Top Company 2011 finalist: Birko
Years in business: 58
CEO: Mark Swanson (watch an interview with Mark and VP Kelly Green on ColoradoBiz TV)
Company snapshot: Birko provides the meat, poultry and food industries with specialty chemicals needed for cleaning, sanitation and as aids in production. Its product line includes more than 200 formulations – from cleaners and sanitizers to processing and rendering agents – used in federally inspected meat plants. Many of the company’s formulations are registered with the Environmental Protection Agency, and many of its chemical formulas and processes are patented.
Notable practices: Birko has developed 15 process and application patents and manufactures more than 250 cleaning, sanitation and production process chemicals. Many of its products are on the USDA National Organic Program list of allowed products for use by organic processors.
Community involvement: In honor of Birko’s founder, The Ward Smith Memorial Scholarship was established at Texas A&M’s Department of Animal Science in 1980. Birko supports several institutions of higher learning – including Colorado State University, Texas Tech, Texas A&M, Cal Poly and Fresno State – through volunteering and collaborating on research for the betterment of food safety. Third-generation owner and chairman Kelly Green serves on the National Meat Association’s Board of Directors. She is a past board member of the National Women’s Business Enterprise Council and Colorado Women’s Business Chamber of Commerce. CEO Mark Swanson is the current president of the CSU Alumni Association Board of Directors.