Wednesday, January 30, 2008

XAware receives 7.4 million dollar investment

According to a report in today's Colorado Springs Gazette, by Wayen Heilman, XAware, a software development company based in Colorado Springs has received a venture capital investment of $7.4 million. The group is composed of vSpring Capital, Sequel Venture Partners, ITU Ventures Inc., BMJP LLC and GMT Capital Corp. All but GMT have made previous investments in the company. Venture firms now own more than 50% of XAware.

The funds are expected to see the company through to profitability, which may still be years off. XAware is transitioning to an open source business model in which they give away their software in the hopes of securing business on the support and services end.

The company's software is designed to manage and access data from a variety of sources. From the company's website: “XAware’s mission is to be the world’s most popular way of integrating data and applications.”

___Tim Harvey, XAware CEO

Monday, January 28, 2008


Workforce Center Expands its Presence in Teller County by Opening Part-time Office at the

Woodland Park Public Library

submitted by : Jeanne Cotter

January 28, 2008, Colorado Springs, CO – To better serve residents of Teller County, the Pikes Peak Workforce Center (PPWFC) will has open a second satellite office in the Woodland Park Library of the Rampart Library District, 218 E Midland Road, Woodland Park, CO 80863, effective February 5, 2008.

This Teller County satellite office of PPWFC is an addition to the office located in Cripple Creek and is open to all residents of El Paso and Teller Counties, but will be especially convenient of residents of Woodland Park and its surrounding communities of Divide and Florissant.

“We are excited to be working with the folks at the Rampart Library District to offer services closer to home for residents of Teller County,” says Dana Rodenbaugh, director of programs for PPWFC. “We understand that for many people looking for work driving down Ute Pass to our main office presents a hardship.”

“The Rampart Library District is happy to be able to provide space for PPWFC and hope many members of the community will take advantage of this service,” says Phyllis Delaney, Administrative Services/Facilities Manager.

The satellite office will be manned by staff from PPWFC on the first and third Tuesday of each month from 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. A career consultant will be available to meet with job seekers to help with their job search or answer questions regarding possible occupational training or retraining. The career consultant can also provide labor market information to help job seekers make good career decisions and may provide referrals to other agencies.

Those wishing to utilize this service in Woodland Park should enter the Library at the Laurel Street entrance (Main Entrance). The PPWFC office is located on the lower level in a small meeting room.

Job seekers may also access PPWFC services at the office in the Cripple Creek Aspen Mine Center on the second and fourth Tuesday of each month.

About the Rampart Library District

Rampart Library District serves the residents of the RE-2 School District. It has two libraries, Woodland Park Public Library and Florissant Public Library, with a collection of approximately 59,000 items and numerous databases. It has many resources for jobseekers and for those wishing to start a business including books on resumes, cover letters, interviewing and business plans. It has newspapers, a nonprofit resource center and a friendly, helpful staff.

More information, including programs, and the library catalog, may be found online at


The Pikes Peak Workforce Center supports business and promotes employment in El Paso and Teller counties by providing market-driven solutions for our community to succeed in the global economy. PPWFC helps businesses solve their workforce-related business problems and helps residents with career transition. More information about the Pikes Peak Workforce Center can be found online at

Mile High Housing Fund’ Renamed ‘Mile High Community Loan Fund

El Paso County’s Affordable Housing and Nonprofit Communities
Have New Name to Help Develop, Purchase or Remodel Space

submitted by: Jeff Martinez
Public Relations Consultant

DENVER – It’s not just about housing, anymore.

To reflect its expanding scope of community development lending throughout the state of Colorado , including in El Paso County , Mile High Housing Fund has changed its name to Mile High Community Loan Fund (MHCLF). The organization began doing business under the new name on Jan. 15, 2008.

“Though we remain committed to the development of affordable housing, our name change reflects a new direction for the organization that will see us advance our mission by making loan products available to both the affordable housing and nonprofit sectors statewide,” said Jeff Seifried , executive director. “In doing so, we’ll make a larger impact through our investments.”

As it has become a reliable source of early stage, short-term capital financing in the affordable housing industry over the past several years, MHCLF’s investments have paid big social and economic dividends for communities across Colorado . Since 1999, MHCLF has promoted and preserved affordable housing by financing more than 3,000 housing units in 15 Colorado counties—the majority of which are available to residents whose household wages fall below the area median income.

