April 19, 2002

Hall of Fame to induct six leaders

BOULDER — What is the secret to success in business?

This year’s inductees into the Boulder County Business Hall of Fame certainly have their takes on that, creating a list of characteristics that include hard work, fiscal conservatism, doing better than the person who came before you and surrounding yourself with good people.

For the 10th year, the Hall of Fame will celebrate the best and brightest business minds.

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This year’s inductees are Juan Rodriguez, a storage technology guru with nine patents; Anna and the late Glen Huey, a family that redefined the disposal business for 21 years; Dwight Sullivan, who changed the look of pharmacies on the Front Range; R.C. “Merc” Mercure Jr., a high-tech entrepreneur who helped found Ball Brothers Research Corp., which later became Ball Aerospace; and G. Raymond Joyce, who made grocery shopping more convenient.

The Hall of Fame was founded by the Millennium Harvest House Boulder 10 years ago. Plaques recognizing each Hall of Fame member are on display at the hotel. Heritage Bank is the “pioneer” corporate sponsor for the luncheon event, and The Boulder County Business Report is the media sponsor.

Inductees into the Hall of Fame are selected based on efforts that result in a lasting positive impact on the Boulder County community. Besides their contributions to the business community, inductees, chosen from throughout the county, also are recognized for their civic involvement.

Dan Pirrallo, who moved to Boulder from Chicago four months ago to become the general manager of the recently renamed Harvest House, said the Hall of Fame “is about honoring excellence, not only in business but in service to the community.

“As a newcomer to this community I am excited to see the extraordinary number of people who give back in so many great ways to this community,´ said Pirrallo, who also sits on the board that chooses the recipients. “There are a lot of people who care a great deal about this community and who demonstrate that caring in wonderful ways.”Juan RodriguezJuan Rodriguez, a founder of Storage Technology Corp. and Exabyte Corp., is the man behind many successful local high-tech ventures. Rodriguez, who recently returned to Exabyte to help reorganize the company after Chief Executive Bill Marriner resigned in January, has spent 38 years contributing to crucial technologies used in today’s data intensive society.

He holds nine patents in the storage technology sector. And for the last eight years, he has served as a professor at University of Colorado, where he teaches high-technology entrepreneurship to the next generation of engineers.

Rodriguez’s achievements in engineering are even more significant now, in a time where the storage of computer data for archival and disaster recovery purposes is a focal point for organizations worldwide. His accomplishments are many.

* Designed some of the earliest tape storage products for IBM in the 1960s

* Invented the world’s first 8-millimeter helical scan tape drive in 1987 that increased data storage by 1,000 percent.

* Invented the world’s first data packet tape technology that dramatically increased tape-drive reliability while reducing cost by using a technology similar to that already used to move data over the Internet.

Rodriguez’s success, he said, is the result of the people around him. “I have had good mentors who have shown me the way to achieve great objectives. I have had good individuals and great teams that have achieved those objectives,” he said.Glen & Anna HueyWhen Glen and Anna Huey bought Town & Country Disposal in 1980 it had three trucks and six employees. Last September — 21 years later –the family sold the business with 31 trucks and 35 employees. But behind all that growth wasn’t just numbers, there was plenty of loyalty, community service and a hard-working family that included five sons.

“I think what made us successful was the work ethic that our dad gave us,´ said Mike Huey, the eldest son. “The wives ran the day-to-day office operations, and the sons were out on the trucks. All of us sons were out there picking up the trash. In fact, that’s one of the things I miss now, being out there picking up the trash.”

The other sons who pitched in were Pat, Craig, Chuck and Joe. Glen died two years ago.

Over the years the Hueys steered the business into new and innovative directions. It was the first trash company to start curbside recycling in Lafayette and Louisville. And the family put a great deal of effort, time and money into the communities they served. “We lived in those communities just like everyone else, and we wanted to give back,” Mike said.

And give back they did. They gave donations to a different non-profit every month and were extraordinarily active in local chambers of commerce.Dwight SullivanDwight Sullivan started several drugstores in Colorado.

In 1931, Sullivan earned his pharmacy diploma at Capital College of Pharmacy in Denver, but said the biggest year of his life was 1939. That’s when he married his wife, Vernice, bought his first drug store, in Ovid, and founded the Ovid Rotary Club. From that year on, he worked to build and expand a chain of stores that eventually meandered through Idaho Springs, Fort Collins, Longmont, Louisville, Lafayette and Loveland.

“I guess you could say I was little more ambitious than the average person,´ said Sullivan. “I enjoyed those drugstores because you get to know the people in the community who came to them. It was a lot of fun.”

In 1982 he sold his drugstores to Walgreen Co. His secret to success in his business ventures? “You just have to do a little better than the guy before you did,” he said.

Sullivan served 12 years as a member of the Boulder County Regional Planning Commission; he also served on the University of Colorado’s School of Pharmacy Advisory Council, he worked with the Longmont Chamber of Commerce and he served as president of the Longmont Community Hospital Foundation. He was also active in Rotary International.R.C. “Merc” Mercure Jr.When R.C. Mercure Jr. graduated from the University of Colorado in 1957 with a doctorate in physics, one of his first realizations was an odd one.

“I realized pretty quickly that there were a heck of a lot smarter physicists than I was,” he said. “So I moved toward the management side of the business instead of the research side.”

The decision immediately put Mercure on a path that would keep him near high tech for the rest of his career. Even before he earned his degree, Mercure witnessed the birth of the electronic side of Ball Aerospace. And then he helped manage it as part of the Ball Brothers Research Corp.

He also founded Colorado Venture Management, a management and high-tech consulting firm, as a way to lend his expertise to numerous Colorado-based start-ups.

In 1996, he helped found CDM Optics in Boulder, a company that revolutionized digital imaging.

At CU, Mercure directed engineering and technology-transfer programs and helped establish the Optoelectronic Computing Systems Center, a research organization that impacted not only Boulder but also much of the Denver metro area.

Mercure has won several awards for his entrepreneurial and community service endeavors. He said humbly that his secret to success was being lucky enough to be associated with smart people. As for his success in management, he said it’s important to be fiscally conservative. “Make a profit as quickly as you can and keep it coming in.”Raymond JoyceRaymond Joyce founded Joyce’s Supermarkets in 1949 with his father, Ralph Joyce. The first supermarket was in Boulder at the site now occupied by Liquor Mart. More recently he headed up Joyce Investment Co.

Joyce said the key to being profitable in the competitive world of supermarkets is to “have a lot of energy and pay close attention to what you’re doing.

“I think anyone going into the business today needs the right educational background, some practical experience the a good amount of capital,” he said.

A leader in Boulder area business and community activities, Joyce served on Boulder’s city council in 1965 and on numerous boards for organizations and businesses, including First National Bank of Boulder. He also served as a director of Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District for 30 years on city and county open space panels.

BOULDER — What is the secret to success in business?

This year’s inductees into the Boulder County Business Hall of Fame certainly have their takes on that, creating a list of characteristics that include hard work, fiscal conservatism, doing better than the person who came before you and surrounding yourself with good people.

For the 10th year, the Hall of Fame will celebrate the best and brightest business minds.

This year’s inductees are Juan Rodriguez, a storage technology guru with nine patents; Anna and the late Glen Huey, a family that redefined the disposal business for 21 years; Dwight Sullivan, who changed…

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