mapping strategic goals and objectives to IT initiatives. Its strategic technology solutions provide powerful insight into an organization, help solve mission-critical problems and drive performance across the enterprise.
Notable practices: One project illustrates Statera's ability to innovate and increase operational efficiency for a client. Statera was called upon to assist USA Swimming to design and build a technical solution to support the NCAA Swimming National Championships' annual selection process. The NCAA noted that this process previously consumed days of manual calculation, validation, discussion and eventual selection to arrive at the final roster of swimmers and teams for the national championships. The process in 2011 took 30 minutes.
Community involvement: Every year, Statera donates a percentage of net profits to different philanthropic organizations within the greater Denver area. The company continuously supports more than a dozen organizations, whether it's through financial donations or providing children's softball teams with sports equipment or sponsoring employees in local biking events, or employees volunteering their time.
Years in business: 12
President and CEO: Lou Andreozzi
Company snapshot: IQNavigator provides software and services that help companies manage their extended work force and procured services in a smarter way - putting the emphasis on "IQ" by giving companies powerful insight into and control over the way they source services and utilize their extensive nonemployee workforce.
Notable practices: IQNavigator's first patent - the only patent in the industry - was issued in December 2008 for its match engine, which matches candidates with open opportunities based on a comprehensive set of criteria. With the release of IQNavigator's cross-client benchmarking capabilities last October, client programs are able to compare their results against aggregate data from IQNavigator's customer base, the largest source of aggregate data in the industry.
Community involvement: IQNavigator is an annual sponsor of The John Lynch Foundation, which provides encouragement and positive alternatives for young people. The company is also a primary sponsor of Taste of Greenwood Village supporting The Beacon Center, a nonprofit service agency in Englewood that helps youth struggling with substance abuse or mental-health issues. IQNavigator also rallies behind individual employees pursuing their cause. Examples include the National Multiple Sclerosis Society's Walk MS and the Steps-n-Strides 5K Family Run/Walk. As a sponsor at the Steps-n-Strides Walk, IQNavigator helps in benefiting the Kyle O'Connell Foundation that sheds light on pediatric brain tumors.
Years in business: 4
CEO: Peter Stevenson
Company snapshot: Latisys provides colocation, managed hosting, managed services and disaster recovery to enterprises, service providers, small to midsize businesses and government agencies. The company has more than 1,000 enterprise customers and more than 150 employees operating in all four U.S. time zones.
Notable practice: In 2010, Latisys made its fourth acquisition in a three-year period - one that established a critical foothold in the key Washington, D.C., market and provided Latisys with a state-of-the-art 123,000-square-foot Tier III data center campus in Ashburn, Va., to round out the firm's national footprint. Latisys also has data center colocation facilities in Chicago, Denver and Orange County, Calif. In 2010, Latisys increased revenues by more than 25 percent and added more than 200 new customers.
Community involvement: Believing that strong community involvement is an important component of doing business the right way, Latisys has maintained companywide efforts with The Park People to help green urban areas throughout the metro Denver area.
NewsGator Technologies Inc.
Years in business: 7
CEO: J.B. Holston
Company snapshot: NewsGator's Widget Services and iPhone applications enable media and brand companies to better engage their audiences and extend the value of their brands through viral syndication of content. Capabilities such as microblogging, activity streams, social profiles, mobile clients, video, badging and recognition, and expertise location - much like familiar consumer-oriented social software - ensure that social-site users extract real business value from collaboration and knowledge-management activities.
Notable practice: As a result of its 2010 acquisition of Tomoye in 2010, NewsGator added the largest market share in Government 2.0, supporting many substantial installations, including the single largest government social computing community, the U.S. Army, with 150,000 users. NewsGator now has more than 2.5 million paid enterprise social computing users - more than any other enterprise social computing vendor.
Community involvement: In the past year, the company has participated in events for The March of Dimes, The Make a Wish Foundation, and Shots for Tots. NewsGator was also one of the first companies in Colorado to join the Entrepreneur's Foundation of Colorado, making a long-term commitment to local philanthropies as the company evolves.
Years in business: 6
Managing partners: Jeffrey Pearl and John Scarborough
Company snapshot: IP5280 Communications is the leading provider of Integrated Internet-based telephony services in the United States, delivering a portfolio of IP capabilities including hosted VoIP and trunking functionality. The company delivers communication services to businesses all over the world, fully monitored and supported by its IP Voice Operations Center in Denver.
Notable practice: IP5280 completed in February the industry's first ultra-low-latency, high-capacity VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) private network node provided by a nationally leading Internet telephony service provider - called the "IP5280 VoIP SuperNode." The SuperNode is delivered over Level 3 Communications low-latency network routes across the U.S. and Europe, enabling IP5280 to offer direct on-net coverage to businesses in those regions.
The IP5280 CLOVER is another of IP5280's industry firsts: engineered and designed to enable new suites of cloud-based business offerings that include: Voice-to-Text (a voicemail transcription service); Voice-to-Email (a carbon copy voicemail is sent to a user's e-mail inbox); Custom Call Routing (such as zip code routing for store locator applications); and Managed Call Services that enable a user real-time management of inbound calls.
Community involvement: IP5280 is involved in several community-give-back initiatives, most notably its "IP5280 Climbing For Kids" charity event. In its sixth year, Climbing For Kids is an annual event where climbers tackle one of Colorado's 14,000-foot mountains and raise money through pledges for The Children's Hospital of Colorado and The Kempe Foundation. IP5280 has donated more than $100,000 through the generous donations of hundreds of climbers who have joined the company in the hike.
