Colorado Business Hall of Fame 2018


Each year, Junior Achievement-Rocky Mountain and the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce collaborate to present the Colorado Business Hall of Fame. This year, the laureates were from the development/real estate/construction fields, and it was quickly evident that these forward thinkers built not just buildings, but communities and beyond.

Colorado Business Hall of Fame laureates are part of a league of outstanding individuals who have made legendary contributions to the free enterprise system. This year’s laureates are:

Barbara Barnes Grogan took Western Industrial Contractors from working on an unpaved street in 1982 with a 1969 truck to a nationally recognized construction company. Western was an integral part of the opening of Denver International Airport and still thrives today. Barbara has been on numerous boards, advisory committees and is the recipient of numerous awards for her business leadership.

Gil E and James Johnson–As chief executive officer of G.E. Johnson, Jim Johnson is building on his late father’s legacy, not just following it. The company is Colorado Springs’ largest locally owned and operated commercial builder, and one of the biggest in the state and the Rocky Mountain region. Through the years, G.E. Johnson has either built, expanded or renovated all or portions of some of the highest profile structures in Colorado Springs. Among them are The Broadmoor, World Arena, Pikes Peak Center, Pikes Peak Community College, Fountain Valley School, Air Force Academy, Penrose Hospital and El Paso County Justice Center. Jim’s passion for community service and client satisfaction drives him as he continues to lead the company in its 50th year of operation.

William Pauls merged his accounting practice that he founded in 1971 with Deloitte Haskins and Sells in 1976 and became a national partner in the firm. In 1979, Pauls led an investment group that acquired the Denver Technological Center (DTC) from First National City Corp. or its own account and through various joint ventures, Pauls’ team developed millions of square feet of office space and hundreds of acres of land in south Denver. In addition, the company expanded its development business to Atlanta, Georgia and Houston, Texas. Pauls serves on numerous boards throughout the Denver community.

Richard “Dick” Saunders followed his entrepreneurial spirit and in 1972, with 13 years of experience in the industry, founded Saunders Construction, Inc. His foundation for the business was honesty, performance and accountability – defining characteristics of the company to this day. Saunders lends much of his time and money to better the communities in which we live and work. He has served on as many as 14 boards at a time for most of the past 40 years, generally promoting children, education and civic causes, and has received countless awards and honors.

Joseph Kernan Weckbaugh, a Colorado native, was a tireless promoter for the state of Colorado and the city of Englewood. Weckbaugh was involved with many ventures, including forming the USO for Colorado; he is honored on the World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C. He notably brought Braniff Airlines to the Western Mountain District, but Weckbaugh is best known for his lifelong commitment to the Colorado banking industry, purchasing and overseeing mergers of numerous well-known banks. He was instrumental in founding Junior Achievement in Colorado and served as a member of the organization’s first board of directors. He was active in many community charities and has received numerous awards. He was President of the J.K. Mullen Foundation and founded the Weckbaugh Foundation. His award was accepted by his son Wally.

Philip and Adolph Zang were members of a family that is steeped in development history and building successful breweries in Denver. The Philip Zang & Co brewery became the largest brewery west of St Louis by 1880. Adolph Zang followed in his father’s footsteps as an astute businessman. His business prospects included Vindicator Consolidated Gold Mining Co., Zang Realty and Investment Co. and Adolph J. Zang Investment Co. As a banker, Adolph developed one of the largest financial institutions in the American west: the Schirmer Insurance & Investment Co., later renamed the German American Trust Company of Denver. Adolph owned a 4,000-acre ranch outside of Denver, where he pursued his passion of breeding purebred horses. Adolph’s breeds won various awards at shows nationwide. Adolph also intensely loved literature and maintained one of the most extensive libraries in Colorado. In 1916, Adolph fell victim to diabetes, aggravated by two hemorrhages he suffered while inspecting one of his mines in Cripple Creek.

The program included introductions by some of Junior Achievement’s brightest stars, and remarks by Kelly Brough, president and CEO of the Denver Metro Chamber, Denise Burgess, DMC board chair, Robin Wise, president and CEO of JA, and Steve Kinsley, board member of JA.

