Fort Worth has a new Coors business, but it has nothing to do with beer.
CoorsTek, the brewing family’s enterprise that makes engineered ceramics for products including military body armor, oil and gas drilling components and semiconductors, now has a medical device component firm based near Alliance Airport. A Coors family member is in charge.
CoorsTek Medical was established through the acquisition last year of IMDS, a company built from several businesses purchased by the New York private equity firm Arsenal Capital Partners. The companies make parts for implantable devices used in orthopedic procedures such as hip or knee replacement or spinal fusion.
CoorsTek Medical only has about 15 employees in Fort Worth — the bulk of its operations are elsewhere, including Oregon, Ohio, Utah and Colorado. But the company would like to expand in Texas, said Jonathan Coors, a fifth-generation member of the brewing family who is now CEO of CoorsTek Medical.
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“Texas is a place that is very intriguing to us,” said Coors, 34, whose father, John Coors, is chairman and chief executive of CoorsTek. “It’s where people want to be, the workforce is good. … It’s a natural place for us to continue to grow.”
A graduate of Pepperdine University, Jonathan Coors spent the last two years working for CoorsTek in California. Though he has fond memories of spending time with his father at the brewery, he said he was pulled in a different direction.
“I enjoy things that are dynamic and exciting,” he said. “I love getting up in the morning and coming to work because the stuff that we do and the parts that we make are radically changing people’s lives.”
IMDS ended up with headquarters at Alliance after the company hired Brady Shirley as top executive in 2009. Shirley was already living in North Texas, and relocated from Las Colinas to the Alliance space in 2010.
IMDS drew the attention of CoorsTek because of its growth potential, Coors said. The manufacturer dates to the early days of the brewing company, and helped the family weather Prohibition with its pottery business.
The oldest of 10 children, Jonathan Coors has two siblings and 13 cousins involved in the sprawling family business. He did spend some time working at the famous Golden, Colo., brewery — as a gardener for two summers during high school.
“I planted all the flower beds in front of the brewery,” he said. “No one will believe you if you print that, but it’s straight up true.”
Bhavani Parpia, a languages coordinator for the H.E.B. school district, had an idea and acted on it.
Instead of building schools or training centers in the Third World, with the inherent problems of keeping a foreign-dependent program functioning at great distances, why not send in teaching specialists to run workships for local educators so they can improve the skills they need most?
What resulted is her Southlake-based ConnecTeach, run on a relative shoestring.
By working with more than 350 teachers in Asia and the Middle East, her nonprofit has directly affected the education of more than 9,000 students, making a difference that could last a lifetime.
Parpia was honored last week by Southern Methodist University’s Embrey Human Rights Program, which made her the regional recipient of the $5,000 Triumph of Spirit Award. It honors people “doing great work for others, sometimes at great risk to themselves,” Embrey program director Rick Halperin said in a statement.
For more information about her organization, see its website, www.connecteach.org.
for helping veterans
The Arlington Chamber of Commerce has received the 3-Star Chamber of Valor award from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation for its efforts in promoting hiring veterans through the program Hiring Our Heros.
“We would never be able to do the work we do without the tremendous support of local chambers and the Arlington Chamber of Commerce is setting a standard for other chambers to follow,” said Eric Eversole, executive director of Hiring Our Heroes and vice president at the U.S. Chamber.
Chamber of Valor award recipients submitted applications to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation to be considered for the award. Applications were scored by U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation staff, and honorees were awarded at the one-, two-, and three-star levels.
Sandra Baker, 817-390-7727
Steve Kaskovich, 817-390-7773
Barry Shlachter, 817-390-7718