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Business of Northern Colorado

April 2007

www.stylemagazinecolorado.com

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The Master of Color

Mark Kendall of Kendall Printing


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Lydia’s STYLE Magazine


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Lydia’s STYLE Magazine


Having a baby is one of the most important journeys in a woman's life. At McKee Medical Center, we go to great lengths to make sure that it is a special time for mother, baby, and the entire family. Our Family Birthing Center is dedicated to your health and comfort with amenities like jetted tubs and beautiful, new birthing suites that offer the convenience of staying in one room throughout labor, delivery, recovery and post-partum care. When it comes to the rest of your family, there's plenty of room for visiting siblings and a comfortable place for dad to spend the night. For babies with special needs, our Level II Nursery provides some of the most amazing care available. We even offer private lactation rooms and personalized instruction so mom and baby can get started on the right path.

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Business of Northern Colorado




style media and design, inc. | 970.226.6400 |

w w w. s t y l e m a g a z i n e c o l o r a d o . c o m Publisher/EDITOR Lydia J. Dody

creative director Austin J. Lamb ASSISTANT Editor Corey Radman Graphic Designer John Gieser

Sales Manager Saundra Skrove (970) 217-9932 Advertising Sales EXECUTIVES Jon Ainslie (970) 219-9226 Karen Christensen (970) 679-7593 Lydia Dody (970) 227-6400 Jeff Reichert (970) 219-0213 Office Manager Ina Szwec Accounting Manager Karla Vigil Data Entry Betty Frye Contributing Writers Alice Ashmore, JC Clarke, Lynn Dean, Laura Dowling Julie Estlick, Corey Radman, Barbara Read, Kay Rios, Ina Szwec Contributing photographers Dana Milner Affiliations Fort Collins Area Chamber of Commerce Loveland Chamber of Commerce Greeley Chamber of Commerce Windsor Chamber of Commerce Estes Park Chamber of Commerce Johnstown Milliken Chamber of Commerce 2007 Style Magazines January-Loveland/Greeley Medical & Wellness Magazine and Directory February-Building & Remodeling March-Family, Community & Philanthropy March-Northern Colorado Medical & Wellness April-Business of Northern Colorado May-Home & Garden June-Business to Business June-Building & Remodeling July-Fort Collins Medical & Wellness Magazine and Directories August-Women & Business September-Home Interiors & Entertainment October-Women’s Lifestyle Health & Beauty October-Northern Colorado Medical & Wellness November-Holiday December-Winter/Wedding December-Northern Colorado Christian Business Magazine and Directory Style Media and Design, Inc. magazines are free monthly publications direct-mailed to homes and businesses in Northern Colorado. Elsewhere, subscriptions for twelve issues cost $24 annually (53% off newsstand price). Free magazines are available in stands at 75 locations throughout Northern Colorado. For ad rates, subscription information, change of address, or correspondence, contact: Style Media and Design Inc., 211 W. Myrtle, Fort Collins, Colorado 80521. Phone (970) 226-6400. E-Mail: editor@StyleMedia.com ©2007 Style Media and Design Inc. All rights reserved. The entire contents of Style Magazine is copyrighted and may not be reproduced without the expressed written consent of the publisher. Style Media and Design Inc. is not responsible for unsolicited material. All manuscripts, artwork, and photography must be accompanied by a SASE. The views and opinions of any contributing writers are not necessarily those of Style Media & Design Inc.



Lydia’s STYLE Magazine


TREMENDOUS RESPONSE

Honored

We Love It

Lydia, Thank you for your wonderful article about robotic surgery at Poudre Valley Hospital. The response from patients and colleagues has been tremendous. Additionally, the camaraderie of my associates and the PVH surgical team has been invaluable. I want to especially thank Drs. Warren James, Angela King, Kara Micetich, Beth Serniak, Audrey Tool, and Kevin Tool for their commitment to making this the best robotic program in Colorado. I also want to recognize Rhonda Kaiser, RN at PVHS and her team for maintaining the excellence in surgical care. ~ Bev Donnelley, M.D. The Women’s Clinic of Northern Colorado

Dear Lydia, On my way out of town for a belated honeymoon in Hawaii, our cleaning lady brought an early copy of the magazine. I squealed! I don’t deserve this but I’m terribly flattered.

We love advertising with Style Magazine! It reaches a very wide audience and is well read. It gives us an opportunity to showcase all the exciting things that are happening at Columbine Health Systems like Café Columbine and the new Café Columbine Playhouse. The magazine is classy and professional which matches the tone of what we try to provide, top-notch health care.

One of the finest After 25 years in the printing business, Style is consistently one of the finest magazines I continue to see. It rivals National Geographic. ~ Bill McClaflin Albrands Computer Service

I am feeling very unworthy. I never expected to see myself on the March cover. Your photographer and you are amazing. It goes to show that if you just follow what you are told, instead of doubting, it all works out. Thank you! My husband is thrilled. Thank you too for the beautiful job on the article for Junior League. This is the most amazing town, when it comes to volunteerism, that I have ever lived in. I’m honored to represent volunteerism on the cover of Style. Thanks a million! ~ Ki Johnson Junior League of Fort Collins

Every time we have something in Style, we get great response. People always stop me and say, “I saw you in Style!” ~ Yvonne Myers Columbine Health Systems Coordinator

We welcome your comments. Contact us By phone: 970.226.6400 By fax: 970.226.6427 By email: info@stylemedia.com www.stylemagazinecolorado.com

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Publisher’s Letter

You might be wondering who the handsome man is on this issue’s cover. Well, he is not only an entrepreneur, world traveler, and printer of Style magazines, but is also a very kind Greeley businessman who generously bid and won being on our cover as we raised money for Hope Lives Breast Cancer Support Center. We enjoyed a delightful play at our annual Customer Appreciation event at Bas Bleu Theatre and raised over $11,000 for this worthwhile nonprofit providing services for women diagnosed with breast cancer. Thank you Mark Kendall for your support.

I

t is hard to admit I have lived in Fort Collins since 1966 since in my mind and heart I am still in my 30s. Over these past decades I have continued to marvel at how our region has evolved into a sophisticated business center, important medical region and huge shopping destination while retaining its charm, appeal, personal people connection and big heart. Today, more than ever, our communities can be tempted to flirt with divisiveness, competition and one-upsmanship as we fight for our economic health. But, for the overall health of our region it is critical that we pull together to plan mutually beneficial transportation solutions, plan development and growth, support downtown business health, partner to solve education challenges, entice business transplants for job growth, support medical expansion and much, much more. The opportunities are abundant. The time is now. Fortunately we have people in place with talent and good intentions to solve the complex issues we are faced with today. Sometimes it is necessary for us to set aside short term personal gain for the overall sustainability and greater good for our region. Cooperation and commitment were recurring themes in our interviews with the Presidents of our area Chambers of Commerce. Poudre and Weld School Superintendents are working hard to resolve issues and advance their systems. The town of Timnath is taking proactive steps to welcome planned growth. Small business is working hard to grow their businesses and continue to be the backbone and contribute to the charm of our region’s character. Our economy may have its challenges, but the valleys aren’t nearly as deep as other areas of our country. We are so fortunate to live in this region. After 41 years I still think it is the best place in the world to live, work and raise a family. Each of us comes from unique roots and different walks of life. But, each of us can do something to contribute to our quality of life for the health of our area and the continuing wholesome legacy we leave for our children. We can give of our time, our money, our skills, our connections. We can support non-profits, volunteer, shop locally, serve on boards and commissions, and make our voices heard. We can lead a cause or work in support of it. We can do so much individually and collectively we can make such a difference. That is our region’s history of personal commitment. We must continue this tradition to preserve and enhance what we have in this little corner of heaven. As the lyrics of Dave Matthew’s song relay, “I’ll lean on you and you lean on me and we’ll be okay.”

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Lydia’s STYLE Magazine


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April 2007 :: Business of northern colorado

34 23 features

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The Master of Color

16

Q&A

Mark Kendall of Kendall Printing.

Chambers of Commerce Presidents.

Trusted Resource 20 BBB: Information for businesses & consumers. Update 23 Economic Northern Colorado financial forecast. Foward 32 Phase Scott Bray of Glen Companies. Leading Jewelers 34 Sather’s Four generations of exceptional service.

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Vertical With Heath 36 Go Heath Construction : Primed for growth. Districts 38 School Changes & new directions. Timnath 42 Tiny Timnath becomes hottest development. Creek Financial 46 Aspen Mortgage company built on pride.

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columns

9 10

46 55

Publisher’s Letter Our Quality of Life Legacy

Review 52 Restaurant Manno’s Grille at Collindale, Fort Collins. ON THE COVER Mark Kendall, founder and owner of Kendall Printing Company leads the industry and his team to higher standards. Cover photography by Dana Milner

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From Our Readers

Town 55 About Triumph Awards Gala, Single Malt Scotch Discovery, Celebrate Relationships, WomenGive Spring Social, Masks at MOCA, Dinner of Champions.

www.stylemagazinecolorado.co m


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The Master of Color Mark Kendall of Kendall Printing by Corey Radman

Maybe you have heard of Kendall Printing Company in Greeley, but if you haven’t you are certain to have seen their work. Projects widely distributed through Northern Colorado include guidebooks for both CSU & UNC, cultural and performing arts materials, and of course Style Magazine.

T

hrough 30+ years in the printing business, Mark Kendall, founder and owner of Kendall Printing Company has striven to ensure excellence in his work. Beginning in 1984, Mark Kendall combined his experiences as production manager at a local printer, and a bachelor’s degree in printing management, along with his dedication to excellent customer service and began his own company. With just two employees and a desire to do things better, his business philosophy concentrated on three key principles: building a strong relationship with the client to provide impeccable customer service, producing the highest quality printing, and continually improving the printing environment to attain maximum efficiency.

