Trophies for 2020 Colorado Manufacturing Awards Presented via Virtual Event 5th annual awards program - Arvada Economic Development Association

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Trophies for 2020 Colorado Manufacturing Awards Presented via Virtual Event 5th annual awards program

Winners were announced last week for the fifth annual Colorado Manufacturing Awards, with participants convening at a virtual event after two pandemic-related postponements. Company executives from around the state were on hand as finalists competed for top honors in 14 industry and achievement categories.

The event was co-hosted by CompanyWeek, digital media reporting on America’s manufacturing economy, and Manufacturer’s Edge, Colorado’s NIST-sponsored Manufacturing Extension Partner.

Aurora’s Dry Dock Brewing Co. broke the ice on the program, winning Outstanding Craft Brewer for its efforts in Colorado’s standout craft beer industry. Dry Dock co-founder Kevin DeLange accepted the award alongside mask-clad colleagues, a fitting start to the pandemic-delayed program.

Award presenters then settled in to preview finalists and reveal winners in a full schedule of categories, highlighted by remarks from executives at the winning companies.

The full list of CMA winners:

●   Bioscience Manufacturer of the Year: Molecular Products, Louisville

●   Aerospace Manufacturer of the Year: Barber-Nichols Inc., Arvada

●   Outstanding Food Brand/Co-Packer: American Outdoor Products, Boulder

●   Outstanding Craft Distiller: Dry Land Distillers, Longmont

●   Innovative Product of the Year: Guerrilla Gravity, Denver

●   Industrial & Equipment Manufacturer of the Year: TEI Rock Drills, Montrose

●   Outstanding Craft Brewer: Dry Dock Brewing, Aurora

●   Consumer Brand of the Year: Meier Skis, Denver

●   Winery of the Year: Carboy Winery, Littleton

●   Cannabis Manufacturer of the Year: Hemp Depot, Colorado Springs

●   Advanced Manufacturing & Machining Award: StickerGiant, Longmont

●   Building/Construction Manufacturer of the Year: RK Mission Critical, Denver

●   Manufacturing Woman of the Year: Sue Frank, TEI Rock Drills, Montrose

●   Energy & Environmental Manufacturer of the Year: VAIREX air systems, Boulder

CMA founder and CompanyWeek publisher Bart Taylor opened the program by refocusing attendees on an awards program three months removed from the original date. “COVID reminds us again of the importance of U.S. manufacturing. And with so many positive developments underway here, there’s never been a better time to recognize the people and companies that are leading a striking transformation of the sector.”

Executives from several of the winning companies shared Taylor’s enthusiasm for highlighting the sector. And most spoke effusively about the work of their employees and staff, work that’s led to noteworthy outcomes for many of the winners.

“It was a massive team effort,” said Will Montague, president of Guerrilla Gravity, winner of the new-for-2020 Innovative Product of the Year. Montague acknowledged the work of employees in developing a new production platform that promises cycling OEMs more options to source frames domestically.

Troy Rhudy and Molecular Products emerged from a tough field to win Bioscience Manufacturer of the Year. Rhudy was equally generous, noting his employees “are the driving force behind our success, every day bringing passion, grit, and innovation to our mission.” Molecular Products Manufacturing Operations Manager Angie Hellstern was also a finalist for Colorado Manufacturing Woman of the Year.

Hellstern was edged out by TEI Rock Drills CEO Sue Frank, whose company completed a first-ever CMA “double” by also winning Industrial & Equipment Manufacturer of the Year.

Several winners proved Awards’ judges right, pointing to recent success and positive outlooks for future growth. Dan Thoren with Barber-Nichols, Joel Oakman from VAIREX, and Marc Staats from Dry Land Distillers were among executives touting recent success.

For more coverage of the event, visit to read an awards recap and previews of the categories. Visit for information about the program, including nomination criteria and links to articles and photographs from past awards presentations.

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