President and CEO
Location: Engelwood, CO
Kristi Alford-Haarberg wants to hear from her team at E2 Optics, so much so that throughout the year she visits the company’s various sites to meet with employees, notebook in hand, to listen and learn. Likewise, she wants to create opportunities for her team to learn and grow and become leaders themselves.
“I want to hear directly from them so I may learn more about what is important to them and trends they may notice on the jobsite,” the president and CEO said.
“I’ve developed training programs and mentorships to help each employee develop a career path. Empowering them to become leaders, which in turn helps E2 Optics lead the industry. I believe in One Team-One Dream! Together we can accomplish anything.”
E2 Optics is an award-winning, woman-owned technology integrator headquartered in Denver and founded in 2010. “We help clients deploy remarkably efficient solutions using our expertise across cabling, networking, and contemporary multimedia communications,” the company said. “We design low-voltage solutions that seamlessly integrate audiovisual, physical security, structured cabling and wireless solutions, including DAS and Wi-Fi systems.”
A graduate from Texas Tech University with a dual degree in business management and communications, Alford-Haarberg’s first job was with Kent Electronics Company, a Fortune 200 IT complete services company. During her time at Kent Electronics, she anticipated the exponential growth in the cloud and data center markets. Her goal when she started E2 Optics was to be a disruptor in the industry and show that a woman could not only enter the space but become a leader of a highly sought-after company in the space, the company said.
Alford-Haarberg has made substantial investments in launching regional training centers and doubled down on long-term investments in operational systems, people and training in the face of economic uncertainty. Beyond business growth, Alford-Haarberg wants E2 Optics to remain a pioneer for women and diversity within the industry. She envisions E2 Optics playing an important role with women in construction, attracting women to the industry, and advocating for equality in opportunities within an industry that benefits from increasing interests in diversity.
Alford-Haarberg sees the company continuing to grow significantly over the next five years, doubling revenues and reaching $250 million. While her goals are lofty, she is determined in her positivity and plan.
“Never give up on your vision! Have faith in yourself and your abilities,” she said. “Rely on your tenacity, beliefs and fearlessness while trusting you will make it happen. Always remember it’s OK to fail; your failures are what bring you future success.”
Alford-Haarberg is a leader in the business community as well as in the nonprofit sector. She is a part of the alumni community for Colorado Companies to Watch, having received the award in 2014. Alford-Haarberg and the E2 Optics team received several awards in 2020: the No. 2 Fastest-Growing Private Company in the Denver Area within the X-Large company category; the Fastest-Growing Private Company in America, by Inc. 5000; Colorado’s Top 100 Woman-Owned Companies; and Women Presidents Organizations No. 2 of 50 Fastest-Growing Women-Owned/Led Companies.
“She has a realistic optimism, combining a positive outlook with a clear-eyed perspective of a situation,” her team said. “She believes she will succeed but understands success doesn’t come easily. Her tenacity and fearless spirit have helped guide her into making E2 Optics not only a premier provider for many high-profile customers but also a sought-after employer for many looking to make a career in the construction and technology space.”
"Have faith in yourself and your abilities, rely on your tenacity, beliefs and fearlessness while trusting you will make it happen."