Strong Client Relationships “I believe that if you maintain your commitments to your customers and the commitment that the company has made to deliver the highest quality product, everything else will take care of itself,” says Kendall. He continues that this way of

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doing business ensures that Kendall maintains its high standards – standards that sometimes even exceed the expectations of their customers. Kendall Printing Company works with clients all around the world to make real what they had only previously imagined. Whether the projects are magazines, posters, books, marketing materials, or graphic design they manage all aspects of printing and marketing fulfillment to act as a reliable and productive extension of any company or team. Customers respond to their excellent service but also to their creativity. “Beyond [the basics], they give suggestions on how to make our product look really good – even better than we imagined it could,” says Joe Tennessen, Senior VP Cultural Enhancement, New Frontier Bank. You can find Kendall Printing Company’s devoted customer service all through the printing process. One great example is the first step, estimating the job cost. “We provide you with a detailed estimate before you commit,” explains Kevin McDermott, Plant Manager. The proposal will be researched, clearly written, and easy to un-

derstand. It is even possible for clients to fill out the quote form on-line to allow for a customized initial estimate. Janet Bullock, President & CEO, Innovative Learning Concepts sums up their customer-friendly philosophy neatly, “They’ll go the extra mile.” Quality “If you are looking for a printer who is professional, on time, and will deliver what you asked them to deliver, Kendall Printing is it,” says Bullock. Chris Johnston, Pre-Press Manager, explains that much care and thought goes into the PrePress process to ensure that once approved, a job is perfect. “We are a ‘Rip Once, Output Many’ printer.” This means that most of the time invested on a job is in verifying that the files are perfect before they are ever proofed by the client. Then the customer gets a color, true 2400 dpi, 200 line screen proof to either make changes to or to sign off on. Because such care is taken in estimating and

Lydia’s STYLE Magazine


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pre-press processes, the printing stage is the easy part. And with their new Heidelberg Speedmaster, 10 color, 1 pass press, Kendall Printing Company has raised the quality standards in the region. Improved Efficiency = $$ Saved The new Heidelberg press brings cutting-edge technology to Northern Colorado. The only one in the Western U.S., the Heidelberg cuts printing time drastically. It can print 12,000 double-sided sheets per hour. Kendall can do any combination of color, coating, treatment all with one pass and one press check. With cutting edge technology like this, Kendall Printing Company can pass significant savings on to customers. Kendall has also acquired new, state-of-the-art cutting and binding systems. Their extensive design, printing, marketing fulfillment services, combined with their dedication to superior quality and customer service offer clients an all-in-one reason to partner with them for success. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The quality is great and value is really something special, which is why we keep coming back to Kendall,â&#x20AC;? adds Tenneson. Kendall Printing Company is a full service provider offering in-house binding, and fully customized mailings, which can target specific demographics with customized imprinting. Their fulfillment center goes a step beyond. They can coordinate mailings for immediate shipment or wrap and store inventory for customer orders in the future. When an order comes in, Kendall will ship it directly to the end user. Best In Industry The ISO 9002 symbol is the gold seal of manufacturing, and is recognized in over 130 countries. Kendall Printing was the first printer in Colorado, and the second in the entire Rocky Mountain region to achieve this certification in the fall of 1996. They continue to put quality first by utilizing high-end industry technology combined with dedicated customer service to make a difference in every project they produce. For over 20 years, Kendall Printing Company has exceeded the highest independent standards. With upgrades like the Heidelberg press and a new bindery, they are now prepared to continue for years. Family and Community Friendly Today Kendall Printing Company has been in business for 23 years in Northern Colorado. They employ 90 professionals, which is unusually large for the industry, but it serves as a testament to the way they conduct business and contribute to their community. The company boasts a client base that is worldwide but all clients get the same home town feel. Because their web interface and distribution are so sophisticated and efficient, customers as far as Malaysia get the same excellent service as those in Northern Colorado. Quality, Value, Service: it is for these reasons that customers throughout the region choose Kendall Printing Company â&#x20AC;&#x201C; including Style Magazine. Next time you see Style Magazine, think of Kendall.

Kendall Printing located on 3331 W 29th Street in Greeley.

Bryan Slegl pulls sheets from 10/c press.

Chris Johnston cuts out proofs.

Jose Calleros checks press sheets with a loupe.

Rebecca Avila inserts tabs.

Corey Radman is Assistant Editor at Style Magazine.

Business of Northern Colorado

15


with Chamber of Commerce Presidents in Northern Colorado Fort Collins David May

Q: How long have you been in office and what is your favorite part of the job? A: I’ve managed chambers of commerce for 25 years. I came to Fort Collins four years ago this month from Washington, D.C. where I was a vice president for the U.S. Chamber. It’s hard to narrow the list of favorite aspects of the job down to just one thing! We get to work with the best and brightest people in our community, which is a privilege I never take for granted. Successful businesspeople are a real treasure. I’m always impressed with their courage and can-do attitude. I also like the fact that my days have a great deal of variety with none ever being like another. Forced to pick one thing, however, I would point to the Chamber’s ability to positively impact the future of our community. We affect the business climate and the quality of life of the community. Our work makes a difference regarding the number and quality of jobs available to area residents and the livability of the community. Q: What was your most important goal or project when you started the job? How has that evolved? A: Before I arrived at the Chamber, the political climate had become toxic for business. Activists had gotten control of city government and turned Fort Collins into a difficult place to do business. This was happening at the same time the economy was changing, but anyone daring

enough to point any of this out was savaged in the media by the no-growth activists. Consequently, the depth of anger in the business community was far beyond anything I’d ever seen before. The Chamber Board said the top priority was to elect a more balanced city council, one more reflective of the overall community. That was accomplished in 2005 when, for the first time in 16 years, the no-growth majority on Council became a minority. It will be a challenge to keep the Council in balance in the years ahead but the business community seems to understand that this is a marathon, not a sprint. Any short-term setbacks are just that. The future of the community is too important to abandon to people with narrow, backward thinking agendas. Q: Today, more than ever, there is competition among Northern Colorado communities. What are the pluses and minuses of that? A: Competition is very good; it keeps you on your toes! Fort Collins has earned many welldeserved accolades as a great place to live, retire and so on. But in a fast-changing world it’s critical not to spend too much time reading and believing your own press clippings! For a long time things came easy for Fort Collins. As other communities in the region have grown and matured the landscape has shifted somewhat. Other communities have become very supportcontinued on page 48

Greeley sarah macquiddy

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Q: How long have you been in office and what is your favorite part of the job? A: I was hired as interim Chamber President in December 2004 and served until being offered the full time position in June 2005. Favorite parts include: Volunteers - Working with a board of directors that has the vision and energy to develop our business community. Volunteers on the various Chamber committees – they have the enthusiasm to bring our program of work alive. Variety of the job – working in the tourism industry for years was exciting – selling people on our great community comes easily for me. The tourism industry was easy for me to transition into the Chamber arena – just how many balls can you keep in the air at one time.

A: I see Greeley, Loveland and Fort Collins working very well together; each community has their own identity, vision and leadership. We collaborate on many projects that are important to the region. Transportation is an excellent example of that. We realize the importance of moving goods and services in the region to have a thriving region. With the economic development in Northern Colorado – employees have more choices on where to work and where to live. The consideration for sales tax collections is probably one of our greatest challenges. Each city needs revenue streams to grow and meet the needs for their residents. When businesses and people leave a community that has a significant impact on a city budget and economic viability.

Q: What was your most important goal or project when you started the job? How has that evolved? A: When I started as the Interim Chamber President my main focus was to breath some life back into many of the programs and to be visible in the community. The Chamber President should be viewed as a committed and involved member of the community.

Q: What thoughts would you like to leave us with? A: We are fortunate to live to an area that is attracting business and new residents – we may not be the fastest growing MSA during the last census, but honestly this gives our community time to take a deep breath and regroup. Each community is very unique and should capitalize on what makes us different. Having completed our branding with North Star Destination Strategies – we know that, “Greeley. Great From the Ground Up.” will afford us some great marketing opportunities.

Q: Today, more than ever, there is competition among Northern Colorado communities. What are the pluses and minuses of that?


Style Magazine interviewed the Presidents of Northern Colorado Chambers of Commerce to get their perspectives on the future of our Front Range communities both individually, and as a regional whole.

Loveland gaye stockman

Q: How long have you been in office and what is your favorite part of the job? A: In September of 2003, I left the Northern Colorado Economic Development Corporation (NCEDC) where I was the Vice President to become the President and CEO of the Loveland Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center. As an Ex-Officio on the Chamber Board representing the NCEDC, I saw a real opportunity to make a difference. The Chamber, at that time, was lacking direction and was failing to thrive. Their President had resigned in May of that same year and the Board was seeking someone with strong business development experience. The favorite part of my job is working with the Board and staff to develop and carry out a great program to help local businesses develop, grow and thrive.

members, strengthen partnerships within the business development community, and identify opportunities to bring educational programs to our members. The initial two years of my tenure was focused on stabilizing the Chamber. We now have approximately 850 members, an outstanding professional staff, solid fiscal footing, and we have developed innovative partnerships with other business development organizations. It is our premise that we should not duplicate efforts but collaborate with our strategic business development partners to develop programs that benefit our mutual clients. A couple of examples of the innovative programs we are collaborating with other partners are the Loveland Economic Gardening Program and Engaging Loveland, Inc.

Q: What was your most important goal or project when you started the job? How has that evolved? A: The most important goals and projects identified by the Board were two fold. Regarding the internal structure, I was to build a strong team to operate the Chamber, implement accounting policies and procedures to stabilize the Chamber’s fiscal status, and to identify and install up to date computer technology. As for the external tasks, I was to develop programs to assist business development at all levels for our

Q: Today, more than ever, there is competition among Northern Colorado communities. What are the pluses and minuses of that? A: There is not a short answer to this question. First and foremost it must be recognized that with the loss of many primary jobs within our communities, many residents no longer have nonessential funds to spend. The lack of primary jobs is the major reason our communities are not seeing the expected growth many of their budgets were based upon. Secondarily, with the majority of our resicontinued on page 48

Windsor Pete hyland

Q: How long have you been in office and what is your favorite part of the job? A: I served on the Windsor Chamber Board of Directors since January 2005, as President elect since January 2006. There are many parts that are favorites: meeting new people that become new members, being involved in the daily workings of the Chamber with staff members Connie and Michal, and having the opportunity to represent the businesses of Windsor and the greater Windsor community. Q: What was your most important goal or project when you started the job? How has that evolved? A: To help foster an alliance between business owners, residents and local government. These relationships have continued to evolve during my term as President through community involvement at new events such as the “Meet the Leaders Night.” This was an event where the local government leaders, various board members, community activists, citizens, and Chamber members were invited to an informal gathering to renew the common interests of increasing the public awareness of the goods and services offered in the Windsor community, to support existing businesses, to attract new business to the Windsor area, and to maintain the “Quality of Life” in Windsor. Our community is

Business of Northern Colorado

growing at such a rapid pace that input from all community members is very important. Q: Today, more than ever, there is competition among Northern Colorado communities. What are the pluses and minuses of that? A: Plus: Communities are forced to be proactive instead of reactive when attracting new business. Competition for new business makes the various communities play their “A” game, making everyone better. When new business comes to the Northern Colorado area, everyone wins. Minus: Northern Colorado Communities have always tried to work together to make the area a desirable place to live and start a business. As our communities continue to compete for the new growth it can sometimes place a strain on our partnerships. Q: What thoughts would you like to leave us with? A: As we all know, the Northern Colorado area is a wonderful place to work and live. We need to continue the positive work that is being done by the area Chambers of Commerce, business and economic development groups, developers and local governments agencies, so that the area continues to be the Jewel of the Front Range. And, how ‘bout them Eagles?!

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with Chamber of Commerce Presidents in Northern Colorado Berthoud jim f. strovas Q: How long have you been in office and what is your favorite part of the job? A: I was elected to vice president and right after that the new president resigned because of a move out of town, so I have been in the position a very short time. My favorite part of the job right now is getting to know what to do. Q: What was your most important goal or project when you started the job? How has that evolved? A: The two most important goals for our chamber were first, to find a more visible location for the chamber office which was accomplished in Feb. ‘07 and secondly, to have chamber members more active in the community. This will be accomplished through education throughout the year. Q: Today, more than ever, there is competition among Northern Colorado communities. What are the pluses and minuses of that? A: Competition is always good in that it makes us strive to be better in all we do. The challenge for small communities such as Berthoud is that we have fewer resources that would help attract new businesses to our community. Q: What thoughts would you like to leave us with? A: Northern Colorado is, in my mind, one of the best places to live and work.

