More By This Author

Current Issue

Current Issue

Posted: September 01, 2010

Top Company Finalists: Colorado’s most competitive business award

These 36 companies are making the grade in the toughest of times

the staff of ColoradoBiz

Now more than ever, being selected a Top Company finalist exemplifies tenacity and innovation. With businesses continuing to face a tough economy and an overabundance of uncertainty, there's little room for error, and making the right decisions is essential.

Top Company is Colorado's most competitive business awards program, judged on the basis of sustained financial performance, operational excellence and community involvement.
Companies submit or are nominated to the program. Long-time sponsor Deloitte selects finalists after rigorous evaluations. Then a panel of business professionals and leading policy officials convenes to determine winners in each category.

Now in its 23rd consecutive year, Top Company and its roster of winners represent the best of Colorado business. The 36 finalists profiled on the following pages represent the class of 2010's highest achievers.

Winners in each category will be announced Sept. 16 at an awards celebration 
5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the Seawell Ballroom at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts. Contact Kelly Ness at kness@cobizmag.com or (303) 662-5222 for registration information. You can also visit the "events" tab at www.cobizmag.com.

CONSUMER BUSINESS

Kazoo & Co.
www.kazootoys.com
Years in business: 31
Location: Denver
President: Diana Nelson
Employees: 60
Company snapshot: Kazoo & Co. is a full-service toy store that provides parents, teachers and kids with one of the country's largest selections of quality toys, games, puzzles and creative playthings.
Notable practice: Kazoo has won multiple awards, including those from the Toy Industry Association, 5280 magazine, Westword, Colorado Parent Magazine and Nickelodeon.
Community involvement: Kazoo is an active participant in The Children's Hospital Angel Book Project, which brings books to the homeless children of Denver. The company founded and continues to support the Clothesline art show as a way for children of all ages to show their art talents.

Odell Brewing Co.
www.odells.com
Years in business: 20
Location: Fort Collins
CEO: Wynne Odell
Employees: 56
Company snapshot: Odell Brewery makes a variety of craft beers, including 90 Shilling Ale.
Notable practice: Hop-process technology, wood-barrel aging and non-ale yeast use are three areas in which Odell has excelled in expanding the boundaries of American craft beer. All of its beer experimentation begins on a five-barrel pilot R&D system, first installed in 1997.
Community involvement: Odell's charity of the month program selects two charities each month, one in the company's hometown of Fort Collins and a second in another community in which the beer is sold. The company provides space in its Tap Room, as well as on its website, for each charity to share its purpose and programs. On the first Tuesday of each month, the charities receive 100 percent of all proceeds from its tasting trays.

Oskar Blues Brewery
www.oskarblues.com
Location: Longmont
Years in business: 8
Location: Fort Collins
Founder: Dale Katechis
Employees: 40
Company snapshot: Oskar Blues Brewery is the first U.S. microbrewer to brew and can its own beer. The brewery's "Canned Beer Apocalypse" (launched in 2002) has changed the status quo regarding the perception of canned beer. Oskar Blues runs two restaurants, one in Lyons and one in Longmont.
Notable practice: Oskar Blues uses lighter-weight cans to reduce its carbon footprint.
Community involvement: Imagine! offers innovative support to people of all ages with cognitive, developmental, physical and health-related needs so they may live fulfilling lives of independence and quality in their homes and communities.

ENERGY/NATURAL RESOURCES

Ascent Solar
www.ascentsolar.com
Years in business: 5
Location: Thornton
CEO: Farhad Moghadam
Employees: 113
Company snapshot: Ascent Solar's technology delivers the highest efficiency rates available. The company manufactures the only thin-film copper indium gallium selenide (CIGS) on plastic substrate, which provides flexibility and lightweight advantages. The technology applies to a wide range of products, including roofing surfaces for buildings, portable electronic products, defense applications, space solutions and vehicles.
Notable practice: Countries around the world are under increased pressure and global mandates to lower carbon dioxide emissions. Ascent Solar offers solutions to meet the world's most stringent guidelines by delivering products that provide a clean, renewable source of energy.
Community involvement: The company teamed up with U.S. Rep. Jared Polis and the Adams County Workforce and Business Center in an outreach effort aimed at helping fellow community members who are struggling in a harsh job market. Ascent Solar staff, along with other north Denver-based businesses and employers, took part in an effort to help unemployed job seekers in the Denver community overcome obstacles.

