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“Best in Business 2019: Colorado Springs Write-ins - Colorado Springs Business Journal” plus 1 more

“Best in Business 2019: Colorado Springs Write-ins - Colorado Springs Business Journal” plus 1 more

Best in Business 2019: Colorado Springs Write-ins - Colorado Springs Business Journal

Posted: 21 Jun 2019 12:01 AM PDT


  1. 3.14 Sweet & Savory Pi Bar

In 25 years as a contractor with the Department of Defense, Carma Barr traveled all over — and she was sure one international dish would take off in Colorado Springs.

"Our restaurant is actually a spinoff of the English tradition of pie and mash, so we feature dinner pies and sausage rolls — and then our sweet pies, which is kind of the American twist on it," she said. Also on the menu: tapas and appetizers, salads, sandwiches, cocktails, liqueur coffees (and the regular stuff), hand-tied loose leaf teas, craft beer and wine. Colorado Springs is eating it up.

"We just want to offer people really good food and really good service — and we're independent, so we work really, really hard," she said. "What brings us the most joy is when we see people really enjoying our product. So when we hear that we won something, it's just icing on the cake for us. Wait — icing on the pie."

314sweetandsavorypi.com | 719-314-6172

2. Boonzaaijer's Dutch Bakery
dutchpastry.com | 719-264-0177

3. Marigold Café & Bakery
marigoldcoloradosprings.com | 719-599-4776

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  1. Kyle Blakely

Kyle Blakely is CEO of Blakely + Company, a full-service advertising agency in downtown Colorado Springs, and 2019's Best Boss. Blakely describes his leadership style as "more hands-off, because we are a smaller company and our team has quite a bit of experience. There is less need for coaching and teaching because our staff knows their job well, understands expectations and knows we need to respond quickly and effectively for our clients. Plus, because of our size, I manage a full client list so I am more involved in the day-to-day work for our clients, which requires a strong team with a good work ethic."

What makes a good boss? Blakely points to the example of the best boss he ever had.

"He was clear about his expectations and we knew that meant doing a great job for our clients," he said. "However, in times of stress, he would also point out that while what we were doing was important, we weren't saving the world and we just needed to focus on doing the best job possible. He was also a big proponent of a balanced life, having interests and activities outside of work that kept our energy up and minds fresh."

blakelycompany.com | 719-439-4890

2. [tie] Greg Walthour, Social SEO
socialseo.com | 719-725-6400

2. [tie] Newell Ledbetter, Newell Ledbetter Advertising
nlamedia.com | 719-635-9988

3. BJ Hybl, Griffis/Blessing
griffisblessing.com | 719-520-1234

Breakfast Restaurant

  1. 503W

Nina Lee knows why people keep coming back to 503W for breakfast.

"Originally 503 West was started to be different from what we would consider the standard — and our brunch is definitely a testament to that," she said. "We offer something different, unique, specialized, local and healthy — and I think a lot of people also really enjoy the fact that they're able to drink some really nice craft libations with our brunch."

The upscale eatery and craft bar on West Colorado Avenue offers plenty of hearty classics, along with distinctive dishes like Lucky Belly hash, or house-battered waffle chicken with bacon crumbles, arugula and lavender honey. Lee said she was "completely surprised" by the win.

"It's really awesome to be a part of the community and to be recognized by the community," she said, "and we're always so thankful for that support."

503w.co | 719-471-3370

2. Black Bear Diner
blackbeardiner.com | 719-314-3616

3. Cracker Barrel
crackerbarrel.com | 719-260-7721

Business Lunch

  1. Bonefish Grill

Proprietor Hank Trueblood calls Bonefish Grill "your local seafood destination in Colorado Springs — and a great place to have fun with your friends."

Bonefish Grill Colorado Springs has been open seven years, and is one of more than 200 locations nationwide. The company, which is "dedicated to responsible fishing practices and the healthy stewardship of the world's marine resources," is even partnering with The Nature Conservancy to help protect coral reefs and restore 1 million corals by 2025. Trueblood says Bonefish, which focuses on a seafood menu, plus steaks, gluten-free options and cocktails, boasts "an atmosphere that creates peak moments." The staff provides exceptional service by guiding guests through an innovative menu with seasonal specials featuring the highest-quality, fresh ingredients, he said.

bonefishgrill.com/locations/co/colorado-springs | 719-598-0826

2. 503W
503w.co | 719-471-3370

3. Cowboy Star Restaurant & Butcher Shop
cowboystarcs.com | 719-639-7440

Car Wash

  1. Quick Quack Car Wash

When you call Quick Quack Car Wash, you don't mind waiting on hold. Callers are regaled with various rap, country or other jingles all lauding the benefits of clean cars.

