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Friday, October 5, 2012 Westin Westminster Hotel Ballroom 10:00 am - 1:00 pm Complimentary Luncheon and Program | Business Appreciation Awards Event is open to all licensed Westminster businesses | RSVP 303-706-3030 or

The City of Westminster invited business appreciation honorees to share their wisdom garnered from decades of operating companies and serving customers. They each shared their own thoughts and advice on what is necessary for success in business, as well as how they have adapted to innovations in their industries and how they plan to handle future innovations.

A S p e c i a l P u bl i c at i on of C ol or a d o C o m m u n i t y M e d i a



Wooden Shoe Child Care

Bennett Dental Group

9180 Yarrow St. |

You’ve got to have heart

Owner Kimberlee Ackelson (in second row, sixth from the left) and her staff Founded in 1952 by Betty Jean Counce, the current owner’s mother, the Westminster business is a preschool, kindergarten, before and after school program and day care for children ages one year to 12 years old. Hours of operation are Monday through Friday, 6:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Facilities include eight classrooms, two indoor pools, oversized playgrounds, a gymnasium, music room, greenhouse/art area, baseball diamond, volleyball pit and basketball court. Activities and services include hot lunches, two daily snacks, cooking classes, Spanish language instruction, educational field trips, community service and elementary school shuttle. “About a year ago, one mother said to me, ‘You took me on a tour about 10 years ago, and you really got down on my child’s level. You looked in my child’s face and talked to him as if it was his school tour. You not only made sure we as parents were treated with importance; you made my child feel so welcome, like it was all about him. You went right to him and I knew where your heart was.’”– Kimberlee Ackelson, owner

5130 W. 80th Ave., Suite 202 |

If I were asked to give advice to new business owners, I would say, “If your heart is in the right place you will succeed. And never, ever give up” because perseverance is the key. You have to have a passion for what you do. My mother did and I followed in her footsteps. Now my two daughters work here and my five grandchildren go here. We believe the most important job in the world is shaping the hearts and minds of young children.

A creative staff innovating for a better experience Innovation at Wooden Shoe has come directly from my staff members who are loving, enthusiastic, motivated, experienced and dedicated. I feel as a unit, collectively, we have such creative and talented people that we’re able to transition, improvise and be flexible. Our vision has always been to make our school better. Innovation to meet new demands We continue to increase outdoor activities to address childhood obesity concerns, and have added a science teacher this past summer to increase our focus in that critical area. Already a very multicultural environment, we are implementing a Spanish class this fall. I am thinking about creating an infant center to meet the increased demand from families with both parents in the workforce. I want to continue to find ways to provide a fun, fulfilling environment for children so their parents can go to work and feel good about the diversity of experiences their children are having at Wooden Shoe.

with confidence. Don’t take them personally. Just be open and find out what their concerns and questions are. When you don’t know an answer, don’t be afraid to say I’ll get back to you. It’s better to wait and be right. Be willing to stretch, but not so much that you endanger yourself or your patients. Keep learning. Bennett Dental Group owners Scott S. Bennett and Kirsten Be open to new technolWest-Bennett ogy and new ideas. Keep your standards and know Founded by James M. Bennett in 1962, this general family dentistry practice what works, but don’t be afraid to grow as serves patients ages three to 103. Specialty a professional. services include Lumineers, the safe, painMore efficiency and quality less porcelain veneer, and Invisalign, the invisible way to straighten teeth without My dad used to keep an appointment braces. Other services are fillings, crowns, book, but I use a computer scheduler. bridges, extractions, root canals, dentures, Computer files now replace paper charts. deep cleaning, nitrous oxide, X-rays, di- Digital X-rays have much less radiation, agnostic exams, esthetic dentistry, tooth better resolution, and are much quicker whitening, oral cancer screening and im- than film X-rays. Crowns can be done plants. digitally, too. We can scan an impres“I’m humbled to continue in a business my sion into a computer and send it to the father started 50 years ago, building the same lab, which will send back a crown that fits kind of trusting relationships. I had it happen like a glove. We also do implants digitally. with a very nice, young man who had a huge The innovation we’ve seen in the last 10 underbite. I told him, ‘You’re doing okay but years makes us much more efficient and you can make some changes if you want.’ We it’s much better for patients, so everybody referred him to an orthodontist, and he went wins. full bore where we reset and wired his mouth More digitization shut for months. He also had dark yellow teeth, and Kirsten just finished his veneers. As our society becomes more digital, our Each time he came in, he was more confident. desire for instant gratification and the Now he smiles a lot more. Every day I can need for instant results will become more change the way someone smiles, even with prevalent. Right now, we have to wait for day-to-day procedures, and they have renewed things to come from the lab. There may be confidence; that is the most gratifying thing an innovation that changes that. All these procedures may become digitized, making we ever do.” – Scott Bennett, co-owner other tools or procedures obsolete. The Be open, confident and grow way we dentists do our jobs with tools and My advice to new business owners is trust equipment may be different, but I will still in yourself. Deal with customers’ fears be working in your mouth.


