March 27, 2018

Winters warm to make your move Golden

The Winter Family, Golden Transfer Co. • 2018 Boulder County Business Hall of Fame

The year was 1904. Teddy Roosevelt was president, the world’s fair opened in St. Louis, and K.R. Golden launched a horse-drawn cartage and transportation business on Kimbark Street in Longmont.

Fast forward 114 years, and the fifth generation of the family — led by president Todd Winter and his sister, chief executive Kristi Winter-Davidson — are still making all the right moves at Golden Transfer Co.

“We don’t have a sibling rivalry. We’re best friends,” Todd Winter said. “I’m so fortunate not to have a conflict with a sibling in the business.”

K.R.’s son George Vane “Pop” Golden replaced the horses and wagons and “basically introduced the motor age,” Todd Winter said, and the company was completely motorized by the late 1920s. Pop’s daughter, Maxine Golden Winter, was Todd’s grandmother, and his son Vernon Verle Golden and developer Ken Pratt were original members of what was called the Longmont Industrial Park Board to lure businesses to the area. The Golden family also mined gravel to make concrete that was used in many of Pratt’s housing developments. Vernon, a 1994 Boulder County Business Hall of Fame inductee, donated 94 acres of land that had been mined for gravel to the city of Longmont for what now is the Golden Ponds Nature Area and part of the St. Vrain Greenway.

Vernon’s son Stewart was one of the founders of the Longmont Community Foundation, in which today’s Golden Van Lines remains very involved, Todd Winter said. “We established two gifting trusts in our parents’ names, the Ken and Cathy Winter Family Field of Interest Fund. Each year we donate money for grants that go to about 20 to 30 different organizations.”

The moving company joined Atlas Van Lines in 1958. “One of the reasons was that we had authority for 11 western states, and that gave them 48,” Todd Winter said. “At that point in time, authority was huge. Now you can buy it for a couple hundred bucks.”

Today’s Golden Van Lines has about 100 pieces of equipment on the road and about 75 employees,” he said. “Their average tenure is about 12 years but many have been here over 40,” his sister added. “You don’t hear that any more these days.”

Much of Golden’s moving business is corporate, Todd Winter said. “We were involved with IBM as they grew here, and Storage Technology. That’s what helped our company grow in the ‘70s and ‘80s. We shipped Martin Marietta’s lunar lander to Cape Canaveral.”

A sixth generation of the family — Todd’s two sons, Blake and Keith Winter, and Kristi’s two daughters, Courtney Davidson McBride and Brittany Davidson Strufing — also work for the business.

“It’s not been something that’s been pressed upon them, either by us or my parents. We’ve allowed them to migrate into the company — or not,” Todd Winter said. “But I hope they decide to stay.”

View 2018 Boulder County Business Hall of Fame publication.

The year was 1904. Teddy Roosevelt was president, the world’s fair opened in St. Louis, and K.R. Golden launched a horse-drawn cartage and transportation business on Kimbark Street in Longmont.

Fast forward 114 years, and the fifth generation of the family — led by president Todd Winter and his sister, chief executive Kristi Winter-Davidson — are still making all the right moves at Golden Transfer Co.

“We don’t have a sibling rivalry. We’re best friends,” Todd Winter said. “I’m so fortunate not to have a conflict…

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