Springs companies expand national presence, recognition (6982)

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Although Colorado Springs isn’t home to the headquarters of an overabundance of well-known national companies, there are businesses that have a worldwide presence. In addition to Intel, Compaq, Agilent Technologies, Optika, Walter Drake, Focus on the Family, USURF and Front Range Solutions, other local companies have grown beyond the reaches of El Paso County and Colorado.

Some have acquired national companies. Others have grown their organizations nationwide or have been recognized at a national level.

Carmichael Training Company

Carmichael Training Systems was named one of 12 hot startups by Business 2.0 magazine in February.

After coaching Lance Armstrong to his first Tour de France victory in 1999 – mostly via phone, fax and e-mail – former United States cycling team member Chris Carmichael decided that he could train others as well. Through his Web site, www.trainright.com, Carmichael trains about 3,000 clients for century rides, triathlons and 10Ks.

An amateur athlete can receive a custom workout regimen from one of the company’s 70 coaches as well as continued long-distance support from a mentor for between $29 and $500 per month.

Carmichael Training System’s growth is evident by looking at its profits. Sales have jumped 100 percent in each of the last two years, pushing revenue beyond $6 million in 2003. Carmichael is considering franchise opportunities, and said he plans to launch the second of six Carmichael Training Systems Performance Centers, where clients will have access to performance tests usually available only to elite athletes. He said he also is considering launching a line of frozen food and nutrition supplements.

M-E Engineers

M-E Engineers Inc. announced in February that it had acquired Vogel Taylor Consulting Engineers of New York. M-E Engineers already was positioned to undertake projects throughout the United States and Europe, with offices in London, Los Angeles, Denver and Vail.

Vogel Taylor is a 20-year-old mechanical and electrical consulting engineering practice with experience in health care, science and technology, higher education and commercial services. The company has a national reputation in the design of heating, ventilation and air conditioning, plumbing, fire protection, medical gas piping, electrical power distribution, lighting and data communications systems.

“Common culture and engineering ability were key factors in the development of this relationship and eventual acquisition,” said Chester Vogel, senior principal and office director of M-E Engineers. “Through this acquisition, M-E Engineers can offer a wider range of engineering services and increased engineering that is drawn from a very diverse in-house skills base. M-E Engineers is excited about this development and the opportunities that it can offer to our clients and staff.”

Agro Management Group

Receiving awards often gives local companies the recognition they need on a national level. Agro Management Group was recognized in February as one of the 25 World’s Best Technologies for 2004 at The World’s Best Technologies Showcase. The company was honored for its bio-based engine lubricant technology that is used in Sterling Grade lubricant products.

Agro has received a patent for its proprietary vegetable oil lubricants process and for its utilization in internal combustion engines. Prior to the company’s breakthrough research, bio-based oils lacked the oxidative stability needed for use in a high-temperature crankcase environment.

Agro is working with the Navy and the Department of Defense to develop technology for diesel engines.

Systems Research Group

Systems Research Group Inc. is making its presence known through work with the federal government. In February, the company was awarded a multi-million dollar contract with the Department of Commerce through the Mountain Administration Support Center in Boulder. Systems Research was chosen to fulfill the Forecast Systems Laboratory contract for the next five years.

The company will provide information technology systems support for research and development, as well as the operation of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration profiler network. Systems Research has sole contractor responsibility for systems administration, computer hardware operations, applications development and support for research and development.

“I am very proud that SRG was chosen for this opportunity to continue to support the advancement of weather-related research,” said Fred Garcia, president of Systems Research Group. “I see it as a confirmation of SRG’s philosophy to strongly support our employees so they can excel in performing their critical functions in service of our customers.”

- Jan.Mowle@csbj.com