Quick Quack's theme is fun. After all, its website asks, "What's more fun than free vacuums?" Answer: The big yellow duck that's its logo and a light show while your car is going through the wash, according to its website.

And it's fast. A Quick Quack wash takes about three minutes and there are no lines or boring lobbies. And there's a "clean car guarantee" You look good and leave happy — that's the goal.

And the accolades in the Springs are echoed around the country. Quick Quack has won "best" awards in Sacramento, Roseville and Folsom, Calif., and Utah Valley, Utah. Now thanks to readers of the CSBJ, the chain can add the Springs to its list of awards.

dontdrivedirty.com | 888-772-2792

2. Water Works Car Wash and Detail
carwash-waterworks.com | 719-634-8536

3. Keep-m-Clean Car Wash
facebook.com/pages/Keep-M-Clean-Car-Wash/894742570621297 | 719-392-2250

Coffee Shop

  1. KaPow Comics & Coffee

"Maybe it's the atmosphere or the uncommonly great coffee," KaPow Comics and Coffee's website reads. "Whatever the case may be, just one visit and you will be hooked."

An avid collector, Martin Davidson — who owns KaPow along with his sister, Laura — dreamed of opening a comic book store when he retired from his teaching job, Laura said. He got the idea to combine comics with coffee from a similar store in Omaha, she said.

"We have fun with our specialty drinks. Our most popular is The Dark Side," Laura said. "People come in and enjoy the bright, sunny place and outdoor seating."

kapowcomicsandcoffee.com | 719-896-4376

2. Dutch Bros. Coffee
dutchbros.com | 541-955-4700

3. Pikes Perk Coffee & Tea House
pikesperk.com | 719-522-1432

Department of Defense Contractor

  1. Lockheed Martin

The winner of this year's Best Defense Contractor is a household name: Lockheed Martin.

More than 100 years old, the company has been at the forefront of aviation and aeronautics in the nation. Lockheed Martin is the combined weight of Glenn L. Martin Co. — founded in 1912 in Los Angeles — and the Lockheed Aircraft Co., founded the same year but 400 miles away.

Started at a church and in a garage, the combined company now is a leader in space, in airplane technology and in cybersecurity.

In Colorado Springs, Lockheed Martin's efforts support the U.S. Air Force and the U.S. Army at Peterson and Schriever Air Force bases, as well as at Fort Carson Army Post.

lockheedmartin.com | 719-622-2300

2. Boecore, Inc.
boecore.com | 719-540-5635

3. [tie] Vectrus
vectrus.com | 719-591-3600

3. [tie] S4, Inc.
s4inc.com | 719-302-5564

Food Truck

  1. Big Papa's Grill

If you are looking for hot dogs with a side of humor, Big Papa's should be the go-to for food truck fare.

After working for decades at various big box stores, Tim Cox started small — with a hot dog cart. And now, he's operating what Colorado Springs Business Journal readers chose as the best food truck in the city.

"The hot dog cart — that was rough in the winter," he said. "So I traded up. The goal was to have a food truck within eight years, and I did it in two."

Big Papa's now has 11 employees, most of whom are part time. But they all have fun doing what they do.

That's part of the success, he says. The other part: a sense of humor combined with a lot of love.