Given the flexibility of its loan programs and its experience in facilitating public-private partnerships, MHCLF is well-suited to help public officials develop quality workforce housing in communities that are see large numbers of service-oriented and seasonal personnel. The organization’s efforts also have been known to help communities spur economic development activity.

“MHCLF has always been about filling gaps in the complex arena of community development and community development financing,” Seifried said. “Our strength lies in our ability to provide bridge financing for those hard-to-complete projects that can serve low- to moderate-income residents in challenged areas.”

Capitalizing on organization’s success in the affordable housing arena and the growth of the nonprofit sector, MHCLF leaders a few years ago diversified the agency’s mission to help nonprofit organizations secure, develop and or renovate new space.

Making its loans available with favorable terms and at affordable rates, the MHCLF quickly emerged as one of the precious few resources of capital financing for Colorado ’s nonprofit community. Since just 2005, the organization has loaned more than $4 million to local service agencies to purchase and develop some 50,000 square feet of nonprofit facilities statewide.

“As one of the few organizations working in this arena, we believe that we’ll continue to have tremendous success in helping nonprofits develop space for office use, classrooms, childcare facilities, and other human service program facilities,” Seifried said.

MHCLF has also changed its Web site address to reflect its new name. Individuals and agencies interested in learning about the organization can visit There, they’ll find information about the organization’s services, products, partners and projects. &n bsp;

Affordable housing developers, local officials and nonprofit executives interested in learning more about MHCLF’s loan programs may also call 303-860-1888.

About Mile High Community Loan Fund
Now in its eighth year of business, MHCLF is a $12 million loan fund that invests in affordable housing and other community assets that create economic opportunity for low-income people and communities. MHCLF is a certified Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI). MHCLF is capitalized with investments from U.S. Bank, Wells Fargo Bank, Key Bank, Bank of the West, Mile High Banks, Calvert Foundation, Enterprise Foundation, Fannie Mae Foundation, the Colorado Housing and Finance Authority and the cities of Denver , Arvada , Boulder , Englewood , and Lakewood . To date MHCLF has made 97 loans totaling more than $33 million and has helped finance more than 3,000 units of affordable housing in the metro area.

$10,000 Reward For Diamond City Jewelers Robbery

By Phil Tapia

Colorado Springs, CO, January -27 – 2007 – Have you ever wondered why a person would be foolish enough to commit armed robbery knowing the punishment and consequences are far worse then the payoff of their crime! Any person who commits a subsequent offense while armed with a firearm or assault weapon shall be punished by imprisonment in the Colorado state prison for up 10 to 20 years.

On December 27, 2007 at 4:27:00 PM, Diamond City Jewelers in Colorado Springs was robbed by three suspects, one (1) described as carrying a black hand gun that entered through the front door of the business and ordered the employees to sit on the floor Indian style. Two of the suspects proceeded to smash the glass display cases and remove an undetermined amount of jewelry. The suspects fled from the store and were seen leaving in a "bright green sedan". There were no injuries.

After the robbery the owner of Diamond City Jewelers Mike Bonicelli said “his only concern was for the safety and well being of his employees, and is grateful that no one was harmed during this incident”. Diamond City Jewelers is offering a $10,000 reward for the arrest and conviction of the robbers and encourages anyone with valuable information to contact Crime Stoppers at 634-STOP. You can remain anonymous!

On January 13th Lauri Martin from KKTV Reported: “Held at gun point and robbed, a jewelry store was hit and the crooks make away with thousands of dollars in rings and watches. 11 News has the exclusive surveillance video of the robbery that happened near Academy and Bijou on December 27th. In the surveillance video, you can see, somewhat, two guys smash jewelry cases with the butts of their guns. “You could hear glass breaking everywhere," said the store manager. She was one of four employees working at the time. “He ordered us to the front to sit Indian style with hands on our heads,” she said. "I thought we were going to be shot." The bad guys hit the high dollar jewelry cases, stealing engagement rings and watches before hitting the cash register. "It was pretty scary for all of us," she said. "The first thing I was thinking was ‘Oh my goodness, this is not the way I want to go.’ I prayed to get out of here alive." The manager thinks the crooks may have cased the joint beforehand. "They grabbed what they could and said have a nice day, waved and left." Police are looking for at least three suspects who are described as two white males and a black male in their early 20's.”

It’s not a matter of “IF” a criminal gets caught for a serious crime; it’s a matter of “WHEN”! In the end, a criminal only punishes himself and can only blame themselves for the actions they committed!

