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Posted: November 02, 2012

Best in class: Top Company winners

Adapting to a changing world

Mike Taylor

To get an idea of the passion that Top Company winners bring to their work, consider the sentiments of Jeff Popiel, the CEO of Geotech Enviromental Equipment. His Denver-based company manufactures more than 60 categories of products ranging from circuit boards to extruded tubing and was the 2012 Top Company winner in the Manufacturing category.

"If we’re going to get out of this economic recession or funk or whatever you want to call it, we can’t just walk around giving each other backrubs and pedicures," Popiel exhorted in an interview with ColoradoBiz TV. "We’ve got to make stuff!"

Of course, there are many other needs to fill in the market besides "making stuff," but Popiel’s spirited belief in his company and its role in an economic turnaround is an affirmation that any enterprise can draw inspiration from.

No less inspiring is the turnaround story Crocs Inc., the Top Company winner in the Consumer Business category. A few years ago, Crocs’ survival was in doubt, with a once-bedazzled market oversaturated with the company’s rubbery clogs. So the Niwot-based company reinvented itself and now offers more than 300 styles of Crocs for every lifestyle and occasion. The result: Last year the company broke the $1 billion mark in sales for the first time.

Among the other Top Company profiles on the following pages, you’ll learn about the staying power of DCP Midstream, a major player in the natural-gas industry and still growing after 83 years in business; IMA Financial, which has defied the recession by increasing revenues every year for the past decade; and Donor Alliance, which helps bridge the gulf between potential organ donor and recipient, in the process not only saving lives but bringing meaning to those grieving over the loss of a loved one.

Those are just a few of the winners in 14 industry categories. Previously the Top Company program consisted of 11 categories; three additional categories – Consulting and Professional Services, Energy/Natural Resources, and Software – were added this year to better reflect the business landscape.

The Top Company Awards program, sponsored by UMB Bank and Deloitte, judges companies based on financial performance, community involvement and outstanding achievement in areas such as product innovation, marketing or operational excellence.

The program’s 42 finalists – three in each industry category – were honored and the winners announced at a Top Company reception in September.




LT Environmental


Crocs Inc.


DCP Midstream


IMA Financial Group


Donor Alliance


Geotech Environmental Equipment Inc.


Pure Brand Communications


Junior Achievement-Rocky Mountain

OpenWorld Learning


Delta Disaster Services


Swingle Lawn, Tree & Landscape Care


Ping Identity


Spectra Logic


Zayo Group


Sage Hospitality Resources

Photography by Sam Adams

Mike Taylor is the managing editor of ColoradoBiz. He writes about small-business money issues and how startups are launched. Email him at

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