Estes Park Lois smith

Q: How long have you been in office and what is your favorite part of the job? A: I have been honored to be President of the Estes Park Chamber of Commerce for one and a half years. Although Estes Park is a small town with many diverse independent businesses, we each face many common problems along with unique challenges. By respectfully coming together as business professionals, each can bring our individual talents & perspective, to create innovative solutions that are dynamically beneficial to our Estes Park business community. This has been the most rewarding aspect. Q: What was your most important goal or project when you started the job? How has that evolved? A: Redefining our role as an effective Chamber of Commerce has been a most important challenge. Sometimes change is thrust upon you and sometimes it comes by choice. Our Chamber is striving to be better balanced in our “business to business” role, while actively maintaining the visitor’s services that will always be part of our Chamber identity in an active resort community. Q: Today, more than ever, there is competition among Northern Colorado communities. What are the pluses and minuses of that? A: Competition helps us look beyond the comfortable and into the possibilities. Challenge helps us improve! Our proximity to Rocky Mountain National Park will always be our unique summer situation, however we continue to look outside the box to actively compete for year round business opportunities that will help strengthen our local economy. Q: What thoughts would you like to leave us with? A: Rocky Mountain National Park alone draws 3 million visitors each year to our community. We, the business people of Estes Park, will continue to work together to make our community a great place for visitors, residents and employees to bask in the natural beauty of this wonderful place and have a memorable experience. We welcome you our neighbors, come to Estes Park, escape, relax, and enjoy!

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Johnstown / Milliken CINDY ROINESTAD Q: How long have you been in office and what is your favorite part of the job? A: I joined the Johnstown/Milliken Chamber of Commerce in Aug. 2002. I began serving on the Chamber board the fall of that year. I served in 2006 as Vice President, and I began serving as President in 2007. I really enjoy working with the people. Lending an ear when needed and offering an encouraging word are very important parts of this job. Q: What was your most important goal or project when you started the job? How has that evolved? A: Since I have been on the Chamber board, we have worked very hard focusing on our members; providing them with cost effective advertising such as our Community Scene, Business Expos and our Community Directory. We made a goal in 2006 to acquire a more visible and attractive facility, which would provide sufficient space for a visitors center, Charlottes Treasures (our gift shop) and meeting/work areas. We moved into our new facility in Feb. 2007. Q: Today, more than ever, there is competition among Northern Colorado communities. What are the pluses and minuses of that? A: The pluses are that the communities want to make positive improvements to attract more businesses and people. The minuses are when communities are in such competition the best outcome may not always be achieved. Q: What thoughts would you like to leave us with? A: Be active and support your community!

Business of Northern Colorado

19


a Trusted Resource by Barbara Read

In a world filled with unethical business practices and a host of scams, frauds and schemes both on and off the Internet, it’s reassuring to know that the Better Business Bureau has your back whether you’re a business or a consumer.

B Your front door is the Internet and we’re the welcome mat. Now more than ever, consumers pick up their mouse before they pick up their phone. The BBBOnLine seal tells people that a business maintains high standards and treats customers fairly. Is the seal on your site?

Maybe it should be. Call for more information.

®

20

It’s just good business. Mountain States Better Business Bureau® 970.484.1348 / 800.564.0371 www.mountainstates.bbb.org

usinesses look to the BBB as a partner in maintaining marketplace integrity and self-regulation,” said Pamela King, president and CEO of the Mountain States BBB, which has more than 3,900 business members in 38 counties in Northern Colorado and Wyoming. “And consumers turn to us for a host of reasons, including business reliability reports, mediation and arbitration services, and information about all of the scams that arrive in their mailboxes, over the Internet and even at their front doors.” Businesses that align themselves with the BBB do so for a variety of reasons, King said. Perhaps foremost is the ability to use the BBB trustmark, which has become a well-recognized symbol of ethical business conduct, practices and standards. Companies that agree to additional standards for ethical online business can become a BBBOnLine member and display the BBBOnLine Reliability seal. The BBB also monitors advertising in the marketplace and investigates and reports on unethical business activities and fraud. The annual Torch Awards for Business Ethics recognizes companies in four size categories from both northern Colorado and Wyoming that exemplify business ethics. The BBB partners with the business colleges of the region’s three major universities to work directly with nominated companies to prepare the entries. The BBB also partners with three area Rotary districts in giving an annual $5,000 BBB/Torch scholarship to a high school junior or senior. This year’s event is set for April 19 at the Fort Collins Marriott. How do consumers benefit from the BBB? “In so many ways,” answered King. “The BBB provides consumer tips, alerts about the latest scams, and dispute resolution services. The BBB also provides business reliability reports on both members and nonmembers.” The Mountain States Better Business Bureau is a trusted resource for today’s wary consumers and smart business partners. BBB’s services aren’t too good to be true – they’re just good business. Barbara Read is Vice President, Communications Director for Mountain States BBB.

Pamela King

Consumers turn to us for a host of reasons, including business reliability reports, mediation and arbitration services, and information about all of the scams that arrive in their mailboxes, over the Internet and even at their front doors. - Pamela King President & CEO of the Mountain States BBB


B U I L D E R S, I Since

1973

C.


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Northern Colorado

Economic Update by JC Clarke

Fort Collins has received quite a bit of recognition in the national media in recent months as the rest of the nation slowly realizes something that we’ve all known for years—it just doesn’t get any better than this.

But hearing some of the recent news about interest rates, foreclosures, employers closing their doors, and new development moving the tax base south has some people worrying that the economic sky is falling here in Northern Colorado. Take a closer look at the numbers, however, and you’ll see that actually things are not bad at all. Northern Colorado is in a unique position economically. Strong employment gains, reasonable interest rates, a thriving real estate market, and of course, the simple fact that there’s no better place in the world to live, all combine to make the future look as bright as ever for those of us who live and work in this region.

Business of Northern Colorado

23


Unemployment Figures

Maury Dobbie, President and CEO of the Northern Colorado Economic Development Corporation.

Select Cities in Colorado

Labor Force

Rate

76,291

3,909

4.9

Greeley

48,051

45,155

2,896

6.0

Select Cities in Colorado

32,392 2,648,023

31,204 2,527,417

January 2006 Labor Force

Employment

1,188 120,606

Unemployed

3.7 4.6

Rate

Fort Collins

78,298

74,043

4,255

5.4

Greeley

46,105

43,098

3,007

6.5

Loveland Colorado

31,578

2,576,043

30,285

2,447,000

1,293

129,043

4.1

5.0

There is a belief that certain parts of Larimer County are tough to build in, and companies are always going to build where they feel they are wanted. Whether that is a good or a bad thing depends on where you sit and who you are. - Lew Wymisner Lew Wymisner, Assistant Director of the Larimer County Workforce Center.

Employment

24

Unemployed

80,200

Colorado

The unemployment rate has declined .6% since January 2006 and currently is about 4.1% here in Northern Colorado—still below the national average of 4.5% according to Lew Wymisner, Assistant Director of the Larimer County Workforce Center. He believes that although a few major companies closing their doors have made headlines, overall job growth has been good in the region over the last year. “The backbone of the economy is small business,” Wymisner says. “Most employers employ less than ten people. So while forty small companies each adding ten employees may not get any news coverage, collectively they have the same impact as a major company that employs 400 people coming into the area.” For this reason, says Wymisner, people may have misperceptions about the state of the local economy. “Most real economic development occurs in small business; you can’t read about that in the headlines.” The bottom line is that job creation is on track in Northern Colorado and the unemployment rate is declining. “We’re blessed in this area with a diversified economy,” explains Wymisner. “We’re not a steel town where if the steel mill closes then suddenly everyone is out of work. We’re not just

Employed

Fort Collins Loveland

40% of the workforce in this region has a college degree—our highly educated workforce is a key to bringing more and better jobs into the region. - Maury Dobbie -

January 2007 Preliminary

a high-tech town either; there are six sectors in the local economy that employ more than 10,000 people.” Those sectors are manufacturing, food services, finance and insurance, healthcare and social assistance, retail trade, and construction. All of those sectors, with the notable exception of manufacturing, added new jobs to the local economy last year. Maury Dobbie, President and CEO of the Northern Colorado Economic Development Corporation, agrees that the unemployment rate is low, but believes that right now we have a unique opportunity to enhance the quality of life of the people who live in the region by attracting primary employers and creating high-skill jobs to match our highly educated work force. Although the conventional wisdom is that locating a company in an area with low unemployment can make finding qualified candidates more difficult, Dobbie suspects that many people in the area are underemployed. “People choose to stay here first, and then they start looking for a job. This causes some employees to take jobs that they are overqualified for,” she says. So to a certain extent our low unemployment numbers may be misleading—while workers are finding jobs, they may still be looking for a job that is more suited to

their skill and education level. “In this area we can provide employers with the people that they need to prosper, and at the same time many of our skilled workers can find the jobs they are looking for,” says Dobbie. That should be a major draw for companies looking to locate here as well as incentive for local companies looking to expand. “40% of the workforce in this region has a college degree—our highly educated workforce is a key to bringing more and better jobs into the region,” she says. An influx of primary jobs will be a tremendous benefit to the whole economy of Northern Colorado, believes Dobbie. “Quality of life starts with good paying jobs,” she says. “That’s why I’m passionate about this—helping families to grow and thrive, to have the opportunity to buy a house and a car—it’s not about growing the region, but about providing quality job opportunities for those who do choose to live here.” Wymisner agrees that it’s opportunities for Northern Coloradoans that matter, not a particular political ideology. “We’re looking for ways to give people opportunities that they wouldn’t otherwise have. It’s not no-growth versus progrowth, it’s about finding ways to work together to build a great community.”

Lydia’s STYLE Magazine


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Or picture yourself dropping your car for service, then boarding a 5-minute shuttle to the Promenade Shops at Centerra. See a movie. Sip a cappuccino. Have lunch. Go shopping.

"Home State Bank is helping us to build our

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real estate It’s no secret to anyone that the intersection of I-25 and Highway 34 is quickly becoming the center of a development boom in the area, but the impact that this development will have on surrounding communities is uncertain. “The impact on Fort Collins in the short term is that primary employers and retailers will have a number of options. They can look at both Loveland and Fort Collins and make their decision,” says Jason Ells, Broker/Partner at Realtec Commerical. He agrees with Dobbie that primary employers locating in the area will have a positive impact on the local economy. “Primary employers draw and create residual companies that follow in order to provide services to the area. It will have a very positive impact on the entire Northern Colorado region regardless of where the employer decides to locate.” Chuck McNeal, Chairman of the Group, Inc. sees a similar trend in the residential side of the real estate market. “Don’t just read the headlines,” he says. “Interest rates, jobs, and inventory are pointed in the right direction. We’re about to see a soft take-off from the soft-landing that we just experienced.” The buyer’s market that has kept home values relatively steady in recent months is now giving way to a more balanced market. “Inventory is starting to fall,” says McNeal. “Big builders have pulled out and later this year we should see a turnaround in the residential real estate market as inventories decrease.” McNeal doesn’t believe that the recent news of high foreclosure rates on Adjustable Rate Mortgages will have much of an impact on the overall market in Northern Colorado. “The basics are just too strong,” he says. “We’ve had a lot of positive press nationally, job creation is on track, and our prices are still very reasonable here. All indications are for a nice turnaround in the coming year.”

Interest rates, jobs, and inventory are pointed in the right direction. We’re about to see a soft takeoff from the softlanding that we just experienced. - Chuck McNeal -

Chuck McNeal, Chairman of the Group, Inc.

