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Success Stories

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 under a year, Ray and Bob hired 14 people, had one week of training, launched the website, and started as drivers to get Green Ride off and running. Green Ride started offering transit to and from Denver International Airport (DIA) in May 2009. “We offered service every other hour to start. Within the first month we had moved to hourly service.” Now Green Ride has 62 employees and 21 routes each direction to DIA with 200 daily rides to and from the airport. Green Ride also offers service to Laramie and Cheyenne every four hours.

With hi-tech corporate backgrounds and experience working for Fortune 500 companies such as Hewlett Packard, Agilent and Honeywell, Ray and Bob felt their work did not get them involved in the community. “Transportation touches everything. We get to work in the community and be involved. We have a sense of responsibility to the community and a passion to help people get where they need to be in an easy manner. It really connects us to the community and to people.” There is a great culture with the employees and customers at Green Ride. It is a culture of family with energy and curiosity. “We have a great mix of staff and great energy.”

Ray and Bob met Andrea Grant at a SBDC event in January 2009. At the time they were looking for funding and the SBDC became a key resource. “We have had help from many people at the SBDC. We talked about the business plan and SBDC staff reviewed the business plan to secure our loan. It is great to have this resource out there.” The business plan for Green Ride has led to much success for the company and won an award from Montfort College of Business in Greely.

Ray and Bob credit the SBDC for providing them the opportunity to meet great people to discuss their business with people who are local to Fort Collins. “Little conversations here and there developed into a great network of support.” A passion for helping people, an understanding of the playing field, and using local resources like the SBDC has helped Green Ride succeed and become a flourishing business in Fort Collins.

Green Ride takes the uncertainty away from travel to make the experience carefree and fun. “We really care about our customers and respect them and their time. We have a fantastic team. Green Ride’s biggest success has been putting 60 people to work in this economy. That is so rewarding.”

Fernweh Hostel

Walking up to the Fernweh Inn & Hostel, you pass through a white picket fence into a well-kept yard with a random dog toy or two scattered about. The Fernweh immediately feels like home, which is exactly what owner and founder Kelsey Schwager envisioned. “My goal is to give guests an amazing experience so they’ll continue to stay at other hostels while traveling. The Fernweh provides a safe, clean and comfortable environment, which is what

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Mulnix Veterinary

When Dr. Michelle Thomas moved to Fort Collins in 1996, as a newly-minted veterinarian from Washington State University, she landed a job as an associate with Mulnix Animal Clinic. Little did she know she would one day own and operate that business. Dr. Thomas and a couple of partners bought Mulnix Animal Clinic from the retiring founder in April of 2015. Mulnix had about 7-8 employees. She says “I found myself with a business. There

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Clean Bees

Clean Bees Homekeepers Cleaning Up! When Katie Straubel moved from Florida to Colorado in 2001, she took a job doing house-cleaning to make ends meet.  Eight years later, she earned a history degree from CSU, while continuing to work in the cleaning industry. Today, she is the proud confident owner of Clean Bees, a Northern Colorado cleaning company with 35 employees and over $1M in annual sales! Katie says “I worked in the restaurant business,

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The Fox and the Crow

What do cheese and art have in common? Both excite the pallet and have rich stories, according to The Fox and the Crow owner Tina Mooney, a cheesemonger and art history major. The Fox and the Crow brings artisan cheeses and meats to mid-town Fort Collins. They understand that the world of artisan cheese can be intimidating and have crafted their shop to welcome people who may stumble in serendipitously. Little signs like: “We cut

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Cydney Springer Fine Art

Artist Brushes Up on Business, Social Media Skills After 25 years in northern Colorado as a graphic artist, copywriter, and greeting card designer, Cydney Springer put down the computer mouse and took up an artist’s paintbrush. With two years of study under other artists and a lifetime of interest in painting, she set out to capture the beauty and awe of Colorado landscapes. She works with oil paint in an Estes Park studio with windows

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HomeCare of the Rockies

Sandi McCann of Longmont found that when she provided caregiving for her stepmother, she wanted the same kind of meaningful work in her professional life. Sandi had been a marketer for 27 years and was tired of the career, so she launched her own business. She and her younger sister, Maureen, who also desired a career change, started HomeCare of the Rockies, Inc., in April 2012. She is president and chief executive officer and a

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