"I genuinely care," he said. "If someone has a good meal with us, they'll come back again. And we try to make it a good experience as well. For instance, we have a hot dog called 'I dream of Weenie,' and that's always good for a laugh. So we try to have people leave feeling better than when they came to the truck."

facebook.com/BigPapasGrill | 719-492-3401

2. Black Forest Chew-Chew Gastrotruck
bfchewchew.com | 719-377-8247

3. Bison Brothers
bisonbrothersfoodtruck.com | 719-217-2123

Happy Hour

  1. 3.14 Sweet & Savory Pi Bar

3.14 Sweet & Savory Pi Bar is a multiple award winner.

314sweetandsavorypi.com | 719-314-6172

2. Bonny and Read
bonnyandreadseafood.com | 719-896-4145

3. [tie] Bonefish Grill
bonefishgrill.com | 719-598-0826

3. [tie] MacKenzie's Chop House
mackenzieschophouse.com | 719-635-3536

Health & Fitness Center

  1. Hot Asana Studio

The team at Hot Asana Studio prides itself on meeting the needs of every client, no matter what their experience level.

"We want this to be inclusive — I really want people to walk through the door and feel like they're at home," said studio manager Liza Anderson, adding the first visit to any gym or studio can be daunting. "I want them to see someone ready to welcome them in and feel that they're really supported in their practice. Our classes are multi-level, so you'll have someone who's never practiced yoga before next to someone who's been practicing for 30 years. And that's a beautiful thing."

Hot Asana truly embodies its motto of "sweat and soul," Anderson said, and the award is "absolutely lovely, because Colorado Springs has a lot of yoga studios. I see this as less like a competition between studios and more as showing our clients love us and we love them."

hotasanastudio.com/colorado-springs | 855-996-YOGA

2. Life Time Fitness
lifetime.life/life-time-locations/co-colorado-springs.html | 719-266-9900

3. 24 Hour Fitness
24hourfitness.com | 719-262-0024

Home improvement

  1. Empire Roofing and Restoration

Colorado Springs residents know that, at least once a summer, there's bound to be a hailstorm. Hail damage to businesses and homes can be a nuisance, or a true emergency if windows or skylights are shattered.

Empire Roofing and Restoration has been helping owners repair the damage for nearly three decades. This family-owned company also installs new residential and commercial roofs and gutters; cleans up water, smoke, mold and sewer damage; and repairs and rebuilds homes and offices when necessary after a disaster strikes.

Key to the company's success are referrals, which are responsible for more than 70 percent of its business, Marketing Director Liz Enea said.

"Customer relationships are our biggest asset," she said. "We have a deep commitment to Colorado Springs and the Front Range. Every job, no matter the size, is important."

empireroofingandrestoration.com | 719-591-9200

2. Lowe's
lowes.com | 800-445-6937

3. Home Depot
homedepot.com | 800-466-3337

Local Attraction

  1. Garden of the Gods

If you ignored the unique, millions-of-years-old rock formations, a snowcapped Pikes Peak backdrop and the decades of history as a park, you'd still have plenty to explore at Garden of the Gods.

The Garden of the Gods Visitor & Nature Center offers exhibits, shopping, a café and gallery. And once outside, visitors can experience miles of trails to hike or bike. Some may find they are just standing still admiring the view.

Year after year, Garden of the Gods has been recognized as one of the finest parks in the country — right up there with Central Park in New York City. But then again, Business Journal readers already knew that. 

gardenofgods.com | 719-578-6777 (Visitor Center)

2. Cheyenne Mountain Zoo
cmzoo.org | 719-633-9925

3. U.S. Air Force Academy
usafa.af.mil | 719-333-2025 (Visitor Center)

Local tradition

  1. Festival of Lights Parade

Every December, there's only one way to kick off the holiday season: Grab a cup of hot chocolate, find a good seat and enjoy the Festival of Lights Parade.

The glowing, colorful parade is just one part of celebrating the December holiday season, which also includes cultural and artistic programs designed to delight people from every background.

Every year, more than 3,000 people decorate floats with lights, practice musical numbers and dance with flair to start the holiday season. The parade is a great way to cap off the weekend of events, which also includes Festival of Lights Family Fun Day at the Pioneers Museum.

Weather cooperating, you'll join about 60,000 people lining Tejon Street downtown to see it all happen — culminating with a visit from the Big Guy, Santa Claus.

coloradospringsfestivaloflights.com | 719-649-9111

2. Labor Day Lift-Off
coloradospringslabordayliftoff.com | 719-219-3333

3. Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo
pikespeakorbust.org | 719-635-3547


  1. Peter Husak, OfficeScapes

OfficeScapes' Peter Husak is such a good networker, he wrote a book about it.

