Best of Business 2014

Best Of Business — Still significant

Last year, we at the Business Journal decided to bring back the Best Of Business honors, which the previous owners had stopped after 2010. In our view, the annual voting and recognition was one of CSBJ’s best and most popular attributes.

So we revived Best Of Business, using our Book of Lists as well as some brainstorming sessions to produce more than 70 categories. The result was a noteworthy success, with more than 2,000 voters submitting more than 30,000 total votes.

Obviously, there was no hesitation about whether to try again in 2014.

This time the participation numbers were about the same, telling us that the honors have meaning and credibility in the local business community.

As you’ll see below, there are some cases where companies did their best to get out the vote — and that’s fine, because we monitored closely to catch and disqualify any blatant ballot-box stuffing. To have a ballot accepted, any single voter had to choose winners in at least 15 categories.

Many of the results were close, while others weren’t. As in the past, we’ve chosen to keep those vote totals to ourselves, but rest assured, they’re legitimate.

Thanks to all for your participation. We’ll do it again in 2015.

— Ralph Routon, Executive Editor

Book of Lists

Best Accounting Firms

Stockman Kast Ryan + Co.

Stockman Kast Ryan & Co. was started in 1985 by two former Deloitte and Touche employees. Ten years later, they added a third partner, Eric Ryan. Today, Stockman Kast Ryan + Co is the largest locally owned Certified Public Accounting firm in southern Colorado. Offering litigation support, bookkeeping, payroll, tax and audit consulting services, SKRCO’s clients range, from small businesses and high net-worth individuals, to nonprofit organizations, medical practices, construction and real estate businesses.

2nd Place – BiggsKofford, PC 

3rd Place – The Shafer Group, PC


Best Advertising and PR Firms

Blakely + Company

Opened in September 2001 by Camille and Kyle Blakely, Blakely + Company provides a range of public and media relations services. Clients range from education to renewable energy, government, health care, gaming and everything in between. “We’re thrilled to have been voted Best Advertising Agency in Colorado Springs by the Business Journal’s readers,” Camille Blakely said. “It’s been an exciting year of growth for us, and we’re so thankful for the trust our clients put in us to help guide them in their marketing efforts. Kyle and I are surrounded by a diligent, talented group of passionate employees who are the engine driving Blakely + Company. We are very proud to be supported by such a fantastic team.”

2nd Place – Vladimir Jones

3rd Place – Insight Marketing


Best Architectural Firms

RTA Architects

RTA Architects, founded in Colorado Springs in 1975, has long been one of the city’s leading architectural firms. RTA has been primarily focused on health care, education and commercial clients. The company aspires “…to design buildings that are sustainable, functional, and aesthetically pleasing; and to generate long-term economic success for our clients and ourselves.” Their work includes the St. Francis Medical Center, the Penrose E-Tower, University Village and dozens of other local and regional projects. Located in the historic Hibbard building on South Tejon Street, the firm is a substantial downtown employer, and will likely be a key player in the long-hoped-for rebirth of southwest downtown.

2nd Place – DLR Group

3rd Place – Colorado Design Concepts, CSNA Architects (tie)


Best Banks

Wells Fargo Bank

Besides receiving the most votes in the banking category, the Wells Fargo Bank has led the pack in making Small Business Administration loans, not only in Colorado Springs, but in the country, said Bruce Panter, business banking manager. “We are humbled by the recognition, and we strive to be a fan of our customers, to serve them how they like to be served, online or brick and mortar,” Panter said. Wells Fargo has $276 billion in market capitalization, and there are 16 branches in Colorado Springs with 800 employees. On June 16, Fortune Magazine recognized Wells Fargo as the most valuable bank in the world, measured by market capitalization. It is also ranked 35th among the world’s most admired companies.

2nd Place – U.S. Bank

3rd Place – FirstBank


Best Catering Companies

Picnic Basket, Cravings and Buffalo Gals

Kathy Dreiling and Michelle Talarico started Picnic Basket Catering in 1989, combining their passions for food and adventure. The two worked hard, hired good staff and grew quickly. “We could hardly have dreamed this little dream of an idea would evolve into one of the largest and most successful catering companies in Colorado,” they write on their website. Picnic Basket specializes in a wide expanse of food styles, but is typically more casual, providing “boxless” lunches for VIP events and platters for board meetings and baby showers. The business has expanded to include Buffalo Gals Grilling, which caters Santa Maria-style BBQ for casual and stylish events indoors or out, and Cravings Five Star Catering. Cravings incorporates exciting new flavors and techniques with a modern flair for elegant occasions.

2nd Place – Garden of the Gods’ Gourmet

3rd Place – Food Designers


Best Colleges and Universities


UCCS is in the middle of a boom. “We’re spreading all over creation,” UCCS Chancellor Pam Shockley-Zalabak told the Business Journal last year.

With on-campus enrollment topping 11,000, the university is undertaking several construction projects to facilitate the school’s rapid expansion and to improve the quality of the student experience. Among the university’s current projects is the addition of more on-campus housing, a new parking deck and soccer facility, administrative buildings, medical facilities and the creation of a $58 million Visual and Performing Arts Center planned for groundbreaking next year. With more than 1,000 employees, UCCS is one of the largest employers in southern Colorado and brings in an estimated $30 million in state and local tax revenue each year.

2nd Place – Colorado Technical University

3rd Place – Colorado College


Best Credit Unions

Ent Federal Credit Union

With 27 locations across the state’s Front Range, Ent Federal Credit Union was voted best credit union for the second consecutive year.

Under retiring CEO Charles Emmer’s 18-year leadership, assets have grown from $1.04 billion to more than $4 billion. Emmer will retire in October. Taking his place will be Randy Bernstein.

The credit union has customer service phone numbers in Germany, Great Britain and Canada.

“We have a lot of active duty military in our community. We want to make sure we can serve someone deployed and when they return home,” said Victoria Selfridge, Ent vice president of corporate communications. Ent was named for Maj. Gen. Uzal Ent and the Ent Air Force Base, now the site of the U.S. Olympic Training Center.

2nd Place – Pikes Peak Credit Union

3rd Place – Security Service Federal Credit Union


Best Defense Contractors

Lockheed Martin

Lockheed has for decades sustained a major presence in the Springs, working with multiple military installations as well as other nearby aerospace companies. With more than 1,000 employees at its local facilities, Lockheed is one of the largest non-government employers in the Springs — and the largest defense contractor in the world. “These team members support command and control solutions, airborne ISR (intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance), space solutions and tactical communications programs in support of [Department of Defense] and intelligence community customers,” said Christine Courad, communications director for Defense & Intelligence Solutions. Lockheed has had a major role in the development and maintenance of the Global Positioning System program, with satellite operations based at Schriever Air Force Base.

2nd Place – Northrop Grumman Corp. 