Infinite Power 
Solutions
www.infinitepowersolutions.com
Years in business: 5
Location: Littleton
CEO: Raymond R. Johnson
Employees: 46
Company snapshot: Infinite Power Solutions Inc. is the recognized global leader in developing and manufacturing solid-state, thin film, micro-energy storage devices and micro-power modules that are infinitely rechargeable.
Notable practice: In 2009, the company entered into strategic business relationships with Lockheed Martin and Arrow Electronics as it took its line of products to full global commercialization. The company has won multiple awards from such groups as FlexTech Alliance, Sensors Magazine and IDTechEx.
Community involvement: The company develops and maintains strong relationships with Colorado's educational communities, such as University of Colorado at Boulder, the Colorado School of Mines and Red Rocks Community College.

Newmont Mining
www.newmont.com
Years in business: 89
Location: Greenwood Village
CEO: Richard O'Brien
Employees: 14,500
Company snapshot: Newmont Mining Corp. is primarily a gold producer with significant assets or operations in the United States, Australia, Peru, Indonesia, Ghana, Canada, New Zealand and Mexico. Newmont is also engaged in the production of copper, principally through its Batu Hijau operation in Indonesia and Boddington operation in Australia.
Notable practice: In 2007, Newmont became the first gold company selected to join Dow Jones Sustainability World Index and has maintained participation in this index for the past three years. The company also completed the Community Relationships Review, which has been instrumental in improving and implementing global standards and policies to further more sustainable relationships with host communities.
Community involvement: In 2009, Newmont contributed $977,410 to local nonprofit organizations and $132,034 in matching donations. Its employees also contributed their time to support those causes.

FINANCIAL SERVICES

CoBank
www.cobank.com
Years in business: 94
Location: Greenwood Village
CEO: Robert B. Engel
Employees: 700
Company snapshot: CoBank is a cooperative owned by its customers that provides loans, leases, export financing and other financial services to agribusinesses and rural power, water and communications providers in all 50 states.
Notable practice: Despite difficulties in the global economy, the bank has experienced back-to-back years of record financial growth. In 2009, CoBank was successful in serving as a dependable source of credit for the agribusiness, power, water and communications borrowers across rural America.
Community involvement: In 2009, CoBank gave more than $1.2 million to charitable causes throughout the nation. CoBank executives serve in active leadership positions for Mile High United Way, Denver Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, Food Bank of the Rockies, Colorado Symphony Orchestra, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Colorado, Girls Inc. and ACDI/VOCA. CoBank provides more than $50,000 annually in scholarships to selected universities to help students working toward degrees in finance, agribusiness and cooperatives.

{pagebreak:Page 1}

FirstBank
www.efirstbank.com
Years in business: 47
Location: Lakewood
CEO: John Ikard
Employees: 2,063
Company snapshot: FirstBank provides retail banking services to the public including checking and savings accounts, credit cards, IRAs, CDs and home and auto loans. It also provides specialized business services including merchant card processing, construction loans, lines of credit and commercial mortgages.
Notable practice: In 2008 and 2009, each of FirstBank Holding Co.'s 25 charters remained profitable. FirstBank has continued to expand its geographic and customer base. In 2009, FirstBank released one of the banking industry's most robust mobile banking systems. The system, FirstBank Mobile Banking, allows customers to be notified in real time when specific financial transactions or events occur.
Community involvement: In 2009, FirstBank donated more than $3.4 million to area nonprofit organizations. Through a partnership with Community First Foundation, the bank donated $300,000 in May for Colorado Gives Day. FirstBank and its officers fund the FirstBank Colorado Scholars program, a $2.8 million endowment providing scholarships that exceed $115,000 per year to several universities. And last year, the company contributed more than $1.5 million to Funding Partners for Housing Solutions. Employees raised more than $215,000 for Mile High United Way, and they receive paid days off to support organizations they are passionate about.

First Western Financial 
Inc. and Subsidiaries
www.fwtb.com
Years in business: 6
Location: Denver
CEO: Scott Wylie
Employees: 157
Company snapshot: First Western Financial Inc. and Subsidiaries provides a full range of private banking, personal trust, institutional asset management, investment management and wealth advisory services to individual and corporate customers.
Notable practices: First Western was listed among the top five "Best Places to Work" among large companies in Colorado in 2008. In 2008 and 2009 First Western earned a position on the Inc. 500 and Inc. 5000 lists and was consistently the top-ranked bank/banking holding company.
Community involvement: First Western provides comprehensive solutions to nonprofit organizations, including an institutional approach to money management, customized cash management solutions and consulting on retirement plans. First Western associates contribute approximately 6,000 hours of their time a year to more than 100 community organizations.