Called "New Best Friends: Playground Strategies for Market Dominance," the book "shows the rules of social life do not differ much from the rules of business life, and by applying social rules to business relationships, readers can achieve business success," according to Amazon's book review.

Husak practices what he preaches.  He is deeply involved in the community. As owner of OfficeScapes and AdvantEdge Drywall, he also is a professional auctioneer for benefit and charity events and livestock. He's a past president of the Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo and a founding member of the Pikes Peak Posse. He is also a drillmaster for the Pikes Peak Rangerettes, according to his LinkedIn profile.

"Peter Husak is a visionary, driven leader who is one of the most respected and networked business executives in Colorado. I have had the pleasure of working closely with Peter on many projects and find him to be team-oriented and easy to work with. He always puts others' needs ahead of himself," said David White, formerly of the Colorado Springs Chamber & EDC.

officescapes.com | 719-574-1113

2. Julie Garner, InFront Webworks
infront.com | 719-577-4404

3. Rodney Gullatte Jr., Firma IT Solutions
firmaitss.com | 719-577-4404

Nonprofit Event

  1. Chocoholic Frolic

This year, the Chocoholic Frolic celebrated 25 years as fundraising event for Kidpower, a local nonprofit that helps youths learn "simple, effective People Safety."

Plus, it's about all things chocolate. What could be better than that? The event's Facebook page says it all: "Drizzled, baked, dipped, slathered, chocolate-in-the-middle, chocolate all-over-the-top: any way that Colorado Springs' top chefs, bakers and caterers can use chocolate will be yours for the tasting during Kidpower's annual Chocoholic Frolic."

The goal is to help Kidpower help local children grow stronger, gain confidence and learn about safety.

Basically, Kidpower teaches children how to be physically and emotionally safe, both with themselves and with others.

"Successful practice in age-appropriate role-plays can prepare young people to build stronger relationships, increase confidence, advocate for themselves and others, manage difficult situations and reduce their risk of bullying, abuse and abduction," said the Kidpower website.

And the Chocoholic Frolic is the way it happens.

kidpowercs.org | 719-520-1311

2. Heart Ball
ahacoloradosprings.ejoinme.org | 719-635-7688

3. Small Business Week
pikespeaksbdc.org/smallbusinessweek | 719-667-3803

Office Cleaning

  1. JAN-PRO of Southern Colorado

JAN-PRO of Southern Colorado prides itself on being "a different kind of commercial cleaning company" — with a reputation built on trust, reliability and excellence in cleaning. JAN-PRO offers customized commercial cleaning plans and dedicated support from cleaners who are franchise owners, not hourly employees.

"JAN-PRO is the largest commercial cleaner in Southern Colorado because we not only have the most satisfied customers but because we invest and partner with them," said COO Robert Posch. "While large, we are 100 percent family-owned."

JAN-PRO focuses on health, and caring for customers' building investment with hospital-strength cleaning products, a state-of-the-art disinfecting process, specialized equipment for enhanced indoor air quality, and methods for preventing cross-contamination. All franchise owners complete extensive training and have a personal stake in quality service.

"We create many veteran-, women- and minority-owned independent businesses and have been recognized for this by the Diversity Forum," Posch said. "In short, we are a community asset and resource."

jan-pro.com/socolorado | 719-264-1117

2. Master Klean
masterklean.com | 719-268-6743

3. [tie] Molly Maids
mollymaid.com/local-house-cleaning/co/colorado-springs-east.aspx | 719-638-7055

3. [tie] Clean and Green Cleaning Service
cleangreencolorado.com | 719-434-7964

Pet Services

  1. Wag N' Wash Natural Pet Food & Grooming

Wag N' Wash is known for its self-service wash (with shampoos, conditioners, leave-in conditioners, blow-dryers, towels and brushes for every hair type), full service grooming and in-store pet bakery — with birthday cakes. Natural pet foods, toys, treats, gear, beauty products and supplements round out the full "spoiling" experience.

"We're all about customer service and bettering the lives of companion pets through healthy lifestyles," said manager Kara Loehr. "It's all about education and helping pet parents understand the benefits of what we offer. Our duty is to recognize, promote and foster the positive impact companion pets have on all of us. We want to give the best service to everyone and make sure they leave here smiling."