3rd Place – Boeing Inc.


Best Electricians

Berwick Electric Co.

Berwick Electric has been lighting Colorado Springs since 1921. The company serves both residential and large commercial customers, having done work at Memorial Hospital and the U.S. Olympic Training Center, among others. The Ten Commandments of Customer Service are the guiding principles for Berwick, including tenets such as: all actions shall foster long-term relationships, the customer’s time shall be respected, and customers shall receive value that meets or exceeds their expectations. Berwick was a recipient of the Angie’s List Super Service Award in 2013, based on member feedback, and the GE Johnson Award for Marketplace Ethics in 2011.

2nd Place – Olson Plumbing & Heating Co. 

3rd Place – Bible Electric, Inc.


Best Engineering Firms

CH2M Hill

With 26,000 employees on six continents, CH2M Hill provides its clients with utility, industrial, facility, community and environmental solutions from project conception and development to design, financing, construction and operations. It’s a global company with a local touch, headquartered in the Denver suburb of Englewood. With a local office on Tech Center Drive, the firm was responsible for drafting the city of Colorado Springs Stormwater Needs Assessment, which was released in October. CH2M Hill also supervised the Colorado Springs Metro Interstate Expansion, a $144 million project that rebuilt interchanges, improved storm drainage and expanded I-25 to six full lanes through Colorado Springs. This is the company’s second straight year to win the honor.

2nd Place – RMG Engineers Group 

3rd Place – Matrix Design Group, Inc. 


Best Financial Advisers

Pennica Financial Group

Michael Pennica founded his financial advisory firm in 1993 after retiring from the military. Thanks to his networking skills (see best networker) and knowledge of the markets and ability to guide not only his clients, but also a team of dedicated professional financial advisors, the firm has grown dramatically. Pennica Financial Group prides itself on its deep connection to the community and its independence. Unlike many of the firm’s competitors, PFG is not owned or operated by a brokerage, bank or insurance company. “Hence, we believe our approach is the most holistic and pure,” according to the firm’s website. “Additionally, our broker/dealer and registered investment advisory firm is privately held, which further gives us the independence we need to make good recommendations for our clients.”

2nd Place – Edward Jones Investments 

3rd Place – Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC


Best General Contractors

GE Johnson Construction

GE Johnson has been in business in downtown Colorado Springs since 1967 and is now under the leadership of Jim Johnson, founder Gil Johnson’s son. This year, the company and its 500 to 600 employees expect to complete $440 million in work. Jim Johnson recalled the Broadmoor West project, a successful remodel the company completed in six months for $48 million. Normally, a job of that stature would take 18 months, he said.

“To work with those types of materials and of that high quality … that was a tremendous amount of fun to be able to display those skills in our hometown,” Johnson said. He also lauded his staff, saying, “The quality of people you’re able to maintain will make you stronger.”

2nd Place – Bryan Construction Inc.

3rd Place – Nunn Construction Inc.


Best Golf Courses

Patty Jewett Golf Course

It doesn’t matter whether you’re a dedicated golfer, a duffer or one who has never played the game — a visit to Patty Jewett will delight you. Here’s a typical review from “This is the oldest golf course west of the Mississippi. It is, in my opinion, the best public golf course I have ever played. Fees are very reasonable and you can get on without a lot of hassle.” And if you don’t play? Here’s another: “Historic clubhouse open to the public, serves lunch/dinner (try their burgers). The clubhouse and adjoining terrace have a beautiful view of Pikes Peak and the greens. Geese wander along the tree-lined road leading to the clubhouse and it’s a great ambiance in which to have a drink, relax and enjoy the view.” Enough said!

2nd Place – The Broadmoor Golf Club

3rd Place – Kissing Camels Golf Course


Best Graphic Designers

Big Fish Marketing

Graphic design, in the business world, is the heartbeat of branding and image. Getting the right look and feel for a company logo, website and promotional materials can be the difference between lots of customers and none. Big Fish Marketing has deeply pleased its Colorado Springs business customers. The company, started in 2001, prides itself on “working backward.” The company doesn’t just do graphic design. “From in-depth business discovery, development and analysis to comprehensive marketing and public relations campaigns that present both strategic direction and tactical implementation, we deliver complete solutions that generate results,” the website reads. That holistic approach guides the design work. “If you don’t know where you’re going,” Big Fish says, “how will you ever know how to get there?”

2nd Place – The Doodler

3rd Place – Cukjati Design & Advertising


Best Health and Fitness Centers


At the dedication of the then-new downtown Colorado Springs YMCA building in 1901, Teddy Roosevelt said the YMCA “promotes industry, temperance, and self-reliance. … It is a taxpayer’s best friend. It gives better government at less cost, and that is the ultimate of political aspirations.” Some 72 years later, the current downtown “Y” building was erected on the same site. It combines a variety of youth and family services under one roof, including downtown’s leading health and fitness center. It’s convenient, unpretentious and welcoming, and beloved by downtown workers, prominent politicians, business leaders and even a few scruffy journalists. Yoga, swimming, workout areas, spin classes, Zumba — it’s all there and easy to access. You can bet that Teddy Roosevelt, our country’s first fitness-oriented president, would be pleased.

2nd Place – 24 Hour Fitness North

3rd Place – Villa Sport


Best Home Builders

Classic Homes

Since its beginning in 1990, Classic Homes has built 10,000 homes in the Colorado Springs market, said President Joe Loidolt. Last year, the home-grown company built around 300, more than 20 in the fire-ravaged Mountain Shadows neighborhood. This year, the company will again likely build around 300 homes.

They build production homes and semi-custom. Including their duplexes, the company builds in 39 different floor plans, Loidolt said. Some of the company’s neighborhoods include Flying Horse, Promontory Pointe, Indigo Ranch, Wolf Ranch and more. The company’s success is “a testament to the folks that work here and our culture of service,” Loidolt said.

2nd Place – Keller Homes, Inc.

3rd Place – Challenger Homes


Best Home Health Care Agencies

Goodwill at Home

Nursing homes and assisted-living facilities aren’t for everyone. Some people want the independence of living at home. Thanks to Goodwill at Home, they can remain at home while receiving the extra assistance they need. Goodwill at Home provides non-medical services, such as companion services like reading and pet-care assistance, or arranging grocery lists and personal correspondence. They also offer homemaker assistance, providing assistance with laundry, grocery shopping or house cleaning. And they help people with personal care like bathing and dressing. Goodwill has a national reputation for excellence, and with this award, Colorado Springs residents are recognizing its dedication to helping people live independent lives.

