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FOUND BY GEMS AND MINERALS: How we started. What we've become. 
By Brad Hicks, Xpo Press Owner/Publisher

Freshly fired from my telecom/data sales management position with XO Communications I bought a six-pack of Fat Tire and parked my car behind a WalMart in Westminster, Colorado, not far from my house. 
Fired. Team sales quotas not being met. Really? Ugh! What was I going to do next? I dreaded the thought as I slowly and anxiously sipped the hoppy Fort Collins brew. Though I was grateful for my now-former job, telecom/data sales was not my strongest suit and nowhere near what I enjoyed or desired as a career. I had been trained as a journalist and publisher — starting magazines is what I had been doing since college, dozens of them. Maybe this setback was a difficult-to-recognize doorway to getting back to my heart's desire.

That was December 2001, and, no, I couldn't have conjured up in the deepest recesses of my imagination the idea of doing anything with gems, minerals, fossils, and jewelry in that cold, lonely parking lot. Heck, at that time, I couldn't even imagine the idea of an expo or show that peddled gems and minerals. Was there any money in rocks?

But gems, minerals, and rocks found me after I launched back into starting my own publishing company — as I'd done throughout most of the 1990s. And it was Marty Zinn and Regina Aumente (of, then, Martin Zinn Expos) who are probably most responsible for my company's weird foray into this interesting industry. After a lunch we shared at El Rancho in Evergreen, Colorado, I agreed to produce full-color guides for all of MZE's gem, mineral, and fossil shows. Looking back, as a result of that fateful meeting, a very rock-y direction was forged for our young company.

In February 2002, Xpo Press was incorporated in Colorado, and we were soon on our way to helping gem, mineral and jewelry shows and dealers everywhere advertise and sell their sparkly wares. Currently, Xpo Press publishes 12 gem show guides — including the popular "EZ-Guides" — with a combined annual circulation of over 126,000 distributed at the top gem and mineral shows in North America.

On the digital side, this website is the most visited in the world by viewers searching for updated and accurate information about these kinds of shows — particularly the Grandaddy of them all, the Tucson Showcase of Gems, Minerals & Jewelry held annually in February. Since 2002, we have been fortunate to build an Xpo Press team of unusually dedicated freelancers. We all work from our own locales — in Colorado, Arkansas, and Arizona — and most of us own and operate our own businesses. We are a group of friends that supports one another, and each of us is gifted with a skill set in our area of expertise. Most importantly, this team truly strives to live out a concept that we firmly believe in — Treating People Well. The success we've experienced at Xpo Press is a direct reflection of working diligently to fulfill that ideal every day. Our team hopes that what our company publishes — both online and in print — is helpful to you and genuinely makes your gem show experience just a little "EZ-er."

See ya at a gem show! 

Brad Hicks
Accounts Director

Debbie Lewis
Operations Manager


Tammy Hemingway
Ad Manager/Graphic Designer


Mike O'Shea
Jim Lewis
Advertising Sales

Helen Serras-Herman
Staff Writer


Susan Branson