HEALTH CARE

AlloSource
www.allosource.org
Years in business: 16
Location: Centennial
CEO: Tom Cycyota
Employees: 300
Company snapshot: AlloSource is one of the nation's largest nonprofit providers of bone and soft tissue transplants from one person to another.
Notable practice: AlloSource was one of the first national tissue networks to have all facets of bone and tissue recovery, processing and distribution entirely accredited by the American Association of Tissue Banks. AlloSource provides bone and soft tissue allografts, including tendons, ligaments and often entire joints. Each year, AlloSource sponsors the AlloSource Tissue Collaborative, a forum that enables best practices for tissue recovery to be shared.
Community involvement: In 2009, AlloSource allocated millions of dollars from its annual revenue to its Organ Procurement Organization corporate partners. AlloSource's senior leadership volunteers in various capacities to serve the organ donation community. In 2009, AlloSource distributed $5.2 million to charities.

DaVita
www.davita.com
Years in business: 16
Location: Denver
CEO: Kent Thiry
Employees: 34,000
Company snapshot: DaVita Inc., a Fortune 500 company, is a leading provider of kidney care in the United States, providing dialysis services and education for patients with chronic kidney failure and end-stage renal disease.
Notable practice: In DaVita's first 10 years, the company has been transformed into a Fortune 500 industry leader that is recognized as one of the top health-care companies to work for and provider of high-quality care for patients with chronic kidney disease and end-stage renal disease in the United States.
Community involvement: In 2006, DaVita established Bridge of Life - DaVita Medical Missions, a nonprofit organization that brings dialysis and kidney care education to international communities where they are not readily available.

Denver Health
www.denverhealth.org
Years in business: 150
Location: Denver
CEO: Patricia A. Gabow
Employees: 5,400
Company snapshot: Denver Health is Colorado's primary "safety net" institution, providing care for the uninsured. Twenty-five percent of all Denver residents, or approximately 150,000 individuals, receive their health care at Denver Health. One of every three children in Denver is cared for by Denver Health physicians.
Notable practice: Denver Health is a comprehensive, integrated organization with multiple components: Denver Health Medical Center, Rocky Mountain Regional Trauma Center, Public Health, Family Health Centers, Denver Health Medical Plan, Denver CARES (detox facility), Rocky Mountain Center for Medical Response to Terrorism, Correctional Care, 911 and Regional Poison Center/Nurseline. The medical mortality rate at Denver Health is consistently much lower than peers. Denver Health is ranked No. 1 out of 103 University HealthSystem Consortium hospitals.
Community involvement: Denver Public Health annually co-sponsors the "Stop TB" Trot, a 5K run/walk. Denver Health employees participate in the March of Dimes' March for Babies, The Heart and Stroke Walk, AIDS Walk Colorado, and Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Walk.

SERVICES

AES Group Inc.
www.aes-grp.com
Years in business: 8
Location: Parker
President: James "Mike" Summers
Employees: 10
Company snapshot: AES is a service-disabled veteran-owned small business able to provide full-service engineering, design build and energy services throughout Colorado and the U.S. This includes all major engineering disciplines, construction services, project management and construction management.
Notable practice: AES was one of the first engineering firms in the country to market as a service disabled veteran-owned business. The AES staff boasts several military veterans.
Community involvement: AES supports Colorado School of Mines, the Downtown Parker Development Council, Double Angel Foundation, and the National MS Society.

Horan & McConaty
www.horancares.com
Years in business: 24
Location: Denver
CEO: John Horan
Employees: 97
Company snapshot: For more than 100 years, the Horan family has served Denver-area families, providing burial and cremation services to people of all faiths, beliefs, traditions and cultures.
Notable practice: The company provides digital projectors and drop-down screens in the chapels at each of its six locations. Memorial DVDs are now part of the standard service items. Online obituaries and guest books invite people from around the world to connect with grieving individuals and family members and allow people to tell their story. Horan & McConaty has spent $30,000 in modifications to make its locations "greener," converting all of its buildings to compact florescent bulbs.
Community involvement: Horan has created and donated veteran walls in long-term care residences, as well as one at the Denver Hospice Care Center. The company frequently offers low-cost or no-cost care for those experiencing financial hardships. It has cared for the 18 police officers and firefighters killed in the line of duty in the Denver metro area since 1986 at no cost to their families. Horan's grief support and community education programs are open to any individual or family in the community, not only families Horan serves.

