Founder of Specialty Ornament Company to Speak at Colorado State University’s College of Business Oct. 15

The founder and president of Topperscot Inc., one of the nation’s largest manufactures of specialty glass Christmas ornaments, will share his entrepreneurial and business success at Colorado State University’s College of Business.

Vern "Topper" Swanson, who directs the Denver-based company specializing in producing NFL, MLB, NHL, NASCAR and college logo ornaments, will speak at 9:45 a.m. Oct. 15 in Rockwell Hall Room 119 on the Colorado State campus. An informal barbeque in the courtyard will follow Swanson’s presentation.

Swanson, a Colorado State alumnus founded Topperscot Inc. in 1978 with what he calls midnight madness. Swanson and his co-founder worked other jobs while producing ornaments in his basement during the evenings. Swanson attributes his success to having an original idea, willingness to put in long hours and the assistance of a supportive staff.

"I want students to see that Vern is the perfect example of a Colorado State graduate living the entrepreneur dream. He defined, built and grew a successful business out of his basement into a 50,000 square foot facility with a staff of 120," said Hunt Lambert, director of the Center for Entrepreneurial and Family Enterprises at Colorado State. "Vern also is a role model in giving back to the community. Topperscot contributed $110,000 to the United Way September 11th Fund, a direct result from sales of its Patriotic Collection Christmas ornament."

Swanson produces specialty ornaments for professional sports and special events, but he also has distributed ornaments to Campbell’s Soup, Disney, U.S. Postal Service, U.S. Olympics and many others.

Swanson will present his business expertise as part of the Great Entrepreneurial Speaker Series at Colorado State, which is designed to provide current and future entrepreneurs with advice on establishing and managing a business. He will give free ornaments to students who ask questions during the presentation.

"This is an opportune time for students and members from the business community to interact with a successful entrepreneur," said Karen Maduell, program manager for Center for Entrepreneurial and Family Enterprises.

The Great Entrepreneurial Speaker Series is sponsored by the CEFE. The event is free and open to the public. For more information contact Lambert at 970-491-6876.