2nd Place – The Independence Center

3rd Place – Right at home Senior Care


Best Hospitals

Penrose-St. Francis

In the late 1880s, a train derailment near Leadville was the impetus to a door-to-door campaign to raise money for a hospital in Colorado Springs. More than 100 years later, that hospital is now Penrose-St. Francis Health Services. A full-service, 522-bed acute care facility, the hospital serves patients at two campuses, one downtown and one in northeast Colorado Springs. While medical care has changed and grown through the years, the hospital’s dedication to its patients has not. For seven years, Healthgrades has chosen Penrose as one of the top 50 hospitals in the nation, and the only hospital to earn the honor in Colorado. Penrose is also southern Colorado’s only magnet hospital. In recent years, Penrose has taken full advantage of the depth and reach of its parent organization, Centura Health, which provides advanced medical care to more than 500,000 people each year, across 15 hospitals, seven senior-living facilities and home care services.

2nd Place – Memorial Hospital

3rd Place – Pikes Peak Regional Hospital and Surgery Center


Best Hotels

The Broadmoor

Colorado Springs’ oldest manmade tourist destination has entered another renaissance. Since it was built by local millionaire philanthropist Spencer Penrose in 1918, The Broadmoor has played host to celebrities, dignitaries, festivals and conferences. It has also maintained its stature among the golf community, hosting major championships and winning numerous awards for its amenities. The hotel’s Broadmoor West wing was recently reopened following a $57 million renovation that added 31 rooms, two new restaurants and overhauled the building’s façade to match the Italianate style of the campus.

“The resorts and hotels that really stand the test of time are constantly evolving,” President and CEO Steve Bartolin recently told the Business Journal. “You always have to give people something new to talk about — something new in the marketplace — while keeping a careful eye on the past … and with quality that befits the rest of the property.” With 779 suites, a conference center, numerous restaurants and bars, top-quality golf courses and many other such luxuries, The Broadmoor is a premier resort as well as a top employer in the Pikes Peak region.

2nd Place – Cheyenne Mountain Resort

3rd Place – Mining Exchange a Wyndham Grand Hotel


Best Insurance Brokers – Commercial

Six & Geving Insurance

The largest locally owned insurance agency in Colorado Springs, Six & Geving insures more than 3,000 businesses. Since its inception in 1990, the group specializes in insurance and risk assessments for churches and ministries and for transportation companies and medical professionals’ liability insurance. They also provide auto and home insurance, as well as insurance products for businesses. Focused on meeting clients’ needs, Six & Geving prides itself on “providing insurance products with excellence and kindness, treating all people as we wish to be treated under the guidance and teachings of our Lord Jesus Christ,” according to its website.

2nd Place – Pennica Financial Group

3rd Place – Penrose Community Urgent Care


Best Internet Service Providers

Springs Hosting

The name of tech firm Springs Hosting is misleading. The company does much more than simply host websites and email accounts: It offers consultation, server management,  server dedication and co-location services as well — all right here from Colorado Springs.

“We’re one of those places you can call to get just about everything done,” co-founder and CEO Don Brown told the Business Journal last July.

Since the local startup opened in 2006, founders Brown and Jeremy Keefe have expanded their staff exponentially to keep up with demand at their own technology-laden facility at 1205 Shasta Drive. Springs Hosting has found success in the Pikes Peak region, and continues to prevail despite stiff competition from national and international big-name tech firms.

2nd Place – Comcast Cable

3rd Place – Century Link, Inc.


Best IT Computer Support Companies

Springs Hosting

The name of tech firm Springs Hosting is misleading. The company does much more than simply host websites and email accounts: It offers consultation, server management,  server dedication and co-location services as well — all right here from Colorado Springs.

“We’re one of those places you can call to get just about everything done,” co-founder and CEO Don Brown told the Business Journal last July.

Since the local startup opened in 2006, founders Brown and Jeremy Keefe have expanded their staff exponentially to keep up with demand at their own technology-laden facility at 1205 Shasta Drive. Springs Hosting has found success in the Pikes Peak region, and continues to prevail despite stiff competition from national and international big-name tech firms.

2nd Place – Amnet

3rd Place – Navakai


Best Law Firms

McDivitt Law Firm PC

Voted Best Law Firm, McDivitt Law Firm has been in business in southern Colorado 40 years. Founded by attorney Michael McDivitt and his wife Karen, who worked in the business functions of the office, the firm continues to be operated by McDivitt family members. The McDivitts’ daughter, Lisa McDivitt, operates the marketing, and their son David McDivitt joined the firm in 2007. The 18 attorneys and 89 staff members specialize in personal injury lawsuits, cases involving accidents and workers compensation. After opening a new office in the Powers Boulevard corridor, the firm now has two offices in Colorado Springs, one in Denver and one in Pueblo.

2nd Place – Holland & Hart LLP, Mulliken Weiner Berg & Jolivet P.C. (tie)

3rd Place – Sparks Willson Borges Brandt & Johnson, P.C.


Best Manufacturing Companies

Agilent Technologies

Agilent was born in 1999 when Hewlett-Packard spun it off. That November, the company broke records for the largest initial public offering on the stock market. With more than 20,000 employees globally, Santa Clara, Calif.-based Agilent is one of the largest measurement technology companies in the world. The company continues to evolve and reinvent itself, announcing earlier this year that it would spin off its electronic measurement division. The company’s medical division will retain the name Agilent while the electronic measurement division will be renamed Keysight Technologies. Most of the company’s 1,065 Colorado employees will work for Keysight.

2nd Place – Atmel Corporation

3rd Place – Bal Seal Engineering


Best Medical Facilities

Colorado Springs Health Partners

With 11 different locations, specialty care and an ambulatory surgical center, Colorado Springs Health Partners provides state-of-the-art medical facilities throughout the Pikes Peak region. From the eastern plains to Woodland Park, there are doctors in locations ready to treat patients. And at CSHP, they won’t send you to hospitals for tests; most routine tests — from ultrasounds to blood work — can be completed at CSHP locations. They specialize in allergies to pulmonary disease and are certified for medical research.

2nd Place – Memorial Hospital

3rd Place – Penrose-St. Francis Health Services


Best Mortgage Lenders

Ent Federal Credit Union

Named after Maj. Gen. Uzal Ent and the Ent Air Force Base, Ent Federal Credit Union was voted best mortgage lender this year.

That, because “we try to keep our members informed during this exciting process. We recognize it is a big decision and questions are acceptable and should be during this exciting time,” said Victoria Selfridge, vice president of corporate communications.

Ent has 27 locations across Colorado’s Front Range.

Ent completed 210 mortgage loans for members in May. Looking at Ent’s mortgage loan dollars in May, home purchases were the bulk of Ent’s volume, at 73 percent, with the remainder being mortgage loan refinances.

2nd Place – Wells Fargo and Co.

