Wednesday, June 7, 2006

Spectranetics director hangs it up

Cornelius C. Bond Jr., the second-longest serving member of Spectranetics Corp.'s board of directors, retired Tuesday as a director after the company's annual stockholder meeting and subsequent board meeting.

Bond, 72, joined the Spectranetics board after the company's 1994 merger with Advanced Interventional Systems, where he had served as a director since 1986. He also was general partner of New Enterprise Associates, a venture capital firm that invested in Advanced Internventional Systems before the Spectranetics merger. Only Spectranetics Chairman Emile Geisenheimer has served on the board longer.

Spectranetics said Wednesday that directors voted not to replace Bond, leaving the company with seven board members. More on Bond

Leaving the mountains to be elevated

Kanwaljeet “Rikki” Boparai, the former director of operations at Cheyenne Mountain Resort, has been given his own high-profile show to run by Texas-based Benchmark Hospitality International. Boparai is the new general manager at the historic Bedford Springs Resort, on 200 wooded acres near Bedford, Pa. The landmark property, which dates to 1796, has served seven United States Presidents, including James Buchanan, who used it as his Summer White House in the 1850s. “Rikki is an extraordinary hospitality professional with immense style and a ‘whatever it takes’ commitment to success,” said Ellen Sinclair, vice president for Benchmark Hospitality. ”He is an executive who processes extensive knowledge of our business and is an extraordinary example of Benchmark’s culture and the positive environment we bring to our properties.”

Subcompacts skyrocket

Searches on for new Toyota and Honda subcompact models increased in May, as high gas prices have helped make small cars big again.

Potential buyers searching on the Internet for vehicles were particularly interested in the new Toyota Yaris and Honda Fit subcompacts last month, according to

Searches for larger sport-utility vehicles, such as the Toyota Sequoia, continue to spiral downward.

School awards grants

Colorado Christian University received a $50,000 grant from the Daniels Fund to support non-traditional students unable to attend college on their own. Applicants must be the first in their families to graduate from college or be adults who are unemployed or under-employed.

Brandi Maxedon and Susanne Cochran of Colorado Springs have received the first-ever Daniels Opportunity Award scholarships.

County tries to be a player in economic development

Sallie Clark, chair of the El Paso County Board of Commissioners, later this month will become the first commissioner in more than 20 years to address the Greater Colorado Springs Economic Development Corp.

Clark, owner of Holden House Bed & Breakfast Inn and a former Colorado Springs City Councilwoman, will discuss "Meeting the Challenges of a Growing Regional Economy" at noon June 28 in the Heritage Ballroom of the Antlers Hilton hotel. Cost of the luncheon is $25 paid by cash or check in advance or by credit card in advance.

Reservations are recommended by June 23 and can be made on EDC's Web site
Call Shannon Taylor at 475-6455 for questions or to cancel a reservation.

Tuesday, June 6, 2006

Blair College becomes Everest College

Blair College of Colorado Springs will be one of three members of the Corinthian Colleges Inc. chain that will change its name to Everest College on June 12, along with the Parks College campuses in Thornton and Aurora. Corinthian Colleges operates 97 schools in 25 states in the United States as well as 34 colleges in seven provinces in Canada.

OK, repeat after me ...

Albertson's LLC announced plans Tuesday to reduce its grocery store chain by about 15 percent nationwide and it did this -- to use a food metaphor -- in courses. Instead of issuing one release out of the home office in Boise, Idaho, Albertson's sent out a separate release for each of its geographic divisions as soon as the employees had been informed of the plan. The odd thing? Every one of the division heads was credited with exactly the same quote to explain what was happening in their jurisdiction ("Concentrating our resources on a base of solidly performing stores will allow Albertsons to be more competitive and better serve the community"). It demonstrates a lack of faith in the division heads, we're thinking.