2006 HOME SALES Information according to The Group Inc. Real Estate

26


2007 Residential Sales Forecast 2007 Average Price

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Number of Home Sales

Residential Sales Volume

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Homes Sold 2006

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27


Banking One can’t help but notice that bank branches are sprouting up all over Fort Collins like dandelions on a front lawn. “We have seen an aggressive build-out of banks entering Northern Colorado,” notes Mark Driscoll, President of First National Bank. “That expansion is based on earlier deposit growth, which has slowed significantly. We may be over-banked in the region, which ultimately could lead to consolidation in the industry. But in the mean time there are great opportunities for consumers and businesses because of bank competitiveness.” At the same time recent news about high

foreclosure rates, particularly among sub-prime mortgages, has some people worried about the effect that foreclosures will have on banking and real estate markets. “We have heard about some foreclosure issues in Colorado in the news recently—it’s not the highest rate we’ve seen in the last twenty years, but it is relatively high,” says Driscoll. “Some people did stretch to get into their home and have not seen appreciation. Consumer debt is difficult to refinance when the value of the home has not gone up, which is making it harder for some consumers to make debt payments as interest rates have gradually risen in

response to inflation fears.” But Driscoll is also quick to point out that even as rates have increased somewhat, they continue to be relatively low. “We’re still seeing very low rates,” he says. “It’s still a tremendous environment, and on the plus side, many people have been able to enter the housing market using Adjustable Rate Mortgages recently who otherwise wouldn’t have been able to buy a home.” Lynn Reaser, Ph.D. and Chief Economist at Bank of America’s Investment Strategies Group, agrees that the foreclosure issue needs to be put into perspective. “Sub-prime mortgages represent only about 14% of total outstanding mortgages,” she says. “It looks like at most 10% of those mortgages may default. That represents just 1% of total outstanding mortgages. A downturn in home prices is unlikely, we’re probably looking at a housing market that will be fairly flat; we may even experience modest appreciation. But we’re not looking at a major decline.” Don Churchwell, retired CEO of Home State Bank, believes that the current market has put us in a strong position from which we

Mark Driscoll, President of First National Bank.

28


We’re definitely not looking at a doom and gloom situation. We’re expecting our bank to grow and we’re expecting the overall market to grow. - Don Churchwell -

Don Churchwell, retired CEO & Mark Bower, CFO, of Home State Bank.

can build steady, gradual growth in the coming year. “We’re definitely not looking at a doom and gloom situation,” he says. “We’re expecting our bank to grow and we’re expecting the overall market to grow. It’s not the kind of growth that we had become used to, but it’s much better than in many areas of the country. We should see nice, steady growth in the next year, which is a good thing—it has been almost out of control at times in the past, and we’re definitely not in that circumstance today.”

We have heard about some foreclosure issues in Colorado in the news recently— it’s not the highest rate we’ve seen in the last twenty years, but it is relatively high. Some people did stretch to get into their home and have not seen appreciation. - Mark Driscoll 29


development At least one thing has not changed a bit here in Northern Colorado. We continue to see a huge amount of development in the region. Some have been surprised to see so much of the new growth appearing outside of Fort Collins, which has always been the population center of the region, but those who have been paying close attention to regional policies have seen this transition coming for years. “In the 1980s a consultant addressed the city council of Fort Collins and asked, ‘what are you going to do when the center of economic activity in the region shifts to the intersection of I-25 and Highway 34?’” recalls McNeal. Mike Freeman, economic advisor to the city of Fort Collins agrees that the new developments in the area are not a surprise. “It was inevitable that areas in Loveland, Windsor, and Greeley would develop creating retail and employment competition, however that does not change the city’s economic health strategies. I think there’s too much emphasis placed on competition, particularly with Loveland; it’s just a reality.” He believes that fears that Fort Collins is lagging behind other regional municipalities are unfounded. “It’s a misperception. The real estate market here is great and Fort Collins continues to be the employment, higher education, population, and income center of Northern Colorado.” But still, snags in the development of the Harmony Corridor and the Foothills Fashion mall while Loveland moves forward with development have already eroded the tax base in Fort Collins and caused some to wonder what the next stage will be. “Will we follow the Boulder market trends?” asks Wymisner. McNeal believes that he already sees the Boulder development model at work here in Fort Collins. “We’re about fifteen years behind Boulder. The pattern we’ve seen there with similar policies is that prices have gone through the roof in the core city and development has moved to surrounding communities.” Although this may be good news for homeowners who are locked into the Fort Collins market, high prices for housing can cause problems for a community. “What you’ve seen in Boulder is the development of a commuter culture in which people drive back and forth in order to fill the retail and service jobs that are needed to support the community,” says Wymisner. Unable to afford rapidly escalating home costs, lower-wage workers simply can’t afford to live in Boulder, adding tremendously to traffic congestion on Boulder county streets and highways. At the same time residents often find themselves traveling outside of the county to outlying retail centers, which also adds to the pollution and congestion of automobile traffic in the area. Is this the future of Fort Collins? No one knows for sure, but we do know that the Northern Colorado region will continue to grow and prosper in coming years. The question that is facing each regional municipality is, what is the best way to deal with that inevitable growth?

30


Mike Freeman, Economic Advisor for the City of Fort Collins.

It was inevitable that areas in Loveland, Windsor, and Greeley would develop creating retail and employment competition, however that does not change the city’s economic health strategies. - Mike Freeman -

“Each community has different needs and sees things differently,” points out Wymisner. “There is a belief—whether real or merely perceived—that certain parts of Larimer County are tough to build in, and companies are always going to build where they feel they are wanted. Whether that is a good or a bad thing depends on where you sit and who you are.” JC Clarke is a freelance writer and novelist who lives in Fort Collins with his wife Victoria and their two children.

31


Scott Bray, owner of Glen Companies.

It’s a dilemma for baby boomers because they want to downsize and they can go to a patio home for a few years, but then what? - Scott Bray -

Phase

Foward by Julie Estlick

Scott Bray likes to build luxury homes, but multi-million dollar mansions don’t excite him. The Loveland native and owner of Glen Companies finds a mix of patio homes, condominiums and single-family houses are more appealing to buyers.

I

n nearby Windsor, developer Martin Lind is in the process of building 1,000 attached homes and 500 single-family residences in a section of his 3,000-acre Water Valley resort community. An increasing number of Northern Colorado residential developers are using multi-phase development, building different products in phases over several years rather than completing a project all at once. This strategy makes it easier to respond to a changing housing market. “It’s all market-driven,” says Bray, who is moving along on the second phase of Seven Lakes subdivision in Loveland. “As you start to build a project and see something isn’t going to sell as well, you change your plans. You build in phas-

32

es because there’s no way you can predict what will happen after your plans get approved. The trend is big here right now because all the national homebuilders pulled out when sales cooled off leaving just us smaller, local developers.” Seven Lakes is tucked into a quiet area with lakes bordering the North and East sides and walking paths that tie into the Loveland City Recreation Trail and Boyd Lake State Park. Bray describes it as “a little oasis in the mass confusion of city life.” Once the 177 single-family lots were completed, Bray moved into the current phase of building patio homes which appeal to retirees looking to downsize and give up lawn maintenance. A total of 88 patio homes will be built during phase two, scheduled for completion at the end of this year. The final phase is a first for Bray – an independent retirement facility with 170 apartments for both independent and assisted living and a memory care wing for Alzheimer’s patients. It will also offer a bank, concierge service and a chef preparing three meals a day. Building is set to begin this summer. Once completed, Frontier Management of Portland, Oregon, will operate the facility. “This is the first retirement facility I’ve built, and I think the elderly deserve something nice toward the end of their lives,” says Bray. “It’s a dilemma for baby boomers because they want to downsize and they can go to a patio home for a few years, but then what? Frontier’s research shows the average person in retirement residential living is 84. They are still independent, but this offers so many transitions in one place if you eventually need assistance.” Both Seven Lakes and Water Valley use water as a focal point. Bray’s Seven Lakes owns the recreation rights to Westerdoll Lake and Heinricy Lake so residents can enjoy fishing, swimming and canoeing. Lind’s Water Valley features several man-made lakes stocked with largemouth bass and other fish, a marina and two golf courses. Lind, the president of Water Valley Land Development, reels off the list of other amenities offered: Five miles of beaches, extensive trails, a recreation island for parties and weddings and eventually a commercial area with restaurants, banks, salons and spas. Not to mention the amazing golfing. Pelican Lakes Golf and Country Club features an 18-hole golf course designed by world-renowned golf course architect Ted Robinson, Sr., that uses the Poudre River as a centerpiece. Golfers cross the winding river four times as they negotiate the 18 holes. Pelican Falls is a 9-hole championship golf course that includes a series of waterfalls and streams. There is also an outdoor pool and health club. “This is the only place North of Denver with 27 holes of golf,” says Lind. “There are a lot of other golf communities coming, but nobody else has 70 percent open space like we do – we have 700 acres of very active space for fishing, boating and swimming. It’s what resort communities want.” Water Valley is half-way complete with the second phase, Water Valley South, about 20 percent done. Phase three isn’t slated to start for another 3 to 5 years. “We thought this was a 20-year project at the beginning,” says Lind, chuckling. “We’re 15 years in and it’s still a 20-year project so we’re looking at 2027. We’ve been in market booms and busts, but we’ll build ahead of demand.” It’s no longer just about plopping down rows of houses and including some cul de sacs, says Lind. “Typical land development in Northern Colorado used to be 30 to 60 acres, some streets and cornfields. There’s been a paradigm shift to larger master plans in the last two decades. In multi-phase developments you look at long-term shopping patterns and traffic patterns. You try to be the place where people can come home and not have to get back into their cars to go golfing and grocery shopping.” Another major project in the works is the $35 million Good Samaritan Village Senior Living Resort at Water Valley which is set to open next spring. The senior living community, restricted to age 55 and older, is situated on the edge of the Pelican Falls Golf Course and close to prime fishing areas. It will have 116 units with kitchen, washer and dryer and underground parking with 16 spaces reserved for golf carts. Rent includes utilities, a noon meal, housekeeping and linen services and scheduled transportation. A Town Center will include a coffee lounge, dining room, game room, theater, chapel, bank, general store and beauty shop. There are also plans for future twin homes and assisted living apartments within the senior resort. Lind, a native of Windsor, donated 10 additional acres of land to Good Samaritan to be used for affordable housing. The main units are priced around $3,000 a month. “This is the best part of my job,” says Lind. “We needed a group like Good Samaritan to come in and go the extra mile. Everything about this project just seemed right.” Julie Estlick is a freelance writer and copyeditor living in Fort Collins.

Lydia’s STYLE Magazine


Sid & Julie Sather-Browne carry on the family tradition.

Satherâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Leading Jewelers Four generations of exceptional Service by Alice Ashmore


The process begins with a child vacuuming floors and polishing glass cases in their parent’s jewelry store. Gemstones wink and gleam from behind the glass. A seed is planted in the next generation of the Sather family. Inevitably, that kernel takes root, and another family member joins the family business – Sather’s Leading Jewelers.

