Four GJ businesses make top revenue list in Colorado

H. Merritt Kinsey, right, president of Western Slope Industries, is seen in the company shop. Western Slope Industries is one of the Top 250 private businesses in Colorado, as measured by gross 2010 revenue.

Four Grand Junction-based businesses made this year’s list of the Top 250 private businesses in Colorado.

ColoradoBiz magazine ranks the state’s private businesses each year by which brought in the most money in the previous year. Englewood-based engineering firm CH2M Hill topped this year’s list with $6.3 billion in gross revenue in 2010.

Grand Junction-based FCI Constructors Inc., which has offices in four states, ranked ninth on the list with $252.3 million in gross revenue last year. FCI President Ed Forsman said, “Absolutely it’s an honor to be rated that high in the state.”

FCI experienced a 20 percent drop in gross revenue in 2010 compared with 2009. The entire construction industry has been hit hard by the recession. But Forsman said FCI has remained high on the private-business list because it diversified the projects it seeks and 18 months ago expanded into the oil and gas boom state of North Dakota, which is building at a feverish pace.

“It’s helped our business a great amount,” Forsman said of the expansion.

The other three Grand Junction businesses on the list saw revenue growth in 2010 compared with 2009.

JG Management Systems Inc. and Western Slope Industries were 137th and 142nd on the list with gross 2010 revenue of $7.45 million and $7.1 million, respectively. JG Management Systems experienced 23 percent growth in revenue year-over-year, and Western Slope Industries experienced a 27 percent boost in revenue.

Western Slope Industries makes equipment and parts for the paper-converting industry. Company President H. Merritt Kinsey said selling 45 percent of its products overseas and working with Fortune 500 companies domestically helped Western Slope Industries bounce back faster than local companies that do business solely on the Western Slope.

“We’ve gone up and down and sideways like everyone else the last couple of years,” Kinsey said. “We down-sized like everybody else did and are watching our cost control. But I think we started seeing a little easing in the national economy early this year.”

Kinsey said some hesitation still exists for U.S. companies in particular to shell out money, even if they have more of it. That’s why he has seen more of a boost in people looking to buy Western Slope Industries’ parts for packing and other machines rather than order entirely new machines from him.

Jerome Gonzales, president and chief executive officer of JG Management Systems, said the technical-management consulting firm he started 10 years ago solely works with government contracts these days. Even though the contracts are more competitive than they used to be, Gonzales said his company has made a profit in part by “being in the right place at the right time” to win those contracts.

“Part of it is the client we work for, and part of it is luck,” he said of the company’s ability to make more money last year.

Rocky Mountain Sanitation LLC took the 219th spot on the list with gross revenue last year of $2.96 million, up 11 percent from 2009. Co-owner Lisa Mullen said she isn’t sure the trash-removal company will make the list in 2012, but she was happy to earn a third consecutive appearance in the ranking.

“For us, it’s just a way of letting us know we’re doing something right,” Mullen said.

Some businesses that made the list are based elsewhere but have local offices. One of 11 branches for Denver-based manufacturer and distributor Hercules Industries (34th on the list) is located in Grand Junction, and the Grand Valley is home to five branches of Glenwood Springs-based Alpine Bank (21st on the list).

Retailers American Furniture Warehouse, headquartered in Englewood, and Denver-based Appliance Factory Outlet have Grand Junction stores and make the list at seventh and 41st, respectively. Denver-based franchise SmashBurger, which has one restaurant in Grand Junction, is 48th on the list.


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