Today’s first speaker today was Helen Masterson from Masterson & Friends Communications in Arvada, Colorado. Helen wanted to take her time today to discuss her split personality. On one hand she is Masterson & Friends Communications, on the other hand, she moonlights for GuestGuide Publications. She started her split personality in 1995 when her youngest daughter was working on location and ran into some friends that had started the publication Telluride Style and suggested she do a tourist publication in Winter Park with their help. Helen had actually worked for the original GuestGuide prior to it being sold, so she researched it and found that the name was available. Remember this was before websites. Then the woman who was running the Winter Park Menu Guide got married and moved, so they took over that publication as well. The next publication they took on was the Winter Park Trail Guide for mountain bikers during the summer. Now these maps can be found online.

In 2002, the city and county of Denver turned over the management of the ski area to Intrawest with an agreement that Intrawest could develop the base area with condos and a retail area. Helen thought that this would bring people to Winter Park so she came up with the Relocation Guide. She was wrong, with most of the people coming from the front range. So they switched the name to the Resource Guide which was well received until the recession that brought on a hiatus. Tip number 1 – no shame in stopping something if it isn’t working at that time.

Around this time they started the Moab GuestGuide after a meeting with Moab Visitor’s Center and merchants to find out if they thought a publication like this would be a benefit. They also discussed starting a menu guide for Moab at the same time and were advised that a publication like that would not work. Tip number 2 – always do your research before starting anything and work with the local community.

Then our CPA suggested we look into doing a guide in Estes Park, so we met with the owner of the Estes Park Menu Guide about selling. When looking over the numbers our CPA told us that the price was to high. So they waited a year and started their own restaurant guide in Estes Park. Shortly after that the woman who ran the Estes Park Vacationland had decided to sell and talked with us. This time our CPA and attorney liked the numbers, so we are now running Vacationland. Tip number 3 – always have a CPA and attorney on your team.

So this is how Helen developed her split personality – she manages to keep the two businesses running efficiently and provides excellent customer service to all of her clients!

Helen Masterson * Masterson & Friends Communications * 303-467-9680 *


Our second speaker today was Tina Kiel with Farmers Insurance in Golden, Colorado. Today Tina wanted to discuss the one item you want to see from any contractor before they do work in your home. When you are starting a home improvement project and getting bids for the work always request a Certificate of Liability Insurance. A certificate of liability insurance is not an insurance policy or contract; it is simply a document that contains certain information about their insurance policy. It basically lets you know that the contractor carries enough insurance to cover any potential losses. The certificate is called an ACORD form that shows you the name of the insured, his/her agent, what they are insured for, effective and expiration dates, and the limits of each type of coverage. They can also have some additional information like policy exclusions and endorsements. The main items you need to look for on a Certificate of Liability are the issue date – these certificates expire after a year so make sure that it is current, also be aware that if the issue date is within the last 6 months have the contractor get a new one from his agent as he could have missed a payment and not be covered. A contractor can get a new certificate with a current issue date by simply calling his agent. Secondly make sure that the insured and certificate holder match. Lastly – check the coverage’s they should have general liability, auto liability and workman’s comp.

When you are looking at bringing someone into your home be vigilant and really look at the bids, with a small contractor offering a low price – they may not be carrying the appropriate insurance and this could really come back to hurt you in the end. Another thing that Tina wanted to warn us about is that around one-third of all contractors are convicted felons. So make sure you are safe and protected when embarking a on a project in your home.

Tina Kiel * Farmers Insurance * 303.960.5290 *