{pagebreak:Page 2}

JG Management 
Systems
www.jgmsinc.com
Years in business: 9
Location: Grand Junction
CEO: Jerome Gonzales
Employees: 66
Company snapshot: JG Management Systems Inc. is a professional-services firm offering facility assessments and operations support, program and project management, engineering design and analysis, and technical services to government and private sector clients nationwide.
Notable practice: JGMS boasts 24 percent minority employees and 39 percent female. As a minority-owned business, JGMS is a leader in its industry by providing quality services through a highly diverse staff. In the past four years, JGMS has increased its employee base 220 percent. Operational efficiency has allowed the company to achieve triple digit growth.
Community involvement: The corporate goal of JGMS is to provide 5 percent of net income to charitable organizations through monetary contributions. The company also leads fundraising and support services for Riverside Educational Center in Grand Junction. All employees are provided 40 hours of paid time off each year to support the charitable organization of their choice.

TECHNOLOGY/MEDIA

Accuvant
www.accuvant.com
Years in business: 8
Location: Denver
Executive team: Dan Burns, William Strub III, Scott Walker, Dan Wilson, Edward Wittman
Employees: 200
Company snapshot: More than 3,000 organizations, including 35 of the Fortune 100, have trusted Accuvant with their data security challenges. Accuvant was not negatively impacted by the economic recession. In fact, security requirements continue to evolve, and awareness about the importance of addressing risk, threats and vulnerabilities continues to grow.
Notable practice: Accuvant does not have a CEO. Instead, the organization's executive team oversees the direction and planning for the company.
Community involvement: Accuvant's executives and employees are active in the metro-Denver community. Its employees also donate time and money to charities on a regular basis. Currently, Accuvant is hosting a nationwide employee laptop auction. The IT department is refurbishing old laptops and selling them to employees across its 28 locations. All proceeds will be donated to the Denver Children's Hospital.

Integware
www.integware.com
Years in business: 17
Location: Fort Collins
CEO: Chris Kay
Employees: 140
Company snapshot: Integware is a recognized leader in helping life science companies automate compliance, accelerate innovation, reduce product development costs and drive strategic business development. Quality and innovation are the keys to remaining competitive, compliant and avoiding costly adverse events such as recalls.
Notable practice: The company embraces the core values of integrity, courage and leadership. Integware is striving to become a company that makes a difference in the lives of its employees, in the relationships with its customers and partners and in its communities.
Community involvement: Integware sponsors scholarships for CSU students and sponsors the ongoing Gus Lee Courageous Leadership Series. Employees volunteer with "Character Fort Collins," annual blood drives and pledge drives with United Way, business sponsorship with many organizations, including Respite Care of Fort Collins, the Red Cross, Toys for Tots and the MS Society.

Rivet Software
www.rivetsoftware.com
Years in business: 7
Location: Denver
CEO: Patrick Quinlan
Employees: 65
Company snapshot: Rivet Software is the world's leading provider of compliance and financial reporting of eXtensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL), serving more Fortune 500 companies in meeting their SEC filing needs than any other company.
Notable practice: In April 2009, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission mandated that all public companies use XBRL for their financial disclosure by 2011. Rivet Software's vision is to give business users better control over how their financial information is collected, analyzed and communicated.
Community involvement: For more than a decade, Rivet Software's CEO has hosted and keynoted at the Hugh O'Brian Youth (HOBY) fellowship program, which offers youth the opportunity to participate in unique leadership training, service-learning and motivation-building experiences. The staff at Rivet serve and deliver meals through Father Woody's Franciscan Friends of the Poor.

TELECOM

IP5280 
Communications
www.ip5280.com
Years in business: 5
Location: Englewood
CEO: Jeffrey Pearl, John Scarborough
Employees: 38
Company snapshot: IP5280 Communications is a leading provider of integrated Internet-based telephone services, 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: This year's outstanding achievement is the launch of IP5280's CLOVER, or CLoud Over Enterprise Resources. CLOVER is a cloud-based computing platform designed specifically to optimize the performance of VoIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) and SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) communications - the two most critical protocols used for voice transmission over the global Internet backbones.
Community involvement: IP5280 is actively involved in the community and has launched three primary programs: IP5280's Climbing For Kids benefiting The Children's Hospital Foundation of Denver, Tree Planting Alliance, which was launched to help counteract the pine beetle infestation by planting three trees in the name of every business VoIP customer, and Colorado Adopt-A-Highway.