The Best in Business honor "truly shows how much support we have in our community," she said, "and being a locally owned business, it's very important to us."

wagnwash.com | 719-457-9274 (Uintah location)

2. Buxton Veterinary Hospital
buxtonveterinaryhospital.com | 719-598-5377

3. East Springs Animal Hospital
eastsprings.com | 719-591-4545

Place for a Large Conference

  1. Cheyenne Mountain Colorado Springs, A Dolce Resort

As an IACC-certified conference center and AAA 4-Diamond resort, Cheyenne Mountain Colorado Springs, A Dolce Resort provides "the quintessential Colorado experience," Cheyenne Mountain Marketing Coordinator Ashley Stuard said. "Here, productivity is amplified by our passion for delivering genuine Colorado experiences and our unique combination of meeting spaces, breathtaking outdoor venues, award-winning cuisine and unparalleled production and technological capabilities. Nestled in the mountains, we are minutes away from adventure and relaxation, whether that's our on-site spa, golf, tennis, fitness, aquatics or watersports, or whether you venture into the nearby outdoors for ziplining, whitewater rafting, fishing, hiking and more."

With a dedicated team, Cheyenne Mountain Colorado Springs curates "the perfect attendee experience," Stuard said, with meeting packages, customized experiences, on-site audiovisual services, creative DMC planning and unique team-building opportunities.

cheyennemountain.com | 719-538-4000

2. DoubleTree
doubletree3.hilton.com/en/hotels/colorado/doubletree-by-hilton-hotel-colorado-springs-COSP-DT/index.html | 719-576-8900

3. The Broadmoor
broadmoor.com | 855-634-7711

Place for Out-of-Town Guests

  1. Garden of the Gods Resort & Club

With spectacular views, luxury accommodations and world-class dining, the Garden of the Gods Resort & Club is the place most of us want our out-of-town guests to visit — and stay.

The resort now features cottages and casitas for overnight visitors, and wellness services that attract international guests.

"We just received a four-diamond award," said Les Pedersen, vice president of sales and marketing for the resort. "We're very excited about that."

Owners Judy Mackay and Brenda Smith have remodeled the club, putting a lot of effort into its health and wellness facilities, Pedersen said.

"It's a great addition to the property, and it makes us unique in Colorado Springs," he said.

The spa and salon provides nine treatment rooms for a "tranquil and therapeutic experience" at the resort. In addition, there are meeting spaces, hotel rooms, restaurants and several larger cottages for longer-term stays.

It's a gem in Colorado Springs — and readers chose it as the top place to take out-of-town guests.

gardenofthegodsclub.com | 719-632-5541

2. Locked In Escapes
lockedinescapes.com | 719-424-7066

3. Cheyenne Mountain Colorado Springs, A Dolce Resort
cheyennemountain.com | 719-528-4000

Place to Take A Family

  1. Cheyenne Mountain Zoo

Cheyenne Mountain Zoo is a multiple award winner.
cmzoo.org | 719-633-9925

2. Garden of the Gods
gagardenofthegods.com | 719-634-6666

3. Locked In Escapes
lockedinescapes.com | 719-424-7066

Place to Volunteer

  1. Pikes Peak Small Business Development Center

The Pikes Peak Small Business Development Center relies on local business volunteers to share their expertise with fledgling business owners and would-be entrepreneurs.

"There's been a lot of business growth in the community, and our consultants love to share how to be part of that growth," says Executive Director Aikta Marcoulier. "They've learned through their experiences and they want to give back to help others grow."

The concept is one of "economic gardening," she says. The SBDC works to use the expertise of those who actually built their own businesses to help others follow in their footsteps.

"They're creating jobs," Marcoulier said. "And we love them for that. They can give back, and because we can track their success, they know they are having a big impact. Plus, we're super fun."

The SBDC isn't all business, she says. It's also a great place to work and to volunteer.

"We aren't your traditional business office," Marcoulier said. "We aren't your traditional economic development office. We like to have fun. We just also like to keep up with community needs while we're having fun."

pikespeaksbdc.org | 719-667-3803

2. Springs Rescue Mission
springsrescuemission.org | 719-632-1822

3. Care and Share Food Bank for Southern Colorado
careandshare.org | 719-528-1247

Place to Work

  1. Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region

Employees at the Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region are united in their love for animals, their compassion for clients, and their commitment to the safety and protection of people and animals.

