Author: Kristi Arellano

Boettcher Foundation Press Release

13 Jun Nine top researchers selected for Boettcher Foundation Webb-Waring Awards

DENVER, June 13, 2017 — Nine biomedical researchers at Colorado’s top institutions have been selected to receive funding from the Boettcher Foundation’s Webb-Waring Biomedical Research Awards program. The Webb-Waring Biomedical Research Awards support promising, early-career scientific researchers, allowing them to advance their independent research and compete for major federal and private awards in the future. Recipients are awarded $235,000 in grant funding to sustain three years of biomedical research. They also receive the title of Boettcher Investigator. “This year’s award recipients are doing important work that has the potential to significantly improve human health,” said Katie Kramer, CEO of the Boettcher Foundation. “The Boettcher Foundation is proud to help propel this research forward because Colorado can only be a leader in scientific innovation if its most dynamic scientific minds are supported at early stages in their work.” Now in its eighth year, the Webb-Waring Biomedical Research Awards honor the commitments that the Webb and Waring families made to scientific research and public service. Including the class of 2017, 54 Boettcher Investigators at the state’s leading academic and research institutions have received funding through the Webb-Waring program. “The Boettcher Investigators program reflects the best of Colorado,” said April Giles, president and CEO of Colorado BioScience Association. “We nurture talent. We grow careers. We believe in the promise of scientific research and the promise it offers to build better lives. The Boettcher Foundation and the Webb-Waring Biomedical Research Awards advance the work of talented scientists in our state.” The 2017 Class of Boettcher Investigators and their research topics are: Colorado School of Mines Andrew Petruska, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering – Magnetic manipulation for medical applications Colorado State University Erin Osborne Nishimura, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology – Gene expression, chromatin and developmental biology Kelly S. Santangelo, DVM, Ph.D., Diplomate ACVP, Assistant Professor of Veterinary Pathology – Prevention and therapy of post-traumatic osteoarthritis National Jewish Health  Camille M. Moore, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Biostatistics – Statistical methods for longitudinal RNA-sequencing data University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus  Joshua C. Black, Ph.D, Assistant Professor of Pharmacology – Epigenetic regulation of tumor heterogeneity Angelo D'Alessandro, Ph.D., Assistant Professor and Director of the Metabolomics Core - School of Medicine – Systemic metabolic reprogramming in health and disease Kristine A. Kuhn, MD, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Medicine, Division of Rheumatology – Gut-joint lymphocyte trafficking in inflammatory bowel disease and spondyloarthritis Eric M. Pietras, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Hematology – Hematopoietic stem cell and inflammation biology John A. Thompson, Ph.D., Assistant Professor in the Department of Neurosurgery – Neurobiology of sensory-motor driven decision-making processes  High-resolution photos of individual recipients and the entire group available by request. About the Boettcher Foundation: At Boettcher, we believe in the promise of Colorado and the potential of Coloradans. Every day we champion excellence across our state by investing in our most talented citizens and high-potential organizations, because supporting their hard work and leadership will enable them to give back for years to come. Contact: Kristi Arellano 303.285.6208 kristi@boettcherfoundation.org...
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Boettcher Foundation Press Release