ReadyTalk
www.readytalk.com
Years in business: 9
Location: Denver
CEO: Dan King
Employees: 110
Company snapshot: ReadyTalk provides nearly 1,000 local companies with audio and Web conferencing. In addition to local companies, ReadyTalk raises Colorado's technology profile with national customers that include the University of California system, Gallup and the Small Business Administration.
Notable practice: All ReadyTalk engineers work an 80/20 schedule with 80 percent of their time spent on structured projects and 20 percent on projects that they are interested in. This "lab time" gives the engineering team an opportunity to be innovative and work on projects that they are passionate about. Several of these projects have developed into products available commercially.
Community involvement: Each employee is offered 20 hours of paid volunteer hours each year to support a charitable organization. Employee donations are matched dollar-for-dollar up to $500 annually.

{pagebreak:Page 3}

tw telecom
www.twtelecom.com
Years in business: 17
Location: Littleton
CEO: Larissa L. Herda
Employees: 1,100
Company snapshot: tw telecom is a leading provider of managed networking solutions to a wide array of businesses and organizations in 75 markets. tw telecom integrates data, dedicated Internet access, and local and long distance voice services for long-distance carriers, wireless communications companies and more.
Notable practice: The company's focus is on delivering services to business customers, including carriers and governmental entities. In May 1999, the company issued an IPO and became Time Warner Telecom Inc. Over more than five years, tw has delivered consistent financial performance, including sequential quarterly revenue growth.
Community involvement: The company sponsors a number of charitable organizations, including SungateKids, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the protection of children. Also in 2009, tw telecom's employees participated in multiple blood drives, raised funds for Race for the Cure and collected food for food drives.

TOURISM/HOSPITALITY

Polk Majestic 
Travel Group
www.polkmajesticvacations.com
Years in business: 7
Location: Denver
CEO: Robert Polk
Employees: 141
Company snapshot: Polk Majestic Travel Group is Colorado's largest full-service independent travel management company, offering business travel, vacation and meeting departments. Polk is the travel management company for more than 500 local and national corporations.
Notable practice: Ticket tracking ensures clients never lose the value of an unused ticket. A lower fare checking application automatically downgrades the affected fare on behalf of the traveler, even after purchase.
Community involvement: The company contributes to the Denver Rescue Mission, the Anti-Defamation League, Rocky Mountain Business Travel Association and Saint Joseph Hospital Foundation. Owners share their expertise across the community as directors, ambassadors and board members of such organizations as B'nai B'rith and the National Executive Council of Anti-Defamation League. Team members collected donations for earthquake victims in Haiti.

Smashburger
www.smashburger.com
Years in business: 3
Location: Denver
CEO: Tom Ryan
Employees: 530
Company snapshot: Smashburger is dedicated to creating the best tasting cooked-to-order burger. Smashburger restaurants are close to home, affordable, comfortable and relaxed.
Notable practice: When Smashburger opens a new store, it donates $1 from every regional burger sold to a designated charity during the first two weeks of the store opening. Charities that have benefited include the Marine Corps Scholarship Funds, Sister Carmen's Community Center, the Alliance for Choice and Education, Family Tree of Jefferson County and Jefferson County Social Services.
Community involvement: Smashburger offers awards to kids, recognizing achievements in the classroom and on the playing fields. During fundraiser nights, 10 percent of sales are donated to several schools.