3rd Place – Provident Lending Corporation


Best Moving Companies

Two Men and a Truck

It may have started in the early 1980s with two men and a truck, but it’s grown to more than 200 franchise locations with more than 1,400 trucks nationwide. Locally, the mission of the Colorado Springs franchise is to strive to exceed customers’ expectations, and with a 96 percent referral rate, the mission is well on its way to being met. They do it with “The Grandma Rule,” treating everyone as you would want your grandma to be treated, providing moving supplies, packing services and moves for everything from single-family homes to offices with hundreds of employees.

2nd Place – Encore Services

3rd Place – Arrow Moving & Storage


Best Museums and Art Galleries

Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center

Since 1936, the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center has provided area residents with immersive arts experiences, beginning its nearly 80 years with an opening-night dance recital by Martha Graham. The FAC has significant collections of American, Native American and Hispanic art, hosts absorbing exhibitions (check out the current comprehensive show of Dale Chihuly’s glass), offers classes at the Bemis School of Art and sponsors a resident theater company that mounts a full season of plays in the FAC’s restored theater. David Tryba’s sensitively executed addition to John Gaw Meem’s iconic building has allowed the FAC to maximize its reach and resources. It remains what it has always been — the center and focus of the arts in the Pikes Peak region.

2nd Place – Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum

3rd Place – Garden of the Gods Visitor and Nature Center


Best Non-Profit Organizations

Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region

The Humane Society is in some sense a governmental agency, since it holds animal control contracts with the city and the county. But it’s far more than that, as the organization’s website makes clear. “Every year, more than 19,000 animals pass through the doors of the Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region. These are animals surrendered by their families, lost pets, injured strays and abused animals who have lived a life of neglect. With your support, we can continue our mission: a compassionate society where animals are cared for and valued.” HSPPR’s work is especially important since the region’s transient population contributes to disproportionately large numbers of homeless animals. And thanks to tireless work of HSPPR’s staff and volunteers, most of them find new homes.

2nd Place – Compassion International

3rd Place – El Pomar Foundation


Best Office Furniture Companies


With more than 200,000 square feet of racked storage capacity and locations in Colorado Springs, Denver and Fort Collins, OfficeScapes offers a wide variety of office furniture solutions. But the company strives for more than just providing quality furniture. As members of the U.S. Green Building Council, the company strives to be environmentally responsible by keeping furniture out of landfills, offering pre-owned furniture and furniture disposition services in an effort to reuse or recycle office furniture. In its operations, OfficeScapes strives to implement environmentally friendly practices to reduce-reuse-recycle whenever possible.

2nd Place – Woodley’s Fine Furniture Inc.

3rd Place – Workplace Resource


Best Physical Rehab Centers

Pikes Peak Therapeutic Riding Center

Pikes Peak Therapeutic Riding Center isn’t full of complicated gym equipment and stern, demanding physical therapists. Their therapy is of the furrier sort — horses. The center started out solely as a place for people with disabilities to ride horses, and has grown to include hippotherapy, thanks to a partnership with Memorial Hospital. They now provide equine therapy to people with speech, occupational or physical disabilities. And they’ve grown more — in recent years, they started the Horses for Heroes program to provide equine therapy to soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. They’ve just started a psychotherapy equine program to assist with cognitive and emotional well being. Started as a small nonprofit, PPTRC was incorporated in 1982 and now treats a range of cognitive, physical and emotional disabilities.

2nd Place – Spectrum Rehabilitation 

3rd Place – Rocky Mountain Health Care Services 


Best Physician Groups

 Colorado Springs Health Partners

A physician-owned medical group, and the largest collection of primary care doctors in the city, Colorado Springs Health Partners considers themselves valuable members of the community, providing high-quality health care in a physician-driven, patient-focused setting. The group started in 1946 when a group of physicians back from World War II wanted to continue caring for patients in Colorado Springs. The practice grew larger in 1995, thanks to a merger with several local physician practices. CSHP is an active, involved community member, sponsoring many organizations like the American Heart Association. Thanks to decades of responding to local health care needs, CSHP has earned its reputation as the best physician group in Colorado Springs.

2nd Place – Mountain View Medical Group, PC

3rd Place – Peak Vista Community Health Centers


Best Printing and Duplicating Companies

Minuteman Press

As digital as the world has gone, businesses will likely always need to print certain materials. From catalogues and direct mail campaigns to marketing fliers, brochures and postcards, Minuteman Press provides full-service printing. Owner Eric Johnson takes a hands-on approach to his printing business and believes firmly that it’s not just about fulfilling orders. “We don’t just help customers, we build relationships,” he writes. “We learn all that your business has to offer so we can help customize a marketing strategy that gets your message clearly stated to those in need of your products and services.” Minuteman provides free marketing consultations to printing clients at its two locations.

2nd Place – DocuMart Inc.

3rd Place – Tri-Lakes Printing


Best Private Schools, K-12

St. Mary’s High School

The statistics are impressive — 100 percent of those members of the class of 2013 who applied to college were accepted, and they received more than $9 million in scholarships. St. Mary’s High School has come a long way since its founding in 1885 as Loretto Academy with an initial enrollment of nine female students. With 26 full-time and seven part-time faculty, the school boasts a ratio of one faculty member to 10 students, with an average class size of 15.7 students. The school’s mission is to be an academic community modeled on the life and teachings of Jesus Christ and the traditions of the Catholic Church.

2nd Place – Colorado Springs Christian Schools

3rd Place – The Colorado Springs School


Best Professional Associations

Executive Women International

The Colorado Springs chapter of Executive Women International raises around $16,000 annually to give to nontraditional college students. In recent years, it has given scholarships of $4,000 to four nontraditional students, or $2,000 per semester, said Cathie John, chapter president. The group has one golf tournament fundraiser annually for the ASIST program, or Adult Students In Scholastic Transition.

“It’s really a networking organization, but we try to concentrate on projects that will help the community as well as the member firms and their employees,” John said. “There are three levels: careers, connections and community. We try to advance people’s careers. We make connections with other firms across the country, and we help the community.”

2nd Place – Apartment Association of Southern Colorado

3rd Place – Housing and Building Association of Colorado Springs


Best Promotional Items

The Doodler

Want to get your name out there? Try putting it on a pen, a coffee mug or a beer coozy. “Getting your information in the hands of potential customers is what it’s all about,” according to The Doodler website, “and nothing does the job better than promotional products. Studies have shown promotional products outlast most any type of advertising.” The Doodler has been putting local business logos on everything from pillows and pill boxes to eyeglass cases, flip-flops, batteries, bathrobes and scales since 1977. The company has been family-owned from the very beginning. Now under the ownership of the next generation, The Doodler has a new logo and even more energy. But the company maintains the same level of commitment to quality customer service that has made it successful over the decades.

2nd Place – Promoz Inc.

