BUSINESS IS SORT OF LIKE BAKING. Per industry, as per recipe, there is a list, whether written or committed to memory, of specific ingredients that must be included. Creativity and innovation can be deliciously appealing, but depending on the company or dish, a little can go a long way. Also, proper timing is essential; otherwise the final product may not fit the taste of its intended audience.
Business and baking aren't exact sciences. But in Colorado, where the air is thinner and the spirit is fueled by a work-life balance that the Rocky Mountain landscape can't help but inspire, what makes each a success story is a combination of ingredients, time and commitment.
Since its inception in 1988, ColoradoBiz magazine's Top Company Awards program has traversed tricky economic terrain and some 2013 Top Company finalists have been along for the entirety of the wild ride. This year, the strength of the candidates--regardless of their lifespan, size, scope, products or services offered--reflects the revitalized strength of various market sectors, such as manufacturing, technology, real estate and others.
The standouts and success stories featured were whittled down by ongoing program sponsor, Deloitte, from more than 100 companies that submitted nominations.
"Companies of all sizes, from small independent companies to multi-billion dollar companies illustrate innovation, a dedication to excellence and highlight why the state of Colorado is such a great place for business to thrive," said Sandy Rothe, managing partner of Deloitte Denver. "To determine finalists, and later select winners, the judges look for those companies that clearly display outstanding achievement and sustained success ... their ability to seize the opportunity to differentiate and capitalize on delivering a value to their clients and customers."
Three finalists from each of the 12 categories were chosen, and a panel of business professionals and policy officials select the winners, to be featured in the November issue of ColoradoBiz. Additionally, the 12 winners will be announced at the 26th annual Top Company Awards celebration Sept. 11 from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Seawell Grand Ballroom of the Denver Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Denver.
For registration information, contact Daron Linton at email@example.com, or register by going to cobizmag.com and clicking on the "Events" tab.
Download the Top Company finalist list along with all other ColoradoBiz lists at cobizmag.com/sourcebook-lists.
CONSULTING & PROFESSIONAL SERVICES
Englewood-based DBAK is a technology consulting company and Oracle License Reseller. Co-founded in 2005, the company leverages senior-level consultants known for software and technology expertise, as well as business savvy.
DBAK brings local resources to local projects, whereas competitors often use outsourcing, offshoring and geographically dispersed consultants. The organization is able to keep customers' costs low, honor commitments and deliver high-quality services.
Retaining the "right people," and finding top talent.
DBAK prides itself on encouraging a work-life balance, respecting its teams' personal and family priorities.
Quote of Note
"We help people solve complex problems much faster than other companies, and we only feel successful if the whole project is successful."--Frank Bommarito, co-founder and chief services officer.
FAEGRE BAKER DANIELS LLP
From its Denver and Boulder offices, nearly 100 practicing attorneys serve the legal needs of the Rocky Mountain business community.
Innovating to improve the client experience is one way FBD strives to maintain a competitive advantage.
With roots dating back to 1863, the never-ending task of staying abreast of an ever-changing legal and regulatory environment allows FBD to provide clients expert counsel to make sound business decisions.
Expansion into global markets while maintaining shared ideas, a client-focused culture and similar values across oceans and borders.
With a continued focus on pro bono work, sponsorships and charitable contributions, FBD hopes to help enrich the communities in which its team members live and work.
Superior-based SDL's technology and services have helped brands make better business and product decisions since 1992, using data to execute global campaigns more effectively.
Many businesses lack the global resources and know-how to analyze multilingual data and execute on insights in a timely fashion. SDL's approach to developing a customer experience strategy is to use three frameworks: insights, orchestration and contextual experiences to deliver relevant products and services and enhance the customer experience on a global scale.
The biggest challenge for customers is to process and understand multilingual data and implement actionable processes to meet expectations.
Partnering with 42 of the top 50 global brands, SDL makes it a part of its mission to engage in charitable practices in impoverished communities such as Ethiopia, Uganda and others.
Quote of Note
"It's important to our foundation and to me personally that enriching our communities is not just something we do, but something we live."--Tatiana Harrison, vice president of sales and operations for the Americas.
BOULDER HOMEMADE ICE CREAM INC.
The 20-year old company manufactures premium frozen desserts, including Figo! Organic Gelato.
In its formative years, the team manufactured ice cream in five-gallon salt and ice churns. Today it still employs the slow-batch process using nine-gallon batch freezers to replicate the smooth, creamy texture from salt and ice churns.
Quote of Note
"Create a symphony of taste for each flavor."--Glennise Humphrey, VP of marketing and sales.
WHITEWAVE FOODS CO.
The WhiteWave Foods Co., headquartered in Denver, makes and sells branded plant-based food and beverage products, with well-known brands including Silk and Horizon.
The company believes its purpose is about more than merely making great tasting, responsibly produced food, but also leveraging the scale of its business to support the environment, employees and communities in which it does business.
WhiteWave's goal "to change the way the world eats for the better," is a lofty objective, requiring a steadfast focus on providing consumers high-level service and quality products.
In the last year, WhiteWave has created award-winning, innovative products, which contributed to the company's record revenue of $2.3 billion in 2012, and to the creation of new consumer-product opportunities and increased demand.
The company is well positioned for sustained future growth and to deliver shareholder value thanks to strong brand equity in growing categories that are aligned with favorable long-term consumer trends.
Founded in 2003, SlimGenics is a provider of progressive, integrated weight reduction programs, products and client-care services, out of Denver.
Unlike other fad diets or quick fixes, SlimGenics aims to help people lose weight safely and effectively with nutritious eating programs that lead to sustained weight loss, long-term health and wellness.
With the prevalence of obesity, the weight loss industry is booming, and many feel frustrated with their lack of success. Overcoming the trouble of trust with new clients, to help them find a long-term solution can be challenging.
The SlimGenics Foundation seeks to provide individuals and families with relevant information regarding daily nutrition that leads to vitality, health improvement and increased energy.
Quote of Note
"You'll find that SlimGenics is a company with a soul ... we want to provide a great environment for our staff to work; a place where they could impact the lives of our participants like no other weight loss company has or could."--Katherine Ott, SlimGenics' CEO.
The national cooperative bank, based in Greenwood Village, was created in 1989 and provides loans, leases, export financing and other financial services to agribusinesses and rural power, water and communications providers nationwide.
CoBank's customers are also its owners. As a mission-based lender, CoBank bases its success on communities where its associates, directors and customers live and work.
The low interest environment engineered by the Federal Reserve to stimulate the economy continues to be a challenge for all banks, including CoBank, since it translates to lower overall returns on invested capital.
On Jan. 1, 2012, CoBank merged with Wichita, Kan.-based U.S. AgBank, establishing a $90 billion asset financial institution, the largest headquartered in Colorado.
Recognizing that agribusinesses and rural infrastructure customers operate in a dynamic, fast-changing market, CoBank expects to continually evolve to serve as a financial partner with its clients and customers.
FIRST WESTERN TRUST
Founded in 2002, First Western is a wealth management company in Denver, dedicated to the Western entrepreneur, providing comprehensive, tailored solutions in private banking, investment management, trusts and estates, and wealth planning so clients can reach their personal, business and philanthropic goals.
With a unique, holistic approach called ConnectView, First Western enables its associates to see how every financial decision--investment, real estate holding, trust or philanthropic endeavor--affects others, allowing them to create plans that most effectively meet clients' objectives.