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ARCHIVED  November 5, 1999

Bravo! to the entrepreneurs

Bravo! indeed.

Looking through the nominations for this year’s Bravo! Entrepreneur program reveals not only the trials and tribulations of Northern Colorado’s entrepreneurs but also the depth of entrepreneurship throughout the region. From real estate to publishing, from high technology to retail, from restaurateurs to development, nominees for Bravo! Entrepreneur run the gamut of the region’s industries.

Their example serves as a clarion call to all of us as we progress in our entrepreneurial endeavors or are just considering launching a business, be it in Fort Collins, Greeley, Loveland or outlying communities. Business startups continue at a rapid pace throughout our region, and it’s that spirit of risk that Bravo! Entrepreneur embraces.

This year’s honorees include:

n Douglas Schatz, CEO of Advanced Energy Industries Inc., Bravo! Entrepreneur, Fort Collins.

n Dave Duke, founder of Duke Communications International, Bravo! Entrepreneur, Loveland.

n John Todd, who founded Toddy’s grocery stores, Bravo! Entrepreneur, Greeley.

n Louis Lucio, who has taken Armadillo to new heights since its founding in La Salle, Bravo! Entrepreneur, outlying communities.

n Bob Everitt, whose decades of entrepreneurship have given us the Foothills Fashion Mall, the Fort Collins Marriott, and the Oakridge Business Park, to name a few, Lifetime Achievement Award.

n Eastman Kodak Co.’s Kodak Colorado Division in Windsor, winner of the Regional Spirit Award for its many programs supporting the Northern Colorado community.

And though these have been named winners of this year’s Bravo! Entrepreneur awards, this program recognizes all nominees, which this year numbered more than 75. We honor them one and all, for the risks they’ve taken and continue to take, for the hurdles they’ve overcome, for the brainstorms that have led to success. Most importantly, however, we honor them for taking the leap.

We honor entrepreneurs such as Maury Willman, who, not content with starting one company, Willman Productions, went on to start another, Ergonomic Health Systems Inc. We honor Tim Warde of Greeley-based Northern Colorado Paper Inc., which weathered a devastating fire in 1991 and emerged stronger than ever. And we honor Chad and Troy McWhinney, who have emerged as entrepreneurs for the next millennium with their real estate projects at Interstate 25 and U.S. Highway 34.

Also, we honor Kathryn Hach-Darrow, a founder of Loveland’s Hach Co., who, in retirement in Washington state, declined to be considered for an award. Still has her career been an example for us all.

Such examples of entrepreneurship abound. Read brief synopsis of each nominee in this section, and read the profiles of this year’s winners.

But what’s the process for Bravo! Entrepreneur? First of all, Bravo! Entrepreneur is a program of The Northern Colorado Business Report, in conjunction with the Fort Collins Area Chamber of Commerce, the Fort Collins Economic Development Corp., the Greeley/Weld Chamber of Commerce, the Loveland Chamber of Commerce and the Loveland Economic Development Council. We this year gratefully welcome the Greeley/Weld Economic Development Action Partnership Inc. as well.

The president or executive director of each of those organizations serves on the Steering Committee, which is responsible for the overall success of Bravo! Entrepreneur. Yours truly also serve on the committee.

Steering Committee members from chambers and economic-development agencies each appoint business leaders to an Awards Committee, which considers nominations from the public and from the Awards Committee itself.

This year’s committee included Dave Armstrong of Centennial Bank of the West, Marge Yoder of Travel Connection in Fort Collins, Jim Willard of Hewlet-Packard Co. in Loveland, Irene Johnson of Loveland’s Linsco Private Ledger, Barb Kirkmeyer, a Weld County Commissioner, Ted Warner of Connecting Point of Greeley and Rocky Mountain Technology Solutions of Fort Collins and Lucille Mantelli of Eastman Kodak Co.

They deserve our thanks for poring over hundreds of pages of information on the nominees and for giving each careful consideration. Such a task is not easy.

We also thank the folks at Burns Marketing/Communications for helping put on the Bravo! event, Advanced Media for another excellent video, All About Events for handling the name tags and reservations, and Balloonz & Bouquets for the flower and balloon arrangements.

We especially thank the staff of The Northern Colorado Business Report for long hours spent on every aspect of this program. Bravo! Entrepreneur would not be possible without their dedication and skill.

Lastly, thanks to our Platinum Sponsors, including Garnsey & Wheeler Ford, Pratt and Norwest Banks/Wells Fargo Banks for their unending support of this program, and to all of our other sponsors, who are listed below. Each played an integral role in the program’s success.

Onward and upward, and we’ll see you in 2000!

Bravo! indeed.

Looking through the nominations for this year’s Bravo! Entrepreneur program reveals not only the trials and tribulations of Northern Colorado’s entrepreneurs but also the depth of entrepreneurship throughout the region. From real estate to publishing, from high technology to retail, from restaurateurs to development, nominees for Bravo! Entrepreneur run the gamut of the region’s industries.

Their example serves as a clarion call to all of us as we progress in our entrepreneurial endeavors or are just considering launching a business, be it in Fort Collins, Greeley, Loveland or outlying communities. Business startups continue at a rapid pace throughout our region,…

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