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Top Company 2019: Tourism and Hospitality

From travel agencies to catering companies, meet these top company finalists


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footers catering.

In its 32nd year, ColoradoBiz's Top Company honors the Colorado companies that have drive, determination, a vision and a plan and are ultimately making the state a better place to live and work. These three companies – one winner and two finalists – represent the 2019 Top Companies in Tourism and Hospitality.

WINNER

Footers Catering

Denver

Footers CEO Anthony Lambatos points to his company’s culture as the key to its success.

“When we purchased the company, above all else, we wanted to create a great place to work, and that has manifested itself into something bigger than even we imagined,” he says. “This goes well beyond perks and benefits and is much more about making sure our team members are in positions to utilize their strengths, maximizing the fulfillment they get out of doing their job, finding ways to continuously improve, helping them grow and recognizing their accomplishments.”

Footers recently launched a sister company, MIBE Tribe, which focuses on education on heart leadership and intentional culture-building for the hospitality industry. “’MIBE’ is the acronym for the middle part of our mission statement at Footers: Make It Better Everyday,” Lambatos says. “We work with companies from across the country to help them intentionally build great cultures and develop the leaders within their organizations.”

Footers partners with more than 50 nonprofits throughout the year to support their events in a variety of ways, including offering intimate 10-guest Interactive Dinners that most use as an auction item. These private chef dinners hosted in Footers’ kitchen are valued at more than $1,500 and have helped raise as much as $7,000 for each nonprofit. Last year alone Footers gave away 25 Interactive Dinners, bringing in more than $37,000 to its nonprofit partners.

FINALISTS

Pat Mrauk from ATJ.

ATJ (Asia Transpacific Journeys)

Boulder

Founded in a Boulder basement in 1987, ATJ specializes in custom luxury travel to Asia and the Pacific, from Australia to Vietnam. The company’s strong partnerships overseas and long-time staff offer deep expertise, service and experiential travel. ATJ is an owner-managed small company and a team of experts, most of whom have been with the company for nearly a decade and have visited an average of 24 countries.

ATJ Foundation provides monetary support for hand-picked projects during times of adversity throughout Asia such as tsunami, earthquake, flooding or helping to provide funds for natural habitat and for leopards and elephants. The company strongly supports the livelihood and well-being of all animals across its destinations; its itineraries do not promote elephant rides, camel rides, sightseeing of animals in cages or removed from their natural habitat. Instead, ATJ offers sanctuary and national park visits that allow travelers to experience amazing wildlife in Asia and the South Pacific within their natural environment.

Story Land & Sea

Centennial

Story Land & Sea creates small group, branded tours and adventures for up to 16 guests to Italy, France, Europe, South America, Pacific, Africa and beyond. Recognized by travel expert Arthur Frommer as “the perfect way to see Italy,” Story continues to expand its tour offerings on both land and sea as well as the rivers of Europe. Story serves about 1,500 clients annually and gives back to the communities it impacts by partnering with organizations such as Hope Worldwide in providing relief to communities in Tanzania and Kenya. The company also sponsors one of Tanzania’s first-ever female naturalist guides.

This article is part of the 2019 ColoradoBiz Top Company Awards. Read more about all the winners & finalists: 
ADVERTISING & MARKETING DIGITAL MARKETING ARCHITECTURE & INTERIOR DESIGN CONSTRUCTION & ENGINEERING CONSUMER BUSINESS ENERGY FINANCIAL SERVICES HEALTH CARE MANUFACTURING NONPROFIT PROFESSIONAL SERVICES REAL ESTATE SOFTWARE STARTUP TECHNOLOGY SERVICES 

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Lisa Ryckman

Lisa Ryckman is ColoradoBiz's managing editor. Contact her at lryckman@cobizmag.com.

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