Xanterra Parks 
& Resorts Inc.
www.xanterra.com
Years in business: 42 years
Location: Greenwood Village
CEO: Andrew N. Todd
Employees: 7,000
Company snapshot: Xanterra Parks & Resorts is a leading owner and operator of hotels and provider of food, retail and recreational activity operations in some of the most beautiful places in the country. The company's employees, including 114 in Colorado, operate 31 hotels and lodges with more than 5,400 guest rooms, 53 retail stores, 66 restaurants, three marinas, five golf courses and 1,800 campsites within national and state parks including Rocky Mountain National Park.
Notable practice: Xanterra's emphasis on ecology-sensitive tourism has drawn accolades from the EPA, the Department of Interior and Colorado Department of Public Health, to name a few. During 2009, Xanterra reduced greenhouse gas emissions by nearly 24 percent, and reduced use of electricity by more than 13 percent.
Community involvement: Xanterra has worked with multiple organizations, including the Emily Griffith Boys Ranch, 9Cares, Colorado Shares Corporate Challenge, Adam's Camp and Denver's Road Home Program. The company also offers employees paid time off to help repair and restore hiking and biking trails in the state. A holiday food drive won an award in 2008 for small company that raised the most food.
Legal

Gutterman 
Griffiths PC
www.ggfamilylaw.com
Years in business: 8
Location: Littleton
CEO: Sheila Gutterman, Suzanne Griffiths
Employees: 23
Company snapshot: A family-law firm committed to providing the best possible legal services to clients, helping them move through the divorce process. Gutterman Griffiths PC attorneys use cutting-edge technology for all family-law needs.
Notable Practice: The Gutterman Griffiths PC office is virtually paperless. The firm is fully accessible by e-mail. The firm has been awarded the highest rating available to lawyers, Martindale-Hubbell-AV-Pre-eminent Status. It has received this top rating every year since its founding.
Community involvement: Sheila Gutterman and Suzanne Griffiths serve on the governor-appointed Domestic Violence Task Force. The firm participated in the 9News relationship series, "A Good Divorce." It also contributes to Jewish Family Services, Little Voice and Invest in Kids, among other community programs.

Hogan Lovells
www.hoganlovells.com
Years in business: 106 
(Denver office: 17)
Location: Denver
Managing Partner (Denver office): Cole Finegan
Colorado Employees: 111
Company snapshot: Hogan Lovells is the result of a recent merger between Hogan & Hartson and Lovells. It is a full-service law firm with more than 2,500 attorneys and 40 offices, making it the ninth largest firm in the world.
Notable practice: Cole Finegan, managing partner of the firm's Denver and Boulder offices, has been working with a core team of firm leaders to develop a client service pilot program in Hogan Lovells' Denver office that will enhance the firm's service to clients. Finegan hopes this program will not only increase the level of service provided to clients, but also demonstrate the firm's commitment to its employees.
Community involvement: Employees serve on a number of prominent boards including The Children's Hospital, Women's Bean Project, Civic Center Conservatory and the Denver Public Schools Foundation. The firm asks each of its attorneys to donate a minimum of pro bono legal support each year. Before the merger with Lovells, Hogan & Hartson attorneys provided more than 107,348 hours of pro bono legal services in 2009.

Kutak Rock LLP
www.kutakrock.com
Years in business: 45 
(Denver office: 33)
Location: Denver
Managing Partner (Denver office): Bob Irvin
Colorado Employees: 115 (firmwide: 400 attorneys)
Company snapshot: The Denver office of Kutak Rock was established in January 1977. The firm specializes in corporate securities, real estate, tax, public finance and litigation. It currently employs 63 attorneys and 52 staff members, making it one of the top 10 firms in Colorado based on number of attorneys.
Notable practice: Under the leadership of its founding partners in the early 1970s, Kutak Rock was a pioneer in the recruitment of female attorneys. The firm adopted alternative work-schedule arrangements long before they became fashionable, and over the years it has received local and national recognition for having one of the highest ratios of female partners among law firms, 26 percent.
Community involvement: The firm annually makes donations of more than $100,000 to nearly 50 nonprofits through an established charitable-contributions program.

Manufacturing

OtterBox
www.otterbox.com
Years in business: 12
Location: Fort Collins
CEO: Curt Richardson
Employees: 162
Company snapshot: Since 1998 OtterBox has been creating cases for the leading global handheld manufacturers, wireless carriers and distributors. Otterbox's goal is to help customers protect their electronics from water and other hazards.
Notable practice: OtterBox employs a strategic planning process for the company as a whole as well as individual departments. These Strategic Operating Plans, or "StratOps," are always evolving to account for changes in the company and the rest of the business world.
Community involvement: The company sends at least three OtterBox 1000 series cases to all those who make reasonable sponsorship requests on behalf of a charitable cause or organization. OtterBox also awards scholarships to students in Northern Colorado and was the presenting sponsor for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Larimer County's "Day for Kids" in 2010.

