Flying 40 organizers are preparing for a silver anniversary bash this year at the Albuquerque BioPark zoo to celebrate the annual event’s 25th year.
This year’s ceremony, which the now-defunct Technology Ventures Corp. originally launched in 1998, will highlight the Flying 40’s quarter-century achievement with a silver cup as the trophy award for all companies included on the 2022 list of fast-growing technology tigers, said event manager Roberta Eads.
“It’s like reaching the Grammy award stage,” Eads said. “This year’s theme is all about our 25th anniversary.”
That achievement, however, is a bit bitter-sweet, since the original organizers — including Eads, Sherman McCorkle and Randy Wilson — will be stepping down this year to turn the Flying 40’s future organization over to the New Mexico Technology Council. Until now, the trio has managed or assisted in all the annual event’s administration, first as TVC managers, and later as executives at the Sandia Science and Technology Park Development Corp.
The Technology Council — a long-time sponsor of the Flying 40 — could take the event in new directions, Eads said.
“They’ll bring a different presence and outlook to the program that could help mold and shape it in new ways,” Eads said. “We think it’s a great fit.”
This year’s event will run from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday. Guests can stroll through “zoo central” — which includes access to the cat walk and the polar bear, elephant and giraffe exhibits — and gather on the grassy midway to listen to music and dine at catered food and dessert tables. The awards ceremony will begin at 7 p.m.
Compiled by multinational accounting firm KPMG LLP from applications submitted earlier this year, the Flying 40 ranks firms by total revenue and by percentage revenue growth.
There are 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 2017-2021.
Flying 40 awards will be given to 33 companies this year, including eight that have demonstrated solid staying power over five years but whose growth didn’t make the top 10 revenue lists. Six others will receive a Falcon Award. Those are honorable mentions for firms that either don’t have the $1 million in revenue or five-year history needed for inclusion on the lists, but whose strong growth shows high potential for creating jobs in the future.
Event sponsors include SSTP Development Corp., Business Outlook, Delta Dental, KPMG LLP, New Mexico Bank & Trust, OneTen Capital, New Mexico MEP, City of Albuquerque Economic Development and Admiral Beverage Corp. Community sponsors include the Albuquerque Hispano Chamber of Commerce, Sandia Laboratory Federal Credit Union and NM Technology Council.