S

o far, four generations of Sathers have carried on a family tradition of fine jewelry and outstanding customer service. “The family has built this business on our reputation. Everything we do has to be to the customer’s satisfaction,” says Sid Sather, 71. The first Sather’s Jewelry was founded in Spooner, Wisconsin in 1910. “The building is still there,” says Sid, a member of the third generation of jewelers. “As the family expanded, so did the business.” Soon family branches of Sather’s Jewelry sprang-up in Colorado, Wyoming and Utah. “I took over my father’s store in Craig, Colo.” says Sid. He laughs when he recalls that his father, Howard Sather started the store in 1931“with so little inventory it could be transferred in a cigar box.” Both Julie Sather-Browne and her father Sid remember growing up in the jewelry business. “As a kid, I emptied ashtrays, cleaned cases, vacuumed, and dumped the trash,” relates Julie, 43. The father and daughter are connected through experience. “Julie’s first memory, just like me, was cleaning cases.” Today, Sather’s Leading Jewelers in Fort Collins is a far cry away from that cigar box in Craig. The company recently moved from Foothills Mall and opened a new store across the street on February 1, 2007. “We like to call it a: ‘Jewelry store like never before.’” The store’s entrance features a re-vamped clock tower now known as “The Diamond Tower.” The store’s official address reflects the change. “It’s now The Diamond Tower at 300 Foothills Parkway,” the space formerly housed the Department of Motor Vehicles. The transformation is nothing short of amazing. “People can’t believe it,” says Julie. “I think it is great.” “The Foothills Malls was very good to us,” notes Sid. “We wouldn’t be where we are without them.” The new Sather’s Leading Jewelers location boasts over three times the square footage of the mall location. “The only reason we are here is to better serve our customer.” “We wanted a Colorado lodge-type feeling - something that would convey a warm Colorado welcome. It was about creating an experience for customers,” says Julie. The “experience” is everything to Sid Sather. “I enjoy what the jewelry represents to my customer. It’s not just a piece of jewelry. It amounts to so much more.” Sather feels privileged to care for his customer’s jewelry. “That they trust us to take care of their jewelry. “The only reason we are here is to better serve our customers. He credits a loyal staff

Business of Northern Colorado

with his success. “Some of my staff has been here 27 years -- the average is 12 to 13 years.” “Julie has more credentials than anyone in the area,” notes Sid. Her resume includes: • AGS certified gemologist • GIA graduate gemologist • GIA insurance replacement appraiser • Diamond Council of America • Certified Diamontologist and Guild gemologist “My father instilled in me that knowledge can never be taken away from you.” The new store has state-of-the-art equipment and outstanding jewelers. “There is no reason for a piece to ever have to leave our store.” Other

My father is probably the most accomplished business man I know. He’s been a great mentor. Everything that I am is the result of growing up in a family business. You gain a great work ethic. - Julie Sather-Browne -

stores commonly send jewelry to other locations for repairs. All inventory and customer jewelry is stored in a massive, state-of-the-art vault, and the store features the latest in security enhancements. “It’s the ultimate in security,” says Sid. A fireplace and comfortable furniture beckons customers to sit and talk over a purchase, perhaps while sipping a glass of wine, or a cup of java from the coffee bar. In another area, a largescreen television details the latest in jewelry lines, designs and innovation. An inviting children’s play

area gives parents the opportunity to relax and shop at a more leisurely pace. Although the surroundings convey a high-end feel, the store has jewelry at all price points. “We have something for everyone,” says Julie. One of the most meaningful aspects of Julie SatherSather-Browne’s job is the emotional component. “We are part of the most memorable time in their lives.” The expanded store brings exiting new choices to Fort Collins. Sather’s Leading Jewelers is one of the few front range jewelers to carry the “Hearts on Fire” diamond line. “It’s one of the most prestigious lines in the world.” Julie explains Hearts on Fire diamonds are among the most sought after. “They are the most perfectly cut diamonds in the world.” Sather’s features Tocori, a line that has a Hollywood reputation. “Tocori provided the ring for The Bachelor. Ellen Pompeo of Grey’s Anatomy is a fan of Tocori. It’s very California,” notes Julie. Claude Thibaudeau, a French Canadian designer from Montreal, is another featured designer. “He does very heavy, fluid pieces that are just exquisite.” Julie wasn’t originally planning to enter the family business. She completed a degree in International Economics at Colorado State University, and was living in London when she received a call in 1987 asking her to return to Fort Collins to the family business. It’s a move that Julie hasn’t regretted. She’s learned much from her father, Sid, including his life’s philosophy. “He said to me, ‘Everybody can make a buck, but it takes someone really special to do something with it.’” It’s an attitude Julie has taken to heart. He also instilled the sense of community in his home. “We shopped locally; we were not allowed to shop outside the city limits. It’s something he strongly believes in.” “My father is probably the most accomplished business man I know,” as pride wells in her voice. “He’s been a great mentor. Everything that I am is the result of growing up in a family business. You gain a great work ethic.” There is little doubt a fifth generation of Sathers will continue in the family business. Sid already has his eye on several of his grandchildren as they polish the cases… Alice Ashmore is a freelance writer living in Loveland.

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T with

Heath

he 45-person firm was poised to add larger, $5-million+ commercial projects to a 30-year portfolio that already included the award-winning Thunder Mountain Harley Davidson center on I-25, Harmony Library in Fort Collins and multiple building and streetscape projects in Estes Park. But DeMario had to overcome a huge problem – the severe shortage of qualified construction workers in Northern Colorado. Construction-industry executives in the area are constantly scrambling to find qualified employees. And once hired, keeping employees can be an even bigger challenge. An article in the December, 2006 issue of Building Design + Construction magazine reported employee turnover often is due to insufficient feedback and coaching from direct managers; lack of perceived advancement or growth in the organization; and not feeling valued, listened to, or not in the loop. Heath always has been an employee-focused company. Under original owner Bob Heath, the

company was one of the first construction firms in the region to offer full benefits to all employees and their families. For years, Heath has covered all education costs for staff. In late 2005, DeMario introduced an employee-ownership program that today includes 25 stockholders. “We had a solid foundation of employee programs,” DeMario said. “But we needed to introduce a career program that grows the leadership capabilities and long-term construction careers of all Heath employees.” So in 2006, DeMario launched the “Go Vertical!” career development program. Go Vertical identifies specific competencies for every Heath position, offers training to develop and maintain those skills, establishes six clear Heath career tracks and includes an effective evaluation and compensation program. DeMario hired local consultant Mary Siebe to help develop the Go Vertical! program. For nearly a year, Siebe has worked closely with DeMario and Heath employees. “As far as career paths, the two key concepts

Construction by Laura Dowling

No matter the industry, an effective CEO looks beyond the present. He or she scouts the horizon for opportunities and problems, looking long range to keep the ship moving forward. Randy DeMario, president of Heath Construction and recipient of the Fort Collins Coloradoan’s 2006 Business Leader of the Year Award, knew several years ago Heath was primed for rapid growth. Office buildings, shopping centers, medical plazas and other commercial facilities were sprouting up across the Front Range, and forecasts indicated commercial growth would continue for years.

“We had a solid foundation of employee programs, but we needed to introduce a career program that grows the leadership capabilities and long-term construction careers of all Heath employees.” - Randy DeMario

“Working with Terry has been incredible in my career growth. Working with someone at his level of expertise is helping me today and in the future.” - Steve Rewerts

“We essentially fine tune his job-specific work. I sometimes intentionally let him do something wrong, then we discuss how it could have been done differently.” - Terry Been

are the ability to make lateral moves within the company and tying compensation to accomplishment,” she said. “You know exactly what is needed in each position, and you can see exactly how training is helping you in your career.” Training is offered in-house by coworkers and offsite by industry associations, such as Associated General Contractors “Go Vertical! is more than a binder on the shelf,” Siebe said. “It’s a conversation that Heath invites its employees to take part in to ensure the company is what it says it is: Simply the best in the business.” “Never Had Training Like This” Through Go Vertical!, Terry Been, seven-year Heath project manager, leads weekly, one-hour internal trainings on the company’s project-management software. In a construction firm, tracking every project detail is imperative to ensure key dates are met, employees and subcontractors

are onsite when needed and costs remain within budget. After a recent in-house training, Project Manager Joey Hardy, said, “I never had training at this level in other companies. Before, I learned things by trial and error. Heath’s approach is extremely useful and ensures consistency across the board.” Been’s Go Vertical! involvement extends beyond formal training sessions. He serves as a mentor to 24-year-old Steve Rewerts, a project engineer Heath hired last year after finishing his Colorado State University internship at the company. “When someone new comes in, we have two types of training,” Been said. “There’s what I call ‘broadcast training’ that covers company-wide and job-specific operations. It can be offered by Heath managers or by industry associations. “Then there’s one-on-one training, which is like the mentoring I’m doing with Steve. We escontinued on page 49

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New Direction in Northern Colorado School Districts Lead to

Big Changes by Lynn M. Dean

In the summer of 2005, two local school boards– Poudre R-1 School District in Larimer County and the Greeley-Evans School District- Weld County School District 6 - hired new superintendents to address the many problems plaguing each. Almost two years into their administrations, Style sat down with both superintendents. We asked them to tell us why they came to Northern Colorado, to sum up the challenges they faced when they arrived, what progress they’ve made to address the problems they identified, and what work still has yet to be done.

into the district about four months prior to stepping into the superintendent position,” says Dr. Wilson. “During that time I came to PSD five different times and talked with a variety of people and focused on the things I was hearing. I became familiar with what some of the topics were and what priorities the board had set for the superintendent. The board also wanted to move to more policy governance,” he added. After taking on the job, Dr. Wilson continued to visit each of the schools in the district and meet with both students and staff members. He spent his first few months building relationships with people– developing working relationships at the district level and building relationships within the schools. His challenge to himself: be in every school every semester. “This gave me the opportunity to get a per-

Jerry Wilson, Ph.D. Poudre School District Superintendent

I

was looking for a district in a college town because of the high caliber of professionals (in such districts),” says Dr. Wilson. “PSD’s reputation was outstanding. I was very interested in sustaining and developing new directions in a quality school district. There were some changes that had taken place (here) in the governance structure as well as some topics and issues that had not yet been worked on,” he explains. According to Dr. Wilson, enrollment issues were a big concern and included flat or declining enrollment and issues around closing a school, changing needs in certain areas, and questions about how resources would be allocated to schools. The second area of concern was that of student achievement and how the district would organize itself around the challenges of low performing schools. And lastly, the district sorely needed a school of choice policy. “The board gave me the opportunity to come

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the conversation regarding what the lower limits of student enrollment might be; there’s definitely value in small schools especially in educating children who (struggle with English as a second language).” The next big challenge facing the district will be that of grade configuration. Will the district keep it’s current K-6, Junior High (7-9) and Senior High (10-12) configuration, or will one or more grades move? Several plans are currently being floated and a decision is expected to be made by the school board soon. This decision is necessary before the district can fully address enrollment issues. “We’ll have a better understanding of what enrollment at each of the high schools will be,” explains Dr. Wilson. “We know we’ll have boundary issues. Then beyond that, we’ll want to be looking at how we can best serve the needs of

