President and CEO
Linc Energy Systems
Location: Lakewood, Colorado
Industry: Natural Gas Industry
Susan Bender said there’s a direct correlation between leading with compassion and finding success. When she’s strayed away from that path, things get cloudy.
There was a time when business was declining, we were stuck in old habits, and I did not enjoy work. I wasn’t sure about the company’s future,” the president and CEO of Linc Energy Systems said. “I have learned that when I lead my staff from a place of fear, greed and discord, I move away from what I seek: a business and employees that flourish. Whereas, when I lead with love, compassion and kindness, my business grows, and more importantly, I feel like I am contributing to something bigger.”
Linc Energy Systems is a manufacturers’ representative, distributor and contractor, providing products and services to the natural gas industry. The company specializes in natural gas measurement and odorization and strives to achieve growth through customer service, empowered employees and partnerships with the finest industrial manufacturers, the company said. Linc Energy Systems is committed to staying at the forefront of innovation by seeking new products to help reduce methane emissions in our environment.
Susan Bender got her graduate degree in the early 1980s and followed her father into the natural gas industry. She made a name for herself as a salesperson, and in 1989, Mercury Instruments (today Honeywell) approached her, encouraging her to start her own business to sell their product line in Colorado. Within a few short months, she launched Linc Energy Systems on Jan. 1, 1990, from a small bedroom in a condo in Littleton, Colorado.
Today, the multimillion-dollar company occupies a 17,000-square-foot facility and is a leading manufacturers’ representative, distributor and contractor, performing business in Colorado and throughout the United States.
Over the next five years, Bender will continue preparing her management team to assume her daily business activities and will retire into an active role on the board of directors.
“As I approach my last years in business, before retirement, I want to see what I’ve built continue in this direction and thrive,” Bender said. “The most significant focus of my energy in the years to come will be to continue training the successive management team at my company. I will remain actively involved in the company, community and industry until retiring. At that time, I’ll stay engaged on the board of directors with the intent of mentoring the next generation of loving, inclusive and innovative leaders in this world.”
Bender has a reputation for investing in her team rather than replacing talent. She’s offered paid consultation services to employees when they faced a challenging growth curve. She provides a meditation area for self-reflection, permits employees to create their personal office space to conform with their personalities and provides bonuses and gifts to motivate the staff.
Bender is also a philanthropist, having formed The Susan M. Bender Family Fund with the Denver Foundation. As a business leader, she encourages her staff to be involved with local nonprofits, including Project Angel Heart, giving members of her staff time to volunteer for particular events. The company also generously supports nonprofits, and Bender encourages her staff to volunteer at specific events during business time.
ColoradoBiz Magazine recognizes Linc Energy Systems as a top privately-owned company, and the Denver Business Journal has honored Bender for her accomplishments in the energy industry. Bender is a member of the International Women’s Forum of Colorado and a founding member of Impact 100 Denver. Since 2015, Bender has also been the president, CEO and majority owner of GPL Odorizers, the first planet-friendly natural gas odorization system manufacturer.
"When I lead with love, compassion and kindness, my business grows, and more importantly, I feel like I am contributing to something bigger."