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Top Company 2023: Advertising & Marketing

Now in its 36th year, ColoradoBiz magazine’s Top Company Awards program recognizes businesses and organizations based in Colorado or with a significant presence in the state that are leading the way in their fields, as demonstrated by financial performance, notable company achievements and community engagement.

To be considered, Top Company entrants submitted applications throughout the year online at ColoradoBiz.com. From those entries, which numbered in the hundreds, the magazine’s editorial board narrowed the field to three finalists (in most cases) in each industry category. A judging panel made up of area business leaders and ColoradoBiz staff then met to compare notes on the finalists and decide winners in 14 industries plus the Startup category, for companies in business four years or less.

Congratulations are in order not only to the 41 winners and finalists profiled on the following pages, but to all the companies that took the time to tell us about their achievements and obstacles surmounted over the past year that make them worthy of Top Company consideration.


WINNER — AdCellerant

AdCellerant provides businesses with digital marketing technology and solutions via partnerships with media companies and agencies. The result is a one-stop shop for media buyers: Users can manage media buys from proposal creation through campaign launch and track campaign performance within a single platform.

The market has embraced the model: AdCellerant’s revenue jumped by more than 150 percent from 2022 as the employee count more than doubled to about 200 today.

The company isn’t resting on its laurels in 2023. “This year, our product team launched our new Order Management System,” says co-founder and CEO Brock Berry. “We made this change to streamline order entry and communication. This change came from feedback from our partners, and our team did all the heavy lifting to ensure partners had a seamless transition to one platform.”

AdCellerant Gives, an in-house program that helps employees get involved with the local community, has donated thousands of hours, more than 5,000 meals and thousands of dollars to nonprofits and people in need on the Front Range. “This commitment is led by an internal team and championed by our most prominent local volunteer, Muhammad Khan, who volunteers over 365 hours yearly,” Berry says.

Shelby Carlson, AdCellerant’s COO and co-founder, noted that AdCellerant strives to shape customized career paths to allow employees to grow and foster an authentic team.

“Micromanagement is not a word ever uttered or acted on,” Carlson adds. “As everyone is a genuine team member, stopping to play a game of ping-pong or leaving for lunch goes without saying.”

FINALIST — The Idea Marketing

Patricia Lepiani started The Idea Marketing in 2008 immediately before the financial crisis hit, so she’s accustomed to guiding a business through troubled times.

It shows: During the COVID-19 pandemic, the company had no layoffs, and hired new employees to meet growing demand. In 2020, The Idea Marketing even took on a project for the State of Colorado to encourage the public to get vaccinated.

Now nine employees, the firm, which develops social marketing campaigns aimed at influencing behaviors related to public health, human services, education and awareness, saw revenue grow by 192 percent from 2020 to 2021, then by 77 percent from 2021 to 2022.

Not only is The Idea Marketing a minority- and woman-owned firm, its employees hail from all over Latin America and the U.S. Lepiani strives to leverage the diversity with a culture that takes every team member’s point of view into consideration.

Beyond the office, the company works with the African Leadership Group, a nonprofit created to serve and improve the quality of life of the African immigrant community by social, educational and economic programs. The team has helped immigrants write and perform poetry to keep their traditions front and center.

FINALIST — OTM

Vallene Kailburn, chief creative officer, founded OTM (an acronym for Old Town Media) with her husband, CEO Miles Kailburn, in 2007.

Now 17 employees, OTM is a Fort Collins-based marketing agency that combines business strategy, consumer behavior modeling and market positioning with traditional marketing services and public relations.

The firm has developed a trademarked process called the OTM Path to Growth to guide clients through a series of collaborative exercises to analyze their organization, model their target audience’s behaviors and ultimately position their brand effectively within its respective industry.

The team emphasizes philanthropy and community involvement. In 2022, OTM donated $25,050 in cash and $35,653 in work to nonprofits, including Realities for Children, Project Self-Sufficiency of Northern Colorado, and SummitStone Health Partners. Additionally, Chief Strategy Officer Kerrie Luginbill organized a golf tournament in September 2022 that raised $26,444 for Fort Collins Habitat for Humanity. Luginbill subsequently received the 2023 Impact Award from the Rotary Club of Fort Collins.

OTM has grown every year it’s been in business. Revenue jumped by more than 30 percent from 2021 to 2022, and the firm is targeting another 20 percent uptick for 2023.