3rd Place – Bing Promotional Products


Best Real Estate Brokers – Commercial

Olive Real Estate Group

In business here since 1976, the principals of the Olive Real Estate Group are intimately familiar with the ups and downs of the Colorado Springs commercial real estate market. It’s not surprising that the company’s staff includes some of the canniest and most experienced brokers and dealmakers in the region. Senior company leaders include Stan Kensinger, Jim Justus and Jim DiBiase, who collectively give the company considerable institutional memory and market savvy. Other brokers and principals are equally strong, allowing the Olive Group to match or exceed the strengths of any competitor.

2nd Place – Hoff & Leigh Management, Inc.

3rd Place – Ankeney, Inc. – Metro Brokers Commercial Offices


Best Real Estate Brokers – Residential

RE/MAX Properties Inc.

The familiar red, white and blue RE/MAX balloon can be found around the world, but it all started in Denver in 1973. Founded that year by Dave and Gail Liniger, the RE/MAX network has grown to more than 90,000 agents and 6,000 offices in more than 90 countries. It became a publicly traded company in October 2013. Locally RE/MAX Properties, Inc. has been one of the top residential real estate brokerages in Colorado Springs for more than 20 years, with more than 200 broker associates working out of four locations providing real estate services to Colorado Springs and surrounding areas.

2nd Place – The Platinum Group Realtors, LLC

3rd Place – Salzman Real Estate Services


Best Residential Property Managers

Griffis/Blessing Inc.

Griffis/Blessing was founded in 1985 and has its headquarters in Colorado Springs. The company is an accredited management organization by the Institute of Real Estate Management. Involved in virtually every aspect of commercial real estate, Griffis/Blessing’s property management experience includes medical, retail, office, industrial, corporate and government properties. It’s no stranger to this category, either. CSBJ readers have named it the best every year since 2006. The company has earned statewide attention as well. The company was named the “best place to work” by ColoradoBIZ magazine in 2007. Today, it employs more than 230 and manages assets valued at more than $600 million.

2nd Place – Diversified Property Management, LLC

3rd Place – Rusinak Real Estate, Inc.


Best Retirement/Assisted Living Facilities

MacKenzie Place

MacKenzie Place isn’t like other assisted living or retirement communities. It’s not all cookie-cutter apartments where everyone lives exactly the same way. At MacKenzie Place, you get to choose. The experience starts with three options… The Cottages, which allow people to purchase a home with access to the amenities. Leasing an apartment at The Terrace is also an option — again, amenities included. For people who need a little extra help, The Arbours are assisted-living facilities that provide both memory care rooms and nursing help. Billed as resort-style living, MacKenzie Place specializes in the little extras — manicures, pedicures, a full-service travel agency, a swimming pool and fitness centers. That’s why CSBJ readers routinely have voted for MacKenzie Place as the best retirement facility in the Springs.

2nd Place – The Villa at Sunny Vista

3rd Place – The Palisades at Broadmoor Park, The Signature at Promontory Pointe (tie)


Best SBA Lenders

Wells Fargo Small Business

Small Business Administration loans allow local companies to borrow money for commercial real estate 504 loans and working capital 7(a) loans. SBA-insured lending helps the local economy grow by enabling small business owners to invest in their companies, expand and hire more people. Wells Fargo, while based in San Francisco, has consistently been the leader in SBA lending in Colorado Springs. “That’s something we’re very proud of,” said Mike Matthews, business banking president for Colorado. “We have been the leader in Colorado and the country in loan volume.”  The Colorado U.S. Small Business Administration awarded Wells Fargo National Bank the 7(a) large lender award for lenders with an outstanding SBA loan portfolio of at least $100 million. The bank made more than $84.1 million in 7(a) loans in 2013 and aims to lend more than $100 million in 2014 Matthews told the CSBJ earlier this year.

2nd Place – Pikes Peak Regional Development Corporation

3rd Place – Central Bank & Trust


Best Staffing Firms


Business is a bit like theater — the show must go on. Even when key support staff is out sick, on maternity leave or moving away with a military spouse, companies need support. Enter ADDSTAFF. Founded in Colorado Springs in 1984, ADDSTAFF provides the temporary workers businesses need in order to keep conducting business as usual when they lose a key player. ADDSTAFF has also come to be known for its expert matchmaking services for people who want work and businesses that need employees. Offering full-time permanent placements, temp-to-hire employees and temporary staffing solutions, ADDSTAFF has earned a reputation for quality among the Colorado Springs business community.

2nd Place – Goodwill Staffing

3rd Place – Strategic Staffing – BBSI


Best Telecommunications Equipment and Services

Springs Hosting

The name of tech firm Springs Hosting is misleading. The company does much more than simply host websites and email accounts: It offers consultation, server management,  server dedication and co-location services as well — all right here from Colorado Springs.

“We’re one of those places you can call to get just about everything done,” co-founder and CEO Don Brown told the Business Journal last July.

Since the local startup opened in 2006, founders Brown and Jeremy Keefe have expanded their staff exponentially to keep up with demand at their own technology-laden facility at 1205 Shasta Drive. Springs Hosting has found success in the Pikes Peak region, and continues to prevail despite stiff competition from national and international big-name tech firms.

2nd Place – Century Link, Inc.

3rd Place – Comcast Cable


Best Title Companies

Stewart Title, Colorado Springs Division

Property buyers don’t want any surprise claims to their homes and commercial buildings down the road from the closing table. And they need to know their title insurance will protect them if something does crop up. Stewart Title has spent a lot of time building a strong reputation in Colorado Springs. The local division of the largest underwriter in the state has been issuing title insurance policies in Colorado Springs since the 1960s, growing each decade. The staff at the Colorado Springs Division of Stewart Title pride themselves on providing quality service and “upholding the best possible customer experience for each Colorado real estate transaction.”

2nd Place – Land Title Guarantee Company

3rd Place – Empire Title of Colorado Springs


Best Tourist Attractions

Cheyenne Mountain Zoo

Since Colorado Springs philanthropist Spencer Penrose created Cheyenne Mountain Zoo in 1938, the local site has become a world-renowned tourist attraction. Touting its steep, forested enclave as the home of America’s only mountain zoo, Cheyenne Mountain Zoo and its Will Rogers Shrine of the Sun have celebrated record-breaking attendance numbers three years in a row, said Public Relations Manager Erica Meyer. “We believe that the zoo’s success is connected to our outstanding staff, the continual improvements made to exhibits and facilities, and due to the connection we are able to facilitate between our guests and the animals in our care,” Meyer said. As long as there are families in Southern Colorado, there will always be demand for the 7,000-foot views and the wide variety of both flora and fauna the zoo has in store. “Cheyenne Mountain Zoo is proud to be one of the many Colorado Springs attractions that help families spend quality time together,” Meyer said.

