The town of Windsor and its businesses have changed and grown significantly in the past 65 years.
Ed Starck has not only seen those changes, but he has also been a part of many of them.
Ed and Jo Ann Starck own this building, which houses the Windsor Chamber of Commerce. Photo by Kate Popowski
Starck was born in Windsor on July 12, 1943 when the population was about 1,500 people. Today the population is about 20,000.
Starck’s father owned a blacksmith shop in downtown Windsor, and Starck often helped in his shop after school.
“It was definitely the business heart of the town,” Starck said of downtown Windsor. “It was a lot closer-knit.”
Starck said that back then, everyone in town knew who he was and everyone waved and talked while walking around town. He said he liked the time he grew up in because everyone cared about their neighbors.
After high school Starck didn’t know what he wanted to do, so he joined the military. He served in the Navy for three years and the Marine Corps for two and a half years. After the military he came back to Windsor, where he met his wife Jo Ann. They have been married for 45 years.
He worked a variety of jobs before deciding to go back to school in 1966. He went to the University of Northern Colorado and was part of the first graduating class under that UNC name.
Starck started his own building contracting company called Star Contracting, which came from the first four letters of his last name. When the company started out his company built houses and agricultural buildings as well as doing some remodeling.
“We started out doing anything for a buck,” Starck said.
|Take a video tour of Ed Starck's Windsor.|
Star Contracting eventually quit doing houses and focused on agricultural and light industrial buildings.
“We were making money in other areas and losing it in housing,” he said. “We enjoyed it (working with businesses) a lot more.”
His work in Windsor included remodeling the Metal Container Can Company, Kodak, and U.S. West Telephone Company. Starck’s company also tore down the Windsor Movie Theater, which was the first theater in northern Colorado equipped for sound.
“Our customers were very particular and had very high standards for things they wanted completed,” Starck said.
During his time working as a building contractor, Starck served on the school board for 12 years, including two years as president. He was then asked to take over a position on the town board, which he accepted. The following year he ran for mayor and won. He served as mayor from 2004-2008.
As mayor, he made decisions involving Wal-Mart wanting to build in Windsor, urban renewal and funding to build a new police station.
“It was always fulfilling to help propel Windsor forward,” he said. “Your roots are so deep that it’s good to be a part of the community.”
Starck currently owns two buildings in downtown Windsor. One of the buildings has four separate businesses in it, including Penny Wise and Happy Paws Grooming. The other building he co-owns with his wife Jo Ann and it houses Farmer’s Insurance and the Windsor Chamber of Commerce.
“We’ve just hung on to it and leased it out,” he said. “All in all it’s been good. Real estate has always been a good deal for me.”
Jo Ann Starck said that her husband convinced her to buy the property, and she said she agreed because he is a very sensible man.
“The banker thought it was a good idea,” she said. “We just hoped we make some money off it.”
Bruce McDaniel, a professor of economics at UNC and an expert in small business, said that it is a good investment to buy a small business in a place like Windsor.
“It’s profitable,” McDaniel said. “In a community like Windsor they need small business to grow. Nationally, the biggest employer is small business.”
Starck said that he thinks Windsor will continue to grow but it will continue to be a great community.
“Windsor will be a strong community,” he said. “We’ve got a lot of good industries. Windsor’s very well situated for industrial growth. Windsor’s in a great place.”
Starck’s plan for his own future is just to enjoy his retirement. He and his wife plan on travelling, playing with their grandchildren, gardening and doing some woodworking and just continuing enjoying the life they have made for themselves.
Year founded: 1882
Date Incorporated: April 2, 1890
Elevation: 4,800 feet
Land Area: 14,883 acres
Estimated number of households: 7,268
Estimated population: 19, 768
Source: Windsor Chamber of Commerce, information from 2009, estimations from 2008.