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45 Richards, Seeley & Schaefer, Inc.

3640 W. 112th Ave. |

Owner Ernie Schaefer (sixth from left) and the staff Founded in 1962 and incorporated in 1967 by Ron Richards and Jerry Seeley, the company was bought and renamed in January 1995 by current owner Ernie Schaefer, who was a former regional vice present of Hartford Insurance. Today, this full-service insurance agency has 14 employees who believe in providing professional insurance service with a personal touch. They are not just salespeople, seeing how much they can sell. They truly believe in protecting their clients. Other than thanking us for our personal service and not just being a 1-800 number, people are always saying they remember us because of our building, the hawks and our coffee. We remodeled the historic Bruchez farmhouse in the Legacy Ridge community and turned it into our office. A family of red-tailed hawks lives in the 60-year-old trees on the property. The mother hawk sometimes dive bombs

whomever is walking into our building. She put my wife right on the ground on her hands and knees in our parking lot one day. Also, I have a coffee account with Kauai Coffee Company in Hawaii. I’ve been ordering their estate brand for 10 years. Our customers remember that coffee and tell us they look forward to visiting us to get a cup. Understand tax laws and listen to customers Depending on whether or not they own the land where their business operates, the first thing is to have a tax plan, sooner rather than later. If they have employees and they don’t fully understand the compliance mandates by the federal and state governments, hire a compliance consultant. We specialize in putting small businesses in touch with tax and health insurance regulations. Second, listen to your customers. Customer service is not a forgotten thing. Keep up with automation Automation is the most significant innovation for us. We are highly automated and as paperless as can be. We upload and download all our documents with our insurance carriers and clients. We will be staying with automation and its benefits as well as challenges. As automation changes how we interface with customers it will have to keep up with that. But, we can never let automation replace our personal relationships with customers. We will also be keeping up with the changing environment created by automation. For example, HIPAA laws are very clear that client details have to be protected. We work with a very sizeable health insurance company, and we would have to pay a significant fine as well as civil liabilities if someone hacks into their system or burglarizes their servers. So, we now have a new type of coverage for cyber liability. Along with the old types of coverage such as for tornados and fires, the insurance business has become a lot more sophisticated to meet emerging needs.

The City of Westminster also gratefully acknowledges the following companies for their years of business in Westminster:

40 H&R Block

35 Mizell Trains, Inc

30 Octagon Systems Corp Judy Weiss, MD

25 Pioneer Trading Post J Marc Carpenter, DDS, PC JCPenney Portrait Studio

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RMS Sales, Inc.


3200 W. 72nd Ave. |

D.M. Pergola Agency Inc. 7190 Julian Way | 303-429-8188

Founded and owned by Dan and Leanne Pergola since 1972, this Westminster insurance and real estate agency is operated by their son, Sam Pergola, whose experience and expertise in the business helps customers avoid pitfalls and secure the right policies and contracts for their individual needs. The Pergola Agency has been synonymous with the community spirit of Sam Pergola Dan and Leanne Pergola, two longtime Westminster residents. Dan graduated from Westminster High School in 1966, and was involved in various civic and community organizations over the years. He was one of the founders of the Westminster Redevelopment Committee. His wife, Leanne, shared her love of reading and giving to her community by volunteering with School District 50. Work is more than 9 to 5 My advice to someone just opening a business is: Be ready to work more than 40 hours per week. Computers caused a revolution Of course the Internet and computers have changed everything. Integrate the Internet or else Everyone is going to have to figure out how the Internet can be used to help their business, so they can stay in business.

Founded in October 1971 and licensed in Westminster in 1972 by Gene and Alice Lehman, this Westminster company sells electrical and electronic products, many imported from other countries. A distributor and supplier in past years, RMS Sales recently opened a “storefront” operation open to the public Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The hundreds of different products include appliance power cords, computer cords, extension cords, cord sets, power strip outlets, range and dryer cords, receptacles, switches and related tools. “When we started the business, we were a division of RMS Sales called RMS Electric Supply. We worked out of our garage, and my wife and high school-aged daughter delivered products to construction sites from a beat-up, old VW van. Those contractors always got a kick out of seeing the pair show up. At the time, my son helped me put together the products for delivery. Now, my grandson, Parker Lehman, helps out at the shop.” – Gene Lehman, owner

China, some of our products are very cost-competitive compared to big box stores.