For more information on the laureates and the programs of JA and the DMC, log on to their websites: and

2016 Colorado Business Hall of Fame


From the moment that “Moment’s Notice” lead singer Alton Williams rendered a resounding version of “America the Beautiful” to the photo op with one-ton steer “Larimer,” the Colorado Business Hall of Fame was one stellar event.

With impeccable timing and integral participation by Junior Achievement student ambassadors, the program paid tribute to some very well-deserving Denver business heavy hitters on Thursday evening at the Hyatt Regency Denver. Some were posthumous, represented by family members, and others were center stage in person. One of the Laureates, the incomparable Ellie Caulkins, quipped, “sometimes people ask me who the Opera House is named for. I have to tell them it’s me…I’m still alive.”

Past Laureates in gold sashes mingled with colleagues and congratulated this year’s honorees. Presented by Junior Achievement and the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce, the program highlighted these business legends as well as future business leaders–the ambassadors of the Junior Achievement program.

The 2016 laureates inducted at this year’s event were
Ellie and George Caulkins
Anne Evans
The Fulenwider Family
Enos Mills and F.O. Stanley
Larry A. Mizel
Ron Williams

Colorado Business Hall of Fame Laureates are part of a league of outstanding individuals who have made legendary contributions to the free enterprise system. Through their actions and accomplishments, the Colorado Business Hall of Fame Laureates provide inspiration for the next generation as they take the reins of leadership in the years to come. Not shy, the JA ambassadors took the “bull by the horns,” as steer Larimer would say, and took the stage to introduce honorees.

For more information about the Colorado Business Hall of Fame inductees, visit


2015 MPMSDC Bus Tour Builds Minority Business Relationships


Talk about good fortune from the weather gods. Representatives and prospective members of this year’s Mountain Plains Minority Supplier Development Council annual bus tour were able to enjoy a rare, 67-degree November day—just before a major snowstorm—to visit a spectrum of certified Minority Business Enterprises (MBEs) around the Denver metro area.

A pull-up fitness bar in the office? You bet!

A pull-up fitness bar in the office? You bet!

The genial business gurus boarded the bus at 8:30 a.m. and traveled to locations where member businesses were able to show off their success as well as their personality. At Campos EPC in LoDo, owner Marco Campos even added an impromptu demonstration of pull-up bar and Swagway skills to his site tour.

Participants were rewarded with mementos at each stop, enjoyed a hearty lunch, and the day ended at Society Sports and Spirits, where they were able to kick back and talk about their experience. The common thread of post-event comments? Building relationships…as well as planning on attending next year’s tour.

The group relaxes with food, beverages and good conversation.

The group relaxes with food, beverages and good conversation.

The mission of the Mountain Plains Minority Supplier Development Council is to provide Corporate America and government entities with greater access to the goods and services of minority-owned business in order to develop lasting and mutually beneficial business relationships. As an affiliate regional council of the National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC) serving Colorado, Kansas, Western Missouri, and Nebraska, the organization provides a direct link between Corporate America and Asian-, Black-, Hispanic- and Native American-owned businesses.

Today there are over 130 local corporations and government entities involved with the council, and over 500 minority-owned businesses certified with the Mountain Plains MSDC. Several of these certified MBEs have grown to the level of Fortune 500 companies and achieved Corporate Plus status with the NMSDC. Through the extensive certification process, corporate member support, free networking events, educational programs and supplier diversity initiatives MPMSDC strives to develop minority-owned businesses to their full potential. For more information, please visit:

Colorado Business Hall of Fame 2015


This 26th Annual Colorado Business Award winners this year represented two Colorado farm families, a NFL football team owner, a corporate investor, and a ski industry pioneer.  Held at the Hyatt Hotel Colorado Convention Center Thursday, January 29, the event’s theme–“Sketching the Future of Colorado”–was represented at each dinner table and in marketing materials by the familiar red Etch-A-Sketch tablet, a kid’s drawing toy popular in the 1960s.

