January 29, 2020

“Ethics in Business” Luncheon, City Council Agenda, and Other Upcoming Events

April 12, Ethics in Business Luncheon
It’s at the Denver Marriott West from 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. You’ll find more info about the event on the Rotary Club of Golden website.

April 12, City Council Business Meeting
City Hall at 7 p.m. The agenda includes awarding the utilities replacement bid, several proclamations, interviews for appointments to the Golden Urban Renewal Authority board, a couple of ordinances dealing with sidewalk seating and liquor licenses, first reading on an ordinance that would require licenses for retailers selling non-cigarette tobacco products, landscaping requirements for commercial and multifamily properties, and awarding this round of i-Neighborhood Matching Grants. Download the agenda and the entire City Council packet.

April 13, “The Two of Us” opens at Miners Alley
The new Miners Alley play runs through May 20.

April 14, Coffee With a Councilor
You’ll find City Councilors from District 1 (South Golden), including Saoirse Charis-Graves and maybe others as well at Read, Write and Brew starting at 9 a.m. It’s a great informal opportunity to chat with your City Council representatives about the pedestrian bridge over U.S. 6, the South Neighborhoods Plan, or whatever else is on your mind.

April 18, One Book One Golden Event
One Book One Golden: An event with Craig Barnes, the author of “Growing Up True.” 7 p.m. at Foss Auditorium (American Mountaineering Center).

April 21, Golden Town Hall Meeting
This town hall meeting (every third Saturday) is hosted by Golden’s state legislators. It runs from 10-11:30 a.m. at Golden City Hall.

May 5-6, Golden Golden Community Pride Days
The city provides a free opportunity for community members to dispose of rubbish, construction materials, scrap metal, tires, electronics, untreated lumber, and brush and tree limbs. The Informer includes a coupon good for one curbside appliance pickup. For hazardous materials you’ll need to make arrangements with the Rooney Road Recycling Center. For details, check out the Golden Community Pride Days website.

Golden Companies Win Awards, and a FasTracks Train Test on the West Corridor

RTD photo.

Mayor Sloan wrote about a few things of interest in her newsletter on Friday:

  • Kudos to ERA and PharmaJet, two Golden-based companies that were recognized with Industry Awards by the Jefferson County Economic Development Commission.
  • The Golden Public Library’s One Book, One Golden program featuring the Craig Barnes book “Growing Up True: Lessons of a Western Boyhood.”
  • A shout-out to city staff by 3GL.
  • The first test run of a light rail train car on the West Corridor.

Check out Marjorie’s website for the full update (and photos of the light rail car!).

The Great Golden Business Tour: MV Systems

An example of an MV Systems thin film production unit.

Another angle. Each of the chambers is an ultra high vacuum (which I think is required for doing thin film deposition).

Here you can see a manufacturing process taking place inside one of the vacuum chambers.

Ok, so this one is a bit on the belated side – I visited these folks while I was still mayor last July – but it’s still very cool. I won’t pretend to really understand what they do, but here’s my take: MV Systems builds machines for manufacturing cutting-edge thin film products (“thin film deposition systems”) using a series of extremely high vacuum chambers. You can get a sense of this from my photos. Steve Glueck (the city’s Planning and Development Director) and I visited their facility back in July right here in Golden.

And, by the way, MV Systems received the “Entrepreneur of the Year” Mayor’s Award for Excellence, and they seem to be doing really well on the business side of things, as well. I remember seeing a news release late last year about new orders for their solar cell manufacturing systems from Mexico and Europe.

One of the coolest things about serving as mayor was having the opportunity to visit so many of Golden’s amazing cool manufacturing companies and other primary employers, from nuclear waste filter manufacturers to high-end mountain bike companies to the next-gen ceramic body armor factory. I don’t expect that I’ll be doing as many of these visits in my post-mayor life, but I’ll continue to support and promote them, and I’ll continue to be a champion for Golden as a hub of exceptionally cool companies building extraordinarily innovative products.

