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Success Stories

Leatherneck Precision Machine

Leatherneck Precision Machine is a Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business that specializes in precision machined components for the aerospace, defense, medical, dental, injection molding and other commercial industries that need precision machined parts for their product lines.  Sometimes people’s lives depend on special machine parts, such as aircraft structures, automobiles, and human-rated spacecrafts, and Leatherneck is an AS9100D- and ISO9001-certified company able to do that technical work.  He also has SDVOSB and SDVBE certifications (for small disadvantaged veteran-owned small business).

Anthony Marshall, Owner and President, is a US Marine Veteran who served in Somalia in 1994.  After leaving the Service he became a CNC Machinist working at companies such as Lockheed Martin, Space X and several other tier 2 aerospace suppliers.  He has worked on several high-profile projects like the Dragon 1 & 2 spacecrafts, Falcon 9 and Falcon heavy rockets, The Orion Spacecraft, Mars 2020 spacecraft, F35, F22, C130, 767, Delta and Atlas rockets.  Anthony started Leatherneck Precision Machine in October 2017 to help Veterans transition from the military and learn a valuable skill set that will lead to significant employment for the rest of their lives.

Leatherneck’s first CNC milling machine was delivered in late July 2018 to their facility in Englewood.  Anthony worked with Colorado Enterprise Fund to fund a second CNC milling machine added in November 2019.  This machine allows the company to do twice the work.  “The SBDC has helped with my business education from the beginning, including, small business events, half-day workshops and one-on-one consulting.  The Aurora-South Metro SBDC are Rock Stars for the aspiring entrepreneur, a very valuable resource for the business community.”  The Small Manufacturers AdvantEDGE program proved valuable to help get his space ready for business.  In fact, Leatherneck Precision Machine was host to the City of Englewood’s Manufacturing Day celebration in 2019. The industries that are integral to the company’s success are booming.  As a result, expansion plans are to add a CNC lathe and a Coordinate Measuring Machine in 2020, inspection equipment as needed, as well as hire one or two employees to help with the work load.  Eventually, Anthony would like to grow large enough, doubling or tripling in size in the next year, by buying his own building and hiring wounded veterans—and yet, stay small enough to stay in touch with his customers and employees.

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GradePower Learning

Robert and Olga Mead, the owners of GradePower Learning, started out with a vision to help build children’s confidence and self-esteem. They found an opportunity to do that not only through tutoring students, but also in teaching them how to learn. The LEADING EDGETM Strategic Planning Series was the perfect tool for Olga to test her business model. She graduated from LEADING EDGETM in 2015 and continued on as a client at the Aurora-South Metro

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Grandma’s Rockin’ Rolls

It was Laura Neilson’s grandmother who spent hours teaching her children and grandchildren how to bake – while sharing life lessons and family stories. Grandma and her sister-in-law sold cinnamon rolls ‘in town’ to help supplement the farming income. Can you image the commute on horseback during the depression in a Minnesota winter?! Laura had been making Grandma’s rolls and giving them as gifts and holiday treats for over 30 years. But as Laura’s career

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Colorado Safety Supply

Starting out as a dream in 2012, Valerie Boyd developed her knowledge and contacts within the safety equipment industry to move forward with confidence in 2014. Valerie started to make the dream a reality. Coming from a family working in the structural steel industry, Valerie’s top priority is to keep families safe by keeping workers safe. Colorado Safety Supply does just that, providing safety training and equipment for construction job sites. Located in Aurora, Colorado

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Trunk Nouveau | Squadron

Trunk Nouveau /t^nk/ ‘nju:’veo/ noun:  A curated monthly showing and sale from an independent maker who offers handcrafted wares.  Trunk Nouveau in Aurora started with a remarkable dream:  a busy aviation studio, industrial in nature, doused in the smell of engine oil and creativity.  In the back, a room with steam trunks and suitcases filled with forgotten treasures–the kind that people hold on to, handcrafted and meaningful. A trunk showroom was created at Aurora’s Stanley

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Cranelli’s Italian Restaurant

In the restaurant world a successful business often begins with family. When Cranelli’s Italian Restaurant, a new hotspot in Lone Tree, opened, the whole family pitched in to help owners Jim and Lasinda Crane make their dreams come true. Hours after the ink was dry on the restaurant lease, the couple began updating the décor and kitchen with the help of friends and family. Lasinda’s father David, a retired electrician, helped build a bar and

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Petersen Custom Glass

After 15 years in the glass industry, Kris and Valerie Petersen opened Petersen Custom Glass, LLC in 2014. Kris has extensive experience designing and installing custom glass products. His specific areas of expertise include high-end frameless shower enclosures, ADA accessible showers and other custom glass projects. With his leadership skills gained from the military and her executive skills, Petersen Custom Glass has become a successful local business in Parker, CO, serving a 25-mile radius in

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