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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 mineral and fossil show promoters Marty Zinn and Regina Aumente (of, then, Martin Zinn Expositions) who are most responsible for my company's weird foray into this interesting industry. After a lunch that the three of us shared at El Rancho Restaurant 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 nearly 20 years we've published show guides, including our popular "EZ-Guides," for gem and mineral shows around the world, and we continue to publish EZ-Guides for the Tucson and Denver Showcases. Covid forced us to cancel publishing the Tucson EZ-Guide and Denver EZ-Guide in 2021, but we're eager to print and distribute both of them in 2022.

For years now, this website has been the most visited in the online 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 January-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

Debbie Lewis
Admin Manager


Tammy Hemingway
Ad Manager/Graphic Designer


Mike O'Shea

Helen Serras-Herman
Staff Writer

Susan Branson


Rachel Ford
Social Media Director