The Great Golden Business Tour: Williams Form Engineering

When we think of the sectors that drive primary jobs in Golden we tend to think of energy and technology, and less about manufacturing (except for obvious examples like Coors and CoorsTek). Steve Glueck and I visited with a less obvious but equally cool exception some weeks back: Williams Form Engineering. I will, no doubt, do a poor job of explaining what they do, but here’s a stab. Flatbeds with long steel pipes drive into their facility (located at Rooney Road and Colfax), Williams takes them and various other materials (like steel cable) and turns them all into sophisticated anchoring and tension systems for wind turbine foundations, tension bridges, retaining walls, tunnels, and anything else involving large amounts of concrete and steel. One local example are the sizable retaining walls for the light rail line just south of the Taj (easily visible when you are northbound on U.S. 6 at Johnson road, just north of Johnson). Their soil anchors there help hold the retaining wall in place. A few less local examples: the Colorado River Bridge at the Hoover Dam, the Bears Bridge in New Town (North Dakota), and the San Francisco-Oakland East Bay Skyway. Williams has been around more than 85 years, employs a bunch of folks in good manufacturing jobs, builds some very cool (and complex) products, and is another of the great businesses contributing to Golden’s economic vitality.

The steel cable as its being treated.

Steel cable after it's been coated.

Treated cables are bundled into housings.

The cables in their housings and on rolls.

Unloading steel pipes as they are delivered via flatbed truck.

2011 Golden Sustainability Awards

Our Sustainability Advisory Board presented the 2011 Golden Sustainability Awards last week, and they selected a terrific group of local folks to recognize. The recipients:

  • Pat and Brian Martinek received the individual award for their impressive low-impact lifestyle (passive solar home, solar panels, avid recycling, bus & bike commuting).
  • Golden Visitors Center received the community group award for their visitor education efforts, the building’s considerable sustainability-oriented features (drought-tolerant landscaping, LED lighting, and more), and the sustainability commitments of their staff and volunteers.
  • The Golden Hotel received one of three business awards for their substantial investment in solar panels, a motion sensor system to help reduce energy costs (reducing electricity use in empty rooms), water fixture and lighting retrofits, Energy Star appliances, and a recycling program.
  • Another business award went to Andersen & Hallas Architects for their impressive renovation of an old motel into a cutting edge low-impact building in downtown Golden. Some of the cool features are a geothermal heating system, porous asphalt, daylighting throughout the building, and LEED Gold designation (the only building in Golden!).
  • The third business award went to MIE Properties for their sizable solar photovoltaic installation on their commercial properties in south Golden, more than 850 kilowatts worth.

The Great Golden Business Tour: AMCI (the wireless asset tracking and monitoring folks)

Rows of unlabeled Solar SatAlarmĀ®-Sentry units - a remote sensing and communication device - are lined up ready for finishing touches and shipping.

Last Friday, after all the smoke and ashes from the Indian Gulch Fire had settled, Steve Glueck and I paid a visit to two Golden employers, Page 1 Solutions and AMCI (aka American Millennium Corporation, Inc.). AMCI is run by Bruce Bacon, a friend from the Golden Community Garden, and his business hits an obscure but really important and sizable niche in the wireless technology universe: devices that track the status of equipment and relay that information through wireless and satellite technology from anywhere to anywhere. Some of their devices will even allow you to operate that equipment remotely as well.

Among their clients: the operator of a large but remote solar installation, drilling companies (the devices alert operators when a pump station stops running, for example), vehicle fleet operators who can track the location of each vehicle, outfits that manage and monitor the condition of storage tanks or open pit tanks, and on and on.

The premise is simple: a fiberglass box, a wireless transmitter, a battery, and whatever sensors they need for the task at hand. Monitoring the status of and operating remote equipment is a significant problem across a bunch of industries, and AMCI figured out a simple, elegant solution.

Golden: the city of very cool businesses doing very cool things.

The Great Golden Business Tour: Page 1 Solutions

Steve and I along with Dan Goldstein, who runs the show.

The 'fish tank,' their conference room and brainstorming center. One of their creative staffers happens to be a tagger and did a pretty phenomenal job working up the room.