Honesty and reliability

Don’t give up, be innovative

To people just starting businesses, I would say be honest and trusting. Then, have reliable products and good service.

You just have to have endurance, persistence and hard work. Just keep going and don’t give up. It’s like Hollie Cavanagh, the American Idol finalist. She looked like a nervous little girl in her first audition, but the next year she came in dressed up and ready, and she soared into fourth place. She did that by not giving up. Over the years, if something hasn’t worked, I’ve tried something else. I don’t deviate too far with my products; I just try doing different things with them. I have represented different companies, I was a distributor shop at one time, and now at 86 years of age, I am doing something new again with selling directly from my shop.

Innovation brought cheaper communication We are computerized and use them a lot in our business with China. If we didn’t have computers, I’m not sure if we would still be doing this. We went from sending letters by mail to the fax machine, and from the fax to email. We have a website. We’ve saved money. We can send email for free, but had to pay for time on the telephone and fax before. Due to our ability to import from

Owners Gene and Alice Lehman and (on left) daughter Sherri Martinez

Melco International 1575 W. 124th Ave. | Melco International, founded in 1972, is owned by Mizar Holdings. The company, which has grown from 10 to 50 employees, designs and manufactures commercial embroidery machines and software. New Balance Sneakers produces a large volume of shoes in the U.S. They are able to do so with Melco technology that allows them to produce American quality and yet still be profitable. Carve out your place in the market

One of Melco’s state-of-theart embroidery machines

Our advice to anyone starting a business: Make sure you are filling a need. Make sure you understand your audience and focus on that audience. Use the Internet and social media – not solely traditional marketing like print ads – to grow your business. Develop new designs Being a manufacturer, we rely on our customers and marketing to provide feedback that results in designing products to meet the needs of the industry. Move with technology Innovation is key to not only growth, but also survival. If you are not innovative, you will not be able to move with market trends and competing technology.

Visit our website for a customized and competitive auto quote through Safeco ® Insurance.

Visit our website for a customized and competitive auto quote through Safeco ® Insurance. • Visit our website for a customized and competitive auto quote through Safeco ® Insurance. our website for a customized and competitive auto • quote through Safeco ® Insurance. • •


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Front Range Community College & Book Store

35 Children’s Dentistry

3645 W. 112th Ave. |

5150 W. 80th Ave. |

Founded by Dr. Elizabeth Barr on August 8, 1977, the Westminster pediatric dentistry practice has grown to 16 employees. Quality, kid-oriented services include preventative care, digital radiographs, laser dentistry, tooth-filling materials, and sedation and hospital dentistry. “We are so grateful for how you have taken care of our children’s mouths for the past eight years, but even more so how you have cared about and supported our family in so many other ways. You have always been so kind and trustworthy, and have been such a wonderful resource for all our questions.” – parent of former patients Always care and improve My advice to new business owners is to live up to the popular phrase, “Go the extra mile.” Customers respond with loyalty when they find a business where the staff truly cares, is compassionate and listens with an open mind. Learn from your own best and worst customer experiences, visit your competition for ideas on how to improve, and ask for customer feedback. It is all about relationships.

Owner Craig Hill

The staff of Children’s Dentistry Innovations in staying in touch The cell phone is a remarkable tool for staying in touch with employees, customers and suppliers. In my early years of practice, I had to pull off the road, find a phone booth and return an emergency call, sometimes in a driving rain or snowstorm! Now a parent can text a message or send a photo of their child when they have a question about an oral problem. Wow!! Innovate ways to educate We are becoming more knowledgeable about how to prevent oral disease and cavities. I hope we can motivate parents to help children take advantage of our wonderful products and research, so that they can benefit from a lifetime free of pain and enjoy the confidence of beautiful smiles.

Front Range Community College Westminster Campus

Eliot & 72nd Auto Repair

Front Range Community College was founded in 1968, with the Westminster Campus opening in 1977. It is operated by the State Board for Community Colleges and Occupational Education. Today, with 276 employees, the college campus offers career/technical education, general education for transfer, associate degrees, workforce development, customized training, and continuing education for personal development.

This auto repair shop on the corner of Eliot Circle and 72nd Avenue – just east of Federal – was started in October 1977 by brothers Craig and Rod Hill. Always a two-man operation in the garage, they were kept busy with a steady stream of cars from the neighborhood, especially in the early days. Their mother Ann Hill helped out by answering phones and keeping books for 20 years. Rod passed away in June this year, and now Craig looks forward to a chance to sell the business and retire so he can take it easy and spend time with his family.