If you have any information, please call
Crime Stoppers at 634-STOP.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Colorado Springs Airport - Looking Up

Things may be slowing down in some sectors of the economy, but the Colorado Springs Airport is on a roll. According to the Associated Press flights out of the Springs airport hit a three year high in 2007.

Express Jet and Midwest both added flights to the Springs during the year. In November Frontier announced they'll be moving a state of the art, 100,000 square foot maintenance facility here. They also intend to begin connecting flights between Colorado Spring and Denver this Spring.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008


Multi-faceted collaboration will generate revenue, volunteers, board members for local JA Offices

Colorado Springs, Colo. – Papa John’s International, Inc. (NASDAQ: PZZA) and Junior Achievement (JA) have formed a national partnership that helps local JA Offices deliver work readiness, entrepreneurship, and financial literacy lessons to U.S. students. Papa John’s will donate two dollars to JA for each customer who places their pizza order at and uses the online coupon displaying the Junior Achievement logo.

In addition, Papa John’s franchises and corporate-owned restaurants will conduct “job shadow” events at which JA students can experience first-hand what it is like to own and run a Papa John’s restaurant, and Papa John’s employees will be encouraged to volunteer to teach JA classes at schools in their communities. JA Offices can also expand the partnership to include recruiting Papa John’s franchisees and local market team leadership to serve on their boards of directors.

“This partnership with Junior Achievement provides a great opportunity for Papa John’s restaurant management and staff to interact with students and show them what a rewarding experience owning and operating their own business can be,” said Bill Van Epps, president of Papa John’s USA, and director of Junior Achievement USA. “We are thrilled to work with an organization like Junior Achievement that fosters the entrepreneurial spirit in our youth—Papa John’s was started by an entrepreneur and Papa John’s franchisees are entrepreneurs, so the partnership between our organizations is a natural one.”

Gerald M. Czarnecki, president and chief executive officer of Junior Achievement, added, “We are very excited about this partnership with Papa John’s, and are grateful for the support and engagement of such a successful, fast-growing organization that wants to help young people succeed. Everyone eats pizza, and this online coupon gives the public an easy way to support Junior Achievement programs in their area by purchasing something they regularly enjoy.”

New Foundation President at Your Better Business Bureau

Janice Zerbe, who is the CEO and Chief Financial Officer at the Zerbe Jewelers on Tejon Street, has been named president of the BBBs Foundation Board.

Zerbe is a member of the Gemological Institute America and has earned her Graduate Gemologist diploma. Zerbe has also been awarded the Registered Jeweler and Certified Gemologist Title.

Zerbe is also a member of several other boards in Colorado Springs.

Thursday, January 17, 2008


Expansion Supports Continued Growth of Firm’s Retail and Retirement Plan Businesses

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (January 16, 2008) – Global investment management firm T. Rowe Price today officially opens its second building at its Colorado Springs campus, doubling its capacity here and positioning the firm to support anticipated growth needs. Located at 2220 Briargate Parkway, T. Rowe Price’s expanded facilities include a 145,000 square foot, three-story building and an additional parking structure and will accommodate 650 associates, bringing capacity at the Colorado Springs campus to nearly 1,400 associates.

T. Rowe Price currently employs more than 670 people in Colorado Springs, a 28% increase since June 2006 when the expansion plans were announced. Since it first opened a Colorado Springs office in November 1998, the firm has grown from less than $150 billion in assets under management to $396.8 billion as of September 30, 2007.

The Colorado Springs campus complements similar operations centers in Owings Mills, Md., and Tampa, Fla., and provides flexibility in servicing investors throughout the United States, as well as enhanced capability to serve the investment and administrative needs of the firm’s shareholders and clients located in the western states. At complete build-out the 31-acre site has the potential to accommodate four buildings and approximately 2,000 associates. T. Rowe Price also recently announced plans to expand its facilities in Owings Mills.

Employees in Colorado Springs provide investment guidance and various client services to individual investors, retirement plan participants, and 401(k) plan administrators.

“Our expansion in Colorado Springs reflects the continued growth of our business as well as our goals to provide world-class service to our clients and a world-class work environment for our associates,” said T. Rowe Price Vice Chairman Edward C. Bernard. “While T. Rowe Price continues to expand its operations around the world, Colorado Springs remains a strong fit with our culture and a critical part of our success. We expect that to continue for many years to come.”