On Friday, City of Golden Planning & Development Director Steve Glueck and I paid a visit to a Golden-based outfit called Page 1 Solutions, a high-end web developer with a very specialized expertise: attorneys, ophthalmologists, plastic surgeons, and dentists. Steve and I have largely focused on companies in the energy and manufacturing sectors, so it’s fun to start visiting businesses who are in other types of technology spaces like these web developers. Page 1 Solutions offers what I would describe as a full-service web development package: they’ll build the site, but they also help you maintain it and perform well on search engine results. I was impressed partly by the number of writers they have on staff, which isn’t what I typically think of for web developers but it fits with their model of sustaining web sites in an ongoing fashion.

The ongoing story: Golden is filled with high-performing, innovative, and just plain cool businesses across a range of sectors, providing good jobs and important revenue to the community. Supporting these businesses, and making sure Golden remains a place our businesses are able to grow and new businesses want to move, remains a key focus for staff, our Economic Development Commission, and City Council.

PMC Hydraulics and Broad Reach Engineering Win Biz Awards

Celebrating the awards from left to right: Joy Chung and Steve Glueck (City of Golden), Chris McCormick (Broad Reach Engineering), Mikkel Johnsen and Eric Akeson (PMC Hydraulics), Renee Rinehimer (Golden Economic Development Commission), and me.

Late last week, as the fire situation (thankfully) began improving dramatically, I attended the annual Jefferson Economic Council breakfast in order to help celebrate the awards received by two terrific Golden companies. PMC Hydraulics – a manufacturer of specialized (and exceptionally cool) hydraulic components for wind turbines – received a Business Recognition Award for their significant economic contributions to Jefferson County. I visited with PMC Hydraulics last year, touring their factory in our Coors Technology Center and learning a lot, PMC’s hydraulic components, the Vestas supply chain, and the statewide economic impact of the new Vestas manufacturing facilities in Colorado. I was also their to support Broad Reach Engineering, a Golden manufacturer of cutting edge spaceflight components and software, which received an Innovative Technology Award for their leadership in the aerospace industry. I visited with Chris and his crew in their downtown office about a year ago as well (although sadly don’t have a blog post up about it). I know the photo is a boring ‘awards banquet’ shot, but the people and technology behind the photo are incredibly exciting and great for Golden.

Great Golden Business Tour: CoorsTek

Several weeks ago we had a great tour of the CoorsTek manufacturing plant that sits between Washington Avenue and Ford just south of Highway 58. It’s a remarkable facility. For one thing, it’s just huge. You know it’s large from the outside (it does take up quite a few blocks, after all), but I didn’t appreciate just how large until we toured the inside. It’s basically a ceramics process: clay and other raw materials are shipped in, mixed, formed, fired, and finished. Their product range is pretty broad, ranging from medical to power plant components to semiconductor elements to labware to body and vehicle armor (although some products are manufactured at other sites, including one within the Coors campus and another at our Coors Technology Business Park). CoorsTek was a deviation from the smaller entrepreneurial businesses we usually visit, since they are a sizable and very established company, but they are a major employer in the Golden area and obviously have a big footprint on the edge of downtown, so it was very worth the visit.

This hopper is as large as it looks. Although you can't see it, all of this eventually funnels down into a large metal container that is then moved to the next portion of the process.

Ceramics loaded up for firing.

One of the types of kilns they operate. The metal container full of ceramics pieces slides under the kiln, which then lowers over it.

A different type of kiln. The carts slowly wheel through the long tunnel.

Another shot of the same type of tunnel-like kiln.

The Great Golden Business Tour: Maverick and Spot Bicycles

A few weeks back Steve Glueck and I visited two more of Golden’s bike manufacturers. Although they are entirely separate businesses, they share a building in north Golden. Maverick makes very high end mountain bikes and Spot makes comparably high quality belt-driven bikes. Way cool. On every outing Steve and head back shaking our heads in amazement that there are this many cool, highly-innovative businesses here in town doing so many cool, highly-innovative things.

These tubes will become bike frames.

Testing the belt through mud and grime.