12 Jun Alumni Board Scholar Profile: Q&A with 2013 scholar Emily Wolverton

Members of the Boettcher Scholar Alumni Board are interviewing their fellow Boettcher Scholars to help the community get to know one another better. The following Q&A was compiled by Boettcher Scholar Gergana Kostadinova. Name: Emily Wolverton Scholar Year: 2013 Hometown: Montrose College(s), Degree(s): University of Denver, B.S. in biology; minors in business administration, leadership studies and chemistry. Graduating June 2017 What are you currently interested in pursuing after graduating? I am currently applying to medical schools all over the country, but I have a year off during the application process. I will be working as a scribe for a surgeon in Montrose until December, then I am participating in a program called Somos Hermanos in Guatemala for five months. In this program, I will take medical Spanish lessons for two months, then work in a health setting like public health outreach or as an aide in a clinic for the next three months. I have wanted to improve my Spanish skills, so I am excited to have this opportunity and hopefully become fluent! Tell us about what activities, groups and/or organizations you have joined in college and why you joined them. Throughout college I have been involved primarily in the Pioneer Leadership Program. Aside from earning a minor in leadership studies, I joined this program for the outstanding community it provided. I have volunteered in several hospitals both to stay engaged with the Denver community and to increase my exposure to the world of health. I worked as a tour guide and orientation leader at DU because I had an exceptional college experience and wanted to share my enthusiasm for the school with prospective and new students. Finally, I loved playing volleyball throughout my DU career in intramurals, a Wash Park league and just for fun on campus. Tell us about an important mentor you have had. Throughout college I have appreciated the number and quality of mentors I have been privileged to know. However, one of the most helpful mentors is one I was paired with through the Pioneer Leadership Program, and she happens to be a Boettcher Scholar as well. Claudia Temmer and I first met electronically when I was a senior in high school because my grandparents knew her family and knew she received the Boettcher Scholarship. Back then, she chatted with me on the phone and gave me some interview tips. Four years later, PLP paired us through the Alumni Mentor Program and she has been pivotal in my preparation for medical school. Claudia has been important because she has not only provided support and comfort when I get worried about the medical acceptance statistics, but she has also called me to answer my questions, read draft after draft of my personal statement and met with me in person to share her experience in medical school. What's the best advice you've ever received? There is always time to do the things you love, so if you don't have enough time, you need to re-evaluate your commitments. If you could have dinner with one or more people from history, whom would you choose and why?  I would choose to have dinner with Martin Luther King Jr. because I think he would have great stories to tell and could give me great advice about leadership and mobilizing people toward a goal....
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Boettcher Foundation Press Release

12 Jun Alumni Board Scholar Profile: Q&A with 1998 scholar Brian Peagler

Members of the Boettcher Scholar Alumni Board are interviewing their fellow Boettcher Scholars to help the community get to know one another better. The following Q&A was compiled by Boettcher Scholar Gergana Kostadinova. Name: Brian Peagler Scholar Year: 1998 Hometown: Denver College(s), Degree(s) and Graduation Year(s): University of Denver, Bachelors in Computer Engineering, Masters in Business Administration, 2005 Tell us about your current work and how long you’ve been doing it. What is your favorite aspect of your current occupation? I currently work as the finance systems manager for eBags, the world’s largest online retailer of luggage, handbags and travel accessories. I’m responsible for our back office software, which allows eBags to pay vendors, order inventory and report our financials. I’ve been with eBags for nearly five years. The favorite aspect of my current position is that I’m given a lot of autonomy in the work that I perform. I am more involved in the day-to-day business of the company, use my expertise in application development and find ways to leverage my system to improve our company performance. What role has being a Boettcher Scholar played into where you are and what you are doing now? Being a Boettcher Scholar has had a direct impact on where I am and what I do currently. Thinking back to my senior year of high school, I was dead set on heading out of state for college. Learning that I had won this scholarship quickly changed my mind. Weeks later, I had taken an internship with J.D. Edwards (a software company that has made my career) and was on my way to the University of Denver. There are a handful of life-defining moments and getting that congratulatory phone call is near the top of the list for me. Tell us about your involvement in activities, organizations or groups outside of work. A great deal of my time outside of work is spent in and around the University of Denver. From volunteering on the Alumni Association Board for the Pioneer Leadership Program to attending concerts and athletic events, I am an active alumnus and engage with the university in any way it will allow me to. The way for me to continuously stimulate my curiosity and push myself to learn new things is to be engaged in a community that fosters that environment. What’s the best advice you’ve received and what advice do you have for new graduates entering your career field? The best advice I’ve received is to find what motivates you. Once you’ve found that, align your career to that motivation as best you can. The easiest way to find work/life balance is to find a career where your life is enriched by it, not weighed against it. For current graduates entering software development – focus on how you get things done. The syntax and languages will always evolve and change, but if you have a steady focus on your process for producing great applications and tools, you’ll always have the drive to succeed. If you could have dinner with one person or a few people from history, whom would you choose and why? I feel like I should list a former U.S. president or world leader, but I would like to have dinner with Jackie Robinson. Besides the major implications he has had on the history of baseball (and American society), he is the single player that inspired me to play baseball and follow the game to this day. I feel that Major League Baseball does a tremendous job in honoring his legacy each year. I’ve read several books about his life, but I would want to learn firsthand some of the history behind playing for the Dodgers during that era....
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Boettcher Foundation Press Release

