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March 2015 Issue

Cover Story

CEO of the Year: Tim Miller

By Gigi Sukin

Nobody fetches coffee for the chief executive officer at Rally Software. It's not that kind of place, and Tim Miller is not that kind of guy. Miller fills his own cup, then chats about his favorite roast with co-workers in the break room at Rally, a Boulder-based business that's booming. In April, Rally's IPO raised more than $90 million and the company plans for a nearly 90,000 square-foot expansion in the next two years. Its culture has earned it local and national accolades as a “Best Place to Work," including from ColoradoBiz. Miller has had a banner year and a

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State of the state: Hospitality

Hotel dispute threatens Colorado’s collaborative reputation, official say

The planned Gaylord Rockies Hotel and Conference Center in Aurora has the potential to create thousands of jobs and deliver an economic impact of more than $8.2 billion over the next 30 years. But the legal wrangling over the project is tarnishing the region’s reputation as a place where deals get done and communities collaborate to benefit everyone, says Tom Clark, CEO of the Metro Denver Economic Development Corp. He says the technical difficulties could hamper efforts to draw new businesses to Colorado. “We have a global reputation of being a region that behaves differently than any other region in the country,” Clark said. “To see this controversy have an impact on our brand, it makes us look like we’ve lost our way in regional thinking that has been the driving force in putting us in a leadership role in terms of strong economies.” In. . .

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CEO of the Year finalists 2013: Success, in their own words

Advice for the next generation of CEOs

By Lisa Ryckman

Art Nutter TAEUS CEO since: 1992 “Lead fearlessly. Capitalize on your strengths. Empower others. Know yourself. Understand when it’s time to let go and move on to your next opportunity.”   Paul Larkins SquareTwo Financial CEO since: 2009 “Never read your own tea leaves. Humility, and the shadow you cast, have a deep impact on the people you lead. Allow emerging leaders to get outside of their comfort zones. It is important to allow for this and accept that some failures will result. When failures do happen, turn them into learning and development opportunities. Make decisions!  One will rarely have all of the desired information. . .

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CEO of the Year finalists 2013: Success, in their own words

The best leadership advice I ever got

By Maria Martin

Dr. Carl Clark The Mental Health Center of Denver CEO since: 2000 “Two things: When I was 16, my dad said, ‘If you think of something you want to do, do it now. If you put it off, 20 years can go by before you get to it.’ And my mom told me, ‘Do not let how people feel about what you do stop you from doing what you want.’ This advice has encouraged me to make big choices. I tell others to dream big and remember that leadership is a journey, not a destination. Enjoy the trip along the way.”   Walter Isenberg Sage Hospitality CEO since: 1999 “In college, I was a management trainee at the Alameda Plaza Hotel in Kansas City and. . .

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Don’t look back

Colorado’s M&A world slows down this year

By Nora Caley

For mergers and acquisitions professionals, fourth quarter 2012 might seem like a lifetime ago. That was when buyers and sellers of companies rushed to finalize deals before Jan. 1, 2013, when the Bush tax cuts for capital gains were set to expire. According to private equity and venture capital research firm PitchBook, fourth quarter 2012 set a record for the middle market ($25 million to $1 billion) with 413 deals nationwide. The number dropped to 225 in the first quarter of 2013. In Colorado, industry experts say there will be no such frenzy this year-end. “I don’t think activity is going to be as robust in fourth quarter 2013 as it was in 2012,” says Warren Henson, president and senior managing director for the investment banking firm Green Manning & Bunch. . .

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State of the state: e-commerce

Gift-giving goes local and experiential

By Gigi Sukin

‘Tis the season for gift giving. And with spirited “Go Local” campaigns abounding, more shoppers are growing more mindful about purchasing presents from their neighborhood ma and pa shops. Boulder-based Wishlist LLC encourages locally minded buying with a slightly different approach, enabling purchasers to give the gift of Colorado experiences. – launched in December 2012 by Wade Rosen – offers gift certificates for activities right in your own back yard. Categories include: Adventure, Charming Getaways, Relaxation, Fitness, Urban Living and Adrenaline, at prices ranging from $40 to $500. “It turns out Coloradans are apt to go run a marathon and buy the Relaxation package to treat themselves to a day at the spa. . .

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Rundles wrap up: Let’s give ’em something to talk about

The new state anthem?

By Jeff Rundles

As a committed news junkie, I read a lot of newspapers, listen to a ton of radio news and talk programs, watch a slew of television news and informational shows and peruse the Web and blogosphere. And they run the gamut, from those with a conservative bent to those the conservatives deem liberal (which is to say most of the mainstream media), and, of course given the Web, the absurd and downright weird. I used to listen occasionally to Air America – an attempt by liberals to counteract conservative talk radio – but it died from lack of interest and very poor quality. Conservative talk radio, not to mention conservative television “news,” is also of poor quality, but seems to maintain high interest. In any case, this isn’t about being. . .

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State of the state: Recreation

Thornton park takes downhilling indoors

By Katie Feldhaus

If you don’t have the time to make the trip to the mountains this ski season, don’t fret. Metro Denver’s got a slope of its own now. That’s progress for you. Or “Progresh,” as the owners have dubbed the facility. Denver Design Build recently completed construction on a venue its creators are calling the Front Range’s first indoor “action sports” park, offering skiing, snowboarding, skateboarding, BMX and tumbling progression. The 11,000-square-foot facility is the brainchild of Questor “Q” Sapnu, Kyle Henley and Mike Pies, who see Progresh as a fit for anyone looking to improve his or her skills in action sports.  “We saw a need for a facility like this in the Front Range, especially with where. . .

