Boulder Chamber Names 2016 Celebration of Leadership Honorees

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January 26, 2016


Contact: Jane Lewis

Events Management & Possibilities




Boulder, CO, January 26, 2016

Boulder Chamber Names 2016 Celebration of Leadership Honorees

Business and Community Leaders Cited for Leadership, Service and Innovation

The Boulder Chamber today announced business and community organizations and individuals to be honored at its annual Celebration of Leadership event, to be held Wednesday, March 2, 2016, at the newly renovated Dairy Center for the Arts. Awards will be presented to these recipients who have provided inspiration and innovation, advancing Boulder’s economic vitality and social well-being:

•    Business Person of the Year: Gerry Agnes, president and CEO, Elevations Credit Union. Under Agnes’s leadership, Elevations has achieved unprecedented business success in customer service and quality management, culminating in winning the prestigious Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award. In doing so, Agnes exemplifies determination and commitment to building a strong local economy.
•    Community Leadership Award: Ken Hotard, Senior VP of Public Affairs for the Boulder Area REALTOR® Association, and Will Toor, Director of the Transportation Program with Southwest Energy Efficiency Project. Despite often representing disparate constituencies, Hotard and Toor have forged a partnership in advancing common goals for the Boulder community, most recently combining their talents and experience in the leadership of Better Boulder. Through that organization, they’ve promoted sustainable development models for our community that are helping to advance Boulder’s economic vitality while achieving our environmental and social goals. 
•    Chamber Champion Award: Dianna Rands, Owner of Chill Digital Marketing.  Few have been as active in supporting Boulder Chamber members and its activities. As a Boulder Chamber Ambassador, Rands has helped many network with their peers and take full advantage of their memberships. Further, in her roles as a Women Who Light the Community event co-chair and a former Business Women’s Leadership Group chair, she has demonstrated her leadership, contributing time and ideas to strengthen the Boulder Chamber and the surrounding business community. 
•    Franny Reich Local Business Hero Award: Liz Hanson, City of Boulder Economic Vitality Coordinator; and George Karakehian, former City Council member and owner of Art Source International. In a break with tradition, the Boulder Chamber is bestowing its highest honor on two distinguished leaders, both individuals with a legacy of accomplishment that represents the full spectrum of private and public support that combines to keep our economy strong.  In her capacity with the City of Boulder, Hanson has earned the Franny Reich recognition for serving the community with distinction as a front-line partner in supporting local business success and a champion for the programs that sustain Boulder’s economic vitality.   Karakehian earned Franny Reich honor through his contributions to the Boulder community as a successful businessman combined with a dedication to public service and nonprofit leadership. 

More Information on the awards and the event may be found at

“We are proud to honor these outstanding business and community leaders who have helped forge Boulder’s robust, innovation economy,” stated John Tayer, Boulder Chamber president and CEO. “We are excited to share their inspirational stories at the Celebration of Leadership.”

Sponsors for the 2016 Celebration of Leadership include First National Bank, Elevations Credit Union, Celestial Seasonings, Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, The Farm dispensary, First National Denver, The W.W. Reynolds Companies, A Spice of Life Catering and Events, Hazel’s, Triple Threat Digital, Eide Bailly, Kaiser Permanente Baseline Medical Offices, The Boulder Daily Camera, and BizWest. 

About the Celebration of Leadership
Each year, the Boulder Chamber celebrates business and community leaders--people and organizations--who have made a difference to Boulder’s economic vitality and to the quality of life of its citizens at its Celebration of Leadership. The Celebration at the “NEW” Dairy Arts Center will include a catered reception, spirits, award presentations, and always a few surprises. Registrations for this year’s event are now open at  and will close on February 29, 2016.

About the Boulder Chamber 
The nonprofit Boulder Chamber is the region’s flagship business advocacy and support organization. With more than 110 years of dedicated service to our members and the Boulder community, the Boulder Chamber’s innovative programs help local businesses succeed while sustaining an economy that preserves Boulder’s high quality of life, including its environmental and cultural assets. Together with its member businesses, the Boulder Chamber is building a smarter, more vibrant economy – sustaining Boulder’s position as a global capital of innovation and a thriving center of economic vitality. For more information, visit the Chamber’s Website at .