Jeff Thornton, a Navy veteran, spent several years operating heavy equipment before his company relocated to North Dakota. Although he followed his company, Jeff came to realize that the cold tundra wasn’t going to be his permanent home. He began looking into other options and got to know a business owner who quickly convinced him to trade winch trucks and drilling rigs for cranes. After one year of mastering the craft, Jeff earned his crane operator’s license.

Jeff returned to Grand Junction where he worked for a crane company before it relocated to the Front Range, leaving him with a decision to make. He knew he didn’t want to move to Denver, but he also didn’t want to go back to work for his previous company, so he decided to go to work for himself.  In 2019, he founded JT Crane Services.  

Jeff was an expert in his industry, but he identified a need for business guidance. He joined the Incubator Intensive Program at the Business Incubator Center (BIC), which equipped him with the skills and resources needed to improve his business skills.

“The Intensive Program gave me tools and knowledge to improve marketing and bookkeeping that I did not have before and helped me to improve my web presence. The ability to lease space at BIC allowed me to buy more equipment and improve my bottom line.”

Under the mentorship of the Incubator, JT Crane Services thrived, and at the onset of 2023, Jeff began considering an exit strategy. In September, JT Cranes merged with Girardi’s Crane & Rigging, a Grand Junction-based company. Jeff followed his company in the merger and is enjoying his new role as the Dispatch and Logistics Coordinator.

Congratulations, Jeff! Your success is a win for all of us.