My advice to someone starting a business is to be honest with people. They’ll appreciate it and become repeat customers. That’s the best part – working with people who trust you enough to come back again and again. Being a business owner, it’s also pretty great to be able to work for yourself.

“I have been accepted and will attend Regis University’s School of Pharmacy. I have spent the past two years accumulating about 60 credits in pre-pharmacy requirements at FRCC. My experience has been outstanding. I was challenged by the quality and intensity of the classroom curriculum, and was certainly impressed by the knowledge and dedication of the instructors. Most instructors had PhDs; all instructors had an interest in me as a student – they wanted me to succeed. The staff showed a commitment and personal attention that is lacking at most four-year schools. Upon first entering FRCC, I didn’t know what to expect from a ‘community college’ – I was pleasantly surprised.” – Gerry Cordutsky of Westminster, former student

Stay up-to-date with new technology

Get advice and training

I just try to keep up with the new technology in cars. The economy has been so bad that it’s hard to get new equipment to handle the new technology, but I have to.

Consult the experts at the Small Business Development Center at FRCC. The SBDC offers free counseling and training on a wide range of topics, including starting a business, legal issues, financial analysis, marketing strategies, management development, technology and more.

2785 W. 72nd Ave. | 303-427-9320

“We’ve definitely had loyal customers all the way through. We’ve watched a lot of customers grow old. We’ve had lots of repeats and referrals. Now that I’m hoping to sell the business, a lot of people are asking, ‘What are we going to do without you?’ I

Federal Real Estate 6981 Federal Blvd. | 303-426-4555

At the company founded in 1977 by Don Sederberg and Dan Wills, Gerald Rhiner began as an agent, became a managing broker and then the owner. A full-service real estate firm, it handles commercial, industrial and residential real estate, plus property management, land and investment. “Someone I had known 20 years before called me and needed to buy a house in a very short time. He had decent credit and didn’t want to put any money down. I was able to help him, his wife and five kids get into a home in 30 days. Even in this economy, I found him the right financing through a contact I’d made on a previous closing. The family was so relieved. The wife had been so nervous, calling me about every transaction and every word on the contract. As the closing got closer, issues came up as they always do. We got through them together, we closed on time, and there were smiles. I’ve done that so many times over the years, and it still makes me feel good.” – Gerald Rhiner, owner Help people Know who your friends are, be active and meet more people. The nature of this business is to know people and try to help them. I don’t see myself as a salesperson; I help people solve problems and attain goals. I rely on my clients to tell me what fears they have so I can make it comfortable for them.

hear that a lot. They’re worried about whether they can find another mechanic they can trust.” – Craig Hill, owner Be honest, be your own boss

Embrace technology We have incorporated and embraced technology from the beginning. We were involved in the conceptual founding of We have always been on the cutting edge of technology. I find it to be an invaluable tool – almost irreplaceable. It’s freed up a lot of time but has also made us completely dependent on it. Instead of meeting multiple Gerald Rhiner, owner times, we can communicate via email, text or Skype. It is very fast paced. In the past, we needed hard signatures on paper. We used to drive clients around more. Now we can show them on the Internet. It’s changed the dynamics tremendously. As easy as the click of a button We need to stay abreast of current trends. If you’re in the forefront, using technology, the transition is much easier. I think buying a home will be as simple as going online to see every view and look at every corner. Already you can get aerial neighborhood views on Google Earth. You will be able to communicate with neighbors and schools, all with the click of a button. In the future, you will be able to click on an address and have all that at your fingertips in an interactive way.

Innovative tools and methods

A key innovation has been online learning; more than 80 percent of our courses have an online version. New technology has revolutionized almost every technical education program, from human-like mannequins that can mimic diseases for nursing students, to computerbased trainers that can help automotive technology students understand complex electrical problems. For more than five years, every classroom has had a smart board, Internet connectivity and LCD projectors. Beyond technology, FRCC has been one of the national leaders in learning communities, an innovative way to strengthen student success by combining multiple courses. How would you use innovation to keep up with increasing technology in five to 10 years from now?

We will continue to use online technology to provide more access to students, and will include more complex simulations and video. Our technical training programs will change rapidly as new technology develops. We recently added a Medical Information Technology program, and expect to add additional programs that reflect increasing use of technology. We will also continue to innovate with instructional methods to engage and challenge students.

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Gayeski & Associates, Ltd.