2nd Place – Garden of the Gods Visitor and Nature Center

3rd Place – Pikes Peak – America’s Mountain


Best Urgent Care Centers

CSHP Urgent Care Center

It’s the weekend — and both kids are running fevers and coughing, complaining of sore throats. Meanwhile, the spouse wrecked the bicycle on the weekend run up Captain Jack’s and is complaining of back pain. Where can you take all of them? According to CSBJ voters, there’s only one place to go to avoid the high costs and long waits associated with traditional emergency rooms: Colorado Springs Health Partners Urgent Care Center. Open 365 days a year in two locations, the centers allow patients to check in online and cover infectious disease care, sprains, strains and fractures, migraines and lacerations. The centers also provide drug testing for companies, avoiding long waits in other patient settings.

2nd Place – Urgent Care at Memorial Hospital

3rd Place – Penrose Community Urgent Care


Best Waste and Recycling Companies

Bestway Disposal

Locally owned and operated by the same family since 1950, Bestway Disposal has been a leader in the waste disposal business for more than half a century. The company’s familiar red trucks still deliver trash to local landfills, but the company is better known for its innovative investments in recycling.

For a modest monthly fee, Bestway customers can subscribe the company’s single-stream recycling service. Plastics, paper products, glass and metal are transported to Bestway’s Materials Recovery Facility on Interpark Drive, where they are separated, baled and transported by rail to multiple end users.

The impact on the environment is substantial, the service easy and convenient to use, and Bestway’s experienced management team still manages to make a buck or two on its investment.

2nd Place – Blue Star Recyclers

3rd Place – Springs Waste Systems


Best Website Development Companies

Design Rangers

Chris and Jenny Schell founded Design Rangers in 2007. Their clients since then have included Cave of the Winds, USA Cycling and many more. They’re passionate about community, having joined with their peers to create the iconic 2012 Wildfire Tees.

Their credo, as expressed on the company’s website, is simple: “We believe the best discoveries happen when passionate clients are ready to embrace adventure and exploration. A Ranger-led expedition provides invaluable insight and creates an environment where brands can thrive.”

Colorado residents since childhood, the two partners bring that perspective to their work.

“Growing up in Colorado inspired us to explore. Jenny wandered through the mountain ghost towns and abandoned mines of Cripple Creek and Victor throughout her childhood. Christopher spent every holiday with his family setting up a campground or wandering through the back country.”

2nd Place – Red Energy Public Relations, Advertising & Events

3rd Place – Infront Webworks, Inc.


Non-Book of Lists

Best Boss

B.J. Hybl, Griffis/Blessing Inc.

B.J. Hybl is the guiding force behind the largest commercial property management group in Colorado Springs, Griffis/Blessing. And according to voters in this year’s business poll, he’s the best boss in the city. Hybl started at Griffis/Blessing as an associate vice president in 1999 and became president and COO in 2006. During that time, he’s maintained direct responsibility for more than 8 million square feet of multi-family, office, industrial and retail buildings. He guides his staff to exceed performance goals through careful market planning, cost reduction, quality control, professional compliance and meticulous attention to detail. Hybl is active in the community, a member of the U.S. Bobsled and Skeleton Federation board of directors and facilities chair for the Pikes Peak Hospice Foundation board. He is vice president of the Air Force Academy Foundation and a board member of 5-Star Bank.

2nd Place – Carla Dore

3rd Place – Scott Bryan, Bryan Construction


Best Business Apparel – Men and Women


For some, Kohl’s is the best place to go for business suits and attire, as the national chain was voted the best business apparel store. The department store, with three locations in Colorado Springs, specializes in affordable clothing and accessories. Its mission, according to the Kohl’s website, is to be the “nation’s leading family focused, value-oriented specialty department store.”  Kohl’s has 1,160 stores in 49 states and offers “quality, exclusive, national brand merchandise.” The store is the No. 1 retailer in the United States for Levi’s, Dockers and Columbia.

2nd Place – Men’s Warehouse

3rd Place – JCPenney


Best Business-friendly Elected Official

Jan Martin

Known for her practical politics, her no-nonsense way of speaking and for standing up for what she believes in, Jan Martin is this year’s “best business friendly elected official.” Martin has served on the Colorado Springs City Council since 2007, and beginning her final year in office before being term-limited. In that time, she has been a stalwart business champion and a tireless advocate for growing local businesses. A small-business owner herself, Martin holds a master’s of business administration from Regis University. She focuses on innovation, goads fellow council members into considering the future and serves in a variety of functions throughout the city. Martin is at nearly every community and business event, continuing her push to make Colorado Springs a better place.

2nd Place – Steve Bach

3rd Place – Sallie Clark


Best Business Happy Hour (Restaurants/Bars)

Phantom Canyon

Serving craft-brewed pints of beer for less than $3 gives Phantom Canyon’s happy hour patrons just one more reason to celebrate. Located in the heart of downtown in the historic Cheyenne Building at the corner of Pikes Peak and Cascade avenues, the 21-year-old brewery covers beer drinkers from pilsners to porters to wash down the chicken and biscuit with chili honey or, for the iron-deficient — the grilled flat-iron steak with tequila lime shrimp.

2nd Place – Jack Quinn’s

3rd Place – Nosh


Best Business with Social Media Presence

Colorado Springs Independent

If the Colorado Springs Independent were human, it could now buy weed and booze. As the city’s only alternative weekly, the Indy (as locals call it) has provided readers in El Paso, Teller and Pueblo counties with news, commentary and entertainment for 21 years.

“The Independent’s mission has always been to effect positive change in the Pikes Peak region and make it a better place to live, work, play and raise a family,” said General Manager/Associate Publisher Carrie Simison. “We’ve done that through 21 years of coverage of important issues, our activism and support of philanthropy, and through partnerships with sometimes unusual and unexpected partners, like the evangelical community, the military and even our media competitors.” With an estimated circulation of 36,000 and more than 125,000 regular readers, it remains the region’s largest locally owned publication and has received myriad awards from the Colorado Society of Professional Journalists and the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies.

2nd Place – Bryan Construction Inc.

3rd Place – Kevin Knebl


Best Churches

Woodmen Valley Chapel

Founded in 1981 as a nondenominational, evangelical fellowship, Woodmen Valley Chapel has grown enough to require two locations, drawing more than 5,000 parishioners to services each weekend. The church, led by Executive Pastor Doug Olsen, also conducts missionary work internationally in countries such as South Africa, Russia and Brazil, and is affiliated with organizations including New Hope International and Habitat for Humanity. Woodmen Valley Chapel is a member of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability and the Willow Creek Association. “Woodmen Valley Chapel is honored to be acknowledged by the Colorado Springs community as a church dedicated to bringing people to Jesus Christ,” Olsen said. “Our goal is to provide a welcoming and inviting environment without compromising our call to Biblical standards. Woodmen worship services feature a strong contemporary worship setting with applicable, Biblically-based messages that emphasize God’s grace.”

