Bob Gardner award

State Sen. Bob Gardner poses for a picture with Rachel Beck, vice president of government affairs for the Colorado Springs Chamber & EDC, Saturday night at the Antlers Hotel.

The Colorado Springs Chamber & EDC honored the Pikes Peak region's top government, civil and business leaders at a gala Saturday night at The Antlers Hotel, among them was Sen. Bob Gardner, the veteran lawmaker and local lawyer, was named legislator of the year.

The chamber cited Senate Bill 130, the legislation Gardner authored to bring the business community together with the state Department of Revenue to improve new rules on sales tax collection.

He also was lauded for securing a fiscal analysis of a paid leave proposal, "revealing the program, as designed, would’ve quickly become insolvent, leaving the state, businesses, and employees with large bills," the chamber said.

The chamber's Business Citizen of the Year award went to Kevin O’Neil, CEO of The O’Neil Group, founder of the Catalyst Campus for Technology & Innovation and board chairman for Braxton Technologies.

“Kevin is an entrepreneurial powerhouse and one of our region’s most accomplished business leaders," Dirk Draper, president and CEO of the Colorado Springs Chamber & EDC, said in a statement. "He will undoubtedly have a special spot in our city’s story of growth and revitalization when we look back on this era. His passion for this community is equally as impressive as his business acquisitions. He invests in both capital projects and relationships that benefit all of us. He truly embodies Business Citizen of the Year.” 

Three businesses were presented Excellence in Industry awards:

Company of the Year – Titan Robotics: "Founder Clay Guillory built a 3D printer in his garage and quickly scaled the printer from a side project to a full-fledged company," the chamber said in a press release. "Now he and his team are leading the way in 3D printing and manufacturing, making everything from prosthetics to footwear to car parts."

New Company of the Year – Bluestaq: "The downtown DoD software firm has been busy securing noteworthy contracts and serious industry recognition this year, including a contract from the U.S. Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center Directorate of Special Programs to develop the Space Situational Awareness Marketplace program under the auspices of AFWERX," the chamber stated.

Community Investment of the Year – Children’s Hospital Colorado, Colorado Springs: "The new $160 million medical facility employs an impressive 850 people and includes a 50-bed neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) plus a host of other pediatric departments," according to the chamber. "Not to mention, they contracted with fellow Chamber & EDC member GE Johnson Construction Co. to build the facility."

Chuck Moneypenny, a retired U.S. Army sergeant major, received the Military Affairs Award of Excellence. The chamber cited his work on the its Military Affairs Council, including the Armed Forces Week Committee, Outstanding Enlisted Military Representative of the Year sponsorship program and the Senior Enlisted Leader Council. Moneypenny volunteers with other military organizations and events, as well.

Melanie Clay of Six & Geving Insurance was named Ambassador of the Year "for her leadership of an ambassador team the past two years and outstanding support to our business community while growing the value of Chamber & EDC membership," the organization stated.

Don Addy of the Colorado Thirty Group was a community service award for working with civic, government and military leaders "to preserve and grow our region’s defense sector," the chamber said.

The awards gala was sponsored by The O’Neil Group, US Bank, Penrose-St. Francis Health Services, Employers Council, Luisa Graff Jewelers, Olive Real Estate Group, Inc., UCHealth, KOAA5 and The Gazette.

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