"We always try to make sure our employees' safety is of utmost importance," said Gretchen Pressley, HSPPR community relations manager. "We also want them to feel valued. We try to make sure our employees feel included in everything, knowledgeable about the organization, and really proud to work here."

HSPPR is committed to encouraging new ideas, listening to all perspectives and fostering a learning environment.

"We have five core values that we really value in not only our employees but our volunteers, and everywhere across our organization. Those are compassion, stewardship, integrity, excellence and collaboration," Pressley said. "We want to be known as an organization that's inclusive and fair and transparent — and anything we can do to work together to achieve that is wonderful."

hsppr.org | 719-473-1741

2. Infront Webworks
infront.com | 719-577-4404

3. Griffis/Blessing
griffisblessing.com | 719-520-1234

Private Members Club

  1. 365 Grand Club

The 365 Grand Club bills itself as "an elite urban club offering you prime opportunities, discounts, and access to the best local businesses in Colorado Springs." Club Director Andrew Woehle describes it as "totally different — outside the box. We're an elite club in downtown Colorado Springs that caters to the common person. Most people can't afford a country club membership and enjoy all those benefits, but they can definitely afford 365 Grand Club and enjoy our great benefits."

Among them: unlimited access to three fitness centers, an indoor pool and hot tub (and soon, a rooftop pool); free door-to-door shuttle service; premium networking events; and discounts at 20 award-winning restaurants, two downtown hotels, shows, Switchbacks games and MX Spa. Being named in Best in Business is "really an honor," Woehle said. "We went to work on this club three years ago … and it was all about the club giving back to the community, giving back to the people."

365grandclub.com | 719-482-5692

2. The Club at Flying Horse
flyinghorseclub.com | 719-494-1222

3. Country Club of Colorado
cheyennemountain.com | 719-538-4080


  1. 3.14 Sweet & Savory Pi Bar

3.14 Sweet & Savory Pi Bar is a multiple award winner.
314sweetandsavorypi.com | 719-314-6172

2. 503W
503w.co | 719-471-3370

3. Colorado Mountain Brewery
cmbrew.com | 719-434-5750


  1. Goosebumps Cryotherapy

Goosebumps Cryotherapy's whole-body chamber sets it apart from the open-faced saunas at other cryotherapy venues, Donna Mabon says. "We have the most advanced technology, so when people have tried the others and they come in and use this machine, it's so much better, so much more efficient and effective than the other machines," said Donna, who runs Goosebumps with sister Debbie. But she thinks the difference goes beyond that. "The other thing that really sets us apart when people walk in is that we kind of invite them into our little family fold here, and we spend time to find out why they're coming in, and really work to address their specific needs." Cryotherapy subjects the body to extremely cold temperatures for pain management, sports recovery, general health and well-being, anti-aging and weight loss, Donna said. And it attracts a loyal following. "Cryotherapy is one of those amazing things that really helps people reduce inflammation, reduce pain, helps them sleep better at night. We have everyone from retired military to athletes here, and everybody in between," she said. "We are really focused on helping everyone."

goosebumpscryotherapy.com | 719-434-8977

2. Beauty Bar
beautybar-inc.com | 719-473-8404

3. Colorado Springs Cryotherapy
coloradospringscryotherapy.com | 719-888-0444

Social Impact Company

  1. Handshake Leadership

CEO Erik Huffman says 2019 is Handshake Leadership's "best year ever following our best year ever." The business — also named Best Social Impact company in the 2018 Best in Business awards — focuses on organizational development, leadership development and cyber education consulting for schools, and offers solutions backed by academic research. That means doing everything from helping high schools develop world-class cybersecurity curricula to hosting cyber safety days at elementary schools, providing industry-level training to K-12 teachers and training Girl Scouts in cybersecurity.

"We're trying to work with more people and be more fearless as we continue to grow," Huffman said.

What sets the company apart, he said, is operating "on what we call 'purpose over profit.' It's not about the money we make — it's about the impact we create. It's about doing what's right; it's about creating change and being a positive influence on everybody we interact with."