“We continue to be very pleased with the talent pool, business environment and community relationships in Colorado Springs, as well as our partnership with the Colorado Springs Economic Development Corporation,” said Chris Hufman, vice president of T. Rowe Price Services, Inc. and general manager of the Colorado Springs Investment Services Center. “These were driving factors in our decision to expand, and should continue to support our firm’s future growth and longstanding commitment to the area.”

Amenities in T. Rowe Price’s Colorado Springs facility include a full service cafeteria, onsite fitness center, walking trails and ergonomically designed workstations. Additionally, the new building features energy-efficient design elements and maximum use of natural light.

“T. Rowe Price continues to be an outstanding corporate citizen. We were delighted to assist them with their new expansion, which will add 650 quality jobs and a welcome boost to our local economy,” commented Mike Kazmierski, President and CEO of the Colorado Springs Economic Development Corporation. “Our relationship was established with T. Rowe Price prior to 1998 and it has been a privilege to work with them over the years and support them in their needs as they continue to grow in our community.”

As part of its growth, the firm expects to hire an additional 60 information technology professionals over the next three to five years. Individuals interested in employment can view available job openings at

Founded in 1937, Baltimore-based T. Rowe Price (Nasdaq: TROW) is a global investment management firm that provides a broad array of mutual funds, sub-advisory services, and separate account management for individual and institutional investors, financial intermediaries, and retirement plans. The company also offers a variety of sophisticated investment planning and guidance tools. T. Rowe Price’s disciplined, risk-aware investment approach focuses on diversification, style consistency, and fundamental research. More information is available at

Wednesday, January 16, 2008, Free local business directory

New Website combines PHONE BOOK ADVERTISING & local internet search engine benefits for businesses and consumers – VIA BUSINESS CARDS

For those business owners looking for all the benefits of phone book advertising listings and an internet search engine, they now have a new option: ItsBusinessBaby.COM. The site combines the benefits of both and gives consumers and businesses a local resource to lookup businesses, professionals and services or products they are searching for. What’s unique about’s site is each advertising listing is a digital copy of local businesses’ business card. Consumers can search the site on a local level by clicking on a particular city and all the business cards listed for that area will show, then they can use the search box to type in a keyword, or tag, and only businesses that cater to that keyword will result. All businesses when listed provide with a list of keywords that match their line of business. offers two options for businesses interested in listing their Business Card. Businesses can either mail their business card or they may email a scanned copy to Currently, is not charging to advertise on the site; it’s FREE for local businesses who wish to advertise themselves via their Business Card. Businesses interested are encouraged to contact for more information.

For more information about please email: or call (619)253-3574


Goodwill Industries of Colorado Springs has elected Marta Erhard, CorVirtus, as its 2008 board chairman. John Armstrong, civic leader, is chairman-elect.
The following individuals are new board members:

Matt Craddock, Craddock Properties

Robin Hardie, Freedom Communications

Amy K. Hill, University of Colorado at Colorado Springs

Mike Pennica, Pennica Financial Group, Inc.

Kate Wilder, civic leader

The Goodwill Foundation has also elected its 2008 Board of Directors. Jon Medved, civic leader, is board chairman. New Foundation board members include:

Ward Berlin, LandCo Equity Partners

Scott Blackmun, Holme Roberts & Owen, LLP

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Simtek Corporation, 4th qtr and year-end results

Simtek Corporation Schedules Teleconference to Discuss Fourth Quarter and Year-End Financial 2007 Results

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Simtek Corporation (NASDAQ: SMTK), the inventor, pioneer, and world’s leading supplier of nonvolatile static random access memory (nvSRAM) integrated circuits, announced today that it will report financial results for the fiscal fourth quarter and year ended December 31st, 2007, after the close of market on Thursday, February 21st, 2008. The company will host a conference call and webcast that afternoon at 5:00 p.m. EST.