09 Jun Leadership Coaching: Is coaching for me?

By Katy Craig, Director of Strategic Initiatives As you may recall, the Boettcher Foundation has launched a coaching program aimed at helping our funding recipients further develop their leadership characteristics. We believe that by helping our community of Boettcher Scholars and Boettcher Investigators become more effective leaders, we can help them make an even bigger difference in their personal and professional pursuits, enabling them to have an even bigger impact in our communities. Eighteen months in, we’re gaining valuable insights not only into the impact our program is having, but also into why people choose to be coached – and why they might resist it. For example, an informal survey of our coaching clients recently revealed more than 84 percent of those being coached say that coaching has helped them consider ways to intentionally navigate change, and 79 percent said they explicitly expanded their self-awareness. But what I find more interesting is that when asked to talk about their experiences, those being coached talk about their questions and concerns on the front end, followed by what’s different now. Several clients, who have been pleased with the results of their coaching, agreed to share their insights so that others might get a better sense of what to expect. One of the biggest questions most of them had before they began coaching was simply whether coaching was right for them. That makes sense. There are a lot of misconceptions about what coaching is and who can benefit from it. Many people think that the purpose of coaching is to address poor performance. But, in reality, coaching can help anyone get more of what they want out of life, making them both more fulfilled and more successful. “At first, I believed that something had to be wrong in order for me to reach out for coaching,” said Fernando, a 2016 Boettcher Scholar and coaching client. “As I was coached, I realized that I was completely wrong in my initial thoughts. In fact, coaching did not suggest any changes, instead, it served as a strategic platform for personal refection. I found that I was reaching my own conclusion after every phone session simply by answering my own questions. My coach provided the environment for me to be completely true and honest with myself.” Others may worry that coaching is not for them because of their field or level of career. Sometimes they’ve heard stories that it’s too “touchy-feely” for business-minded executives or others who work in traditionally analytical professions. That was true for Melanie, a Boettcher Investigator who initially thought coaching “wouldn’t apply to a scientist” but quickly saw the benefits to her career. “I feel like I have been learning to be a coach, and am much more comfortable managing my own staff and helping them to reach their full potential, rather than me telling them what to do,” she said. In fact, Melanie has found coaching so relevant and impactful that she’s talked to her division chief about bringing her coach in to meet with her group. Another common concern among coaching clients was simply whether it will be weird. They worried that talking about themselves would feel uncomfortable or self-indulgent. Most wrestled at some level with feeling a little selfish for taking time for themselves through coaching, and worried that things they said would come across wrong. “Before I tried coaching, I wasn't really sure what to think of it,” said 2010 Boettcher Scholar and coaching client Lanna. “I thought, ‘Is this like going to a therapist? Am I going to be sharing my weirdest self with people I respect quite a lot (and who don't know I'm weird yet)?’” Once she tried coaching, though, Lanna realized she did not feel awkward at all during her time with her coach. “My coach acted as a confidential sounding board for my ideas, concerns and goals, and helped me use my own introspection to guide action and results.” Lanna also shared another common concern, which is the perceived time commitment. Many Boettcher community members have heard of coaching programs that require extra reading and work in addition to multiple sessions a month. That kind of commitment can turn away highly engaged individuals with already-full lives. But here’s the bottom line: everything that you do (or don’t do) as a result of coaching is your choice. Those enrolled in the Boettcher coaching program sign up for two 45-minute coaching sessions per month at times and on days that work for them. Then they decide on their own action items at the end of each call, and these activities are typically carried out within their everyday activities. The opportunity is not to add something additional on top of your other responsibilities, but to approach your existing responsibilities differently because of coaching. “The time commitment was minimal, and the results were absolutely worth the time I dedicated to the process,” Lanna added. “Coaching helped me distill from the chaos of daily life what was really important to me, and helped me make my goals tangible and ascertainable. I felt like a much stronger and more self-aware person after just a few coaching sessions.” Jo, a 2014 scholar and client agreed, adding that “A couple hours a month with a coach was all it took to make a noticeable difference in my life, and I feel satisfied having spent that time working on myself because I see the benefits of it going into what I do time and time again.” Such feedback from our coaching clients has helped to reinforce the value of the Boettcher Foundation’s investment in coaching for investigators and scholars. Next month, I will share insights from coaching clients about the direct impact coaching has had on them. But if your interest is already piqued and you’d like more information or a free sample coaching session, please contact me at katy@boettcherfoundation.org.  ...
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Boettcher Foundation Press Release

