The Fort Collins Area Chamber of Commerce’s 107th Annual Dinner on Thursday night focused on celebrating the business community and following that theme, the Chamber honored several local business professionals for their strides in the community.
More than 500 people attended the Chamber’s Annual Dinner, held at the Marriott Fort Collins,350 E Horsetooth Road.
The most prestigiousaward of the evening, the Collins Award, went to Bob Wilson of Columbine Health Systems for his longstanding contributions to the people and organizations ofFort Collins in the areas of community service and social responsibility. Wilson grew up on a farm inIowa and came toFort Collins to go to college. But, instead of school, he decided to go to work. The mechanical skills he picked up on the farm helped him land a maintenance job with a care center for the elderly called Columbine where he became administrator in 1971. Forty years later Columbine Health Systems is one of the largest private employers inNorthern Colorado.Wilson’s company has grown from 30 employees to 1,350 employees who work in 22 businesses ranging from nursing homes to assisted-care centers to independent-living centers to home health care and medical equipment, to name just a few. Wilson is one of the region’s quiet givers. He supports causes that are important to him with little or no fanfare. In 2008 he donated a building to Crossroads Safe House and has been a longstanding and significant donor toColoradoStateUniversity’s Gerontology program. The money goes directly towards student scholarships. Money this year has also helped to keep the program afloat and to enable it to move from a certificate program to a Minor.
The Chamber’s 2011 Volunteer of the Year award was shared with three community members—Mark Driscoll, First National Bank; Yvonne Myers, Columbine Health Systems and Tod Collins, Spradley Barr Ford. Each volunteer shared the gift of time, energy and support during the Chamber’s Moving Fort Collins Forward! campaign and were crucial to its success, raising over $335,000 for the Chamber.
In its fourth year, the Young Professional of the Year award was given to Melissa Clary, Kruger & Clary, CPAs, PC. The award was established as a way to support and recognize upcoming leaders in the community and to recognize greater involvement from young professionals inNorthern Colorado.
In recognition of their service to the Chamber and the local business community, Greg Woods, Carrie Gillis of New Colony Apartments and Craig Vollmer of Vollmer Photography received awards. Woods served as the chairperson for the 2011 Local Legislative Affairs Committee and Gillis dedicated time last year as the 2011 Election Committee Chair. Vollmer served as the 2011 Red Carpet Committee Chair which is a group that serves as Chamber ambassadors.
The Chamber honored 2011 Board of Directors Chairperson Mark Driscoll, First National Bank, for his dedication to the success of the Chamber and business communities. His leadership provided a path of inspiration, knowledge and enrichment to theFort Collinscommunity.
Also in recognition of their service, the Chamber celebrated its departing board members:
- Cynthia Eichler, Foothill Mall, who served on the Board of Directors from 2007 to 2011.
- Carrie Gillis, New Colony Apartments, who served on the Board of Directors from 2010 to 2011.
- Allen Ginsborg,NewMarkMerrillMountainStates, who served on the Board of Directors from 2008 to 2011.
- Dan Gasper, 2010 Chairman of the Board and Board Member from 2007to 2011.
Each year, the Chamber Environmental Business Awards honor businesses that make environmental strides in their daily operations, recognize the value ofusing environmental products to enhance their corporate bottom line, and play an active role in the local and global community. The 2011 Environmental Awards went to:
- Larkburger ofColorado, LLC
- Mountain Whitewater Descents
- Hewlett Packard (Ripple Award)