Simtek's Fiscal Fourth Quarter and Year End 2007
Financial Results

Thursday, February 21st at 5:00 p.m. EST
(2:00 p.m. PST)

Dial In Number:
800-240-4186 (US and Canada)
303-262-2190 (International)

To access the live webcast, please visit the investor
relations section at or access

Web replay:
A replay of the webcast will be available at

Call replay:
A replay of the call will be available approximately
one hour following the end of the call through
11:59 p.m. ET on Thursday, February 28, 2008

Replay numbers:
800-405-2236 (US and Canada)
303-590-3000 (International)
Replay passcode: 11106973#

About Simtek Corporation

Simtek Corporation designs and markets "NV + fast SRAM" nonvolatile semiconductor memory products for use in a variety of systems including RAID servers, storage arrays, GPS navigational systems, industrial controllers, robotics, copiers, avionics, metering, consumer, UPS, and networking and broadcast equipment. Information on Simtek products can be obtained from its web site:; email: The company is headquartered in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

New U Save Franchise at Colorado Springs

Franchise Services of North America Inc. Announces New Franchises for U-Save and Rent A Wreck Canada

- Expansion of the system continues both domestically and internationally -
TSX-V Trading Symbol: FSN

CALGARY, Jan. 7 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ - Franchise Services of North
America Inc. ("FSNA" or the "Company") announced today the signing of a
U-Save Master Franchise Agreement for the Country of Mexico, a new U-Save
airport franchise in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and a new Rent A Wreck
franchise in Gormley, Ontario. The Gormley and Colorado Springs locations
will open immediately; Guadalajara and Puerto Vallarta, the first two
operating locations under the Mexico Master Agreement, are expected to
begin operating under the U-Save brand later this spring.

"We are extremely excited about these new franchise locations and the
continued development of the system. The original business model called for
the company to focus its growth efforts on operating in the top 30 airports
in North America. Whereas the company has made good progress in reaching
those goals in the first year since becoming a publicly traded entity, the
interest in the U-Save brand internationally and from the top 50 airports
has been very promising and we continue to pursue these opportunities as
well. The Colorado Springs airport location is particularly interesting as
they were a member of our ARRC association. As a result of utilizing the
services and resources available to them through the association they were
able to grow their business and become a full-fledged U-Save franchise.
This organic growth is a direct result of the synergies provided between
the divisions of the Company," commented Robert M. Barton, Executive Vice
President and Chief Operating Officer of FSNA.

Franchise sales activity continues to be a major focal point of the
Company's effort to expand the points of distribution and to broaden
awareness of the U-Save brand internationally and the Rent A Wreck brand in
Canada. The Company currently has several other candidates under
consideration to further expand both brands.

About FSNA


FSNA is a publicly traded company on the TSX Venture Exchange. The
company and its subsidiaries own the following brands: U-Save Car & Truck
Rental, U-Save Car Sales, Rent A Wreck of Canada, Auto Rental Resource
Center (ARRC), Xpress Rent A Car and Peakstone Insurance.

U-Save, with its subsidiary ARRC, has over 1,100 locations throughout
the United States and is one of North America's largest franchise car
rental companies. Having primarily serviced the local market for the past
25 years, the company is expanding into the airport market with plans for
the opening of airport locations in the top 30 markets in the United States
and the major airports in Canada. U-Save currently services 26 airport
markets in 14 different states. U-Save Car Sales is an expansion of the
U-Save brand into the car sales market, and provides goods and services to
car sales operators looking to affiliate with a national brand.

Practicar Systems Inc. (a wholly owned subsidiary of FSNA) owns the
rights to the Rent-A-Wreck(R) trademark for all of Canada. The
Rent-A-Wreck(R) system operates a network of 50 franchises from
coast-to-coast in Canada, providing a range of vehicle rental, leasing and
sales options to its customers. The Rent-A-Wreck(R) system has been in
continuous operation in Canada since 1976.

Forward-Looking Information


Certain information included in this press release is of a
forward-looking nature. Forward-looking information is subject to known and
unknown risks, as well as uncertainties and other factors. Accordingly,
actual results may differ materially from those expressed or implied in
forward-looking information. Some of the risks, uncertainties and other
factors affecting FSNA are discussed in our public filings with the
securities regulatory authorities in Canada. Copies of FSNA's Canadian
filings, including our most recent management information circular, annual
information form, interim financial statements, material change reports and
news releases, are available online at Information in this
document is presented as of January 7, 2008 and is subject to change after
this date. However, FSNA disclaims any intention or obligation to update or
revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new
information, future events or otherwise.

The TSX Venture Exchange has in no way passed upon the merits of this
transaction and has neither approved or disapproved the contents of this
press release.

SOURCE Franchise Services of North America Inc.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Keep Your Business Strategy On Track

by Arun Sinha

Business conditions are always changing, so it's a good practice to periodically step back and take a hard look at your business strategy and how you're implementing it.