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State of the state: Nonprofit

Micro-finance director pursues personal growth on cross-country bike trek

By Mike Taylor

Rob Smith says he’s been on a journey his whole life, and that was never more evident than this past summer, when he embarked on a solo cross-country bike trip, starting July 1 in Anacordis, Wash., and ending 67 days and 4,264 miles later in Bar Harbor, Maine. Smith, executive director and co-founder of Rocky Mountain MicroFinance Institute, was awarded a 2012 Bonfil-Stanton Foundation Livingston Fellowship, which each year selects five standouts from Colorado’s nonprofit sector and grants them $25,000 apiece to enhance their leadership skills. Activities chosen by fellows may include research, travel or executive coaching. Smith, 43, saw the solo bike trek as an opportunity for self-reflection on his qualities as a leader and his role with Rocky Mountain. . .

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The Economist: Down the rabbit hole

Six impossible things...

By Tucker Hart Adams

The shenanigans in D.C. over the last year or so have convinced me that we’ve fallen down the rabbit hole and joined Alice on the other side of the looking glass. So it seems like a good time to consider six impossible things before breakfast. Impossible Thing No. 1 – Redo the congressional districting. I’m sure a computer can lay a grid across each state with a cell for each allotted seat in the House of Representatives and adjustable cells to equalize the population. There won’t be any possibility of gerrymandering; as far as I know, computers don’t have political affiliations. After each decennial census, the computer will make necessary adjustments. Article 1 of the U.S. Constitution and the 14th, 19th and 26th Amendments provide for proportional representation in the House, but each state is responsible for designing its districts. Colorado. . .

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Sports biz: Where the fans are

By Stewart Schley

It’s midway into the third quarter on a bright September afternoon at Sports Authority Field, and the Broncos are putting it to Michael Vick and the Eagles. Peyton Manning just capped an 80-yard drive with a touchdown pass to Demaryius Thomas, and the crowd’s roar is infectious. Two 20-something women gyrate in a victory dance. A tall guy in an orange jersey, with BAILEY stitched in white lettering across the shoulders, hoists a beer and joins in, his face lit in a loopy party grin. A woman to my left slaps me a high-five as music pulses over a sound system built into the stadium. Fans are loving the moment. Except: We’re not actually celebrating in the stands. We’re 30 yards or so removed, on the first level at the stadium’s north concourse. Close to 100 Broncos faithful are watching the game on TV monitors circling the walk-up bar at The. . .

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CEO of the Year finalists 2013: Success, in their own words

A defining moment in my career

By Maria Martin

Eric Gutknecht Continental Sausage CEO since: 2003 “One that sticks with me is the time I toured a very large slaughterhouse in 2002. The inhumane animal husbandry practices were quite disturbing to witness. This cemented our decision to completely shift our purchasing protocols, sourcing materials exclusively from sustainable family farms that treat their animals humanely and allow their animals to range freely. I had often heard and read about livestock industry conditions, but seeing it firsthand defined how I, and our company, operate.”   James Basey Centennial Bank CEO since: 2010 “Two years into my work at Colorado National. . .

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Big deal for Archstone

By Nora Caley

The biggest deal of the year was so big it needed two buyers. Arlington, Va.-based AvalonBay Communities Inc. and Chicago-based Equity Residential announced in February they had completed the acquisition of Archstone Enterprise LP for $16 billion. Archstone is an Englewood-based apartment developer and operator acquired by Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc., in 2007. The defunct investment bank, which filed for bankruptcy in 2008, sold the apartment company to pay off creditors. Archstone-Smith was once a publicly traded real estate investment trust (REIT). It was purchased by Lehman Brothers and Tishman Speyer Properties in 2007 for $23 billion and taken private. Since then the apartment company shortened its name to Archstone, and Lehman bought Tishman Speyer’s share of. . .

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State of the state: Transportation

Longmont’s ET3 aims to turn tubed, airless travel into reality

By Mike Dano

When billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk proposed his Hyperloop technology earlier this year – machinery he said could revolutionize long-distance travel  – he sparked a worldwide wave of interest in the possibilities of reduced-friction, tube-based transportation. But lost in most of the hype was the fact that a Colorado operation is months away from starting construction on a prototype that uses almost the exact same technology. Daryl Oster of Longmont has been pushing the idea of an elevated, airtight travel tube for nearly two decades. He founded ET3 (Evacuated Tube Transport Technologies) in 1997 to create a global business platform to build a series of interconnected tubes that would allow people and materials to travel from one place to another at speeds between. . .

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Acquisitions, due diligence and successor liability: What about export controls?

Legal Insight | special advertising section

By Lizbeth Rodriguez-Johnson Our company is in the process of acquiring all assets of a competitor. It has a large share of the marketplace and the acquisition will help consolidate your company’s business objectives. The target company is particularly attractive because it has a substantial international market. Your company has been exploring the possibility to expand internationally. You expect that taking over the operations of the target company will facilitate your company’s expansion into the international marketplace. The intent is to structure the transaction as an asset purchase agreement. It was determined that this is the preferred structure to avoid the assumption of sellers’ potential liabilities. The agreement will also make clear that. . .

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Can entrepreneurship be taught?

Options for Colorado entrepreneurs expand to keep up with startup trend

By Tess Ford

Webster’s Dictionary defines an entrepreneur as “a person who starts a business and is willing to risk loss in order to make money.” While the word has undoubtedly earned buzz-worthy status in recent years in Colorado’s professional landscape, where 98 percent of businesses are considered small, entrepreneurship is clearly more than just a trend.  “Entrepreneurship is experiencing an all-time popularity,” said Karl Dakin, Sullivan Chair in Free Enterprise at Regis University. “I believe that this popularity reflects a long-term trend away from industrial, monolithic business structures to community, social enterprise collaborations.” As one of the fastest-growing states, Colorado has become a fertile. . .

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