The Gap redux

Get ready for a new look at The Gap starting next month. The mall retailer will reorganize its stores into four different sections
  1. An in-store denim “shop” will sell skirts and jeans
  2. An activewear shop will focus on key items such as sweatshirts and hoodies
  3. A “clean” shop will sell items including black pants, khakis, skirts and woven tops.
  4. A T-shirt shop will likely be placed at the front of the stores in the summer months, but the shops will rotate positions with the seasons.

Now in business - farmers markets

The Colorado agriculture industry is off and running for 2006 and that means farmers’ markets are opening. The first one in the Springs is tomorrow - the Colorado Farm and Art Market, 4 to 8 p.m. every Wednesday at America the Beautiful Park. See all the local markets.

The markets continue to benefit the state's economy, with 11 more opening this year over last year. To find farmers’ markets, roadside stands, u-picks, wineries and agricultural activities, the Colorado Department of Agriculture annually publishes the Colorado Farm Fresh Directory. The directory is available for free at libraries, chambers of commerce, welcome centers, visitor centers and CSU Cooperative Extension offices. The directory is also accessible at

CEO free agent market booming

High demand for chief executives with a strong track record is helping push turnover at the top of the corporate ladder to new heights. A record 148 CEOs left their posts in May, surpassing the peak of 139 set last January, according to Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc., the Chicago-based global outplacement consultancy firm. Seventeen percent departed after being lured away either by other companies or the challenge of entrepreneurship. One notable promotion was that of Goldman Sachs CEO Henry Paulson, who left to take the helm of the United States Treasury Department.“These are red-hot times for executive search firms," said John A.Challenger, chief executive officer of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, "as CEOs move fluidly from organization to organization in search of a bigger challenge and bigger payday. This is a free-agent CEO market, the likes of which we have never seen.”

Forum for proposed tax reform June 13

A proposal now before Congress to replace all federal income, payroll and Social Security taxes with a sales tax will be discussed by Dan Mastromarco, author of the Americans for Fair Tax initiative, from 9:15 to 11:30 a.m. June 13 at the Antlers Hilton Hotel, 4 S. Cascade Ave. Breakfast will precede the lecture and will run between 7 and 9 a.m. People can choose to attend one or both events. The cost for breakfast is $22. To RSVP, call 575-4394. For more details about the Fair Tax initiative, go to

Business in Turkey can give you a leg up

The Office of International Affairs will host a seminar "Turkey: Business Opportunities in an Emerging Economy" at 9:30 a.m. June 22 at the Greater Colorado Springs Chamber of Commerce, 2 N. Cascade, Suite 110.

The seminar will host Ozge Cirika, a trade official from the U.S. Embassy in Ankara, who will tell of opportunities for U.S. businesses to sell into the Turkish market. This event is free and open to the business community but RSVP's would be appreciated. To RSVP, phone the Office of International Affairs at 575-4314 or by e-mail at

United had a record breaking May

United Airlines, the largest carrier out of Colorado Springs Airport, reported its highest-ever May passenger load factor of 83.8 percent for flights nationwide. Total scheduled revenue passenger miles increased in May by 4.5 percent on capacity increase of 2.1 percent in scheduled available seat miles compared with the same period in 2005.

Meanwhile, American Airlines, the third-largest carrier out of the Colorado Springs Airport, reported a May load factor of 80.7 percent - an increase of 2.6 points compared with the same period last year. Traffic grew by 3.7 percent year over year, while capacity increased only slightly. Domestic traffic grew by 2.1 percent year over year on 1.9 percent less capacity. International traffic increased by 6.9 percent relative to last year on a capacity increase of 4.6 percent. American boarded 8.6 million passengers in May.

Monday, June 5, 2006

Job Fair booths now available

Booth space for employers is now available for the Pikes Peak Workforce Center Annual Career Fair from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Aug. 23 at the Sheraton Hotel, 2886 South Circle Drive. At the job fair, employers can accept resumes and interview candidates in one spot. To reserve booth space, business owners and managers should contact Duke Compton at 667-3839 or online via