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Congrats to our Top Company 2016 winner: Mesa Labs

The company topped the manufacturing category


This year’s Top Company winners and finalists represent large and small, old and new, high-tech and high-touch businesses and organizations in 11 industry categories. Like Colorado itself, these enterprises have undergone changes, endured tumultuous economic times, and overcome various hurdles to achieve distinction in their respective fields.

To be eligible for Top Company consideration, companies must be based in Colorado or have a significant presence in the state. Deloitte, a longtime program sponsor, selects up to three finalists per industry category from applications submitted online at cobizmag.com. A panel made up of ColoradoBiz magazine’s editorial board and representatives from the business community then selects the winners based on financial performance or other relevant metric, achievement in one or more operational aspect of their business, and community involvement.

Read on to learn about our 29th annual Top Company Awards manufacturing winners and finalists.



Mesa Laboratories Inc.


Lakewood-based Mesa Laboratories develops, manufactures and markets process-validation and monitoring instruments and consumables. Customers in health care, industrial, pharmaceutical, medical and food processing applications use Mesa Labs’ highly engineered test and measurement tools to meet their regulatory requirements, improve efficiency, maintain quality, and develop new products and services.

Mesa Medical Inc., as the company was once known, was incorporated in 1982. It became a publicly traded company in 1984. The company became Mesa Laboratories Inc. in 1992 and over the years acquired several other medical instrument companies. Today Mesa has 400 employees.

CEO John J. Sullivan, Ph.D., says Mesa has the resources to perform like a large corporation, but is small enough to remain nimble in its customer focus. “We strive to be the preferred supplier to our customers by providing excellent service, high-performance products, and quality in all customer interactions,” he says. “Although the company is public, every employee is made to feel that it is their company and their responsibility to continue its excellent performance record.”

He adds that Mesa’s culture starts at the top, and executives and senior management engage with employees. “Quarterly updates are provided to all employees as soon as financial performance is made public. There is a real sense that every employee is engaged in helping to grow the company, and this is reinforced by a generous profit-sharing bonus and stock option program.”

The company has a goal to continue its revenue growth of 15 percent to 20 percent per year, with organic growth of at least 5 percent.




Steamboat Springs-based TALON Grips makes single-piece, adhesive-backed firearm grips that enhance shooter comfort, consistency and weapon retention. The patented TALON Grips provide maximum grip coverage in custom designs for more than 200 firearms.

The laser-cut designs are available in rubber and granulate textures for different applications and user preferences. The company was founded in 2009, and the grips are made in the U.S. The company hopes to branch out into other market segments where grip technologies can be utilized.

Qualtek Manufacturing Inc.


Qualtek offers metal stamping, heat-treating, metal finishing, and wire electrical discharge machining (Wire EDM). Clients come to Qualtek because they need parts for machinery or other larger components. The Colorado-Springs-based company has implemented several sustainability initiatives, such as installing a 26KW solar panel array to produce 90 percent of the electricity needed to power one of its buildings, upgrading the vacuum furnace to use 45 percent less energy, and recycling all latex and nitrile gloves and powder coat waste.

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Nora Caley

Nora Caley is a freelance writer specializing in business and food topics.

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