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New Mexico Business Weekly

By Megan Kamerick, Senior Reporter

Adelante Development Center Inc. marked another milestone in its steady growth with the official opening of its new secure document center May 31.

“Behind us is the building that created 110 jobs,” said Mike Kivitz, CEO and president of Adelante. “Most of the employees have significant disabilities, but they want to work. Otherwise, they would require our tax dollars and that’s not what they want.”

The nonprofit is among the most entrepreneurial in Albuquerque with multiple revenue generating enterprises that also provide work for its clients, people with disabilities. It launched its Adelante Document Destruction Services seven years ago and the business unit’s revenues reached $1.6 million in 2011. The document imaging operation, which is much newer, had revenues of $230,000 in 2011.

It moved its document shredding services into the 30,000-square-foot warehouse at 1618 First St. NW and opened a new document imaging service after the structure was given a major renovation to the tune of about $1 million, including all new electrical work, an industrial power system, improved insulation and skylights. The architect on the project was Claudio Vigil and Hart Construction was the general contractor.

Together the two companies employ 110 people. The nonprofit has increased its space by two-thirds with new location and added an additional large shredder, bringing its shredding capacity to 140,000 pounds per day. It’s currently doing 271,000 pounds per month, so there is room to grow, said Jill Beets, vice president of marketing and communications for Adelante.

Adelante bought the building for $850,000, a discount on the appraised value of $1.1 million. That was made possible by the Blaugrund family. Lee Blaugrund is the former CEO of American Home Furnishings Co., which once used the building as a warehouse.
“This is a project that really makes you smile,” he said at the grand opening. “It’s been a pleasure to be associated with it.”

Adelante also won a $735,911 grant from the city of Albuquerque through the Community Development Block Grant program to purchase the property. Service Electric donated time and materials to the project, too. Adelante also secured a loan from Bank of the West.

Adelante has local and national shredding clients and has earned multiple certifications for secure document destruction, which is its primary selling point. It also sells huge bales of shredded paper to paper companies, after sorting the white paper from colored sheets. And it has boosted its business over the years by joining a consortium of nonprofits called the Secure Document Alliance, which enabled it to bid on national contracts. It started offering document imaging when competitors in the shredding business added that service.

Doug Chaplin, associate director of the city’s Department of Family and Community Services, said the new project also will help revitalize an important Downtown district.

One of Adelante’s clients, Lovelace Health System, received an award at the grand opening from NISH. It is a national nonprofit agency whose mission is to create employment opportunities for people with significant disabilities by securing federal contracts through the AbilityOne Program for its network of community-based, nonprofit agencies.

John Cantwell of NISH presented Lovelace with a national community award for commercial business partnership for the health care company’s dedication to bringing work to Adelante and referring other businesses to the nonprofit.

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