25 May Boettcher Scholars volunteer at Denver’s GrowHaus

By Beth Baker Owens Boettcher Scholar Alumni Board As part of our annual spring service project, 17 Boettcher Scholars and friends gathered at the The GrowHaus in north Denver’s Elyria-Swansea neighborhood on a sunny, cool Saturday in April to lend a hand and learn what’s happening there. The GrowHaus is a nonprofit community center that combines hydroponics, aquaponics and permaculture farming with a daily market, food pantry and education. The nonprofit is pioneering food access in a neighborhood that is known as a “food desert,” meaning there are no food stores for miles. Also, the soil in many places is contaminated from earlier industrial wastes, making traditional gardens problematic in the neighborhood. Inside the warm greenhouses is a paradise of edible plants. Some plants grow in water, others in ecosystems with fish in ponds that feed and water the plants. Others are in raised beds and hanging baskets. The Boettcher Scholar volunteer group planted, tended and watered plants. The worm beds needed new materials, so we shredded paper and mixed it into the worm bed for a tactile adventure. We also tore apart an old shed cover. While we worked, a group of about 15 kids and parents had an experiential class on growing food. The areas inside and outside were full of conversation and laughter. As the kids’ class ended, the market opened in the front of the building. A steady stream of neighbors came in to purchase fresh vegetables and herbs. The GrowHaus then became a quiet oasis where we finished with a potluck and sandwiches provided by the Boettcher Foundation. Many thanks to alumni board member Kelley Ritz and Boettcher staffer Marisa Pooley for their capable planning and implementation of this fun and educational event....
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Boettcher Foundation Press Release

16 May Alumni Board Scholar Profile: Q&A with 1992 scholar Mary Margaret Knudson Hesse

Members of the Boettcher Scholar Alumni Board are interviewing their fellow Boettcher Scholars to help the community get to know one another better. The following Q&A was compiled by Boettcher Scholar Gergana Kostadinova. Name: Mary Margaret Knudson Hesse Scholar Year: 1992 Hometown: Colorado Springs College(s), Degree(s) and Graduation Year(s): University of Colorado at Boulder, B.A. in Spanish and English, minor in Mathematics, 1997; M.A. Georgetown University, Security Studies and International Security, 2004 Tell us about your current work and how long you’ve been doing it. What is your favorite aspect of your current occupation? My primary focus in recent years has been on raising my children. I currently also work part-time with a local nonprofit, Raising a Reader, promoting early childhood literacy for low-income, at-risk and immigrant families on Colorado’s western slope. I formerly served as a foreign service officer with the U.S. Department of State overseas and in Washington, D.C., as a civil servant with the U.S. Department of Defense and for a defense contracting company working for NATO and the U.S. Joint Forces Command. I continue to serve as a senior foreign affairs consultant for a global defense company. What role has being a Boettcher Scholar played into where you are and what you are doing now? Receiving the Boettcher Scholarship was life-changing. The freedom from financial pressures that came along with the scholarship allowed me to pursue international study and work experiences as well as a heavy course load in college, helping to jump-start my career in foreign affairs. I appreciate the Boettcher Foundation’s ethos of service and community and believe we all have roles to play in supporting and uplifting our communities. Tell us about your involvement in activities, organizations or groups outside of work. I support my children’s school as a weekly volunteer providing math enrichment, serve on the school’s accountability board, and enjoy speaking with high school students about the college scholarship and admissions process as a Boettcher Ambassador. I serve periodically as a volunteer interpreter on international medical brigades, and am working to expose my children to the broader world through Spanish instruction at home and annual language/immersion trips to Guatemala. Living in rural western Colorado, I enjoy participating in many outdoor mountain activities. In the summer I coax a few vegetables out of a community garden plot. What’s the best advice you’ve received and what advice do you have for new graduates entering your career field? Concise, incisive writing and speaking are highly valued skills in many careers, including the Foreign Service. A mentor once counseled me to always consider the question, “So what?” (why does this matter?) in my writing. I would advise students to keep this question in mind in life in general as well as in work. It is useful periodically to take stock of what we are doing and to consider, “So what? How is who I am and what I am doing making the world, or the day, better for someone? Is this the best way to use my time and talents?” If you could have dinner with one person or a few people from history, whom would you choose and why? I recently read Guatemalan human rights activist and Nobel Peace Prize recipient Rigoberta Menchu’s autobiography, and I admire her work to support the rights of women and indigenous people. She came from an extremely humble background and had very little education and few resources. Despite suffering though persecution as well as the torture and murder of several family members at the hands of the military regime, through her tenacity and dedication she drew worldwide attention to the plight of indigenous Guatemalans and has supported an international movement for peace, justice and equality....
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Boettcher Foundation Press Release