2. Blue Star Recyclers
bluestarrecyclers.org | 719-597-6119

3. Mission Catering
missioncatering.org | 719-314-2361


  1. Berwick Electric

Locally owned and operated since 1921, Berwick Electric is a full-service electrical contractor, doing jobs not only in Colorado Springs, but across the country.

Owner Doug Berwick's dedication to quality is one reason Colorado Springs Business Journal readers selected him as the best subcontractor in Colorado Springs.

"Fast, efficient and excellent service is a tradition at Berwick Electric Co.," the company's website says. "Our fleet of fully stocked service vans provide 24-hour service to businesses and homeowners throughout the Pikes Peak region."

Not only do they work fast and do a great job, Berwick also supplies information about electrical needs for businesses through its blog. It provides advice about back-up generators and uninterruptible power supplies [back-up batteries] for businesses that can't afford to lose time or data to electricity outages.

Thanks to dedication, commitment and quality work, Berwick will be around for another 98 years.

Berwickelectric.com | 719-632-7683

2. AdvantEdge Drywall
advantedgedrywall.com | 719-433-7330

3. TechAxia
techaxia.com | 719-301-0169

Urban Redevelopment

  1. Ivywild School

Built as an elementary school in 1916, the Ivywild School was closed and put up for sale by Colorado Springs School District 11 in 2009. Today, it's a bustling community gathering place, and home to many local businesses, including Bristol Brewery, Old School Bakery, The Principal's Office espresso and cocktail bar, Yobel Market, Loyal Coffee Roasters, Ivywild Kitchen, concert curator Ivywild Music, and Axe & the Oak Whiskey. Joe Coleman, Mike Bristol and architect Jim Fennell partnered to redevelop the historic property, with a vision of linking sustainable commerce and community, and reviving the surrounding neighborhood. The Ivywild School has retained its distinctive features, with reimagined spaces, wide hallways and multiple patios creating a communal atmosphere. From the beginning, Fennell said, "the idea was to create a functional space to align business and the environment."

ivywildSchool.com | 719-368-6100

2. Bristol Brewing Company
bristolbrewing.com | 719-633-2555

3. Goat Patch Brewing Company (Lincoln Center)
goatpatchbrewing.com | 719-471-4628

Workforce Development

  1. Pikes Peak Workforce Center

The Pikes Peak Workforce Center serves El Paso and Teller counties by connecting with K-12 and higher education, public assistance programs, transitioning military and veteran support, and job sectors to maintain strong partnerships in regional business and economic development. Executive Director Traci Marques said the PPWFC team is "humbled and honored" by the award, and she believes their work resonates with the people of Colorado Springs because "what we do, we do it with a servant's heart. We do it because it's the right thing to do. And we are truly trying to help people better themselves, earn sustainable wages, help the community, help businesses grow and prosper, and really make Colorado Springs the best place to live."

PPWFC trains job seekers and collaborates with employers and other workforce-focused entities to achieve results, and holds hundreds of hiring events each year — as well as the four largest job fairs annually in Southern Colorado.

ppwfc.org | 719-667-3700

2. Center for Creative Leadership
ccl.org | 336-545-2810

3. Pikes Peak Small Business Development Center
pikespeaksbdc.org | 719-667-3803

Safeguarding Utah's water systems against threats - Deseret News

Posted: 21 May 2019 12:00 AM PDT

PROVO — When it comes to water, technology isn't the first thing that comes to most people's minds.

But as Richard Gardner, with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, discussed Tuesday at the third annual Central Utah Water Symposium on safeguarding water, extreme threats and risks exist for water systems if poor cybersecurity is implemented.

Even basic security such as two-factor authentication, strong passwords and cutting all access from former employees can help mitigate the risk of hacking, he said.

"The more difficult it is for you to ultimately access something, it's harder for someone else to do that," he said.

Lauren Bennett, Deseret News
Richard Gardner, with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, discusses cybersecurity in regards to water systems during the third annual Central Utah Water Symposium at the Utah Valley Convention Center Tuesday May 21, 2019.

Gardner is the cybersecurity adviser for the region that includes Utah, Colorado, Montana, Wyoming, North Dakota and South Dakota. In addition to his lecture on cybersecurity, others spoke on wildfire mitigation, natural disaster impacts on water and funding a resilient water future.

