The business ventures of Richard Speaker Steele, Broomfield inventor and entrepreneur, have led to the employment of hundred of individuals in Boulder County for more than 30 years.

His first company, Steele Precision Manufacturing Co., grew to become Colorado Leisure Products, which incorporated many of his patented inventions and employed more than 300 people. In the mid-1970s, Steele founded Thermal Technology Corporation, or TTC.

Along with inventor Wendell Colson, he helped create the honeycomb window shade that lured new Jersey-based Hunter Douglas in 1985 to purchase TTC and establish the Hunter Douglas Window Fashions division in Broomfield. The honeycomb shade evolved into Hunter Douglas’ popular Duette window fashion, and today Hunter Douglas is one of the largest employers in Boulder County, with more than 750 people at its 40-acre Broomfield facility.

Before his death in 1991, Steele personally was heavily involved in the community as well. He was active in the Broomfield Chamber of Commerce, The Broomfield Rotary Club and numerous youth organizations. With his wife, Joan, he helped found the United Church of Christ in Broomfield.