PSD’s reputation was outstanding. I was very interested in sustaining and developing new directions in a quality school district. - Jerry Wilson spective on the district.” Dr. Wilson likens the issues the district faced to that of a busy airport. “There were lots of planes trying to land at PSD and I had to bring them down in some kind of order.” So the question became what first? “Some things were easy to implement,” he explains, “including a new school in Wellington and a new school in Timnath that had been identified by the Long Range Planning Committee.” Some things were hard, but necessary. Like closing Moore Elementary and answering the question, “How small is too small?” Another big step for Dr. Wilson and his team was the development of a more formal School of Choice policy and the recent move to Student Based Budgeting. “Now the dollars will follow the student,” he explains. “Now we’re ready to have

our students.” The district is still plagued by its failure to meet all of the state standards. Failure to meet Annual Yearly Progress (AYP) targets, in which each student advances academically by at least one grade level each year, is what “earned” the district the label of “low performing district.” “I think it’s a label we share with every other district that has more than 10,000 students,” laments Dr. Wilson. “It doesn’t correspond to the reality parents see in the district. They have chosen our district because they know that we provide a quality education. That isn’t to say that we don’t pay attention to continuous improvement. We do look at areas where AYP targets show we have work to do.” Dr. Wilson explains that 23% of the district’s students qualify for free or reduced lunch, 11%

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continued from page 38 are English Language Learners (ELL) and 12% are students with disabilities. These are the kids who often fail to make AYP. As for No Child Left Behind, Dr. Wilson believes that the system has inherent flaws. “The expectation of 100 percent proficiency by 2014 is an unrealistic expectation. It is driven by politics rather than evidentiary research.” That said, he adds, “Public schools represent the best hope to escape a circumstance that will not offer the same level of promise, the same level of optimism that is dedicated to their success. We have to put every dollar of our resources towards our children’s success. Public schools do that very well. That’s what motivates our teachers. They have a moral commitment that goes beyond salary. I see that consistently when I go into our schools. We have people who have dedicated their lives to learning

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Dr. Renae Dreier, Ed. D. Superintendent Weld County School District 6 how best to work with children.” Family is what brought Dr. Dreier to Greeley. “Like so many people, our youngest daughter went to CSU and then decided to settle here,” she explains. “We had come here many times and decided it was something we wanted to do ourselves.” Unfortunately, there were a few nasty surprises waiting for Dr. Dreier when she started work. “Shortly after I arrived, I discovered that this district had been given a letter of concern by the Colorado Department of Education,” says Dr. Dreier. “That was a problem because we were already a year into sanctions. By November we were officially placed on “academic watch.” So gearing up to deal with academic watch was the first order of business.” Dr. Dreier brought in an outside audit team to delve into the district and look at the contributing factors that led to the district’s status. The team found several. “The audit found complete curriculum chaos,” explains Dr. Dreier. “There was no central office guidance, no core curriculum, and curriculums weren’t aligned to the Colorado Standards. They found a district that lacked organization, lacked vision, and lacked an emphasis on student achievement. The also found a flagrant disregard for the CSAP (Colorado Student Assesscontinued on page 50


WATERFRONT PROPERTIES

Business of Northern Colorado

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Tiny Timnath Embraces Smart Development by Alice Ashmore

The town of Timnath, just east of Fort Collins, is preparing for some of the hottest development in Larimer County. With 223 current citizens, the town is expected to grow to well over 5,000 residents in just the next few years. But rather than fight development, the town and its residents have embraced the idea of smart planning for growth. Eric Sachs (left) Broker / Owner of Infinity Group Realty Services Danny Byerly (right) Project Manager of Wild Wing Development

A

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t one point, Timnath could have disappeared almost entirely. â&#x20AC;&#x153;In the late 1990s, Windsor was going to overlay the entire town,â&#x20AC;? says Timnath Mayor Donna Benson. Windsorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s plans served as a wake-up call to the tiny community. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Growth is coming. Do we want to define our destiny, or let someone do it for us?â&#x20AC;? In 1998 the town voted to define its own Growth Management Area (GMA.) â&#x20AC;&#x153;We are unique among Front Range communities. This plan is very much driven by the residents of Timnath,â&#x20AC;? Benson says. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s been amazing to watch this town come together.â&#x20AC;? The town annexed six square-miles of the 17 square-mile GMA in 2004. Prior to 1998, the town consisted of a meager .3 square-miles. Benson says the town has done a good job of creating new roads and preserving around 25 percent open space. â&#x20AC;&#x153;All the neighborhoods will be connected with a trail system.â&#x20AC;? A biking trail will named for Michael Parrott, who was killed during his second tour in Iraq. â&#x20AC;&#x153;He was an avid cyclist and worked at CSU.â&#x20AC;? Next up will be providing the community with wireless Internet. Benson uses the word â&#x20AC;&#x153;connectedâ&#x20AC;? to describe her town. â&#x20AC;&#x153;There will be free wireless Internet in the town by the end of the year.â&#x20AC;? Long range plans call for an eventual bypass of Timnathâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s main street, and the creation of a

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retail district that might resemble shopping Old Town Fort Collins. Architectural renderings of a proposed bridge convey a sense of history. The Council Tree, a local landmark once used as a Native American meeting place, is featured in the center of the bridge. Currently six residential development projects are listed on the Timnath GMA, promising to bring 4,750 new homes to Timnath. The projects are all in the initial stages of construction. Danny Byerly, project manager of the Wild Wing development, describes his project as “pretty amazing.” The 283 acre development sits north and east of Timnath reservoir. “It is a very high-end, family-oriented development.” The project is expected to be home to approximately 650 residents. Plans for the northeast end of the development include a diverse, 21-acre athletic park with two softball fields and two regulation Little League baseball diamonds. The sports park also includes four sunken athletic fields. Residents will enjoy over seven miles of hardpacked walking and equestrian trails. “We will also have a $1.8 million pool, with six competition lanes. The main pool will incorporate family-friendly features in an upscale environment. Waterslides will be hidden in rock outcroppings. We’re using nationally-renowned pool designers. We basically wanted something that said, “Wow,” says Byerly. Eric Sachs, Broker/Owner of Infinity Group Realty Services is marketing the Wild Wing Development. “Preliminary grading began in late March,” says Sachs. “The first homes are to be built by early next year.” Wild Wing was recently the Boekel Farm, and features a 1915 farm house that was once owned by the Poor family. “I can tell my wife I’ve been to the Poor farm,” jokes Sachs. Rather than move or destroy the structure, the original farmhouse will be preserved and donated to the town of Timnath in 2009 for use as an event center. The home is eligible for the Colorado State Record of Historic Properties, according to Byerly. “We never had any desire to knock it down.” Panoramic views of the entire Front Range greet visitors to the project. The natural grade of the land towards Timnath Reservoir guarantees mountain views to many of the lots throughout the subdivision. Lots range in size from half an acre to two acres, and from $198,000 to $340,000 in price. The custom homes are expected to range from $600,000 to well over $1 million. An alladult pool and high-end town homes are also included in a section of Wild Wing’s design. Wild Wing incorporates parks and playgrounds throughout the 79 acres of open space in the development, while other areas are devoted entirely to nature. Byerly points to a stand of Cottonwood trees and wetlands near the reservoir. “That’s the blue heron sanctuary.” He notes that almost every tree on the property will be preserved. The entrance to Wild Wing will be flanked with two copper-trimmed grain silos – a nod to the land’s farming history. The development has yet to break ground, and seventeen of the lots are already reserved by builders. “It’s strictly been word of mouth,” Byerly says. Sachs applauds Timnath’s attitude towards

Business of Northern Colorado

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development. “They have been very easy to work with.” Fort Collins restaurateur and developer Robert Bisetti, and partner John Donaldson are developing the first phase of the Serratoga Falls development north of Timnath. The 388 acre development, located on Kitchel Lake will eventually feature about 360 homes, with 208 acres of dedicated open space within the development. “There will be a mixture of single family homes on one-quarter to one-half acre lots, and some patio homes,” says Bisetti. The first phase features semi-custom homes built by local builders. Bisetti describes the theme of Serratoga Falls as “Old World” with styles incorporating Tuscan, French and English influences. “We’re getting away from the Colorado look. We’re past that.” The décor of the exterior incorporates facets of the design to connote a sense of place. “There will be a tremendous sense of arrival.” He’s using three local builders, Bartran Homes, Sage Home and Portofino Homes for construction of Phase One. “It was important to use builders that saw our vision.” Prices in the development will start in the area of $500,000 and up. “The neighborhood itself features over eight miles of walking trails.” The trails will join a series of trails already included in the Timnath Master Plan. The development will feature a lakeside clubhouse, a fitness center, and several pools. In a unique move, Bisetti is constructing two small cottages in the development that can be rented for “guest overflow.” Bisetti praises the town’s planning. “They’re very, very forward thinking. Nobody, in my opinion, had the ability to create a dialogue with developers like they do. They have a cooperative spirit that is a winwin for everyone.” Benson is confident in the course Timnath has charted for itself – one that will preserve tradition and foster growth. “We’ve acted rather than reacted. We’ve planned ahead to give developers an idea of what Timnath is.” Alice Ashmore is a freelance writer living in Loveland.

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Timnath Mayor Donna Benson

Growth is coming. Do we want to define our destiny, or let someone do it for us? - Mayor Donna Benson -

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T

Tia Brown (left) founder and owner of Aspen Creek Financial LLC with Laura Bustos (right), residential mortgage specialist.

Aspen Creek Financial A mor tgage company with a hear t

by Julie Estlick

Tia Brown is a born entrepreneur, but it took a bad home mortgage to find her true calling. She is founder and owner of Aspen Creek Financial LLC in Fort Collins, a mortgage company that prides itself on personalized service and a wide choice of products.

46

he third-generation Fort Collins native knew from a young age she would one day be a business owner. Both of her parents owned businesses and her grandfather was a partner in Sterling Sand and Gravel, which later became LaFarge, Inc. Brown listened to their advice. In high school, she won a scholarship for young business entrepreneurs. Brown was quite happy as business manager for real estate law firm Liley, Rogers and Martell when she and her husband ran into problems with their mortgage. The couple’s loan officer pulled them out of a conventional loan and put them into a sub-prime loan when they were not sub-prime borrowers to begin with, she says. They incurred a 2-year prepay penalty and when they went to refinance, the rates were higher than their original rate on the conventional loan. “The loan did not make sense except for the loan officer to make a huge commission on the type of loan he put us in,” Brown says. Once she figured the mortgage out, Brown decided to start doing loan processing on the side to help others avoid a similar fate. For two years she processed loans at home and sent them to lenders and underwriters while still working at the law firm. Eventually, several lenders encouraged her to go out on her own and Aspen Creek was born in 2005. The company grew quicker than expected, and Brown moved the operation from her home to an office in the historic Avery Building. “My grandfather once said it’s better to own your own popcorn stand than to work for someone else,” Brown says. “I wanted my own business, but I never would have imagined it would be mortgages. It’s a mixed blessing really. We got into a horrible loan but I wouldn’t be where I am today without it.” A close-knit staff of five help guide clients through the home loan process, providing services for new home purchase, refinancing, investment and second homes all through referrals. They are the lender of choice for Colorado Custom Homes (currently building in Water Valley in Windsor) and Jamestown Builders in Severance. With over 200 approved lenders to choose from including Countrywide, GMAC and US Bank, Aspen Creek doesn’t have to steer people into making a bad choice. “What we do really well is put a lot of heart into our clients,” Brown says. “We care about putting people in the best loan available and often become friends with them. We listen to what people want and go from there, rather than trying to push them to use a certain product. We’re not some massive lending institution looking for numbers. I’m very fortunate to have a great team that I hand picked – I couldn’t do it without them.” Aspen Creek’s slogan, “Choose Wisely,” is sincere. Brown isn’t afraid to tell someone they shouldn’t be buying a house. “We pride ourselves on steering clients into responsible mortgages and home ownership. A home is one of the largest financial commitments a person makes in their life. We just learned recently of a couple who we backed away from doing their loan, and now they are in foreclosure.” Laura Bustos, a residential mortgage specialist who came on board as the other loan officer a year ago, couldn’t be happier with Aspen Creek’s focus. “The attention to detail is great here, ev-