Years in business: 18
President and CEO: Larissa Herda
Company snapshot: tw telecom is a leading provider of managed networking solutions to businesses and organizations in 75 markets spanning 30 states and Washington, D.C. tw telecom integrates data, dedicated Internet access, and local and long distance voice services for long distance carriers, wireless communications companies, incumbent local exchange carriers and enterprise organizations.
Notable practices: tw telecom was one of the first companies to deploy a national ethernet network with local reach. Today, tw telecom is the third-largest service provider in business ethernet ports, second only to giants Verizon and AT&T.
Community involvement: tw telecom sponsors a number of charities, including SungateKids, a nonprofit dedicated to the protection of children. For the past seven years tw telecom has hosted a charity golf tournament to raise a significant portion of SungateKids' operating budget. tw telecom also has supported Denver Race for the Cure, 9Cares Colorado Shares Food Drive, Denver Dumb Friends League Furry Scurry and collected 372 pounds of non-perishables for the troops in Iraq.
Years in business: 4
President and CEO: Dan Caruso
Company snapshot: Zayo Group is a provider of bandwidth and Internet infrastructure and network-neutral colocation. Its bandwidth infrastructure services are used by wireless service providers, carriers and other communication service providers, media and content companies, and other bandwidth-intensive businesses. Customers in health care, education, government, financial services, logistics, technology, nonprofits and other industries count on Zayo to provide secure, dedicated dark fiber and IP-based communications.
Notable practices: Zayo is unique in its disciplined, long-term investment orientation. An example is Zayo's implementation of "fiber-to-the-tower" networks, or the building of fiber to accommodate the growing requirements of mobile devices across the country. Wireless carriers generally have complex and time-sensitive needs as they develop their next-generation networks. Given its strong operational history with these customers and its ability to deploy large amounts of capital, Zayo is able to partner early with these wireless customers to develop a solution, and then invest alongside them to build extra capacity.
Community involvement: Some 74 percent of Zayo's employees - including its CEO - are actively engaged in volunteer and charitable giving efforts. Zayo encourages each employee to be engaged in the charity or cause that is most important to him or her. Instead of a top-down approach in which employees rally behind one companywide cause, Zayo allows each employee to pursue his or her own cause.
Epicurean Culinary Group
Years in business: 30
CEO: Larry DiPasquale
Company snapshot: Epicurean Culinary Group is made up of five companies that comprise the complete food and entertainment experience: Epicurean Catering, Epicurean Entertainment, Epicurean at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts, Epicurean at Palazzo Verde, and Mangia Bevi Café.
Notable practices: In Epicurean's corporate kitchen, waste output is less than 10 percent. The rest is recycled. Epicurean also uses a composting company, A-1 Organics, that picks up three large containers full of food twice a week. These containers have the combined capacity to compost 525 pounds of food. Rocky Mountain Sustainable picks up recycled kitchen grease from Epicurean's main kitchen every two months from three different 50 gallon drums.
Community involvement: Epicurean is involved in many causes, including: Rocky Mountain Adoption Exchange - for 28 years; Denver Center for the Performing Arts - 30 years; Volunteers of America -18 years; Hospice of Metro Denver - 13 years; Men for the Cure - 12 years; National Sports Center for the Disabled - eight years; Project PAVE - seven years; Denver's Road Home - four years.
Years in business: 14
CEO: Robert Katz
Company snapshot: Vail Resorts is the premier mountain resort company in the world. In 2009-2010 Vail Resorts accounted for more than 6 million skier visits, approximately 43 percent of all Colorado skier visits and more than the entire state of Utah. Vail Resorts is the largest mountain lodging operator in Colorado with a portfolio of 11 luxury hotels operated under the RockResorts brand in the United States and Caribbean; 1,900 managed condominiums; and seven award-winning golf courses. Vail Resorts is the largest mountain real estate developer in Colorado.
Notable practices: In 2010, Vail Resorts launched EpicMix, a first-of-its-kind online and mobile application that allows Vail Resorts guests to digitally capture their ski and ride experience and share it with friends and family. Nearly 100,000 Vail Resorts guests activated EpicMix accounts this season, generating more than 35 million social impressions.
Community involvement: In 2010, Vail Resorts Echo Day brought together 400 people - employees and their families - in eight locations across the country to do habitat and trail restoration projects. Employees built a mountain-bike trail, worked on vegetation to preserve sand dunes and restored miles of popular trails. Vail Resorts employees have committed 1,500 hours of volunteer time to help with the Hayman Restoration Partnership during the three- year project.
Xanterra Parks &
Years in business: 135
Location: Greenwood Village
CEO: Andrew Todd
Company snapshot: Xanterra operates lodges, restaurants, tours and activities at national parks, state parks and resorts. It is the country's largest park concessioner, with operations at: Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, Zion, Crater Lake, Rocky Mountain and Petrified Forest National Parks, Mount Rushmore National Memorial, Furnace Creek Resort in Death Valley, Kingsmill Resort in Williamsburg, Va., and eight Ohio State Park Lodges as well as the Geneva Marina at Ohio's Geneva State Park. Xanterra also operates Grand Canyon Railway in Williams, Ariz.
Notable practices: The company has earned 71 national and international environmental awards in the past 11 years. Most recently, in May 2011 the National Park Service gave Xanterra the Top Award for Xanterra's environmental achievements at Grand Canyon National Park and another Top Award for the greening of the Grand Canyon Railway operations.
Community involvement: In addition to the numerous charitable activities that Xanterra employees undertake to benefit Colorado programs and individuals, Xanterra also donates substantial funding and support to the following national organizations: American Red Cross, World Wildlife Fund, National Park Conservation Association, and the National Park Foundation.