The term "strategy" has many definitions. For the purposes of this article, we'll say that a company's strategy lays out the goals of the company and its plan for achieving these goals. Every company has a strategy, whether it's carried in the chief executive officer's head or in a 300-page binder. Here are steps you need to take to ensure the strategy you've mapped out is the best it can be.

Set your goals. They could include growth, maintenance, or even a change in the way you do business. They may be short term, such as countering a move by a competitor, or long term, such as achieving a certain position in the industry. Whatever the goals, they need to be concrete and achievable.

Analyze your company. Critically examine your strengths and weaknesses. Be careful here, because it's easy to fall into the trap of thinking you're better or worse than you really are. Hard data such as sales or operating numbers must be balanced with information that you obtain informally, such as by talking to your salespeople and customers, studying industry developments, and so on.

What is your company good at? The answer may not immediately be obvious, but if you dig deep and long enough, you'll get to it. You may even be surprised by what you find. For example, you may have thought all along that your strength lay in product quality, only to find that competitors are matching you in quality and your real advantage lies in the productivity of your sales staff. Such hidden strengths and capabilities, once uncovered, can propel your company way out ahead of its competitors. Speaking of whom...

Keep files on your competitors. Even now, they're plotting to eat your lunch. And if you aren't careful, one of them will, when you least expect it. Wal-Mart came from nowhere to overtake Kmart in sales and profits. AOL was founded 16 years after CompuServe, and eventually swallowed it. Never dismiss competitors. They are always smarter than you give them credit for. Monitor them, anticipate their actions, and pre-empt them if you can.

If the barriers to entry in your industry are low, then you need to be especially watchful of your competition. Stay on top of the situation. Monitor their Web sites. Visit their stores. Do top managers of Home Depot ever shop at Lowe's? You can bet on it.

Get your employees on board. The people who come to work every day are your real competitive advantage. The quality and productivity of your work force makes a big difference to how you compete in the marketplace. You want to be sure that your key employees have it in them to take your company where you want it to go.

Look at the business environment. The world outside your company also has a say in your business strategy. The government, suppliers, lenders, your neighbors, the general economy all affect your thinking, your decisions and your actions.

Embrace reality. We business people are optimists. Wishful thinking sometimes creeps into our rational analyses and forecasts. Guard against it. Use intuition and judgment, by all means, it would be unwise to ignore them, but not as a substitute for facts.

Shaping strategy. After gathering this wealth of knowledge about your company, your competitors and the world around you, it's time to shape your strategy. Focus on your competitive advantage. What makes you unique? Why should a customer choose your company over a competitor? Perhaps you appeal to a segment that is under-served by the market. Or you've found a way to lower prices that others can't match. Or it turns out that your product can be sold over the Web profitably. There are many ways to set yourself apart.

Implementation. Putting your strategic plan into practice requires a steady hand and unwavering commitment. While implementing your strategy, market conditions will change� a new zoning law may come into effect, or technology may change the playing field. Stay focused on the overall goals of the company while you to go back to the plan, make changes where needed, and start implementing your revised strategy.

# # #

Arun Sinha is founder and president of Access Consulting, a marketing communications and technical writing firm based in Stamford, Connecticut. Sign up for Access Consulting's One-Minute Communication Tip at Once a month, you'll receive an actionable idea or technique on an aspect of business communications, distilled into about 150 words.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

BBB Alert - Mystery Shopper Scam

From the BBB


After all the shopping is done for this holiday season, consumers may find themselves strapped for cash. Schemers are very aware of the draw-in of “easy” money. A “secret shopper” scam using the company name Master Research claims a Maryland address and is swindling consumers across the country out of their savings. The Better Business Bureau is urging all consumers to be aware of work-at-home scams like Master Research.

Master Research posts help wanted ads on, and newspapers seeking customer service evaluators, secret shoppers and temporary positions.

In the advertisements no company name is given. When the job-seeker calls to respond (866-883-6274) they reach a company representative and are asked only for their name and address, or they merely reach voicemail. Within a week, the candidate receives a package in the mail that explains they have been selected to participate in the Master Research program. In the package is a check for $2,990.00 for use in the “training process."

Participants are advised to go to Wal-Mart and wire money to Canada. They are instructed that, as a participant, they get to keep $300.00 for their services. Thus far, consumers have reported losses as great as $7,990.00 as a result of cashing these fraudulent checks.

