A Look Back

We're happy to report that 2015 is off to a great start for The Stasko Agency. We're hard at work promoting a number of initiatives, including helping to spread the word about two new awards from the Governor's Council on Active and Healthy Lifestyles. You can read more about the awards here.

However, before we get to far ahead of ourselves, we thought we'd take a moment and reflect back on 2014 and all the wonderful clients we were lucky to work with. Last year, we were proud to conduct PR campaigns for a wide variety of organizations, from specialty retailers to high-profile developers, including:

  • Mudlick Mail
  • The Walnut Room
  • The City of Wheat Ridge
  • Camp Inc.
  • Wine Storage of Denver
  • Zocalo Community Development 
  • Decor and You
  • Colorado Culture of Health Conference
  • Little Man Ice Cream
  • Swinerton Builders Colorado
  • Denver Independent Brokers
  • The LoHi Merchant Group
  • Bright Beginnings
  • Joie de Vivre Pilates
  • Truest Beauty
  • Kukui Corp.
Every year offers new learning opportunities and 2014 was no exception. We discovered just how far some wine collectors will go to protect their collections and got the chance to help Wine Storage of Denver educate their clients about the benefits of their move to a larger facility. You can read about the company's expanded space in 5280 here. Another highlight was assisting a new Boulder-based entrepreneurial camp, appropriate dubbed Camp Inc. - recruit campers. Our efforts yielded stories in the Denver Business Journal, the Boulder Daily Camera and 9News. We also continued to expand our knowledge of just how important marketing is to the automotive repair industry, thanks to direct mail provider Mudlick Mail and Kukui Corp., a supplier of software for auto service centers. You can read more about Kukui in Motor Age Magazine and Ratchet and Wrench.

Since a picture is worth a thousand words, here are some photos to help illustrated the breadth of work we performed last year.

In February, Zocalo Community Development sold its Cadence Union Station apartment complex to Invesco Real Estate. We worked with the company to tell the story behind the sale. The deal attracted attention from several media outlets, including the Denver Post, the Denver Business Journal, the Colorado Real Estate Journal and Multi-Housing News.

Wheat Ridge City officials break ground on a Sprouts Farmers Market. Last year was a busy one for development in Wheat Ridge, where three new housing developments broke ground and a number of news businesses opened their doors. The city was also named one of the best places in the nation to retire by the website Livability. 


Little Man Ice Cream celebrated selling its millionth scoop last summer. Westword was kind enough to cover the story, which you can read here.

In May, Wheat Ridge officials hosted a signing ceremony where Governor John Hickenlooper signed a bill that provides a tax credit to encourage development of contaminated brownfield sites.

Denver Public Schools Board Member Jeannie Kaplan speaks to the crowd at the groundbreaking of the Denver School of Science and Technology at Byers Middle School. Stasko Agency client Swinerton Builders Colorado performed the renovations on the school.





We look forward to another busy year helping our clients achieve their goals!

The Walnut Room Marks 10th Anniversary

At the Stasko Agency, we're blessed to work with some of Denver's most visionary entrepreneurs. Take John Burr, for example.  A decade ago, he opened a live music venue and pizzeria in neighborhood that was up and coming but still hadn't arrived. Today, Burr's baby - The Walnut Room - is positioned in the heart of what is now known as RiNo, one of city's hippest hubs. Being a pioneer isn't always easy, so Burr and his team deserve a hearty congratulations for marking their 10th anniversary Friday, January 9th.



To celebrate, The Walnut Room will host a big bash from 5 pm to 11 pm featuring, complimentary pizza and appetizers, drink specials and a free performances from Adrienne O, Andy Palmer, Roo & The Howl, Matt Hoffman and DJ Social Lubrication.


Over the last decade, The Walnut Room has gained a reputation as premier music venue, hosting
local bands as well as established national acts, including One Eskimo, Jeff Austin (Yonder Mountain String Band) Brenden Bayliss (Umphrey’s Mcgee), Trout Steak Revival, Simon Townshend (of The Who), Jewel, Churchill and The Fray. The pizzeria has also gaining a following for its thin-crust pies and an expanding menu that includes an array of salads and sandwiches.



Westword and On the Town Columnist Penny Parker have helped us spread the word about The Walnut Room's success. You can read Westword's piece here and Penny's column here.

We hope to see you at the celebration. For more information click here.


Little Man Serves Millionth Scoop

It was an exciting summer for Little Man Ice Cream, which marked six years in its 28-foot-tall Lower Highland home and a number of other milestones.


