Ron Williams

Ron Williams. Photo courtesy of the National Western Stock Show

The National Western Stock Show has named Ron Williams, philanthropist and former chairman of the stock show’s board of directors, as its 2022 Citizen of the West.

Williams “is a respected leader in business, education, civic, and philanthropic communities. He has made many contributions to the community through his long-standing service and financial commitments,” the stock show said in a statement. “Mr. Williams' contributions are indelible across Colorado and to the future of the National Western Stock Show.”

Because the pandemic has forced a postponement of many stock show activities this year, Williams will receive the award at a dinner in January 2022. 

Williams was co-chair of a capital campaign to raise $250 million for the Children's Hospital at the Fitzsimons campus and also helped raise $10 million for the Denver Public Schools Foundation. He has served on the National Western Stock Show’s board of directors since 2004.

"We've got a sizable project to reinvent the National Western and make it much larger and much better, and I've been spending all my time doing that," he said, referring to the ongoing effort to transition the area into a campus for Colorado State University and year-round destination. "It's like starting a new career, and it's been fun."

Williams grew up in Nebraska and moved to Denver, joining an oil company in 1977. He was the president and CEO of the Gary-Williams Company and received an induction into the Colorado Business Hall of Fame in 2016. He is on the University of Colorado Hospital board and is part of the Colorado Forum.

“(The award) is given to those who make significant contributions to the western way of life,” said Terrance Carroll, a former speaker of the state House of Representatives and a stock show board member. He’s one of the people who’s really worked hard to raise the status of the National Western Stock Show.”
Past honorees include former CSU president Al Yates, former second lady Lynne Cheney, wife of former Vice President Dick Cheney, and former Colorado Supreme Court Justice Rebecca Love Kourlis and her husband, former state agriculture commissioner Thomas Kourlis.

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