Product Architects Inc. 
(Polar Bottle)
www.polarbottle.com
Years in business: 15
Location: Boulder
CEO: Judy Amabile
Employees: 43
Company snapshot: Product Architects was founded in Boulder in 1994 by avid cyclists Robert Heiberger and Judy Amabile, who wanted to create a better sports water bottle. Robert, a mechanical engineer, adapted his expertise in the medical-technology design field working with heat losses to create the insulated Polar Bottle. Judy, a business consultant, saw the market viability, and they went into business.
Notable practice: Product Architects changed the sport bottle industry with the introduction of the first insulated plastic sport bottle. It is committed to producing an American-made product using environmentally safe materials and practices with high standards of quality control, inventory and waste management, and paying fair living wages.
Community involvement: Product Architects consistently donates bottles to worthy causes locally and nationally. Recently the company supplied bottles to the National Bike Summit in Washington, D.C., and the Bicycle Leadership Conference in California. The company also supports bike-to-work days and is the official bottle of Race Across America.

StoneAge Inc.
www.stoneagetools.com
Years in business: 31
Location: Durango
CEOs: Jerry Zink and John Wolgamott
Employees: 49
Company snapshot: StoneAge is recognized as a world leader in providing tools and equipment for water blast cleaning. The company specializes in mechanized equipment and rotary nozzles. SoneAge has hundreds of customers and distributors around the world.
Notable practice: In 2008 and 2009, StoneAge invested heavily in research and development, despite the shaky state of the economy, and ultimately introduced 12 new products.
Community involvement: StoneAge is heavily involved in economic development activities and organizations within La Plata County, helping entrepreneurs to start and sustain local businesses. StoneAge and its employees donate time and money to more than 50 local nonprofits and community programs every year.


Nonprofit

Colorado UpLift
www.coloradouplift.org
Years in business: 28
Location: Denver
CEO: Mike Painter
Employees: 46
Company snapshot: Founded in 1982, Colorado Uplift has been focused on a single mission - "building long-term, life-changing relationships in urban youth." In 2009, the organization served more than 3,600 at-risk students in 19 Denver Public Schools. Colorado Uplift's contribution to society lies in equipping young people with the tools and relational support to be productive citizens.
Notable practice: Over the last 12 years, the students who have been in the UpLift program three years or more have a graduation rate of 90 percent, compared to a 52 percent average graduation rate in other schools. Some 6 percent of the UpLift seniors apply for post-secondary education. A significant number of those students will be the first in their families to go to college. Community involvement: Colorado UpLift provides free curriculum and staffing to 19 Denver Public Schools. It also provides leadership training for teens in six public high schools and takes more than 250 middle school students on monthly visits to assisted living facilities.

Denver Rescue Mission
www.denrescue.org
Years in business: 118
Location: Denver
CEO: Brad Meuli
Employees: 161
Company snapshot: Founded in 1892, Denver Rescue Mission is the oldest full-service Christian charity serving the poor and needy in the Rocky Mountain Region. DRM has five facilities and is sustained through diversified funding streams, including individuals, foundations, local government, businesses and gift-in-kind donations.
Notable practice: After a multi-year, $12.5 million capital campaign, DRM acquired and renovated a new facility in 2005. This facility expanded its shelter capacity from 300 to 800 per night, doubled the size of its long-term rehabilitation program and provided space for a transitional housing program for families and individuals. Last year Denver Rescue Mission increased the amount of food served to the homeless by 15 percent using the same level of resources.
Community involvement: The Family and Senior Homeless Initiative is a permanent housing and self-sufficiency program that provides homeless families and seniors with short-term financial assistance, case management, and mentors from the faith community as they transition into permanent housing. Last year, 169 households were placed into permanent housing through FSHI; 85 percent of households introduced to the program are able to maintain their self-sufficiency a year later. FSHI has become a successful model that has been replicated in 18 cities across the United States.

Junior Achievement
www.ja.org
Years in business: 59
Location: Denver
CEO: Robin Wise
Employees: 24
Company snapshot: Junior Achievement-Rocky Mountain Inc. reaches K-12 students in Colorado and Wyoming with educational programs that provide an understanding of financial concepts, a vision of economic opportunity and a reason to stay in school.
Notable practice: Junior Achievement's work is helping students, and in the past 19 years it has grown incredibly in its ability to do so. In the 1990-91 school year JA was able to reach only 8,000 students, but in the 2009-10 school year 97,000 students in 520 schools benefited from the organization's work.
Community involvement: Volunteers from the business world are essential to Junior Achievement's success; more than 3,200 business and community volunteers helped JA's programs in the past year.


