20/20 Campaign builds high-growth companies

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When the 20/20 campaign was conceived in 2011, the Regional Development Corporation of Española aimed to identify at least 20 local businesses as high-growth companies that would double their work forces, or revenues by 2020. Organizers anticipated nurturing two to three businesses each year to get to 20 robust companies by the end of the decade.
At a reception on Oct. 24, eight Los Alamos, Santa Fe and Taos businesses shared the honors as the Northern New Mexico 20/20 campaign’s Class of 2013. They join another eight companies honored at last year’s event.
Val Alonzo, business expansion and retention manager for the Los Alamos Connect program said, “At this rate, we could have 64 high-growth companies by the year 2020.”
The eight businesses selected in last year’s inaugural event already have proved their mettle by adding 25 local jobs and collectively increasing revenues by $4.55 million.
Northern New Mexico 20/20 project participants are nominated by business-service providers and local elected officials from city or county governments and are then selected by the RDC team after thorough vetting.
To be considered, a company needs a finished product or service, at least two customers, financial stability, profitability and evidence that it could double revenue and staffing over four years. At least half its revenue, or customer base needs to originate from outside Northern New Mexico. And it has to be committed to staying in Northern New Mexico.
“The 20/20 Campaign is about looking at our future and understanding which companies in our region are in a growth pattern,” said Kurt Steinhaus, director of the Los Alamos National Laboratory’s Community Programs Office, one of RDC’s partners in the campaign. “These are the companies that will become the major job creators, and it is vital they have our support.”
Other key partners are Los Alamos National Security, Los Alamos National Bank, the Regional Economic Development Initiative and Technology Integration Group.
The award opens the door to operational, financial and technical advice from nonprofit business-service providers that companies may not have known was available. A company, for example, might need advice on how to streamline production, or it might need help working with public works officials to solve an infrastructure problem.
The project’s overarching goal is to encourage the types of collaboration that sustain private sector growth one business — or eight businesses — at a time.
The businesses recognized represent a cross-section of Northern New Mexico industries, from service providers to the makers of high-tech instruments and specialized foods or beverages.
• Alpine Fire Safety Systems provides fire safety equipment and forest fire erosion control services to local fire departments and state and federal governments. Technology Solutions
NM offers client-specific information technology services.
• GeoEnergy Monitoring Systems Inc. plans a distribution and processing center for its smart-sensor technology, which monitors seismic activities at hydrofracturing drill sites. Mesa Photonics, founded by two former LANL employees, plans to launch its laser-pulse-measuring instruments to the global market.
• Don Quixote is a distiller and winemaker that’s launching a line of gourmet chocolates and vanilla extracts.
• Marty’s Meals is expanding its premium dog food kitchen into Albuquerque and Colorado. National Water Services is buying a new facility where it can manufacture its trademarked FreshPure water-vending machine, now found in 38 states. And Taos Mountain Energy Bars recently opened a new kitchen to continue producing its all-natural gluten-free energy bars.
For a list of 2012 honorees and more information on the Northern New Mexico 20/20 Campaign, visit NNM2020.org.

-Kathy Keith

Finance New Mexico is a public service initiative to assist individuals and businesses with obtaining skills and funding resources for their business or idea. To learn more, go to FinanceNewMexico.org.