Underwritten by UMB, proceeds benefited Junior Achievement and the Denver Metro Chamber. More than 1,000 guests heard stories of inductees who pioneered various thriving Colorado businesses through persistence, leadership and a firm belief in the free enterprise system.

9News Anchor Gregg Moss welcomed guests and acknowledged a procession of past inductees representing various Colorado industries.
Throughout the evening Moss–with help from Junior Achievement student ambassadors/co-emcees—introduced honorees and acknowledged top sponsors.

Each year event organizers honor Colorado Business Hall of Fame laureates, a group of stellar business leaders who have made legendary contributions to Colorado’s economy and civic life through their innovation and pioneering spirit.

This year’s laureates are:

  • Pat Bowlen,who was the longtime owner of the Denver Broncos and is the chairman of the board of Denver Broncos Charities, which has donated $25 million to Denver area organizations;
  • H. Brown Cannon, Brown W. Cannon and George R. Cannon–a family whose business acumen is legendary, only surpassed by their civic leadership. H Brown Cannon was founder of Windsor Farm Dairy and Presbyterian Hospital, and his two sons Brown W Cannon and George R Cannon returned to Denver after WWII to become community leaders and successful businessmen.
  • Klaus Obermeyer is a 94-year-old ski legend and industry icon who has turned his passion for skiing to an international conglomerate. He founded Sport Obermeyer in 1947 and designed and produced a successful down parka, then parlaying his innovations into many other ski accessories and skiwear.
  • Thomas A Petrie, chairman of Petrie Partners, has been an active advisor on more than $200 billion of energy-related mergers and acquisitions. He is an active member of several industry associations, as well as a trustee for the Denver Art Museum and a board member of the Colorado School of Mines Foundation.
  • Bob and Joanna Sakata began Sakata Farms with the purchase of 40 acres in Brighton after WWII. Today, Sakata Farms owns and farms more than 3,200 acres of vegetables, including its renowned sweet corn.  The Sakata family was instrumental in founding the Brighton Community Hospital.

For more information visit the Denver Metro Chamber and Junior Achievement web sites at and 

Mountain States Employers Council Celebrates 75th Anniversary


Mountain States Employers Council began in 1939 with 100 member companies. Today, they are celebrating their 75h anniversary with more than 3,000 members in 77 industries representing nearly 1 million employees.

MSEC has a rich history mirroring the changing face of employment law and resource management since the 1930s. The National Labor Relations Act, Fair Labor Standards Act were passed in the late 1930s, which was a catalyst to form the Colorado Employer’s Council. In 1945, the council was renamed the Mountain States Employers Council. Their biggest fields of service include health services, business services and educational services. They have expanded since the year 2000 into Southern Colorado and Northern Colorado regional offices and also an office in Scottsdale, AZ.

Today, MSEC employs 187 staff members who bring a cumulative 280 years of experience to the table. MSEC also employs 45 licensed labor and employment law attorneys. In 2012, 23,569 individuals participated in MSEC training.

The 75th anniversary milestone was celebrated Friday at the Seawell Ballroom with members, supporters and staff members in attendance. President and CEO Mike Severns was presented a “Mountain States Employers Council Day” plaque by board chair Chetter Latcham, both of whom spoke about how valued the members are to the Council and the ever-important mission.

Guest speaker Steve Gilliland, author of best selling books Enjoy the Ride, Making a Difference and Hide Your Goat had the audience rolling in the aisles with his recollections about personal work ethic, pride and passion for what you do.

Happy anniversary, MSEC, and here’s to the next 75 years!

Denver Business Journal Legacy Awards 2014


If there was a common denominator between the recipients of the 2014 Denver Business Journal Legacy Awards, it was that all of the highly respected and entrenched business leaders started from humble and modest beginnings and built their own successes. They all have incredible drive, persistence, creativity and the knack for not only being at the right place at the right time, but making the “right time” happen.