Hector’s Custom Upholstery

Larry Gayeski moved to Colorado from Illinois in 1973 with a national CPA firm and later formed a local CPA firm with Ron Schaefer. The firm’s exposure to large real estate clients provided background and experience for Larry Gayeski, founder and a meaningful owner transition to real estate investment. Thus, Gayeski & Associates was founded in 1977 as a real estate development and investment company of a privately held portfolio. Notable projects in Westminster include: the Village at Park Centre, a mixeduse project of retail, restaurants and business service facilities located at the northwest corner of 120th Avenue and Huron Street; and the Sedona Office Complex located at 124th Avenue and Huron Street, which is home to many dental specialists and the offices of the Gayeski companies. Currently, Gayeski is preparing to develop an inventory of commercial infill sites. Additionally,

Founded April 27, 1977, this Westminster business has craftspeople that can upholster anything and everything – from home furniture to autos, boats, campers and commercial office furniture. About 95 percent of the work takes place in the shop just north of 72nd Avenue on the west side of Lowell Boulevard, but they also go on location. Hector and his crew artfully restore antiques and customize modern upholstery, finding fabric from trusted warehouses as well as special orders from new sources.

Sedona Buliding, 905 W. 124th Ave., Suite 200 | 303-457-9700

7283 Lowell Blvd. | 303-427-7595

inventory of larger tracts of land, all located on interstate interchanges in the metro area, are also providing some interesting and creative potential. “Though I continue to have a true passion for my work and pride in my business successes, I feel my ultimate accomplishments are my two children who have grown up to be very caring, compassionate and capable, along with being very accomplished in all their endeavors.” – Larry Gayeski, founder/owner It’s all in the details

“One decorator who has been coming to us for 10 years really keeps us busy, because we provide her with consistent quality and customization. In 35 years, we haven’t spent much on advertising, not even on the phone book anymore. It’s all about word of mouth. Another local decorator told us she keeps coming back because of our pricing and quality workmanship. One of her customers commented, ‘I’m thrilled. I can’t believe it’s the same chair. It’s reassuring to know they did a complete overhaul from top to bottom and everything is brand new. The transformation is beyond belief.’” – Hector Nanez, owner

Pay close attention to the details, find creative ways to add value and surround yourself with loyal and committed employees. You must be technically competent and passionate about the product or service your new business venture will provide. Most importantly, properly evaluate all aspects of risk and do not proceed unless you are sufficiently capitalized. Technology elevates research The amount of data and information that is easily accessible these days is priceless. You can never do “too much” research.

Quality leads to quantity Rely on quality work to create word-ofmouth advertising. Repeat customers and their referrals can keep you in business.

Innovating a happy retirement My innovation will be mostly in finding ways to provide information on current events, as I’ll be fully retired by then... or maybe not, since I love what I do!

Kaiser Permanente 11245 Huron St. |

Kaiser Permanente’s Westminster offices Kaiser Permanente, which opened its Westminster offices in 1977, has provided comprehensive health care services to Colorado residents for more than 40 years. Today, 300 employees serve the community from the building on Huron Street, north of 112th Avenue.

Discovering new markets We’re trying to do things differently and be

manente will continue to build on our successful innovations to provide patient-centered care that is more convenient, accessible and affordable. Our members already have the ability to log on to and access a variety of online tools to manage their health. They can email a provider, schedule an appointment, order prescriptions and check test results online. Recently, these tools were made available in a new mobile platform. In the next few years, we’ll see more members using these convenient online tools. We are seeing a rapid increase in obesity in this country. In Colorado, the childhood obesity rate is growing faster than any other state in the nation except for Nevada. If we don’t stop the current trend, sadly, many of our children will be battling chronic disease in the future. As a nonprofit health plan, our mission is to improve people’s health. Through a variety of local programs and initiatives, we hope to increase access to care and build healthy communities where people can Thrive.

Advances in patient services At Kaiser Permanente, innovation is in our DNA. Our electronic health record, KP Health Connect, transforms the way members receive care and interact with their providers, enabling superior health outcomes. Having the ability to chart electronically and access medical records quickly is literally a lifesaver. Being able to have information at our fingertips assists with shared decision-making for our physicians and patients. It helps to improve care for the members and their families. The pharmacy – with Script Pro and the Pharmacy Automatic Refill Center – has helped patients receive their refills in a more timely manner, including by mail order. It has a cost benefit to our members and is very efficient. Through advances in Health IT, our physicians and care teams have more accurate, up-to-date and timely information. We’re better equipped to make the best possible decisions and deliver the highest quality care. Continued program innovation As we move toward the health care of the future, Kaiser Per-

Locally Roasted and Blended Coffee









Hot or Cold Beverage With purchase of another. Of equal or lesser value. Expires 10/31/12

10710 Westminster Blvd

In the Promenade, adjacent to the Ice Center (678) 677-4210

Founder and owner Hector Nanez with son and co-worker Donnie Nanez

innovative in the way we do business, too, especially in our commercial work. We’ve expanded to doing upholstery for furniture in the offices of dentists, doctors and chiropractors, and even in nursing homes. Finding innovative materials

We have to keep up with what customers see out there and when they bring their ideas to us, we have to duplicate that. We innovate by finding different fabrics like leathers. Customers see a fabric on furniture and want it in their cars. We research fabrics online and find new suppliers. We’re doing a lot of work for designers so they see new fabrics at shows before customers see them, and they let us know about it.



