In 1967, Jim Johnson’s father started G.E. Johnson Construction Co. with one pickup truck and a contract to build an administration building for the Fountain Valley School. Johnson took over his father’s business in 1997, and today, the company’s reputation reaches around the state with projects that include schools, hospitals, financial institutions, upscale offices and ski resorts.
You could come face to face with Robert Bux someday and never know it. Bux is El Paso County’s new coroner and medical examiner. His office investigates more than 1,000 deaths a year, and he works to discover the identity of homicide victims, often found far from their homes and belongings. Bux took over last month for Dr. David Bowerman. Although it’s not required for the job of coroner, Bux is a medical doctor. A normal day at the office for Bux may not seem so normal. He goes to work knowing he’ll probably perform at least two autopsies.
For Scott Koons, time is technology. That’s why he and his company, Imagination Interactive, are in a never-ending fight to stay at the forefront of advances for the Internet. If Koons is on top of his game, so are his clients. They hire him to update their Web sites with the latest advances in streaming audio and video.
Keeping cars in tiptop shape is something Alicia Jones deals with every day as the owner of Auto Clinic of the Rockies. And, as this year’s president of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Colorado Springs, she’ll try her hand at helping small business owners keep their businesses running in optimal condition.
Meet Matt Barrett. He’s not only one of the newest guys in town; he’s also the new director of the Small Business Development Center at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs. Barrett, who started the new job this month, is taking over a position that has been vacant since September, when former director Luis Saldarriaga left.
For more than 10 years, La Plata Investments has been the guiding force behind the master-planned communities of Briargate and Pine Creek. And late last year, La Plata, under the direction of CEO Scott Smith, opened the first filing of its newest community, Cordera. Located near Powers Boulevard and Old Ranch Road, and billed as a family friendly community, Cordera will feature four themed community parks, an outdoor community pool, a trail system, 41 acres of open space and neighborhood parks wired for Wi-Fi (wireless Internet connection). Cordera’s filings two and three are expected to open by 2008.
Even if you’ve never met Hal Ward, you’ve certainly seen his company’s work. Most of the billboards, bus stops and bench advertisements around the city are the work of Lamar Outdoor Advertising. Ward is vice president and general manager.
He’s nearly made a 14-year run of it. For 13 of those years, Dan Rundgren has been the No. 1 Small Business Administration lender in El Paso County. As Wachovia’s Small Business Capital representative for southern Colorado, Rundgren has found success in his field, and the key to that success may be found in the driving philosophy behind his profession. He considers it his job to give away money. Rundgren’s banking experience includes positions at a number of Springs’ area financial institutions as well as a stint as a bank examiner for the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.
Years of managing millions of dollars in corporate America left Barb Horst looking for a new challenge. Horst wanted to start or purchase her own business, and what she found helped her fulfill her ambitions, as well as helped other people who shared the same goal. As owner of Sunbelt Business Advisors, Horst evaluates and brokers businesses for purchase or for sale. She estimates that 99.9 percent of business owners have no idea how much their business is worth, which is a question she specializes in answering.
Higher energy prices are just one of the factors likely to make this year’s Christmas spending a little tighter for the average El Paso County resident. For the county’s low-income families, it’ll be tighter still. That’s why Bart Givens and the Pikes Peak Community Action Agency are partnering with the Rock Bottom Foundation to coordinate the Miracle on Tejon Street. The Miracle on Tejon Street will serve a complete Christmas Day meal at Old Chicago to 450 of El Paso County’s low income families. Givens is the executive director of the PPCAA, which helps low-income families with basic needs and attaining self sufficiency.
In a growing age of globalism, it’s becoming more common for corporations down the street from your house to oversee operations around the planet. Jerry Schaefer works for one of those corporations, Agilent Technologies. He is the director of Agilent Global Financial Services, and keeps an eye on Agilent’s financial offerings around the world from here in Colorado Springs. When his focus is not on business matters overseas, it’s at home – where he invests time mentoring the city’s young people.
Business owners know that a professional, objective, third-person critique about how they run their operation is priceless. But, that kind of service usually comes at a price – a big price. Catherine Coulter Calvin specializes in providing analysis to small businesses with a more-affordable fee structure.