16 May Boettcher Foundation seeking skilled alumni volunteers

In an effort to expand the responsible stewardship of Boettcher Foundation resources, the foundation is seeking to engage skilled volunteers willing to use their talents to help us expand our mission. The following positions are currently open to alumni members of the Boettcher Scholar community. SKILLED VOLUNTEER POSITIONS ANNOUNCEMENT: At Boettcher we believe in the promise of Colorado and the potential of Coloradans. Every day we champion excellence across our state by investing in our most talented citizens and high-potential organizations, because supporting their hard work and leadership will enable them to give back for years to come. We are seeking highly qualified Boettcher Scholars and alumni to support us in this work through our new volunteer pilot program. Specific positions will be crafted around the areas of need described below in alignment with volunteer interest and experience. OPPORTUNITIES: Successful candidates will actively support foundation programs and operations, will receive project-specific training and will have the opportunity to work with Boettcher Foundation Staff and stakeholders on a variety of projects. Volunteers will also gain insight into the foundation’s mission and values, as well as its brand personality and leadership characteristics. Additionally, foundation staff will work with successful candidates to create further opportunities within the foundation for the volunteers to gain additional experience in areas of particular interest as they contribute to strengthening the Boettcher community and assist us in better meeting our mission of supporting the residents of the State of Colorado. Volunteers will also have the opportunity to attend public events as foundation representatives. EXPECTATIONS: While these part-time, unpaid positions will be designed to accommodate the volunteers’ individual schedules, the foundation will typically require a minimum duration of three months. Hourly commitments will vary by position. As these volunteer positions are specifically designed for volunteers to make meaningful contributions to the foundation, we will be relying on those selected to commit to the agreed-upon schedule and to inform their supervisor(s) of any upcoming changes to that schedule or work commitment with at least two weeks’ notice. Some work can be project-specific and may be done remotely. We assume that those seeking to work with the foundation desire to give back to their communities in meaningful ways, to have a positive impact on the foundation and on our stakeholders throughout Colorado and to do so in a manner that produces real outcomes worthy of their investing their time and energy. As such, we will be depending on successful candidates to be reliable, accountable and proactive in communicating with foundation staff. We also assume those seeking to volunteer with the foundation want to leverage their natural talents and professional skills and that they will look for every opportunity to take initiative and contribute. In turn, we will endeavor to co-create projects for volunteers that provide opportunities for them to put their leadership into action, to deepen their learning and to have a fuller impact on the foundation and the state. GENERAL SKILLS: The Boettcher Foundation is seeking candidates who possess the following: Excellent organizational skills with the ability to prioritize tasks and work independently Team-orientation and a willingness to learn and contribute to the success of the Boettcher Foundation Strong communication skills – written, in person and on the phone, depending on the role Computer proficiency (internet/e-mail and general computer skills) Reliable transportation for those positions requiring in-office work and staffing off-site events AREAS OF PARTICULAR NEED: Administrative Support The foundation has a variety of different priorities depending on the time of year, and each is underpinned by sound administrative practices. A volunteer in this position will have the chance to support staff and processes across the foundation by Assisting with the creation, formatting and word processing of materials, briefings and presentations to prepare for and then document various meetings Coordinating, scheduling and managing responses for internal meetings, retreats and other offsite functions and events Maintaining files and assisting in the maintenance and organization of permanent records and data management Drafting emails and talking points for pertinent staff phone calls or events Occasionally responding to and following up on telephone and email communications on behalf of staff Optimally, this position would be 8-12 hours/week in the office Data Entry Support Data entry support is essential to the foundation’s work in operations, finance, scholarship and grants. The following strengths are highly valued in providing support across all departments: Ability to quickly and consistently follow data entry processes to update and maintain foundation contacts and program tracking Specific strengths in accuracy and attention to detail Assist in maintaining files and assisting in the maintenance and organization of permanent records and data management Schedule and location for this position can be flexible. Some projects will require in-office hours Event Management The events coordinator will make sure that all the details are in place for our events, big and small. This individual will: Provide support for internal and external meetings, including logistical set-up, catering, location and any other needs that arise Staff offsite events to provide support for registration and event coordination Prepare materials and order supplies for both internal and external events Work location and hours for this position will vary according to season. Multiple large events are scheduled for August 2017 Finance and Accounting We are seeking a skilled volunteer to conduct a process flow analysis of our finance/accounting function to increase efficiency and effectiveness long-term. This includes, but is not limited to, reporting, transaction processing, private foundation regulatory compliance, accounting, tax, investment administration, treasury and insurance Work includes mapping out processes and making recommendations regarding efficiency and effectiveness, best practices, best use of resources and related internal controls Knowledge and experience with organizational structure, finance, accounting systems and project management is required Optimally, this position would be 8-12 hours/week in the office Receptionist The receptionist is critical in establishing a sincere, friendly and welcoming greeting for our guests. We are a very high-touch organization, so making sure we welcome people warmly is incredibly important in our office. This individual Serves as the primary point of contact for all office operations Conducts professional and warm interactions with both internal and external stakeholders (greets, welcomes and assists all visitors) Responds to all incoming telephone, email and mail communications, handling them or forwarding them to appropriate staff, as necessary Ideally, this would be one day per week in the office NEXT STEPS: To be considered for one of our pilot positions for skilled volunteers, please email the documents listed below to Lynnea Louison (Lynnea@boettcherfoundation.org) by 5:00 p.m. on June 1. Interviews for selected candidates will be scheduled on an individual basis. If you are interested, please forward: A cover letter that explains your interest in a volunteer position the particular area of need that you’re interested in filling for the foundation the skills and qualifications that make you a compelling candidate A current resume If you have any questions, please contact Lynnea via email or at 303.285.6206....
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Boettcher Foundation Press Release