Since it opened, Little Man has donated one scoop of beans or rice to communities in need around the world for every scoop of ice cream it sells.  In July, Elaine Tamburello, mother of Little Man owner Paul Tamburello, had the honor of serving the shop's millionth scoop and celebrating Little Man's donation of one million scoops to developing nations. The celebration included a jazz band, free "little dips" and a philanthropic "market" featuring a variety of non-profits that have benefited from Little Man's community contributions.

Elaine and Paul Tamburello celebrating Little Man's millionth scoop
Little Man also grew its brand by leaps and bounds, expanding the number of outlets carrying its products to more than 25 across the metro-area. Perhaps the most prominent member of Little Man's wholesale program is the Milkbox Ice Creamery at the newly renovated Union Station. The shop carries Little Man's ice cream exclusively and has been doing brisk business since opening in July.



It's no surprise to see such great demand for Little's Man frosty treats given the ice cream maker's focus on creating unique flavors. Despite a full slate of community events,  Little Man managed to launch a new slate of vegan ice cream flavors this summer, including such creative concoctions as The Bee's Knees - a blend of vegan banana ice cream, bee-free honey swirl and a mixture of peanut butter-filled pretzels and The Munchies, featuring vegan peanut butter ice cream with chocolate chips, white chocolate chips, almonds, peanuts and marshmallows.

 
The vegan flavors caught the attention of Everyday host and vegetarian Chris Parente who sampled the ice cream on air.  9News also featured Little Man in a segment on how to make the perfect root beer float. Watch it here.

Next on Little Man's list is moving into a bigger commissary to give the ice cream maker more room to experiment and meet the public's appetite for its products. The new facility will also have a tasting room, so fans can sample the latest creations.



Little Man wrapped up its peak season September 28th with its annual Hula Hoop Contest, an event that draws young and old to compete in a fundraising effort for local schools. But don't forget that the ice cream shop will continue to host the Highland Farmers Market and Artisan Alley from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. the first two Fridays in October. Hope to see you there!

Camp. Inc Participants Draw Press for Business Pitches

While many of us have been enjoying the lazy days of summer, the kids participating in Camp Inc. have been busy learning the business skills they need to bring a product or service to market. Located in the mountains above Boulder, Camp Inc., is a unique Jewish overnight summer camp where participants develop community, confidence, leadership and Jewish identity through hands-on business and entrepreneurial experiences.



The camp has drawn 82 campers (all 7th to 12th graders) from 15 states as well as Canada and Israel. Camp Inc. kicked off its first session June 22 and wraps up its second session August 6th. During their time at Camp Inc., campers have learned a variety of business concepts - from branding to social media strategy. They also get to interact with local entrepreneurs (including venture capitalist Brad Feld) and visit such successful businesses as Inspirato and Cloud Elements. Participants apply their skills by forming teams to develop a specific product or service. At the culmination of each session, campers present their business ideas to a group of local investors and entrepreneurs.


The Stasko Agency has been working with Camp Inc. and its director Josh Pierce since the snow was still falling and we're happy to see the fruits of Pierce's labor. The camp's unique concept and its ambitious participants have attracted attention from both national and local media, including The  Huffington Post, Fox News,  Jewish Techs, The Jewish Week, Mashable, as well as The Denver Business Journal, 9News and the Daily Camera, which both sent reporters to Camp Inc. home base to capture the campers in action. You can watch the 9News story here and read the Daily Camera piece here. The Denver Business Journal also highlighted the camp on its website.



A program of the Boulder Jewish Community Center, Camp Inc. is founded by the Jim Joseph Foundation and AVI CHAI Foundation, in partnership with the Foundation for Jewish Camp. Camp Inc. was competitively selected as part of the Foundation for Jewish Camp’s esteemed Incubator II to receive both funding and mentorship to build the best Jewish overnight camp experience.

We are grateful to have helped the camp's successful launch and look forward to many years of happy campers.


Wheat Ridge Remains Hotbed of Activity

Wheat Ridge has become a hotbed of development activity recently, with new housing and commercial projects garnering buzz and attracting headlines. After going years without adding any new inventory to the city's housing stock, two new housing projects are under construction and another should break ground soon.

Officials from the City of Wheat Ridge and New Town Builders pose before "breaking ground" on Perrin's Row

New Town Builders broke ground in March on Perrin's Row,  a rowhome development located at 38th Avenue and Depew Street. The community will include 26 two-and-three bedroom row homes priced from the mid-$200s. Meanwhile, at 38th and Fenton Street, Urban Green Development is planning a sustainable development featuring paired homes, single-family patio homes and row homes. Standard Pacific Homes will offer a more traditional, upscale option, with a 48-homesite community in the city's Applewood neighborhood.