2nd Place – Acension Lutheran

3rd Place – Corpus Christi Catholic Church


Best Dry Cleaners

Pressed 4 Time

Pressed 4 Time knows you’re busy. So the company will come to your home or place of business to pick up your dry cleaning. In fact, there is no storefront, said Scott Randall, who owns the company with his wife, Andrea.

Andrea and Randall, a former Sky Sox pitcher who played for the Cincinnati Reds, decided to make Colorado Springs their home. Nine years ago, they purchased the franchise. The business does between $300,000 and $350,000 in business annually, three times the sales of when they purchased the business. The most unique item the business has cleaned was probably a mascot, the Domino’s Pizza mascot or Zeezo’s costumes, Randall said.

2nd Place – London Dry Cleaners

3rd Place – Couture’s Fabric Care


Best Event to Sponsor

Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo

Despite changing times and interests, the Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo is celebrating its 74th year in business. This year will mark the first time in the event’s history that the rodeo will not be sanctioned by the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association, but that hasn’t caused the spirits of its organizers or enthusiasts to waver. Just as it does each year, the series of events will begin July 8 with a parade south on Tejon Street in downtown Colorado Springs. The rodeo itself will run July 9-12 at the Norris-Penrose Event Center near the intersection of Eighth Street and Lower Gold Camp Road. Although the lack of PRCA sanction means that winning the event won’t count toward the National Finals, the organization offers prize money for events like bareback riding, steer wrestling, team roping, saddle bronc riding, tie-down roping, barrel racing and bull riding.

2nd Place – TESSA

3rd Place – CSBJ Golf Bus


Best Golf Tournament (including Fundraisers)

Mayor’s Cup

It’s a golf tournament that makes a difference for students in the local community. The third annual Mayor’s Cup, held at the Broadmoor West Golf Course, raised more than $55,000 in May. Proceeds benefitted the Spirit of the Springs initiatives, including full-tuition, two-year scholarships to Pikes Peak Community College for students studying public safety. Seven scholarships were added this year, bringing the total number of scholarships over the three-year tournament to 20. In addition, money raised also benefits the First Tee of Pikes Peak, an organization that mentors children through afterschool and in-school programs. Last year’s tournament raised more the $67,000 for the initiatives.

2nd Place – Leadership Pikes Peak Golf Tournament

3rd Place – Ronald McDonald House Charity


Best Networker in Town

Michael Pennica

For the second year in a row, the business community agrees this guy is everywhere. If there’s an opportunity to get out and talk to people, Michael Pennica, owner and founder of Pennica Financial Group, will take it. “I’m still doing the same ‘ol, same ‘ol,” Pennica said. “I’m just out there every chance I get.” There is one update on Pennica’s networking methods. He gave up his Facebook account. He didn’t like how much time he spent on it or that people tried to connect with him through it. He likes talking to people face-to-face or at least on the phone to get a real conversation going about what they want, so he knows better how he can help. “I think humans need to actually talk to humans,” he said. His advice for a beginning networker: “Get off the computer.”

2nd Place – Jenifer Furda

3rd Place – Stanton Kensinger


Best Networking Event

Colorado Springs Regional Business Alliance

The Colorado Springs Regional Business Alliance conducts the best networking events, voters determined this year. The Business Alliance hosts more than 100 networking events annually, said Chief Defense Industry Officer Andy Merritt.

“What makes us unique is the variety of events,” Merritt said.

That variety includes events for all businesses, events about the military and leadership from the military bases in the area and with elected officials.

“Our events are meant to be high-impact, where people network with each other and the decision-makers,” Merritt said.

2nd Place – Buzz with the Bees

3rd Place – CSBJ Best of Business


Best Nonprofit Boards

Better Business Bureau of Southern Colorado

Need a mechanic? A dog groomer? Just want to be sure your dry cleaner is up to snuff? With a vision of “an ethical marketplace where buyers and sellers can trust each other,” what’s not to like about the Better Business Bureau of Southern Colorado? Offering services for both the consumer and the proprietor, the BBB can assist in everything from finding trustworthy merchants in your community to helping launch your startup. “It is an honor to be surrounded by such strong leadership that cares so much about our community, and challenges me to work harder to bring trust to our marketplace each day,” said Matt Barrett, executive director and CEO of the Southern Colorado BBB. “Thank you to our community for recognizing all of the hard work and dedication our board members contribute to the BBB of Southern Colorado.”

2nd Place – Care and Share Food Bank for Southern Colorado

3rd Place – Pikes Peak Library District – Foundation & Trustees


Best Photographers

Blue Fox Photography

Blue Fox Photography was founded by New England transplant Wendy Pearce Nelson in 1988. It was a small cottage studio, and it remains so today. Working in intimate surroundings with a small staff, Nelson specializes in family portraits and social events.

She began with Hasselblads, then the gold standard of studio photography. Times changed, the medium evolved, and now she uses advanced digital image-capture devices (which we still refer to as “cameras”).

“Today we can work faster and smarter than ever,” said Nelson, “but our final goal is the same – beautiful memories for you.”

Judging from the company’s longevity, and the loyalty of its multi-generational customers, Nelson has realized that goal for thousands of Colorado Springs residents.

2nd Place – Cayton Photography

3rd Place –Cassidy Brooke Photography


Best Place for a Breakfast Meeting (Restaurants)

Over Easy

In business almost two years, Over Easy will tempt the palate with Crab-cake Benedict as well as biscuits and gravy. All the Benedicts sell well, as does the avocado and cheddar chicken melt, said owner Randy Price. And, of course, “Pancakes sell like crazy because they’re amazing,” Price said of the modified recipe from Betty Crocker’s 1950 cookbook. The downtown restaurant recently opened a second location at University Village Colorado on North Nevada Avenue. In addition to tasty food, the secret to Over Easy’s success is its “genuine service with a smile,” Price said. “And offering a great, quality product — as much local, fresh and organic as we can.”

2nd Place – The Egg and I

3rd Place – Antlers Hilton


Best Place for a Lunch Meeting (Restaurants)

MacKenzie’s Chop House

Whether partaking in a power lunch or getting a head start on happy hour, MacKenzie’s Chop House, located in the historic Alamo Building at 128 S. Tejon St., has been a destination for the downtown crowd and beyond for the past 17 years. MacKenzie’s fills the casual fine-dining niche in local Concept Restaurants’ lineup of businesses and is sure to please the carnivore in all of us. Linda Tolfa, assistant general manager, said the reason MacKenzie’s took this top spot is simple. “Lunch is fast and it’s good food,” she said. “The service is great and it’s a great atmosphere.”

