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Commerce City News & Announcements

Posted on: March 3, 2017

Seven local businesses recognized by Commerce City

Spirit Award winners


During its ninth annual Commerce City Business Appreciation Awards event yesterday, Commerce City honored seven local businesses that achieved great success last year. Businesses were recognized for their positive contributions to the city.

“This annual event is the city’s opportunity to thank our businesses for the important role they play in the success of our community,” said Mayor Sean Ford. “After all, a Quality Community for a Lifetime often begins with a good job.”

Businesses were recognized in the following categories:

  • Businesses On the Move:
  • Asahi Food
  • Birko Corporation
  • Jalisco International
  • Sashco, Inc.
  • Entrepreneurial Spirit Award: Ruth Tsehaye, Owner of four 7-Eleven stores
  • Economic Development Award for Leadership: United Power
  • Business of the Year Award: Ardent Mills

An awards selection committee, comprised of community business representatives, chose the winners from the nominations received. Detailed information about the award winners is below.

The Business on the Move award recipients brought new capital investment, high levels of sales growth or new employment to Commerce City.

  • ASAHI FOOD is a leading regional seafood supplier, delivering fresh-cut fish for sushi and sashimi to over 200 restaurants in Colorado and surrounding states. The company began in Commerce City six years ago and continues to experience steady growth.
  • A woman-owned business, BIRKO CORPORATION manufactures over 400 concentrated food safety solutions and provides safe chemical formulations, state-of-the-art harvest and dispensing equipment, servicing capabilities, and integrated IT solutions for beef, poultry, pork, produce and brewery applications. The company has been in Commerce City for 25 years, and grew their workforce by 10 percent in 2016 to 82 employees.
  • JALISCO INTERNATIONAL is a minority and family owned prime contracting business. Founded in 1985, the company specializes in the construction of cement roads, bridges, and walls and many other building projects for the commercial, government and city sectors. The company contributed to the E. 104th Avenue and Highway 85 improvements in Commerce City. Following the hiring of 12 new employees in 2016, Jalisco International now employs 80.
  • Founded in 1936, SASHCO, INC. is a third generation family owned company that has been an innovator in the sealants and caulking manufacturing industry. The company grew through continued improvements and innovations such as the inventions of the first flexible caulking material and caulking gun as well as AcryColor and Lexel, the first clear sealant in a clear cartridge. The company has been in its current location in Commerce City for 30 years and now has 106 employees, 15 of whom were added in 2016.

The Entrepreneurial Spirit award acknowledges the enterprising spirit a company or individual embraces as they start a new business, develop a new product or expand into new markets.

  • RUTH TSEHAYE was born in Ethiopia. She came to the United States in 1984 to study pharmacology. While a student at Metropolitan State University, she began working for 7-Eleven at the E. 72nd Avenue and Highway 2 location in Commerce City. She impressed her bosses and a short time later was promoted to store manager. Today, Ruth owns four 7-Elevens in Commerce City, employs over 40 workers and has won several corporate awards for her leadership and stores profitability. 

The Economic Development Award for Leadership honors businesses or individuals that have been a catalyst for economic vitality in Commerce City though creative leadership, innovation, facilitation, collaboration or contribution of resources.

  • UNITED POWER, INC. is a community based, utility cooperative serving 900 square miles along the north central range of the Colorado Rockies. As a cooperative, excess earnings are paid back to its members. The company has an electric franchise agreement with Commerce City to provide service to the city’s growth areas in the northeast. Some of that power is provided through the company’s “green” portfolio which includes wind and solar. United Power is very active in the area and supports all cities, towns and counties it serves, providing monetary and volunteer support for a variety of groups and causes, including chambers of commerce, economic development organizations, community events and civic groups. United Power also has a charitable foundation that offers direct grants for 501(c)3 organizations. This foundation is funded by United Power members choosing to “round up” their utility bills in support of grants.

The Business of the Year Award recognizes a Commerce City company that has shown a history of sustained leadership within its industry and community.

  • ARDENT MILLS is the independent joint venture of Cargill, ConAgra and Horizon Milling. The company operates a network of over forty community flour mills and bakery mix facilities in the US, Canada and Puerto Rico, including one in Commerce City. In 2016, Ardent Mills celebrated its 80th anniversary of milling flour at its plant in Commerce City—a process that includes bringing in Colorado-grown wheat from rail cars and trucks and grinding it into soft, white, fluffy ingredients mostly used for baking. These ingredients include a broad range of flours, mixes, blends and specialty products. In fact, Ardent Mills produces 1.8 million pounds of flour per day! Ardent Mills operates its facility 24 hours a day, employing over 90 people. 

Held at the Yellow Rose Event Center, the awards event featured a keynote from Galvanize Chief People Officer Stephanie Donner, who highlighted the firm’s recent corporate relocation to metro Denver and the company's history with Commerce City.

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