During his presentation to about 200 people in attendance at the Utah Valley Convention Center, Gardner urged those who rely on computer systems in their jobs to use Homeland Security's free cybersecurity assessments.

In the digital age, most workplaces implement best practices when it comes to cybersecurity. However, in the water industry, the consequences of a hack could be far more detrimental than losing a few files.

"We're worried about contamination all the time," said Kathryn McMullin, another presenter with the Division of Emergency Management in Utah's Department of Public Safety. "We're all learning how fast and furious we are vulnerable to a contamination event."

In 2006, a water treatment plant in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, was compromised by foreign hackers, Gardner said. While it appeared the attack wasn't targeted, he said the intruder still planted malicious software capable of affecting the plant's water treatment operations.

The security threat was caused through the internet on an employee's laptop. Lessons learned from this incident include the need to secure remote computers, create firewalls and patches to fix system errors, and to update and check systems regularly, he said.

"The less overall access that people have to your systems, the better," Gardner advised.

While the recent water scandal in Sandy — where fluoride was accidentally pumped into the city's water supply, contaminating over 1,000 households, schools and businesses — wasn't due to a cyber issue, it shows the impact a water mishap can have on a community.

Gardner mentioned employees should be wary of phishing scams but he also warned of the more undetectable spear-phishing scams where instead of spamming several people, hackers will do research on one person through social media and use their information to target them for the scam.

Ransomware, where hackers hold a website hostage, are usually masked as system updates and a common scam, Gardner said. The city website for Baltimore, Maryland, was recently seized by hackers who demanded payment before they released the site back.

Gardner advised people to only download system updates from the vendor directly and regularly test backup and recovery procedures.

Ransomware is one thing that especially scares Jason Hoyt, electrical group manager for Central Utah Water Conservancy District. He's in charge of the supervisory control and data acquisition, which is an industrial computer that operates water systems such as dams or wells.

"We're very concerned about (hacking) and we work hard to make sure that doesn't happen," he said. "We're very concerned about being hacked. But in the same sense we're not real concerned because we feel like we've taken the appropriate steps to protect ourselves."

Lauren Bennett, Deseret News
Dave Whittekiend, supervisor of the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest, discuses how to reduce wildfire risk in Utah at the third annual Central Utah Water Symposium at the Utah Valley Convention Center Tuesday May 21, 2019.

Their supervisory control and data acquisition system operates sites such as the Jordanelle Dam and Olmstead Diversion Dam and the district sells irrigation and drinking water that impacts about 80 percent of Utah's population, he said.

Another potential threat to water systems, brought up by McMullin during her presentation was low public education and awareness. Mainly, when it comes to reporting suspicious behavior and proper safe water practices in the event of a natural disaster.

She discussed a study completed by the Environmental Protection Agency to determine if backflow water contamination through fire hydrants could be successful.

"So what they did was they connected a service connection pump backed to a fire hydrant," she explained. The study was completed with law enforcement and the local water district's knowledge.

She said a team of people wearing plain clothes in an unmarked van completed the experiment where they pumped non-toxic food grain solution of potassium chloride in a fire hydrant for more than eight hours in a community neighborhood.

"They were highly successful, it went all the way through the system," she said. "The concerning things about this is one — it was unmarked (van), right? — nobody said a word. They spent less than $200, and not one resident ever questioned what they were doing."

Had their intentions been malicious, they would have gotten away with contaminating an entire water system in a public place. McMullin urged attendees who work in water districts to participate in community outreach to raise awareness and education about suspicious activities.

"Do you do any outreach within your community, your customers, that they're watching for suspicious activity that they can feel free to contact you if they see something strange?" she asked the audience.

McMullin said she's currently working with Utah Department of Health to qualify critical utility workers for vaccination prioritization, which she said is currently reserved for hospital personnel such as surgeons.

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"Because I need you guys to be able to go to work and protect your families and keep us up and running," she said. "That hospital doesn't have anything if they don't have water and wastewater."

McMullin talked about the significant impact of an earthquake along the Wasatch fault line will have on the state, including liquefaction, building damage, waste disposal issues and damaged water systems.

She used the 2010 Haiti earthquake as an example of the importance of proper water use in a disaster, noting that because of improper waste disposal, 1.1 million people were infected with cholera and 4,500 died as a result.


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