03 May Kim Alsip joins Boettcher Foundation team

DENVER, May 3, 2017 — The Boettcher Foundation is pleased to announce that Kim Alsip has joined the staff as administrative assistant. Kim recently moved to Colorado from Washington, D.C., where she worked in government relations. With her she brings more than 20 years’ experience as an executive assistant and office manager. “We’re happy to have Kim join the Boettcher Foundation team,” said CEO Katie Kramer. “Her background and willingness to jump right in and keep the office running smoothly make her a great addition.” Kim is originally from the small town of Chandler, Oklahoma. In D.C. Kim was a Girl Scouts troop leader and a Race for the Cure volunteer, and she is eager to get involved and give back to the Colorado community.   About the Boettcher Foundation: At Boettcher, we believe in the promise of Colorado and the potential of Coloradans. Every day we champion excellence across our state by investing in our most talented citizens and high-potential organizations, because supporting their hard work and leadership will enable them to give back for years to come. Contact: Kristi Arellano 303.285.6208 kristi@boettcherfoundation.org...
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Boettcher Foundation Press Release

15 Mar Denver Post: Colorado Business Committee for the Arts reveals 2017 award winners

By John Wenzel  The Denver Post There are few places in Colorado — or anywhere, for that matter — where an energy company and a community organizer take the same stage to accept an award, or a philanthropist and a hotel company share equal honors. That was the case Wednesday at the Seawell Ballroom at the Denver Performing Arts Complex, where 700 local arts, business and civic leaders assembled for the 30th annual Colorado Business Committee for the Arts statewide lunch.    ...
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