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Success Stories

Deaf Communication Services

Sharon Nutt was working as a sign language interpreter for a larger firm when she decided, “I can provide better service, and make more money”. In 2009, she founded Deaf Communication Services (DCS), focused primarily on arranging sign language medical interpreting for Deaf patients.

When asked to describe her “secret sauce”, Sharon replied, “having prior experience as an interpreter really helped.  Interpreters like dealing with us, because of how we treat them, and because we value their feedback. Our goal is to provide the best quality consumer
experience.”

A year ago, she hired Christian Fillman and Lindsey Hein from a larger competitor, as CEO and COO respectively. Christian says, “Sharon works at the highest ethical standards, and produces only quality services. She’s a humble special woman.” Lindsey adds, “She’s got a big heart. She always wants to do what’s best.” For additional insight, DCS formed an Advisory Board this year, which includes both hearing and Deaf interpreters and legal members.

Sharon discovered the Larimer SBDC when she was hired to interpret for a SBDC client. She then started using the SBDC herself. “They’ve been so great, in everything we’ve needed. Consultant Samantha Peaslee (attorney) helped us navigate some contract issues. We’ve gotten advice on pricing strategies.  It’s just been liberating.”

The COVID health crisis has caused DCS to change some strategies. They’ve shifted to virtual interpreting, since face-to-face sessions inside hospitals are very limited. Lisa Leveille with First National Bank (and an SBDC consultant), helped DCS secure a Payroll Protection Program (PPP) loan, to pay DCS employees despite temporary revenue declines. DCS also obtained an Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) from the SBA.

Sign language interpreters must obtain a national certification, and receive continuing education. A new initiative for DCS is an exciting inaugural event later this year. “We’re planning a large-scale, on-line, professional quality annual summit, called “Terp Academy,” where our interpreters can earn CE credits”, said Christian. Almost 1000 interpreters
have signed up already!

Sharon and DCS proudly provide inexpensive training and communication for their customers, employees, clients, vendors, and other stakeholders. “We do it in a way that fosters dignity, and earns loyalty, for both parties”, says Sharon.  

Contact Deaf Communication Services at www.deafcs.com

Trailcraft Cycles

When their son Elijah was three, Ginger and Brett Rosenbauer put him on a bike and he took off like a rocket. Elijah just turned seven when he got his first “real” bike, and it turned out to be heavy, and needing modification. So, it was in the hot tub of their west Fort Collins home that Ginger, a stay at home mom and Brett, an executive at the Fort Collins bike manufacturer Niner, decided

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Wordsmith Wood Shop

Loveland area couple Gib and Lisa Coalwell made a few wooden boxes decorated with sayings but a large order put a toll on their small laser engraver. The owners of Wordsmith Wood Shop needed to hire staff, get three more engravers and quickly learn manufacturing on a large scale. The couple blends handcrafted wood and engraved words to create heirloom boxes, bookmarks, recipe cards, coasters, magnets and cutting boards for their wholesale, retail and individual

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Green Ride

Ray Schofield and Bob Flynn created Green Ride in 2009 to bring an easy, local transportation option to the Fort Collins community. After leaving Shamrock in October 2008, where the two worked together, they began looking for a way to get involved in the community and deciding from a regulatory standpoint whether to be a taxi service, shuttle service, or something else. “We were looking to see where the gaps in transportation were.” In just

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Spidertrax Off-Road

Thom Kingston helped start Loveland-based Spidertrax Off-Road not in a garage like some startups but in a fully equipped shop at the New Jersey Institute of Technology. In 1999, Kingston and his former partner and co-founder, Eddie Casanueva, initially snuck into the school after-hours to develop and manufacture parts for the off-road industry until they got official approval and could work during the daytime. “We were manufacturing all of our parts, using the tools of

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Equine Veterinary Services

Stephanie Brault’s passion is working with horses. Providing them with the highest quality veterinary care has been her profession since 1988. After more than 10 years of working in academic veterinary medicine at the University of California Davis and most recently at Colorado State University, Stephanie purchased a private veterinary business in July of this year. While Stephanie is an expert in the field of veterinary medicine, she had no business experience prior to purchasing

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Avid Product Development

Consulting businesses are often lonely endeavors, constrained by the experience, capacity, and moxie of the owner. When opportunity knocks – in the guise of new technologies, more customers, or economic expansion – many consultants choke, not willing to do what’s necessary to grow. When Doug Collins, owner of Loveland’s Avid Product Development reached that point, it was the opportunities new 3D Printing technology offered that crystalized the dilemma. “I had a good clientele, a good

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