Happy New Year! I am excited and hopeful about what 2012 holds, especially after such an eventful year in 2011.

Last year, The Stasko Agency developed campaigns to launch everything from a new outdoor gear protection system to comfort food-filled waffle cones. We also rekindled relationships with former colleagues and friends and helped them promote a variety of projects.

I am proud of what we accomplished and thought I’d share a few highlights from 2011:

  • Crafty Ladies: In March, Highland Tap & Burger introduced the Crafty Ladies Beer Club, giving beer-loving babes a great reason to gather. We helped spread the word about the club, whose members meet twice monthly for tastings and to learn about their favorite beers from the craft brewers who make them. Here is 9News Reporter Heidi McGuire interviewing the club’s former spokesperson, Amy Pardee, back in April. The Crafty Ladies Beer Club is the brainchild of one of the Highland Tap and Burger owner’s Juan Padro, and his dynamic team!

  • Urbandwellers Showroom Shines: We’re huge fans of urbandwellers partners Larry Beard Jr. and Bruce Littlehorn and their unique, space-saving furnishings. So, we were thrilled to help them unveil their 1,000-square foot showroom in the Water Tower Lofts downtown. The space (which doubles as their home) landed on the cover of The Denver Post’s Lifestyle section in November.

  • Growing Good Food Locally: We learned a lot about the importance of sustainable farming last summer when we launched a campaign to promote Circle Fresh Farms – a network of farms that produces organic, pesticide-free produce in greenhouses year-round. Our early efforts gained the company coverage in a slew of papers in the Boulder area (Longmont Times-Call, Boulder Daily Camera, Boulder County Business Report) where one of its farms is thriving. A second campaign to promote a program that helps turn returning veterans into farmers, drew attention from 9News, 7NEWS and the Denver Business Journal.

  • LoHi Merchants Join Forces: This past summer, I worked with LoHi realtor Paul Tamburello to create a way for neighborhood business owners to share information and resources and promote each other to residents. The LoHi Merchants Collaborative, which meets monthly, helps achieve those goals and allows local businesses to market the neighborhood more effectively. We are working on several initiatives to drive business to LoHi, including a welcome basket for new residents and a shuttle that would run from downtown to Highland. Our next meeting is slated for 5:30 p.m. on January 30th. If you’d like more information, drop me a line here.

  • Protecting Precious Gear: Driving into the garage with a bike still mounted on your car’s roof rack can leave you in tears, which is why our friends at HeadsUp Systems decided to prevent anyone from suffering that sad fate. Their wireless alert system warns drivers as they approach their garages, reminding them about the bikes, kayaks, canoes and other equipment they may have mounted on top of their vehicles. In addition to garnering a bevy of trade industry press, the company’s unique product was also recently featured in a 9News story about great holiday gifts. You can view the story here.

  • Paris Celebrates a Silver Anniversary: Helping entrepreneurs mark significant milestones is always satisfying, but providing support for Paris On the Platte’s 25th birthday party was particularly special, given the memories we’ve built there. And thanks to a mention in Penny Parker’s Post column, both longtime patrons and new customers turned out for the celebration and shared their stories of the legendary cafe and bar.

  • Developer David Zucker’s Real Estate Deals: Zocalo Community Development, led by David Zucker, kept us busy last year. In September, we helped the company announce plans to build a 13-story, 220-unit apartment project at Union Station. A month later, we worked with David to announce the sale of its downtown hi-rise apartment building Solera. The sale was a record for the state of Colorado and garnered the attention of the Denver Business Journal, Inside Real Estate, The Denver Post and Yahoo! Finance.

  • Bobo’s Create a Buzz: A waffle cone filled with macaroni and cheese instead of mint chocolate chip ice cream? It may sound strange, but it’s actually a delicious mobile meal, launched last fall by Little Man Ice Cream. Called Bobo Cones, the new cold weather fare passed KDVR’s Dan Daru’s taste test when he sampled a macaroni and cheese-filled Bobo Cone during the station’s morning broadcast. The cones were also featured in the Huffington Post and on several food blogs including IceCream News.

  • Menchie’s Makes Highland a Hot Spot for FroYo: We wrapped up the year by introducing LoHi residents to Menchie’s, a frozen yogurt shop that just opened an outpost not far from North High School. For its opening celebration, Menchie’s hosted fundraisers for The Tennyson Center for Children and the Rocky Mountain Rollerpunks. Here’s a great shot of Rollerpunks members hugging the Menchie’s mascot.

I look forward to continuing our momentum and making new connections in 2012!

I am absolutely thrilled about helping three old friends (who also happen to be successful entrepreneurs ) promote their latest achievements. Pasquini’s Founder Tony Pasquini, David Zucker, principal of Zocalo Community Development and Paris on the Platte Owner Faye Maguire all have very different businesses, but they share a pioneering spirit that I truly admire and I am excited about using my skills to shine the light on what they do.

Last month, The Stasko Agency spread the word about the re-grand opening of Pasquini’s Highland location, which Tony recently acquired. The event drew a big crowd and gave Tony a chance to reconnect with the neighborhood. I’ll also be helping Pasquini’s gain more exposure for the Lone Tree location as well as some new stores that will be coming on line in the next few months.

After a hiatus, The Stasko Agency is once again serving as the agency of record for Zocalo, a builder of sustainable, multi-family projects. On Thursday, we announced the firm’s latest project – a LEED Gold certified, high-rise apartment adjacent to Union Station. The story was picked up by the Denver Post and Inside Real Estate News. I look forward to providing updates on the project and Zocalo’s other developments, which include Solera and the recently launched 20/20 Lawrence Apartments. Here’s a great photo of David and Mayor Hickenlooper in action during the news conference announcing Solera’s groundbreaking.

Lastly, I encourage you to stop by Paris on the Platte Cafe and Bar on Friday, September 23rd or Saturday, September 24th as the cafe marks its 25th birthday. Friday night will feature music by the acoustic duo middleroad, while Saturday night will serve as a tribute to the cafe, with former and current employees and patrons sharing stories. The event, a benefit for the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless, will also include several musical performances and drawings for gift baskets and other items. Although the coffeehouse (and former bookstore) was one of the first businesses to take a chance on once lonely Platte Street, it managed to gather a devoted following of regulars who were known affectionately as “Parisites.” Congrats to Faye for building an institution that holds great memories for so many, including me! Here’s a look at me and my fellow revelers enjoying a “Little Black Dress” party at Paris two years ago.