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erything is accurate, up-to-date and customer focused,” she says. “I get the opportunity to put others first and the freedom to develop my own business without the corporate politics. It’s a good fit for me.” Bustos has seven years of experience as a loan officer and is also a licensed Real Estate Broker. She was working for a mortgage company in Longmont and tiring of the commute from her home in Wellington when Brown offered her the job. Both women are members of the Colorado Association of Mortgage Brokers and the Colorado Mortgage Lenders Association. Aspen Creek’s success is drawing attention from competitors as well. Brown received a call out of the blue one day from a corporate head hunter wanting to buy out the company. “I was very surprised and flattered by the interest,” she says. “We are quite competitive with getting preferred status from builders and Realtors. Our personal touch has helped us edge out older, larger companies.” One service in demand right now is refinancing as clients seek to get out of their adjustable rate mortgage and into a fixed rate. The 30-year fixed rate for a home mortgage is still below 6 percent making it more affordable in the long run, Brown says. Real estate investment property sales are also on the rise as people buy up houses to keep as rentals. “The forecast is strong and there are some great deals out there, especially if you’re going to hold onto the house for a couple of years.” Bustos and Brown are also excited about the movement toward “green mortgages” that provide incentives for new energy-efficient homes or for refinancing to make energy-efficient improvements. Green mortgages or energy-efficient mortgages (EEM) are available for a newly constructed home if the builder certifies that the home was designed and built to meet Energy Star guidelines. Once the home is completed, a Home Energy Rating System (HERS) report is conducted to determine the building’s energy efficiency and that dictates the terms of the mortgage. If you are refinancing an existing building, you can also qualify for an energy-efficient mortgage through a HERS inspection certification that estimates the cost of improvements and the expected energy savings. These mortgages are a good deal because the projected savings from energy efficiency allow the borrower to qualify for a larger mortgage in order to make the improvements that will save them money. While EEMs have been around since 1979, the program has been streamlined in the last three years to make it easier for lenders and borrowers to take advantage of the green building movement. “We’re just starting to get involved in green mortgages and taking classes to learn more,” Bustos says. “Only a few lenders are doing them and we want to be out front on this.” That’s just the way Tia Brown likes it.

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Julie Estlick is a freelance writer and copyeditor living in Fort Collins.

Business of Northern Colorado

47


ive of business development, which has impacted job creation and the tax base in Fort Collins. Advocates of social and environmental programs have begun to realize that it takes money to advance their interests, and that money comes from having a vibrant local economy. So, in my opinion, the regional changes are good in themselves but have been good for Fort Collins. There are discussions currently taking place about our preferred future that weren’t possible even a few years ago. It’s now possible to string the words ‘economic’ and ‘development’ together in the same sentence! In truth, we’re one large region that shares a labor force, water and transportation network. We have many needs and opportunities that we must work on together for our mutual benefit.

continued from page 16

David May Fort Collins

Q: What thoughts would you like to leave us with? A: Chambers of Commerce are very important organizations for local communities. In fact, there was a chamber of commerce on this continent before there was a United States of America! Chambers are a place for professional and business people to identify and jointly address important issues in the local marketplace be they education, transportation, the political climate or economic challenges and opportunities. It’s in the enlightened self-interest of the business community to make a better community because in turn their businesses will prosper. continued from page 17

gaye stockman Loveland dents traveling between communities to work, live and play, we must recognize that we are a region with diverse and unique communities within its margins. Each community is funded by sales tax dollars expended within its boundaries to service the citizens who reside within them. The majority of the conflict seems to come from the shift in our resident’s shopping habits. For years, residents have had limited choices for shopping. With the development of new shopping opportunities, residents have shifted their habits to experience those new choices. The pluses of the shift in shopping habits are a more diverse disbursement of sales tax dollars within the region. Communities that have not had those opportunities are now able to provide basic services and improved infrastructures for their citizens. The minuses are municipal leaders are now having to adjust their projected budgets and programs to accommodate for those shifts. Communities, and the citizens within those communities, are experiencing a difficult truth that consumers are unpredictable. What we need to realize is the sales tax shifts have been generated by the consumers (residents) within each of our communities, because they do not find it a problem to move between communities to work, play and reside. It is just as easy for them to shop wherever they want - not realizing that shopping outside their own community’s boundaries allows another community to thrive. Q: What thoughts would you like to leave us with? A: As our communities continue to strengthen and grow, we must continue to focus on and maintain our uniqueness and our diverse cultures and amenities. With that being said, we also have opportunities to partner and collaborate with each other to the mutual benefit of our members and residents. The three largest chambers of commerce within Northern Colorado have begun talking about collaborating where possible and seeking ways to develop programs to enhance our members’ ability to do business. We are encouraged by these opportunities and look forward to the possibilities. My final thoughts are about the NCEDC. It is critical that we support the NCEDC to recruit and retain those extremely valuable primary jobs so desperately missing within our region. Their success will be our success.

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continued from page 36 sentially fine tune his job-specific work. I sometimes intentionally let him do something wrong, then we talk about it to discuss how it could have been done differently.” Heath President DeMario makes sure Rewerts works the same projects as Been, his mentor. When Been was assigned to the $7.8 million Magic Sky Girl Scout Ranch in Red Feather Lakes, Rewerts went with him. Later, when Been was named project manager for the $4.7 million Fairgrounds Park project in Loveland, Rewerts also was assigned to the job. “Working with Terry has been incredible in my career growth,” Rewerts said. “Working with someone at his level of expertise is helping me today and in the future. Someday, I hope to be a superintendent overseeing all aspects of a job.” Serious About Safety Tom Olson, Heath superintendent in charge of the company’s tool shop, teaches Go Vertical! classes to all superintendents, foremen, journeymen and laborers on the safe and efficient use of equipment and tools. Staff who complete each of the six classes and pass a test, get a hardhat sticker, a diploma, and deeper knowledge of how to maintain and operate dangerous equipment. The hardhat stickers are a constant, visual notice to coworkers that the person has completed the training and is competent to operate equipment safely and correctly. “It’s a safety and cost issue for the company,” Olson said. “Heath’s safety record is outstanding – more than 750,000 man-hours without a significant injury. We’re ranked among the top 1 percent nationwide for safety. And keeping this expensive equipment in shape means lower maintenance costs in the long run.” Olson said he expected some push-back from experienced employees who have used the equipment for years. “But anyone who has gone through the training has learned four or five things they didn’t know before,” he said. Heath Foreman James Padilla, who attended a 3-hour training on skid loaders, a Bobcat-sized vehicle that moves small amounts of dirt or material on a jobsite, said he’s never received equipment training that is so detailed before. “At other companies, you just learn in the field,” he said. “At Tom’s training, I learned several new things. It really will be useful. I’m already seeing my guys on the jobsite taking better care of the equipment.” Already Paying Off “We want to be the place where top people come to work, and create opportunities for them to stay,” DeMario said. His vision of a larger Heath Construction that tackles more projects larger than $5 million has become reality. In just one year, company revenues jumped 65 percent, while the number of large projects grew 100 percent. And the number of employees has grown too, from 45 to nearly 70. “I highly recommend that companies in all industries consider offering a program like Go Vertical,” DeMario said. “A high-caliber employee who is a long-term employee is essential to transform a good company into a great company.” Laura Dowling is President of Dowling Public Relations, Inc.

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We are in the process of examining and redefining our gifted and talented program, we’re looking at our middle schools so that we can begin curriculum reform, we’re focused on math and there will be a continued focus of quality professional development for our staff.

S E RV I C E , S I M P LY P U T .

- Dr. Renae Dreier, Ed. D. -

C R E AT I N G

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S E RV I C E - O R I E N T E D

E X P E R I E N C E I N R E A L E S TAT E

9 70 | 6 9 0 . 5 5 0 7 j a n e t @j a n e t z . n e t 9 70 | 6 9 0 . 7 1 7 7 d ave @j a n e t z . n e t

970.226.3080 W W W. J A N E T Z . N E T

ment Program) and that many students were refusing to take the test.” Dr. Dreier explains that these curriculum issues are what doomed Greeley-Evans Schools to failure because the CSAP tests evaluate each student’s knowledge of the Colorado Model Content Standards which have been set forth for each core subject in each grade level by the State Board of Education. If the content the students were learning did not align with these standards, then the students couldn’t pass the tests. Moreover, when students refuse to take the test, their “score” is recorded as unsatisfactory. This hurts the school and district CSAP scores. “The CSAP is just the autopsy,” says Dr. Dreier. “The board of education looked at the results of the audit and provided me and my staff with a charge to complete a new strategic plan to improve student achievement,” says Dr. Dreier. “The plan to rebuild the organization around student achievement is going from chaos to focus. We are truly in year one (of implementation of the plan). Our first focus is on elementary literacy. The plan begins by creating a common schedule and a common curriculum.” Year two will build on the progress that’s been made. “For our upcoming year, the board has a list of district priorities, says Dr. Dreier. “We are in the process of examining and redefining our gifted and talented program, we’re looking at our middle schools so that we can begin curriculum reform, we’re focused on math and there will be a continued focus of quality professional development for our staff.” The future for the district looks bright. “We’ve always had quality instruction, it’s just that our curriculum wasn’t aligned with what our students were supposed to be learning,” she explains. “Our plan is to stay focused on our strategic plan and stay focused on literacy and make sure we don’t regress to prior habits that isolated students and staff. We are very focused on ensuring that every child has a quality education. I think the future for this community is positive. We are on a road of a renaissance that’s going to restore this district as a lighthouse district in education.” Lynn M. Dean is a freelance writer living in Timnath.

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manno’s grille at collindale :: fort collins

Located at the Collindale Golf Course, Manno’s (pronounced Manohs) ambience is anything but fussy or stuffy. It is Colorado lodge meets sports pub. It is comfortable, family friendly, and fast. It is astonishingly good food. This is the country club for the masses.

Wild Salmon Salad, Surf & Turf, Collindale Combo.

