CompanyWeek Publisher Bart Taylor co-presented the 2021 Colorado Manufacturing Awards (CMAs) with Manufacturer's Edge CEO Tom Bugnitz.
Kicking off the virtual event, "This is pretty exciting to be in the second five-year period of the Colorado Manufacturing Awards," said Bugnitz.
"We'd rather be gathering in person, but we're thrilled to be here," added Taylor. "It's the culmination of six months of programming in what has been an incredible year."
Bugnitz called the CMAs unique due to the breadth of sectors recognized -- with manufacturers in the industrial, food, aerospace, and cannabis among the finalists -- and the awards "building a community in manufacturing."
"Kudos to Colorado and its manufacturers and the trade organizations for truly being about community," he added.
With 14 categories, 30 judges, and more than 40 finalists, this year's CMAs were the biggest yet. "The thoughtfulness of the deliberations was impressive," said Taylor of the judging process. "It was a highlight in my mind."
After recorded remarks from Sen. John Hickenlooper, Doug Dell of KeyBank kicked off with the first award of the afternoon.
Winner: Titan Robotics, Colorado Springs
Titan Robotics devised a way to utilize its 3D printers to efficiently and cost-effectively make PPE, and donated it to local healthcare facilities and other essential operations. "There was a huge need at that time, and we just wanted to help the local community," says CEO Rahul Kasat.
Tanner Mason of Benchmark Commercial Real Estate introduced Ted Eynon of Meier Skis, the 2020 winner, to announce the nominees for 2021.
Winner: Moots, Steamboat Springs
Surrounded by the Moots team, Jon Cariveau thanked the presenters and discussed the company's rare longevity. "We've been in business for 40 years and have been manufacturing everything from this location since we started," said Cariveau.
Introduced by Neenan Archistruction, Marc Staats, co-owner of 2020 winner Dry Land Distillers, handed off the trophy to another distillery, noting, "We all know this is a team sport. You can't make anything in this industry as an individual."
Winner: Storm King Distilling Co., Montrose
Co-founder David Fishering and his team toasted and downed a shot of the company's product in celebration of the win. "It's a testament to everything we're doing," said Fishering. "We're making it happen. . . . 2021 is looking up."
Sean Sullivan of Neenan introduced Soraya Smith and Tim Koehler of the category's last winner, American Outdoor Products, to open the 2021 envelope.
Winner: Motherlode Co-Packing, Hudson
The two big lessons of 2020? "First, it's better to have partners than customers," said CEO Jim Kreitman, noting Motherlode's ability to help with brand building, supply chain, and capital. "The second thing we learned in 2020, you can have the best building, the best equipment, the best ingredients, but what makes a company is its people. This award is for them."
Melissa Chisum of Kaiser Permanente cued Andy Rodosevich of 2020 winner Hemp Depot to reveal the new victor.
Winner: Medically Correct, Denver
Owner of the incredibles brand, Medically Correct has been in the Colorado cannabis business since 2010. "We've been up for this award the last three years and lost to some incredible competition," said GM Joe Sandro. "Winning it this year means a lot . . . All the hard work has paid off."
Katie Woslager of the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade passed the virtual mic to Kevin Webber of Carboy Winery, last year's winner, to announce the 2021 results.
Winner: Carlson Vineyards, Palisade
When Garrett and Cailin Portra bought Carlson Vineyards in 2015, they "were the new kids on the block" in Palisade, said Garrett. Six years later, the couple is firmly entrenched in the Western Slope winemaking community that's working collectively to "put Colorado on the map," he added.
Nicole Jura of Moss Adams introduced Kevin Delange of 2020 Outstanding Craft Brewer Dry Dock Brewing Co. to announce the results.
Winner: City Star Brewing, Berthoud
Co-owner Whitney Way said it was a moment to look back at 10 years of craft brewing in "What an honor," she said. "We really look at our team and community that has supported us to get where we are today."
After an introduction by Nextworld's Joyce Swanke, last year's winner, Sue Frank of TEI Rock Drills, opened the envelope in 2021.
Winner: Heidi Hostetter, H2 Manufacturing Solutions
"Thanks for the recognition," said Hostetter. "It's really about the community that trusts you day in and day out."
After recorded remarks from Rep Jason Crow, Frank of TEI (the 2020 winner) followed up by announcing this year's standout.
Winner: Sundyne, Arvada
GM Mark Rauenzahn logged on to Zoom to accept the award for the leading pump and compressor manufacturer. "I want to thank our 350 employees in Arvada for supporting us in this time," he said.
Dan Thoren of 2020 awardee Barber-Nichols virtually handed the trophy to this year's winner.
Winner: Special Aerospace Services, Boulder / Arvada
CEO Heather Bulk accepted the award virtually: "I'm ecstatic on behalf of our team. It's good to be in aerospace -- what a great environment."
Tamara Frazier of Squire Patton Boggs called bioscience "a critical part of the Colorado manufacturing ecosystem" while presenting the 2021 award.
Winner: Leiters, Englewood
"All of the recognition goes to our employees," said Senior Director of Manufacturing Tom Busby, praising the Leiters team's "resilience" during the pandemic. "Better times ahead, I hope, for us all."
John Boner of CAP Logistics announced the judge's pick for the category in 2021.
Winner: Oribi Manufacturing, Commerce City
"We've been putting a lot of work into improving manufacturing operations and have doubled our sales two times in the last two years," said COO John Barrett.
John Marrinucci of RK Mission Critical, the category's 2020 winner, announced this year's award.
Winner: Encore Electric, Lakewood
Samantha Hamilton, who heads up prefabrication for the electrical contractor, accepted the award on behalf of her team. "Encore's been around for 30 years now and won a lot of awards, but this is the first for prefabrication," she said.
Judged by the Colorado Advanced Manufacturing Association (CAMA), the AMMA was announced by Beth Smith, CEO of previous winner StickerGiant.
Winner: Focused on Machining, Louviers
"Holy cow! I'm shocked and honored," said CEO Justin Quinn, crediting his team. "Congratulations to all of you guys. This is a big milestone for our shop in Louviers."