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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 imagined the idea of doing anything vocationally 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. For 19 years we published show guides, including our popular "EZ-Guides," for gem and mineral shows, but the Covid pandemic in 2020 forced us to get out of the print business and focus totally on our website and mobile app to promote gem and mineral shows in North America.

For years now, this website has been 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. I hope that what our company provides is helpful to you and genuinely makes your gem show experience just a little "EZ-er."

See ya at a gem show! 
 
 
 

Brad Hicks
Owner/Publisher
Accounts Director

Debbie Lewis
Operations Manager

 

Tammy Hemingway
Ad Manager/Graphic Designer

 

Mike O'Shea
Webmaster

Helen Serras-Herman
Staff Writer


Susan Branson
Bookkeeper