Honorees were given Legacy Awards during a dinner at the Grand Hyatt Capital Peaks Ballroom on Thursday evening. Those receiving honors included:

Dana Crawford, whose name is synonymous with preservation efforts in Denver including the redevelopment of Larimer Square; She is CEO of Urban Neighborhoods Inc.;

The late Walt Imhoff, whose firm Hanifen, Imhoff & Samford was responsible for countless business endeavors and well known projects in Colorado;

Dave and Gail Liniger, who built RE/MAX from a small office to an internationally recognized and respected real estate empire with nearly 100,000 sales associates;

Chuck Morris, entertainment and music guru who is now President and CEO of AEG Live Rocky Mountains;

LaRae Orullian, who helped to break the glass ceiling for women in business and was a pioneer for supporting women’s efforts in the banking industry as the first president and CEO of Women’s Bank in Denver;

Linda Alvarado, president and CEO of Alvarado Construction Inc., president of Palo Alto Inc., which owns and operates YUM! restaurants, and co-owner of the Colorado Rockies, who, in her words, not only broke the glass ceiling, but the “concrete ceiling.”

New DBJ President and Publisher Pete Casillas and Gretchen Miller Busch of platinum sponsor Faegre Baker Daniels were on stage to introduce Legacy Award inductees.

It was a moving testimony to those who “do” instead of “dream” and an inspiration to all in the room, which included past honorees, many fellow business leaders, families and friends.

For more information on the honorees, go to this link:


BBB of Northern Colorado and Wyoming hosts 2014 Torch Awards


Eaton Senior Wins BBB/Rotary Scholarship

Reece Kothe, a senior at Eaton High School, is the 2014 recipient of the $5,000 BBB/Rotary Ethics Scholarship, presented April 30 at the Better Business Bureau® Torch Awards for Ethics in Fort Collins.

Kothe plans to major in pre-medicine at Montana State University in the fall. He is president of Key Club, vice president of National Honor Society and an editor for the Eaton Red Ink school newspaper. He also sits on the Rocky Mountain District Board for Key Club and is on the Breckenridge Ski Team.

The scholarship, funded by contributions from BBB Accredited Businesses, is a joint effort of the BBB Center for Character Ethics and Rotary Clubs in BBB’s service area that fall within Rotary Districts 5440, 5450 and 5470.

The BBB/Rotary Ethics Scholarship is intended for a college-bound high school student in his/her junior or senior year. The goal of the $5,000 scholarship is to reward a student who applies Rotary’s guiding principles of the Four-Way Test to his or her life and illustrates this effectively through a written essay.

To read Reece’s winning essay, visit

BBB Names 2014 Ethics Award Winners

Two businesses from Wyoming and two companies from Northern Colorado Colorado were named recipients of the 2014 BBB Torch Awards for Ethics at the 16th annual event presented April 30 at the Fort Collins Lincoln Center by the Better Business Bureau® Center for Character Ethics.

This year’s BBB Torch Awards for Ethics winners are:

  • Businesses with 1-10 employees – Microbial Research Inc., Fort Collins, Colo.

  • Businesses with 11-25 employees – SteamMaster Restoration and Cleaning, Minturn, Colo.

  • Businesses with 26-50 employees – Capitol Roofing and Exteriors, Cheyenne, Wyo.

  • Businesses with 51-plus employees – Mountain West Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Co., Laramie, Wyo.

BBB Torch Awards for Ethics promote the six TRUST! principles of EthicalEnterprising: Transformation at the Top, Reinforce and Build, Unite the Team, Steer Performance, Treasure People and !Enthusiastically Reinvest!

Peers, colleagues and customers nominate businesses for the award and business students at the University of Northern Colorado, Colorado State University and the University of Wyoming prepare entries. An independent panel of judges select winners.

Nominations are now open for the 2015 BBB Torch Awards for Ethics. Details are available at

About Better Business Bureau Institute for Marketplace Trust

Better Business Bureau Institute for Marketplace Trust provides ethics-based assessment, training and recognition for businesses, consumers, nonprofits and students in Northern Colorado and Wyoming through three centers of excellence: BBB Center for Character Ethics, BBB Center for Fraud Prevention and BBB Center for Nonprofit Excellence. In 2013, the BBB Institute reached more than 4,900 people via outreach and educational programs.