Rendering of a model home in the upcoming Fireside at Applewood development

The city is also picking up steam when it comes to commercial development. While incentives have helped lured new, unique businesses to the city's emerging downtown area, known as The Ridge at 38, developers are also aiming to attract larger retailers. A mixed-use development is taking shape at 38th Avenue and Kipling Street that will include a 64-unit senior living facility and a 27,000-square-foot Sprouts store. Another large grocer could land at the southwest corner of 38th and Wadsworth, where Governor John Hickenlooper recently signed a bill that would provide tax credits for environmental clean-up projects. The Wheat Ride Urban Renewal Authority, which owns a portion of that site, could transfer tax credits to a developer to help cover the $300,000 in environmental remediation needed at the site.

Governor Hickenlooper signs Senate Bill 73 at a development site in Wheat Ridge

The developments have captured the attention of local media outlets, who have been closely following Wheat Ridge's growth. The Denver Post covered the building boom in March and did another story examining redevelopment efforts in April. The Denver Business Journal also wrote about the Sprouts development and the recent bill signing.

While the city's economic development efforts are in the spotlight, officials also continue to work hard to build community among residents through unique gatherings and events. On June 22nd, Wheat Ridge and the Ridge at 38 hosted its first Criterium - a Bronze level Rocky Mountain Road Cup race. In addition to high-speed bicycle racing, the Criterium also featured food trucks, a craft beer garden, kids activities and live bluegrass music.





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Golf Tournament Raises $43,000 for Bright Beginnings

We readily admit that while golf isn't our game, we don't mind cheering on those who are actually skilled at the sport - especially when it's for a good cause. We were lucky enough to do just that at the 18th annual Brad & Erna Butler Memorial Golf Tournament benefiting Bright Beginnings. Under blue skies at the Valley Country Club in Centennial, we watched 100 enthusiastic golfers, including media celebrities Tom Green and Penny Parker, compete in a four-man scramble format.



Bright Beginnings' hardworking staff
The tournament is a key fundraiser for Bright Beginnings, which visits parents and caregivers of children from birth to three to give them the tools and skills they need to help them maximize their child’s development.  In 2014, the organization plans to complete more than 20,000 visits to families across Colorado. The majority of parents we serve are considered low-income with multiple risk factors that can impact their child’s trajectory to be school ready. 

We were thrilled to support the tournament by recruiting sponsors, gathering donations for gift bags and prizes and publicizing the event in local media outlets. You can watch Blacktie Colorado's coverage of the event here.

The tournament, which also featured hole contests and an awards ceremony, is named for Bright Beginnings co-founder Brad Butler, former chairman of Procter & Gamble, who with his wife Erna, tirelessly and generously advocated for bettering the lives of all children. This year, the event raised $43,000 to support Bright Beginnings' programs.



We look forward to keeping you posted on Bright Beginnings' programs and future fundraising activities. For more information on the organization and all the great work it does, click here.

Culture of Health Conference Draws Record Attendance

At The Stasko Agency, we believe in living a healthy lifestyle, so working to promote the Colorado Culture of Health Conference is one of our favorite projects every year. The conference, which is presented by the Colorado Business Group on Health (CBGH) and a range of partners, provides a wealth of resources for employers on how to wellness initiatives. 

This year's conference featured several prominent experts on wellness, including Steve Bangert, CEO of CoBiz Financial, which has been lauded for its efforts to build a healthier workforce. At CoBiz employees can take Weight Watchers classes on-site and get a day off to get their annual physical exams. The company also underwrites the cost of Fitbits and provides interest-free loans to help workers finance fitness equipment.


At the Culture of Health Conference, exhibitors handed out fruit instead of candy

More than 500 attendees (a record number for the event) turned out to hear Bangert and other wellness leaders at this year's conference, which also included exhibits, break-out sessions and even a mini-Zumba session. We enjoyed learning more about how wellness programs can boost employee productivity, reduce health care costs and improve the health of workers.

Mile High Fitness Instructor Kim Farmer got the crowd on its feet

To get the word out about this year's conference, we placed contributions from CBGH Executive Director Donna Marshall in ColoradoBiz magazine and Health News Colorado. The Denver Business Journal also interviewed panelist Karen Curran of Pinnacol Assurance, about a study the company is conducting that is showing that wellness can significantly reduce health risks. You can read the article here.
In addition to the Culture of Health conference, the CBGH hosts meetings every month to offer information on programs that help add value to the health care system. For more information visit the organization's website.