Colorado Governor Visits Oliver Manufacturing
Shown that a big international presence is still possible in a small rural community
LA JUNTA, CO: On Wednesday, January 29, 2014, Oliver Manufacturing was honored and privileged to host a visit from the Governor of the State of Colorado, John W. Hickenlooper; Ken Lund, Executive Director for the Office of Economic Development and International Trade; and Kari Linker, Director of Regional Development with OEDIT. It was a great opportunity to share with these distinguished visitors Oliver’s 83 year history and how Oliver has always maintained a significant global presence from rural Colorado location.
Oliver President/CEO, Brian Burney, showed the governor and the other guests a slide show presentation of information about Oliver Manufacturing. Joe Pentlicki explained to them that Oliver is the world's leader of processing equipment and we export out Colorado made machines to nearly every country. The governor was very intrigued by a slide about the percent revenues by country for all exports and Director of Sales and Marketing, Jon Moreland, explained why a large percent of our machines are exported to Argentina.
Brian Burney showed Gov. Hickenlooper our Wall of Fame where we celebrate team accomplishments. Brian showed the guests Oliver’s “Wall of Fame” where we celebrate “Team Oliver” accomplishments. Brian pointed out local newspaper coverage of Oliver's support of the “Pedal of The Plains” bicycle event last September.
The tour made a stop where Brian Burney showed Gov. Hickenlooper some old Oliver gravity separators on display. Then Jon Moreland explained the features of the new lines of Oliver machines in the R&D Department. The governor was fascinated with Oliver’s many mechanical and electronic innovations. He mentioned Oliver is a success story for the grant and business development programs to increase employee training and R&D that he promotes throughout the state of Colorado. Oliver has also used those programs to hire more employees and increase our sales.
The tour continued on to the newly constructed administration and sales offices. Oliver staff won't be moving in until the week of February 17th so the governor and other guests got an early look at the facility. Gov. Hickenlooper was excited to discover Mr. Burney’s COIN Summit Colorado coin on display. Gov. Hickenlooper had his aide take a photo and Tweet it out immediately.
During the tour, Brian took the opportunity to discuss with the Governor Hickenlooper how Oliver uses Colorado grants to increase the money Oliver already spends on R&D, yet how the governor can remove obstacles for more companies in Colorado to access those state grants. In addition, Joe Pentlicki, Chief Operating Officer; Jon Moreland, Director of Sales and Marketing; and Shane Pritchard, Chief Engineer took the opportunity to discuss with the governor on behalf of the people of Otereo County the barriers to growth in rural southeast Colorado. They discussed the challenges in the schools, with skilled labor, water rights, and decreasing population.
The governor and the other guests were very impressed with their tour of Oliver Manufacturing. They left with a very favorable impression of our facilities and employees during their 30 minute tour of the production plant and new office facility. They will always remember we showed them that it is still possible to maintain a big international presence from a small rural community!