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303-219-6608 • 11187 Sheridan Blvd. SW Corner of 112th & Sheridan • Hours: M-F 9-6, Sat 10-2


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Paul L. Zelazek, DDS

Ronald J. Schaefer, CPA

Paul L. Zelazek, DDS founded his general and cosmetic dental practice August 15, 1977. He works alongside two other dentists in the Westminster Dental Arts Group, and shares the reception area and office staff. His mission is to improve people’s smiles and get them to smile more.

Founded by Ron Schaefer and Larry Gayeski October 1, 1976, the tax preparation and consulting firm opened in Westminster October 1, 1977. Later, Schaefer took over sole ownership of the business, and after years of successfully assisting customers with their tax needs, he is now semi-retired and considering full retirement.

7350 Lowell Blvd. | 303-428-6571

“I am now seeing the children of patients I used to see when they were growing up. It is interesting to observe how heredity works. We are able to see the same dental traits being passed down from parents to their children. If we see one member of a family and they are satisfied with our services, we’re bound to see their children and maybe even their children’s children.” – Paul L. Zelazek, “Dr. Z” Long-term customers My advice to someone opening a business is to listen to people. Dentistry is a people business. Be honest, straightforward and fair with people, and it will lead to successful, long-term relationships. Not like it used to be The technology changes in dentistry have been amazing, everything from digital Xrays to laser cavity detectors. One of the

905 W. 124th Ave., Suite 220 | 303-430-1850

Dentist Paul L. Zelazek biggest changes has been the use of adhesive tooth-colored filling materials, which can be used to close spaces painlessly. Innovations help quite a bit. Procedures take less time, and there’s a lot less radiation. People just like the fact that it’s not like it used to be. Keep current People are realizing that a smile is important. Cosmetic dentistry is a big part of our business. People like to have a friendly smile. In years to come, we’ll be able to make it easier to obtain that. Keeping current with dental technologies allows us to provide dentistry that looks good, feels good, and lasts a long time.

RE/MAX Northwest, Inc.

“I have helped many clients over the last 35 years get into business, build their business, successfully run their business, sell their business at retirement, and assist in financial planning for life’s issues along the way – including a financially healthy retirement.” – Ronald J. Schaefer, owner Be prepared My advice to someone starting a business is: do your homework, know more about the business than anyone else, including your competitors, research your potential customers, plan for a successful future, and be prepared for the worst case scenario. Budget for success, set goals, work harder than your competition, and hire experts.

Business owner Ron Schaefer, enjoying semi-retirement Increased productivity

Computers and the Internet have created much greater productivity in the accounting business. Adapt to social media

Businesses will have to adapt to social media so they can speak the language of the newer generation workforces.

United Fire & Casualty Company

12000 Pecos St. #160 |

7301 Federal Blvd., Suite 200 |

extended hours on weekends and evenings, and the personal touch of a live operator to assist our consumers to the fullest extent. We pride ourselves on taking care of customers needs and being available.” – Teresa Vendegnia, managing broker

United Fire & Casualty Company was founded by Scott McIntyre, Sr. in 1946, and is a stock company traded on the NASDAQ stock exchange today. United is an insurance company offering primarily commercial insurance including general

liability, auto, property, and inland marine coverages. The company opened a regional office with approximately eight to 10 employees in Westminster in 1977, and has grown to approximately 40 employees reporting to the Westminster office.

Hard Work The RE/MAX Northwest sign on 120th Avenue Gordon Shick established RE/MAX Northwest in March 1977. He has achieved the distinction of being the only original broker owner of a franchise in RE/MAX’s worldwide system. The full service real estate firm, primarily handling residential real estate in addition to some commercial, has grown from its beginning of 20 agents to 65 today. “Customers just appreciate that our group has such a high knowledge base. With more than 1,000 years of real estate experience in this office, our expertise and experience is unparalleled. Our location has remained a constant presence in Westminster for more than 35 years. While many offices have cut back services, our commitment has been to never outsource our staff and instead offer full service,

Real estate is hard work; it takes dedication and perseverance. Change with the Industry Real estate is continually evolving and an Internet presence is essential with today’s market savvy consumers. RE/MAX Northwest has continually updated and changed our business model to fully service all our customers’ needs now and for the future. Grow with Technology Striving to remain on the cutting edge of technology requires the ability to be fast paced, solution oriented and growth minded. RE/MAX Northwest has remained steadfast in our commitment to stay knowledgeable of the times while never forgetting the real core of our industry, serving people and meeting their needs.