The checks are falsely issued under a real financial institution, Chesapeake Bank, but include a phony Baltimore, MD address and phone number. Upon calling the number, BBB discovered a bogus “collections” agency who acknowledged Master Research as a “credible client.” The BBB representative was asked if she needed to verify a check number.

A Chesapeake Bank representative in Baltimore alerted BBB that the FBI has had an open investigation on Master Research since April, 2007.

Your BBB offers these tips to help you avoid being swindled by fake check scams:

Be suspicious of any check from an individual or business that you do not know.

  • Independently verify that the check is drawn from an actual account at a legitimate financial institution.
  • Do not rely on the telephone number listed on the check. Use directory assistance to get the telephone number of the financial institution and call them to verify the check.
  • When a company claims to have a "secret shopper" position like Master Research, check with the Mystery Shopper Provider Association at to learn more about Mystery Shopping and to confirm the legitimacy of a company.
  • Do not rely on the money until the funds have been finally collected by your financial institution. Funds 'available’ is not good enough.

Start with Trust

Western Strategies Center releases results of health care study

Study reinforces fact that local informed action can drive improvement in the health care system.

What: Public Meeting

When: Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Noon - 1:00 pm

Where: Carnegie Room, Penrose Library

20 North Cascade Ave

Colorado Springs

Cost: Free and open to the public

Copies of health care study available at meeting

Info: 719-473-2864

Western Strategies Center (WSC), a locally based nonprofit policy center, announces the release of its comprehensive study of the health care infrastructure in Colorado Springs. The 72-page report details the key findings and offers 5 possible courses of action.

Jay Fawcett, President of WSC, will cover the highlights of the study and what the general public can do to help solve local health care challenges. A panel discussion by leaders from the health care community follows.

For more information about WSC or to receive a copy of the health care study, contact WSC at 719-473-2864 or go to

Friday, January 4, 2008



Colorado Springs, CO, January 3, 2008--Peak Vista Community Health Centers announced today the names of board officers and members elected to serve during FY 2008. According to BJ Scott, President and CEO of Peak Vista, “This will be an exciting year for Peak Vista as we continue to meet the needs of more people in need of medical, dental and behavioral health care primary services. The depth of commitment and expertise of our board members is important to provide the strategic leadership necessary to govern a Colorado non profit and assure that Peak Vista is meeting its mission of providing exceptional healthcare for people facing access barriers.”

Officers are: Steve Ingham (Academy Bank), Chairperson; Sue Foerster (Community Volunteer), Past Chairperson; George Guerrero (El Pomar Foundation), Vice Chairperson; Marilyn Bignell (Summit Medical-Legal Solutions), Secretary; and Steve Scott (Flying Horse Signature Homes), Treasurer. Board of Directors are: Tom Bates, MD; Ted Borden; Casey Corey; Bob Duran; Cindy Ellis; Johnnie Fant; Elizabeth Fineron; Jenny Knellinger; and Peter Strand.

Peak Vista Community Health Centers is a non profit multi-specialty primary healthcare organization whose mission is to provide exceptional healthcare for people facing access barriers. Established in 1971, Peak Vista today offers primary medical care and dental services to over 53,000 residents of the Pikes Peak region. To learn more about Peak Vista, visit or call 228-6606.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Win Stuff! Pop Quiz

Free Pizza

These contests are posted at irregular intervals, offering free stuff for Colorado Springs area residents (you must come pick up your prize before deadline.)

Today's prize: A Large one-item carry out pizza from the S. Academy Papa John's.

Today's challenge: email with the answer to the following question: Who did the Pundit Master predict to win the Iowa Caucuses (Dem and Rep)?
The first email with the right answer received before midnight tonight wins. Prize must be picked up at Easy Street Designs, 5195 Fontaine Blvd, Ste 3, Fountain, CO 80817 before 6pm Friday Jan
4th, 2008.

Colorado Springs Chamber of Commerce Relocates

The Greater Colorado Springs Chamber of Commerce
will be moving from 2 N. Cascade to 6 S. Tejon Street later this month. The
Colorado Springs SCORE
chapter will be moving along with them. Chamber officials stated that the move was purely a financial decision based on lease rates, but personally, I think they just wanted to put themselves more squarely on The South Side.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Easy Street Designs Adds Birthday Cards to Business Marketing Tools Selection

Easy Street Designs recently added personalized birthday cards to their custom marketing products available online.

