DENVER – Democrat state Rep. Max Tyler and his Republican challenger Rick Enstrom are touting their business acumen in a shared aim to jumpstart jobs in House District 23. The two candidates differ when it comes to legal business records – Enstrom’s candy company has consistently filed annual reports; Tyler’s eight entities have a 38-year history of ignoring the legalities.
“I started my first business in 1974, armed with little more than 26-year-old naiveté and a market-changing new technology,” says Tyler of Campro Systems, a graphic design production company. “I learned how to create jobs and meet a payroll. At its peak, Campro employed 25 workers at three locations in the metro area.”
No business records were found for Campro Systems, Ltd., which was sold in 1992. The secretary of state’s office maintains records of established and dissolved business entities.
The state Representative’s wife Susan Tyler told The Colorado Observer that the couple sold Campro Systems and its building at 1235 Elati Street in Denver, but that online news reports that the company was valued at $1 million might be exaggerated.
Her husband did not return calls for comment.
Tyler of Lakewood hypes Campro and two other unnamed successful businesses, but the Democrat actually formed nine companies.
Of the eight registered with the secretary of state from 1996 to 2006, all have repeatedly received delinquency notices for failure to file annual reports – reminiscent of accidental 2010 GOP gubernatorial nominee Dan Maes’ spotty business track record.
An example is Viasync LLC formed in July 2004, name changed to Viasync LTD in October 2004, which failed to file annual reports since 2005.
In September 2006, Corum Cherry Creek LLC won a lawsuit filed in Arapahoe County against Viasync LTD which was ordered to pay a debt of $11,469 plus $2,363 attorney fees and $371 court costs.
Corum Cherry Creek was formed in July 2005, has no delinquency notices and is “in good standing.”
Tyler’s competitor, Republican Rick Enstrom, expanded the family business Enstrom Candies in Grand Junction to the Denver metro area in 1985. The company generates $13 million annual revenue and employs 118 full-time employees in addition to nearly 100 during the holiday season, roughly half of them work here.
According to the Colorado Secretary of State’s office, Enstrom Candies Inc. was established in 1972, and is “in good standing.” The business has consistently filed annual reports – and only one report in January 2009 missed the deadline by a few weeks.
“We’ve all seen businesses come and go, but we just had a 50th anniversary celebration,” said Enstrom who with his wife Linda Enstrom “established the brand in Denver 25 years ago.”
“It proves that if you’re doing the right thing in a consistent way, your business will have longevity,” said Enstrom.
Breaking with tradition, Enstrom added ice cream to the candy venue in Cherry Creek North and Arvada stores. True to his Western Slope roots, Enstrom’s Palisade-grown peach is the most popular ice cream.
Tyler, a self-described “small business owner and entrepreneur,” was appointed in May 2009 to fill the HD23 seat retired by former state Rep. Gwyn Green (D-Golden).
On Linkedin’s career website,Tyler stated, “With over 20 years of small business management and database experience, I can solve your data management/tracking issues. As solid foundation of Accounting and Marketing skills combined with certification in Process Management and long standing people skills will result in the right solution at the right price.”
Tyler said he served as “information officer” for BDO Seidman from January 2007 to March 2009, and that could have been a challenging task.
Over the past decade BDO Seidmanwas investigated and charged with selling fraudulent tax shelters to help clients evade an estimated $1.3 billion in income taxes.
In June, the company agreed to pay a $50 million civil penalty, and has adopted new measures to prevent fraud.
Excluding Campro, Tyler formed the following companies based at his home on Vista Lane according to secretary of state records:
- Compro Inc. in July 1996, failed to file annual reports from 2005 to 2011, dissolved in 2012;
- Skeezix LLP in February 2004, failed to file annual reports since 2006;
- The Underground Iron Balloonworks Ltd. in February 2004, failed to file annual reports since 2006;
- Viasync LLC in July 2004, name changed to ViaSyncLTD in October 2004, failed to file annual reports since 2005;
- Viasync.com LLC in July 2004, failed to file annual reports since 2005;
- The Star Group in October 2005, failed to file reports from 2006 – 2010, cured delinquency, dissolved January 2012; and
- The Star Group LTD in December 2006, cured the 2007 report delinquency in 2008, and failed to file further annual reports.
It is not known if Tyler continues to operate the businesses, or if they were sold or became defunct and were not officially dissolved by him or an attorney.