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Boulder Chamber celebrates local leaders at annual award ceremony

BOULDER — Six Boulder business and community leaders were recognized Wednesday evening by the Boulder Chamber, which hosted its Celebration of Leadership awards event on Wednesday evening.

Lane Hornung, founder of 8z Real Estate and Zavvie, accepts the Entrepreneur of the Year Award from “Good to Great” author Jim Collins at the Boulder Chamber’s Celebration of Leadership awards ceremony. Lucas High/BizWest

The annual event honors “individuals and businesses making an innovative and impactful contribution to the Boulder business community,” the Boulder Chamber said.

The 2023 honorees were:

  • Virginia Patterson Business Leader of the Year: Danica Powell, founder of Trestle Strategy.
  • Rising Star Award: Perla Delgado, executive director of I Have a Dream Foundation of Boulder County.
  • Innovative Business of the Year Award: Rook Capital.
  • Entrepreneur of the Year Award: Lane Hornung, founder of 8z Real Estate and Zavvie.
  • Franny Reich Lifetime Achievement Award: Philip DiStefano, chancellor of the University of Colorado Boulder.
  • Impact Award: Conscience Bay Company.

“On this occasion, which also serves as our annual meeting, I celebrate and honor all of you,” Boulder Chamber president John Tayer said during his introduction to the ceremony.

The honorees exemplify the chamber and broader Boulder business community’s mission to help “solve global challenges with local solutions,” he said. “… Global impact(s) that are worth celebrating.”

Several hundred members of the Boulder business community, which Hornung said belong to “one of the most amazing entrepreneurial ecosystems on the planet,” celebrated alongside the honorees, their families and a live local band Acoustic Ambush at Wednesday’s ceremony held at the Dairy Arts Center.

Attendees included U.S. Rep. Joe Neguse (D-Boulder), Boulder Mayor Aaron Brockett and entrepreneurship expert and “Good to Great” author Jim Collins.

Collins, who presented Hornung, a military veteran, with the Entrepreneur of the Year Award, emphasized the importance of teambuilding and service among members of the business and innovation community.

“Great vision without great people is irrelevant,” Collins said.

The Boulder Chamber’s award “nomination process is extensive and competitive,” Tayer told BizWest.  “We put the call for nominations out months in advance, get a huge list of deserving applicants, and then use a diverse member selection committee to make the final decisions. It’s a very difficult vetting process because we work in a town with so many business leaders and businesses that are living our values of business success in a manner that is consistent with community vitality.”

Source: BizWest