The Colorado Manufacturing Awards reach a milestone in 2020 -- five years of celebrating companies and people reimagining manufacturing in this most unlikely industrial outpost.
Surprising or not, Colorado's sector is today a national model of diversity and innovation, and the 40+ companies and people selected from a record number of nominations represent the best-ever CMA finalist class.
Here's the first wave of CMA finalists. It's an influential class.
The wine group is a CMA first. The finalists are equally fresh; innovation for this group means refocusing on quality even as new production and packaging solutions continue to shape the industry.
Two past CMA winners are back to defend hard-earned titles in the Building & Construction Manufacturer of the Year category, only to compete against a successful upstart from Aurora. Colorado's crazy-innovative food sector is represented by two of its leading brands and one of its most influential co-packers.
Equipment makers dot the manufacturing landscape here and three of Colorado's finest emerged as 2020 CMA finalists. The Aerospace category is unsurprisingly brilliant, with a finalist from last year, Barber-Nichols, Inc., returning for a go at the top spot.
Finalists in the Consumer Brand category flash industry-leading design acumen, appropriate as the CMAs first-ever Innovative Design category shines a light on companies and products conceived and manufactured in the tightening design-to-production continuum reflective of modern shops.
Three distinctive Energy & Environmental finalists round out this first wave, setting the table for next week's remaining 2020 CMA finalists.
Outstanding Food Brand/Copacker
Ready Foods, Denver
American Outdoor Products, Boulder
Honey Smoked Fish Holdings, Denver
Innovative Product -- Design-to-Manufacture
Guerrilla Gravity, Denver
TEI Rock Drills, Montrose
Outstanding Consumer Brand
Black Hound Design Company, Arvada
Meier Skis, Denver
Aerospace Manufacturer of the Year
Outstanding Energy & Environmental Manufacturer
VAIREX air systems, Boulder
Winery of the Year
Carboy Winery, Littleton
The Storm Cellar, Hotchkiss
Buckel Family Wine, Gunnison
Building & Construction Manufacturer of the Year
Tharp Cabinets, Loveland
Industrial/Equipment Manufacturer of the Year
TEI Rock Drills, Montrose
Right Stuff Equipment, Denver
Panther Industries, Highlands Ranch
Read about the remaining finalists next week:
Outstanding Woman in Manufacturing (with Women in Manufacturing, Colorado chapter)
Outstanding Craft Distiller
Advanced Manufacturing & Machining Award
Outstanding Bioscience Manufacturer
Outstanding Cannabis Manufacturer
Outstanding Craft Brewer
Bart Taylor is publisher of CompanyWeek. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Register here to attend the fifth annual Colorado Manufacturing Awards April 2, 5-8 p.m., as winners are announced at a gala reception and program.