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22nd Flying 40 awards event on Wednesday at BioPark Zoo

The first group of 22 gentoo and macaroni penguins arrived at the ABQ BioPark Zoo last month even as workers there finished their enclosure. The birds are part of the inspiration for the Flying 40 awards this year. (Courtesy of City of ABQ)

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — About 700 people are expected to attend the 22nd annual Flying 40 technology awards this Wednesday at the Albuquerque BioPark Zoo.

Compiled by KPMG LLP from applications submitted by the companies earlier this year, the Flying 40 ranks companies according to total revenue and percentage growth in revenue.

Companies are invited to participate in one of three categories: top revenue companies regardless of growth, top-growth companies with revenue above $10 million, and top-growth companies with revenue below $10 million.

Growth is measured over five years, from 2014 to 2018.

Penari, a Malayan tiger, lounges around at the ABQ BioPark Zoo in 2017. (Roberto E. Rosales/Albuquerque Journal)

Executives, employees and guests from companies receiving Flying 40 awards and sponsoring organizations are expected at Wednesday’s event, which is sold out. Local and state officials will attend as well.

The late-afternoon venue, which runs from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., includes strolls through the zoo with open-air food and beverage dining, followed by the Flying 40 awards celebration. Although the zoo’s new penguin exhibit will be closed, the event will honor the park’s newest residents by awarding miniature, custom-made boulders with penguins etched on the sides to all Flying 40 winners.

Four companies — Electric Playhouse Studios, Raven Defense Corp., Rebellis Development Group, and Science, Engineering, Management Solutions LLC — will receive Falcon Awards at the ceremony. Those are honorable mentions for firms that might not have the five-year history or minimum of $1 million in revenue needed to qualify for a Flying 40 award, but whose strong growth shows high potential for creating jobs in the future.

The Flying 40 program sponsors include Sandia Science and Technology Park Development Corp., Albuquerque Journal’s Business Outlook, Delta Dental, Innovate ABQ, KPMG LLP, New Mexico Bank & Trust, NMA Ventures, NM MEP, and True Health NM.

Community sponsors include the Albuquerque Hispano Chamber of Commerce, Boulder Designs, NM Tech Council and Sandia Laboratory Federal Credit Union.

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