W

hether you are coming off the course or driving in for dinner, why eat an overcooked basket of chicken fingers when you can have fork-tender filet mignon with a crab béarnaise that will make you fall out of your chair? The menu at Manno’s is devised for a cross-sectional group of diners: golfers on the run, couples having dinner, or families with kids. All of the food is devised, prepared, and served with an eye on quality and value. The beef is locally produced at Wellington’s Front Range Natural Meats. This family owned operation corn feeds the free-range cattle for 120 days and dry ages the beef for 18-21 days. The flavor from that enterprise is apparent in every mouth-watering bite. Even the ground beef used in the burgers is dry aged, and you can taste the difference. The menu includes sandwiches, burgers & chicken for those in a hurry – all with the highest quality ingredients and preparation. Then there is the steak menu, which allows you to customize the size and preparation of your beef, choose a chef-prepared sauce, and then suggests a pinot noir to pair. All of that is available for under $20 per person – better than the unidentifiable deepfried thing you got at the chain down the street, right? Manno’s namesake, and Ownager (owner/manager) is Scott Manning. A life-long resident of Fort Collins, Manning explains that food has always been his passion. After finishing culinary school at Western Culinary Institute in Portland, OR, Manning returned to Fort Collins, his home. With his family (wonderful wife Kerry and four kids: Riley, Ellie, Clara, and Garrett), Manning is building the type of restaurant where regulars love to return. When they come, they call him by name, “Hey Manno!” Manning gives full credit to the incredible people he works with. Chef Jason Brownhill worked with him to create the menu and has been a partner on various projects for over a decade. Assistant Chef, Mike Beck, “is also integral to the team.” Support staff are all well trained and knowledgeable about the food. The team is very excited about the new menu debuting in April that the Style staff got a sneak preview of during our evening at Manno’s. Says Manning, “We start with the highest quality ingredients, prepare them correctly and safely to create the best dishes we can,” says Manning. No cans or prepared sauces allowed – “Whatever we can possibly make here, we do.” To that order, I recommend the house Bloody Mary created with hand-made mary mix infused with habanero. Dynamite! Style staff and guests thoroughly enjoyed an evening of amazing food and relaxed conversation. Publisher, Lydia Dody enjoyed the Wild King Salmon -- “Yummy! And the presentation is exquisite.” John Sinnett loved the Atomic Fireballs, fried cream cheese balls stuffed with habaneros and served with raspberry sauce. “All kinds of yum!” says Sinnett. The steaks were all amazing, but also worth raving about were the Sambuca Prawns in a Puff Pastry served with sambuca beurre blanc sauce. Enjoyed by Mike Charbo, he couldn’t say enough about the flavor. “Wow! This is not the place you would expect to find food this great,” says Charbo. Also available at Manno’s is a wealth of services including: off site catering, 100 person capacity meeting room, free wi-fi, the longest happy hour in Fort Collins (11-6, daily) Holiday brunches like the upcoming Easter and Mother’s Day brunches. The free-range beef they serve in the dining room can also be purchased on-site. And don’t forget that they are open for breakfast as well – “Best Huevos Rancheros in town!” says Manning. 7 Days a week, for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, the best patio in town beckons you to linger and enjoy. Manno’s is definitely the place for the people.

The Men of Manno’s: Assistant Chef, Mike Beck, Ownager, Scott Manning, Chef, Jason Brownhill.

John Sinnett, Jeff Reichert, Lydia Dody, Corey Radman and Mike Charbo enjoy a toast.

A few select desserts available at Manno’s: Collindale Cheesecake, Brownie Overload, Apple Pie a la mode.

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Text by Corey Radman :: Photos by Dana Milner

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National Day of Prayer “I have lived, Sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth – that God governs in the affairs of men.” ~ Ben Franklin ~ at the Constitutional Convention, 1787.

Since the first call to prayer in 1775, when the Continental Congress asked the colonies to pray for wisdom in forming a nation, the call to prayer has continued through our history, including President Lincoln’s proclamation of a day of “humiliation, fasting, and prayer” in 1863. In 1952, President Truman officially established The National Day of Prayer. Unite with us in prayer on Thursday, May 3, 2007 at the Marriott. Doors open at 6:30a.m. Speakers will include: Larry Abrahamson, Larimer Country District Attorney and The Honorable Bob Schaeffer. Tickets are $15. Contact Dottie at (970) 223-6676. www.nationaldayofprayer.org

“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray…” 2 Chronicles 7:14

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about town

R ealities for C hildren T riumph A wards G ala Ann Bradbury, Mike Charbo, Holli Milenski, Terry Miller, Elizabeth Walker, Mike Radcliff - Front Row: Tobin Hendricks, Craig Secher, Lew Gaiter

February 17 :: The Donnan Home An exquisite home, beautiful music, tasty hors d’oeuvres and libations greeted over 100 elegantly dressed guests as they mingled and had an opportunity to learn more about the Realities For Children Triumph Awards. Presentations including one by Angela Mead, Deputy Division Manager of the Larimer County Child Protective Services, and a triumphant, former child abuse survivor, helped to raise nearly $100,000 in pledges to benefit at-risk youth who have overcome childhood abuse in our community. Photos courtesy of Heartfelt Photography. Miles & Angela Mead

Mike & Aneka Jensen

Tom Sutherland, Laura Sandell, Molly & Craig Secher

about town

S I N G L E M A LT S C O T C H D I S C O V E R Y Laury Dennis, Linda Mitchell, Julie Hartman, Emmalie Conner

Dennis Houska, LJ Houska, Sharon & David Neenan

February 23 :: Stonehouse Grille :: Fort Collins More than 45 community members spent the evening tasting 10 different scotches from the lowlands, highlands and islands of Scotland at this inaugural event. Phil Pringle led everyone on a discovery tour of Scotland through the unique tastes of fine scotch. Light hors d’oeuvres were served throughout the evening with a Scottish flair straight from the kitchen of the Stonehouse Grille. More than $2500 was raised to benefit the Alzheimer’s Association support services to families and their loved ones.

Phil Pringle

Carol & Mike Maguire

Alan Wolfelt, Kirby Duvall

Photos courtesy of Benjamin Bradley.

Business of Northern Colorado

Chris Goes, Brian Robertson

David & Julie Bee, Jeanne & Paul Fangman


about town

C E L E B R AT E R E L AT I O N S H I P S , PA R T N E R S H I P S , S U R V I V O R S H I P S Sonny & Carol JoLubick, Patti & Pete Kranske

Bruce Hottman, Marcia Donnan, Lori Hottman

February 14 The Donnan Home :: Fort Collins Valentine’s Day was very special for over 75 guests at this first annual event. The evening touched the hearts of attendees as they viewed a video and listened to the founder, Michelle Boyle, and her brother, Marc Lubick speak. A bike from LIVESTRONG-Lance Armstrong, was auctioned off as well as LIVESTRONG beer and helped to raise over $32,000 to help support RAMSTRONG and its mission to help people in the community affected by cancer meet their basic needs.

Jerry Donnan, Joe Vasos Michelle Boyle, Tasha Ballard, RC Callan

about town

WOMENGIVE SPRING SOCIAL

March 1 Museum of Contemporary Art (MoCA) The colorful mask exhibit at MoCA in Fort Collins provided a lively backdrop for WomenGive’s Spring Social. More than 80 women and their guests gathered at the event to learn about and support WomenGive, a leadership philanthropy group for women. This partnership between United Way of Larimer County and the Women’s Foundation of Colorado works to impact the economic self-sufficiency of women and girls in Larimer County.

Theresa Fogle, Patti Scott, Cindy Sarai, Robin Steele

Deanna McCrery, Mary Robertson

Jacqui Zyer, Lorna Reeves, Maryann Ruck, Meg Brown

Jacque Niedringhaus, Maryann Ruck

Cathy Schott, Anne Keefe, Madison Keefe

Photos courtesy of imagecatcherman.com

about town

Theresa Gomez, Jim Barnett

masks at moca

Kit Sutherland, Bill West

Elizabeth Dodds, Mervyn Jacobson

Donna Stroh, Bev Donnelley

Marge Brodhal showing a mask by Bob Coonts

March 3 Marriott Hotel :: Fort Collins Over 140 community artists and non-artists tapped into their creative energies and painted ceramic masks as part of this community wide event. During a month’s time theses masks were viewed at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MoCA). The finale event, gave over 200 guests an opportunity to bid on the best of ‘masks’ as 30 were featured for the silent and 15 for the live auctions. MoCA netted approximately $65,000 to support its exhibition and education program and to provide seed money for interior building renovations. Photos courtesy of imagecatcherman.com

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Becky Vasos, Marc Lubick

The unique & unusual for those who love the West! • Regional Products & Souvenirs • Elegant Crystal • Tableware • Leather & Wood Furniture • Handmade Silver Jewelry • Custom Gift Baskets • Prints & Sculptures • Fine Leather Bags • Christmas Room

Wyoming’s finest collection of Home Furnishings, Collectables & Western Prints

Take a piece of 216 West Lincolnway • Cheyenne, WY

(307) 638-2222

Open M-F 10-6 • Sat. 10-5 • Sun 12-5 Allison Hines, Mara Prandi-Adams, Dawn Paepke, Tedi Cox

www.wyominghome.com Only 45 miles north on I-25!

Kathleen Lane, Bob & Jana Brandes

Phil & Ann Montera, Jim Barnett

Mary Kay Turner, Steven Hubbard, Sue Kreul-Froseth

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about town

dinner of champions

Laura Heath, Jim Dunlap, 2007 MS Champion

March 8 Hilton :: Fort Collins

Neyla & Mark Driscoll, 2007 Hope Award Recipients

Over 500 guests joined the National MS Society Colorado Chapter to honor and celebrate Mark & Neyla Driscoll and Jim Dunlap. The annual Hope Award was presented to Mark & Neyla Driscoll in recognition of their commitment to the Northern Colorado community, while Jim Dunlap was announced as the 2007 MS Champion for his courage and commitment to the fight against MS. Over $106,000 was raised to support those living with multiple sclerosis in Colorado through local programs and medical research. Photos courtesy of imagecatcherman.com

Allison Rittner, Kathleen Henry, Jeff Rittner

Bob & Ginny Johnson

David Schump, Wade Troxell, Chris Richmond Donn & Linda Hopkins, Kathy Wolfe

Bob Loner, Terry McNeal

Chandler Smith, Allison Hines Brownie McGraw, Carol Jo & Sonny Lubick, Larry Abrahamson

Christine & Kevin Brickman Sherry & Rod Talbott

Dennis & Doreen Houska Susie & Bob Ewing, Kim & Robert Walkowicz

Mark Driscoll, Greg Yancy, Kevin Bright

Steve & Melissa Davis, Chandler Smith


I

IT'LL CHANGE THE WAY YOU WORK.

Pick up the all-new Tundra today at Pedersen Toyota in Fort Collins. INTRODUCING THE ALL-NEW FULL-SIZE TUNDRA with available 5.7L i-FORCE V8. Throw in the 6-speed automatic transmission. integrated tow hitch receiver and high-strength. trapezoidal frame and you 've got a truck built to tow a standard capacity of over 10,000 lbs.1 of whatever you want.

toyota.com

PEDERSEN TOYOTA 4455 S. College Ave., Fort Collins (970) 223-3100 pedersentoyota.com 'Before towing. confirm your vehicle and trailer are compatible. hooked up and loaded properly and that you have any necessary add itional equipment. Do not exceed any Weight Ratings and follow all instructions in your Owner's Manual. The maximum you can tow depends on the tota l weight of any cargo, occupants and available equipment. Vehicle shown with available equipment. 4x4 Double Cab Limited Standard Bed with available 5.7L V8 and 20-in. alloy wheels. Š2007 Toyota Motor Sales. U.S.A .. Inc.


www.stylemagazinecolorado.com 211 W. Myrtle St. Fort Collins, CO 80521 CHANGE SERVICE REQUESTED


2007-04 Lydia's Style Magazine