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Business Briefs

June real estate transaction activity in Garfield County was up over prior months of the year. The county-wide total for the month came in at 68. While that is still a decrease of 9 percent from June 2009, it is the strongest month thus far in 2010. One of the reasons for the activity in June was the rush for first-time home buyers to close on properties before the end of the month. (That deadline to close has since been extended to Sept. 30, but buyers still have to had to been under contract by April 30). The dollar volume for the month, however, was not the strongest for the year. June’s total of $20.4 million fell in line behind both March and April of this year and also represents a 28 percent decrease from June 2009. For the year, the county’s activity is still pacing ahead of 2009 with 320 transactions, an increase of 15 percent over the same period in 2009. Dollars are tracking ever-so-slightly ahead at $108 million, which is an increase of 1.7 percent over the same time last year.

For the fifth year out of the past six, financial-services firm Edward Jones ranks highest in investor satisfaction with full-service brokerage firms, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2010 Full Service Investor Satisfaction Study, announced Hollis E. Kelley, Jr., Edward Jones Financial Advisor in Glenwood Springs.The study measures overall investor satisfaction with full service investment firms based on seven factors: investment advisor, portfolio performance, account information, account offerings, commissions and fees, website and problem resolution. The J.D. Power and Associates study found that Edward Jones “performed particularly well across the two highest-weighted factors: Investment Advisor and Investment Performance.”Edward Jones’ overall score climbed 10 points compared to last year, when it also was ranked highest among the 12 largest firms rated.”As stated on their website, Edward Jones advisors strive for personal attention and believe in providing one-on-one service,” according to the J.D. Power study. “This is evident in their efforts to engage in proactive conversations regarding a multitude of their investors’ concerns, including reviewing an existing strategic plan or developing one for a new investor, and initiating discussions regarding portfolio/asset allocation or investment needs.”The 2010 Full Service Investor Satisfaction Study is based on responses from 4,460 investors who primarily invest with one of the 12 firms included in the study. The study was fielded in May 2010.Edward Jones ranked highest in investor satisfaction by J.D. Power and Associates in 2009, from 2005 through 2007, and in a tie in 2002, when the study began. Edward Jones in Canada twice ranked highest in the J.D. Power and Associates Canadian Full Service Investor Satisfaction Study.Edward Jones provides financial services for individual investors in the United States and, through its affiliate, in Canada. Every aspect of the firm’s business, from the types of investment options offered to the location of branch offices, is designed to cater to individual investors in the communities in which they live and work. The firm’s 12,000-plus financial advisors work directly with nearly 7 million clients to understand their personal goals – from college savings to retirement – and create long-term investment solutions that emphasize a well-balanced portfolio and a buy-and-hold strategy. Edward Jones embraces the importance of building long-term, face-to-face relationships with clients, helping them to understand and make sense of the investment options available today. Edward Jones, which ranked No. 2 on FORTUNE magazine’s “100 Best Companies to Work For” in 2010, is headquartered in St. Louis. The Edward Jones website is located at, and its recruiting website is Member SIPC.

Vicki Lee Green Realtors would like to congratulate Michelle James for being the top sales person of the month for June with the top dollar volume in sales. Michelle has been selling real estate in Garfield County since 1993.

Vicki Lee Green Realtors would also like to congratulate LaPriel Armijo for being the top listing agent of the month for June with the highest number of new listings. LaPriel has been selling real estate in Garfield County since 1992.

Janice Barker, vice president and client manager at Alpine Trust & Asset Management, was recently awarded the Certified Trust & Financial Advisor designation (CTFA) from the Institute of Certified Bankers (ICB), a subsidiary of the American Bankers Association in Washington, D.C.The CTFA designation is awarded to individuals who demonstrate excellence in the field of wealth management and trust. To qualify for the CTFA certification, individuals must have certain levels of experience and education in the trust profession, pass an exam, and agree to abide by a code of ethics. The CTFA exam covers many areas including fiduciary and trust activities, personal financial, tax law, investment management and ethics.Barker provides investment management and trust services for clients in Alpine Bank markets from Aspen to Battlement Mesa. A graduate of Rutgers University, Barker joined the bank in 2003.

Craig Rathbun, president of The Fleisher Co., is pleased to announce that attorney Garret Brandt has joined the firm as director of business development and broker associate. Garret, who has represented clients throughout the Roaring Fork Valley for 12 years, is excited to be joining Fleisher Land & Homes and pursuing his passion for all aspects of real estate transactions. He will use his expertise to identify value properties for buyers and significant development opportunities for investors. Garret was raised in Aspen and attended college in Texas, where he earned degrees in accounting and law. Following law school Garret worked for two years as chief legislative aid to Texas State Rep. John Shields. Since returning to the valley, Garret has served on the Basalt Elementary School Accountability Committee and the board of directors for Alpine Christian Academy. Founded in 1975, The Fleisher Co. has offices in Aspen, Carbondale, Basalt and Rifle. The Fleisher Co. and Fleisher Land & Homes is a full service real estate firm offering expertise in commercial and residential sales, leasing, property management, maintenance, and development.Garret can be reached at 704-1515 or

The Queen’s Charity Golf Classic, held annually at the Glenwood Springs Golf Club, had its first hole-in-one at the event, which was held July 17.Ginger Franke of Glenwood Springs scored an ace on the 95-yard No. 4 hole using an 8-iron. In doing so, she claimed an event prize of an LCD TV. The hole was sponsored by Sunshine Travel. Franke was playing with her son Jason Franke, Pat English and Bonnie Daniels.”This marks the first time a golfer has scored an ace at our event,” said tourney sponsor Cindy Challis Orr. “We are excited and pleased to provide a great memory for future year events.”The charity event annually raises money for the Glenwood Springs school music programs. In its first two years it raised more than $12,000 for the schools. This year’s total is expected to be down in light of the economy. The event is a labor of love for Cindy and husband Stan. Stan has a music background, and their daughter is involved in the high school Percussion Ensemble, which recently finished in the top six at the world championships. While they subsidize the costs for the event, they do so because they truly believe in the value of music. Their first experience was at the middle school, where they learned some students were sharing instruments. After first purchasing one instrument for the school, they decided they could do more.Music is typically one of the first programs to receive funding cuts in lean times. The GWS programs are unfortunately no exception. “The high school program in Glenwood has enjoyed wonderful support from the administration over the past few years, but their hands are fiscally tied,” said Orr. “The band program, for instance, has some instruments that are over 30 years old. Our hope is this annual event will help improve that situation, because studies have shown children in music programs develop qualities and skills generally considered essential to employers in business, education and service organizations. It helps improve writing, communication, and analytical skills. Those studies have also shown music enhances skills needed for reading, listening, anticipating, forecasting, memory training, recall skills, and concentration techniques. And typically music students can outperform nonmusic students on achievement tests in reading and math.”The Queen’s Charity Classic is still accepting donations for sponsorships. All proceeds go to the music programs. According to Orr, the QCC is in the process of applying for 501(c)3 status. For more details, or to learn about contributing to the GSHS music programs, contact Cindy Challis Orr, queen@

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