Real Estate/Construction

Jim Black Construction
www.jimblackconstruction.com
Years in business: 30
Location: Thornton
CEO: Jim Black
Employees: 25
Company snapshot: Jim Black specializes in restoration, specifically helping those who have been impacted by fire, smoke, natural disasters and water damage. Jim Black Construction has worked with thousands of Colorado home or building owners and their insurance companies as a preferred contractor specializing in repairing catastrophic damage, personal property evaluation, cleaning and storage.
Notable practice: Jim Black Construction has been designated as a preferred restoration contractor by many major insurance companies; in fact, owner Jim Black has been asked to provide training for new adjustors on how to estimate damages and costs of construction. The company has been given Gold Star Certificates from the Better Business Bureau for having no complaints and adhering to the BBB's standards for trust.
Community involvement: Jim Black Construction donates time, money and tools to a variety of organizations, including Little Man Big Heart Golf Tournament, Project Dave, Denver Rescue Mission, Special Olympics Colorado, Rocky Mountain Cancer Centers Fund and Ronald McDonald House.


Mass Service & 
Supply LLC
www.massgc.com
Years in business: 14
Location: Pueblo
CEO: Mary Catherine Grasmick
Employees: 23
Company snapshot: A female-owned construction business that is HUBZone certified and specializes in general contracting. Mass Service & Supply is currently working on projects for the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers, United States Air Force Academy Contracting and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
Notable practices: Mass performs 99 percent of its construction projects of military bases throughout Colorado and Wyoming. As a HUBZone certified business, 35 percent of Mass' employees come from historically underutilized business zone neighborhoods.
Community involvement: Mass actively supports the military by participating in programs such as Home for the Holidays, which provides families of many Fort Carson soldiers gift certificates to purchase Thanksgiving meals, and Helmets to Hardhats, which enables contractors to seek candidates for employment from a pool of veterans looking for work. Mass also donates to a number of programs including Jump Rope for Heart, Pueblo County Hockey and Habitat for Humanity.

PCL Construction
www.pcl.com
Years in business: 35
Location: Denver
CEO: Paul Douglas
Colorado Employees: 340
Company snapshot: PCL Enterprises in Denver acts as headquarters for the company and is the parent company for all of PCL's U.S. operations. PCL's keynote projects in Colorado include the Denver International Airport, the World Trade Center towers and The Ritz Carlton Residences in Vail. In 2010, PCL was ranked on the Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For list for the fifth consecutive year.
Notable practices: Company ethics for PCL date back to 1906 and were created by founder Ernie Poole. PCL is 100 percent employee-owned and sets a learning goal for each person to receive 35 hours of education each year. The PCL College of Construction was established so that employees can learn to do things "The PCL Way," and reach their learning goals.
Community involvement: PCL has matching gifts programs for United Way and post-secondary educational institutions. Company executives serve on boards and committees for many of Colorado's nonprofit organizations, including Mile High United Way and the Tennyson Center.

{pagebreak:Page 4}

 

Enjoy this article? Sign up to get ColoradoBiz Exclusives. The opinions expressed in this article are solely that of the author and do not represent ColoradoBiz magazine. Comments on articles will be removed if they include personal attacks.

Readers Respond

Can I get information about how to sign up for this? I'd like to apply next year. Thank you! By Jenay Sellers on 2010 09 09
I'm not sure what that means, but I'll suggest that most of the truely small business in the eastern plains don't have the time. My business is 83 years old and has survived ALL depressions, recessions or whatever, but I hardly have 5 minutes to "blow my own horn.' It just seems a shame that you have NO recognition of the truely rural businesses By John Wray on 2010 09 08
John, the Top Company finalist list is comprised primarily of businesses who've self-submitted to the program. If you know a company that should be recognized, encourage them to participate. By Publisher on 2010 09 08
Your "award" becomes irrelevant when you don't have any businesses from the eastern plains. Of course, we're used to being ignored in almost every category, even though we supply a lot of the food for everyone else By John Wray on 2010 09 08

Leave a comment





Remember my personal information

Notify me of follow-up comments?

Please enter the word you see in the image below:



ColoradoBiz TV

Loading the player ...

Featured Video