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Video: Colorado Earthmover Wins 2023 Contractor of the Year Award

Updated Mar 25, 2023

A Colorado construction company owner who has grown his business by adopting new technologies, taking on challenging projects and staying ahead in one of the most unusual and high-end construction markets in the country, has been named Equipment World’s 2023 Contractor of the Year.

Shay Stutsman, owner of Stutsman Gerbaz Inc. of Aspen, Colorado, grew up in the earthmoving business and marks the third generation to take the helm at his family’s company. He was announced the winner March 18 at an awards ceremony at the Wynn Las Vegas hotel.

“For 63 years, we’ve had the best employees you could ask for – loyalty to a fault. I’m so grateful to them,” said Stutsman while accepting the award. “This is an incredible honor and I’m extremely humbled given all the other finalists that are in this room.”

Stutsman Gerbaz was started by Shay’s grandfather Dick Stutsman and Dick’s brother-in-law Jerry Gerbaz in 1960. As a young child, Shay would go to work with his father, Dave Stutsman, often falling asleep in a track loader. Shay was operating equipment before he was old enough for kindergarten.

With Aspen being a high-end and tightly regulated market, Shay has found it necessary to be on the leading edge of technology to keep ahead of the competition, as well as ensure precision.

All of the company’s track loaders, excavators and dozers are equipped with 3D machine control. The latest advance in technology for the company has been to equip all of its excavators with a quick attachment connect system. Now, instead of bringing several machines to a jobsite, operators can line up the various attachments they need and rapidly change tools on the job, speeding up productivity, reducing fuel, labor and transport costs and increasing safety.

The company is also the first in North America to test a new bucket equipped with ground-penetrating radar.

“The technologies they have been implementing are making them faster and more accurate with each new job,” says Blake Hansen of Hansen Construction.

Company revenue has nearly doubled in the past four years to between $11 million and $13 million. It has 56 employees and performs residential and commercial foundation excavation, utility installation, pond and lake construction, stream construction and rehabilitation, driveways, demolition and road construction.

“Stutsman Gerbaz is viewed as the gold standard when it comes to earthmoving here in the valley,” Hansen says. “The city of Aspen and Snowmass trust them with all their infrastructure work, and they are our preferred sub on every job.”

The Equipment World Contractor of the Year program has been sponsored by Caterpillar since its inception in 2000. It recognizes contractors who display the highest standards of business acumen, equipment management expertise, attention to safety and community involvement. Each year, 12 finalists receive an expense-paid trip to Las Vegas to participate in roundtable discussions and an awards ceremony. Throughout the year, Equipment World will post profile stories and videos of each of the finalists on equipmentworld.com. To see who made the finals, click here.

The nomination period for the 2024 program will open this fall. For more information, visit https://www.equipmentworld.com/contractor-of-the-year