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enabling I N N O V A T I O N


2 0 1 2 W e s t m i n s t e r B u s i n e s s A p p r e c i at i on E v e n t

La Petite Academy #0071


11180 Eaton St. |

La Petite Academy, a leader in early childhood education and childcare, opened in Westminster in 1982. Specially trained teachers and associates recognize their responsibilities for growing children’s social, intellectual, emotional and physical capabilities from infancy to school age, and help families move smoothly through the many transitions in their young children’s lives. Following Developmentally Appropriate Practices, educational programs provide children with the foundation for learning with opportunities for choice, experimentation, creativity and problem solving. The curriculum focuses on cognitive, language, social and physical skills needed for success in kindergarten and beyond. Currently, RyAnn Duran is the academy director and Carrie Lehnerz is the assistant director at

The Harsh Insurance Agency 8120 Sheridan Blvd. B-305

“During the recent wildfire outbreak here in Colorado, we were able to cover the additional expenses incurred by one of our insureds who was under a mandatory evacuation. Fortunately, their home was missed as the fire spread all around their neighborhood. During the week they waited anxiously to find out if they had a home to go back to, we were able to provide counseling and financial support to reduce their stress. Many other cases come to mind but this was the most recent example. It’s easy to underestimate the value of insurance until you need it!” – Darrell Harsh, owner Provide the best value When a business discovers a way to deliver the best product at the best price, you

La Petite Academy’s philosophy is ‘Play. With a Purpose.’ When learning is fun, kids love to learn — it’s that simple. So, from refining motor skills in infants to preparing kids for kindergarten, La Petite Academy’s goal is to find ways to make them love learning. Because when they do, they do better in school, and in life. Value each child

La Petite Academy’s staff puts children first, respecting each child as a valued and unique individual with distinct interests and opinions. They are sensitive to children’s varying abilities and learning styles, and recognize the invaluable role parents and teachers have in the developmental well being of the children.

McGraw & McGraw CPA, PC 7260 Osceola St. | 303-427-6641

Founder Darrell Harsh and son Zachary Harsh Darrell Harsh started his insurance and financial services agency in 1979, and moved it to Westminster in 1982. His son, Zachary Harsh, recently joined the agency to continue the tradition of dedicated customer service.

the Westminster academy.

many of our clients in building their businesses. We provide professional guidance to optimize their business growth and minimize their tax burden. Many of these clients have now created a nice retirement for themselves. We take pride in assisting our clients in building stronger and more profitable businesses. It pains us to see new businesses hurt themselves by not properly managing their tax responsibilities from day one. Like they say, ‘If you think hiring a professional is expensive, try hiring an amateur.’” – Robert McGraw, Jr., CPA

have your best chance to succeed. Try to make your product or service stand out and speak for itself. Use technology to beat the competition For our industry, innovation is slow on the uptake but necessary to keep up. Business needs to utilize all technologies available to keep up with the worldwide competition. Getting the correct people in your system can keep the business engaged with your changing markets.

Be wise and kind

Choose cost-effective innovations

The staff of McGraw & McGraw CPA, PC

In the future, innovation will continue to give certain businesses an advantage. Some innovations have a long payback period, while some will repay you sooner, so be careful to use only cost-effective innovation.

Founded by Robert McGraw, Sr. and Robert McGraw, Jr. on July 1, 1982, the local certified public accounting (CPA) firm is now owned by Robert McGraw, Jr. and his son Robert McGraw III. Specializing in small business and individual accounting and tax services, the staff prides itself on personal, professional service at very reasonable rates.

10359 N. Federal Blvd., #110

“Over the 30 years that we have practiced accounting in Westminster, we have assisted

Northpark Dental Group

My advice to new business owners is: surround your business with qualified people for your legal, banking and accounting needs. Keep your finger on the pulse of the business and take care of your customers with kind words and smiles. Computers – necessary tools

Without today’s technology we would not be able to function. Computers in 1982 were just coming into the workforce. Now the Internet is one of our most valuable tools. (It would be great if Congress could “innovate” a simpler tax code, but that’s a discussion for a different forum.)