2nd Place – Phantom Canyon

3rd Place – The Famous


Best Place to Grab a Cup of Coffee

The Perk Downtown

After closing for months due to a fire in January, Perk Downtown owners Don and Kay Heaberlin reopened their 14 S. Tejon St. doors in June to joyous java junkies who had been struggling to find their downtown indy coffee shop fix. “The fire set us back a few months,” Don Heaberlin said. “We just wanted to get back to business. That hurt. But in everything negative there are positives. After a few months off, we’ve been able to rethink how we’re doing business and what we can do better. It’s helped us refocus on how to be a better local roaster and coffee shop.” Their customers didn’t forget, voting them first place even while closed.

2nd Place – Starbucks

3rd Place – Dutch Brothers


Best Place for an Outdoor Meeting

Garden of the Gods

For as long as outsiders have been aware of the great beauty of this region, Garden of the Gods has been a destination for tourists from across the globe. Since the death of the park’s benefactor Charles Perkins in 1909 and subsequent creation of the 1,300-acre public park, the city of Colorado Springs has created 15 miles of trails for use by the millions who visit the Garden each year. The park is home to a variety of wildlife, including mule deer, bighorn sheep and foxes, and with more than 130 species of birds is a hotspot for photography and bird watching.

“You wind among rocks of every conceivable shape and size … all bright red, all motionless and silent, with a strange look of having been just stopped and held back in the very climax of some supernatural catastrophe,” the late Helen Hunt Jackson once wrote about the park’s diverse sandstone, conglomerate and limestone formations.

2nd Place – Red Rocks Canyon

3rd Place – Starsmore Discovery Center


Best Place for Team Building

Security Service Field (Sky Sox)

Not just a ballpark, Security Service Field offers amenities befitting any company get-together, baseball season or not. With rentable options including the First Command Banquet Hall with in-house catering, a picnic terrace, a hot tub and luxury suites, one can take the company out to the ballgame, or, better yet, rent the whole stadium and play like the pros. “We’re very excited to win the award for team building in Colorado Springs,” Sky Sox General Manager Tony Ensor said. “Our hospitality team and events planners work hard to fit our clients’ needs. Security Service Field is a very unique venue, different from all others. It’s the only baseball park in the city, and it provides affordable programs to cost-conscious customers. You get more value than what you pay for.”

2nd Place – Glen Eyrie

3rd Place – City Rock


Best Place to Work


Downtown, things will be great when you’re downtown. No finer place for sure. That’s true, according to singer Petula Clark, the voters for Best Place to Work, and Susan Edmondson of the Downtown Partnership of Colorado Springs. Though the idea behind the category was to honor a business, the voters had a different view. “It’s not surprising downtown was selected. When you work downtown you also have scores of locally owned restaurants and coffee shops right outside your door,” said Edmondson, CEO and president of the partnership. “There’s easy access by bike, and lots of great shopping and activities. You can run into an Olympic athlete at a juice bar and take a 5k run at [Jack] Quinn’s after work if you want.” With a workforce of 23,000, Edmondson said basing your biz downtown is a quality-of-life issue. “It’s moving in the right direction,” she said. “Businesses choose downtown because employees want to be there. It makes the business more competitive.”

2nd Place – Griffis/Blessing, Inc.

3rd Place – Workplace Resource


Best Public Restrooms (in a business establishment)

The Broadmoor

OK, so this in all likelihood is the least-serious of categories, except for the fact that having upscale bathroom facilities certainly can’t hurt any business. For years, if you asked many local business leaders, they would insist that the Broadmoor Golf Club’s clubhouse had the best restrooms anywhere. That building has since been remodeled, and the luxurious ambiance has been maintained. But wherever you go at The Broadmoor, from the Golden Bee to La Taverne (formerly the Tavern) and the refurbished Broadmoor West, you’ll find pit stops worthy of a Five-Star, Five-Diamond, world-class resort. That’s worth recognizing.

2nd Place – Really?

3rd Place – Coutura Design Inspirations


Best Radio Station to Get the News (AM or FM)

KRDO AM-FM, 1240 AND 105.5

For the second year in a row, KRDO News Radio has earned the honor of Best Radio Station. Providing listeners with morning rush hour news broadcasts and weather, as well as News Channel 13 television simulcast at noon, the station is a comprehensive source of everything local for those on the go. The news radio team includes Mike Lewis, Paul Richards and Joel Navarro. “My partner Paul Richards and myself have been in this market for a number of years,” said Mike Lewis, KRDO News Radio program director and news anchor. “A strong, vibrant economy solves a lot of problems. We know how important local businesses and jobs are and often address those issues on the air. We’re the only radio station in the area that is co-owned by a television news station in KRDO News Channel 13. That’s an additional resource to cover the market and makes us unlike any other station in town.”

2nd Place – KRCC

3rd Place – KVOR


Best Shoe Repairs

Brown’s Shoe Fit Company

Since 1985, Brown’s Shoe Fit Company has been outfitting customers with everything from sandals to sneakers, Birkenstocks to boots. The store at 123 N. Tejon St. is one of more than 80 Brown’s stores in 12 states, and the feel of the floor-to-ceiling selection of shoes in a small downtown storefront harkens to an earlier era before big-box stores and online retailers. The original Brown’s Shoe Fit Company opened in Shenandoah, Iowa, in 1911. The owner, Win Brown, believed any person should have the opportunity to own and operate their own business, and he made it possible by making them partners and loaning the necessary money to get started as an owner in his company.

2nd Place – Red Wing

3rd Place – Andy’s Shoe Repair


Best Sustainable Businesses

Seeds Community Cafe

Seeds Community Cafe doesn’t simply focus on feeding the hungry — it teaches those in need how to better their diets, living situations and themselves. The nonprofit 501(c)3 uses a “pay as you can” business model to allow those with more to make up for those with less, and those with none to pay by performing tasks in the cafe.

Seeds also offers employment training, cooking classes and working to improve the lives and moods of those in the Colorado Springs community.

“We are combating community deterioration by providing dignified employment, volunteer opportunities and referrals to individuals in distressed by economic crisis and/or homelessness and substance abuse, including juveniles with criminal records and by stimulating the local economy, by sourcing food and other café inputs from local providers and producers, by growing produce in an urban setting, and by creating jobs and paying a living wage,” according to

2nd Place – Old Town Bike Shop

3rd Place – Poor Richard’s


Best TV Station to Get the News

KOAA Channel 5

Voted Best TV Station, KOAA Channel 5 just recently moved into a new 25,000-square-foot studio behind the Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame in northern Colorado Springs. The station also completely upgraded the station’s Pueblo studio facility, said Evan Pappas, president and general manager. The NBC affiliate reaches almost 700,000 people in southern Colorado. The station reaches to the Oklahoma, New Mexico and Kansas state lines and north to the Douglas County line, Pappas said.

Fifteen percent of the viewers collect their signal over the air, while 45 percent is delivered via Dish and DirecTV satellite and cable delivers just under 40 percent. The 60-year-old business’ news operation specializes in investigative journalism.

2nd Place – KRDO

3rd Place – Fox 21