The 10 original designs are available in the Business Marketing Tools, Mortgage Marketing Tools and Real Estate Marketing Tools sections.

Ed Duffy of Easy Street says, "Our customers have reported that they get great response when they remember a client or customer on their birthday. They often get emails or phone calls thanking them for the card. We wanted to make Birthday cards that were both personalized and affordable. Your name and company are printed inside below the greeting, and there's plenty of room above for a hand-written message if you choose to add one."

Easy Street Designs, located in Fountain, Colorado offers a variety of custom printed marketing products both locally and nationwide.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Win Stuff! Pop Quiz

Free Pizza

These contests are posted at irregular intervals, offering free stuff for Colorado Springs area residents (you must come pick up your prize within 2 business days.)

Today's prize: A Three Stooges talking beer opener! Similar beer openers have sold for over $500,000! Okay, that one was diamond encrusted and dated back to the Ming Dynasty, but this one talks!

Today's challenge: email with the answer to the following question: There is an office/warehouse listing, just off Exit 128; how high are the overhead doors?
The first email with the right answer received before midnight tonight wins. Prize must be picked up at Easy Street Designs, 5195 Fontaine Blvd, Ste 3, Fountain, CO 80817 before 6pm Thursday Jan
3, 2008.

DOING GOOD, ONE SEARCH AT A TIME - CASA Fundraising Opportunity

Online Search Engine Helps Fund CASA and other Local Nonprofits

What if even a fraction of the $8 billion generated by search engine advertisers was distributed to organizations trying to make the world a better place?

That is the concept behind a new search engine, developed by Internet entrepreneurs and brother sister team Ken and JJ Ramberg. – powered by Yahoo – donates 50% of its revenue, approximately a penny per search, to the charities designated by its users. You use it just as you would any other search engine and the pennies add up quickly.

CASA of the Pikes Peak Region, a nonprofit that serves abused and neglected children, is now actively generating revenue via the site.

Internet users have found GoodSearch to be a compelling idea. Jane Hegstrom, a Colorado Springs resident and CASA volunteer, uses GoodSearch as many as 10 times a day in support of abused and neglected children in the Pikes Peak Region. “Why wouldn’t you use it?” asks Hegstrom.

Using GoodSearch is simple. Because the site is powered by Yahoo, users are assured of quality results - but each time you search, money is generated by the advertisers for CASA or other worthy charities.

“We know there are a lot of people who want to do good but may not have the time or the money to help out.” said Ken Ramberg, Co-Founder of GoodSearch. “GoodSearch makes it as easy as possible. We’ve taken something people do every day -- searching the Internet -- and have turned it into doing good."

CASA of the Pikes Peak Region provides a volunteer's voice in court for children who are victims of abuse, neglect or domestic conflict and promotes community awareness of these issues to ensure safe and permanent homes. For more information visit


Peak Vista Community Health Centers is pleased to announce the association of the following medical providers, all focusing on family practice and all Family Medicine Board certified.

Paolo J. Bahr, D.O.-Dr. Bahr received his medical degree from Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine, completing his residency at the Southern Colorado Family Medicine in Pueblo . His focus is family medicine and he will relocate to Peak Vista’s new family medicine facility at Union and Parkside in February. Dr. Bahr is multilingual in English, Spanish and Italian.

Laurence S. Lopez, M.D.-Dr. Lopez received his undergraduate degree from Colorado College and his medical degree from the University of Colorado Health Science Center in Denver . He completed his residency at St. Mary Corwin Hospital in Pueblo . Dr. Lopez provides care at Peak Vista’s Family Health Center at Myron Stratton. He is bi-lingual in Spanish and he and his wife have six children.

Shane E. McCarthy, D.O.-Dr. McCarthy also received her medical degree from Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine and also completed her residency at Southern Colorado Family Medicine in Pueblo . A past recipient of a Colorado Springs Osteopathic Foundation Scholarship, she provides care at Peak Vista’s Immediate Care Center . Proficient in medical Spanish, she and her husband Dr. Bahr have one child.

Peak Vista Community Health Centers is a non-profit organization with almost 400 employees at twelve sites throughout El Paso and Teller counties. Its mission is to provide exceptional healthcare for people facing access barriers. Established in 1971, Peak Vista annually offers primary medical, dental and behavioral health services to over 53,000 residents of the Pikes Peak region. To learn more about Peak Vista, visit or call 228-6606.