Thank You to Our

Loyal Customers

7190 Julian Way Westminster CO 80030

Continued Support!

sam PerGOla samPerGOla@msn.COm

for Your

11187 Sheridan Blvd Westminster The offices of NorthPark Dental Group, and inset, Dr. Timothy Borg (left) and Dr. Jon Lewis (right)


insuranCe real estate

303-429-8188 303-358-9383

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2 0 1 2 W e s t m i n s t e r B u s i n e s s A p p r e c i at i on E v e n t

25 jcp (JCPenney)

5453 W. 88th Ave. |, On April 14, 1902, James Cash Penney founded his company on the principle of the Golden Rule: treat others the way you’d like to be treated – Fair and Square. His legacy continues to this day, as JCPenney Company, Inc. (NYSE: JCP) boldly transforms the retail experience across 1,100 stores including its Westminster location, which was opened on March 18, 1987. Selling clothing, household goods, furniture, and many other popular items, and providing optical, salon and portrait

services, it has become a top-selling store in Colorado. Focused on making the customer experience better every day, JCPenney is dreaming up new ways to make customers love shopping again.

Gibbs Dentistry

12030 Melody Dr. |

daughters who brought in their families. Over the years we have seen over 20 different family members from five generations of Marie’s family. We feel like our patients are part of our family and we love seeing their friends and families.” – Tamara L. Gibbs, DDS

“In August, we offered free haircuts to children in K-6 grades. My stylists performed more than 4,500 haircuts. Many parents shared stories of tight financial situations and thanked us for giving their children the opportunity to start school with a new fresh haircut and the added confidence that it brings.” – Pat Miller, general manager Advice to new business owners

Get accounting help

Focus on the customer experience. High-tech customer focus Technology has improved productivity and allowed associates to focus on the customer rather than the task.

The staff of Gibbs Dentistry Tamara L. Gibbs, DDS, is the founder and owner of the Westminster dental practice that opened September 1, 1987. The staff has grown from an original two employees to 11 today. Gibbs Dentistry’s primary dental care providers offer a full range of care, including periodontal-oriented hygiene services, general dentistry, implant, restorations, oral surgery, restorative procedures, and pediatric dental care. “When I first opened my office, I offered a package including dental cleaning, an exam and X-rays as a raffle prize for a local school fundraiser. The ticket winner was a 67-yearyoung lady named Marie who came to our office in October 1988. She referred her two

General Manager Pat Miller in the “Levis Denim Bar”

My advice is: get a knowledgeable accountant. When I first opened my dental practice, I knew dentistry but I didn’t know how to run a business. It took me a while to figure out tax ID numbers, business licensure, withholding taxes, and especially Westminster sales and use tax! Computers organize paperwork

When I started my practice, I was using a pegboard and ledger card bookkeeping system. Now, 25 years later, I am glad I have a computer to keep the paperwork straight. More communication options

We have recently created a website for our practice. In the next few years, I anticipate we will be using the site and email to reach more and more current and new patients.

San Marino Retirement Villas, Inc. 5000 W. 75th Ave. |

Founders and owners David T. Watt and Troy W.C. Davis opened San Marino Retirement Villas in October of 1987. The staff has grown from 15 employees to 95 in 2012. San Marino’s housing options for seniors have also grown, from 106 full-service independent apartments to an additional 91 assisted living apartments, 19 patio homes and 22 independent apartments. The campus is located on 10 beautifully landscaped acres with ponds, gazebos, walkways and gardens.

Retirement Community

Celebrating Our 25th Year Anniversary! Our beautiful 10-acre campus offers five choices of carefree living. 303.429.8857 • Patio Homes • Independent Apts. • Full Service Apts.

Our approach to business is that it should always be a ‘win-win’ situation for everyone. Our effort is to keep our costs down while providing seniors with a community that is affordable – one that we are proud of. We strive to pay our employees a fair wage along with a number of benefits. We look back on the past 25 years of our accomplishments and know we took the right path of a ‘win-win’ for everyone – the residents, employees and the owners.

The entryway into San Marino Villas Assisted Living Apartments

Supercuts #9516

Brookhill Towne Center, 6975 W. 88th Ave., Suite A |

Supercuts, owned by Regis Corporation, opened its Westminster salon in 1987 to provide haircuts, color and waxing, as well as shampoo, conditioners and styling and finishing products to the local community.


Welcome customers as guests

• Assisted Living Apts. • Memory Care Apts.

Our best advice for new business owners is: treat every one of your guests like they are special, and make sure they have a super experience with your business. Creating superior services and products

Innovation has allowed us to be more productive and allows us to offer superior services and products to our guests.

5000 W. 75th Avenue Westminster, CO 80030

Ensuring excellent experiences

Innovation will allow us to be even more precise in our haircuts to make sure that each of our guests has an excellent experience. Supercuts style

Westminster Business Appreciation  

A Colorado Community Media Special Section

Westminster Business Appreciation  

A Colorado Community Media Special Section