Chamber seeks local rock stars – The Durango Herald

Our companies play a major role in our culture and our society. They stimulate the economy and allow our community to prosper.

Each year, the Durango Chamber of Commerce rewards businesses, individuals and non-profit organizations in our region who demonstrate excellence and leadership and who have made a real impact on our community. We believe this is an important function of our organization as it brings us together to celebrate and strengthens our community.

The Chamber presents several categories at the annual Durango Rocks Awards, scheduled for January 20 at the Community Concert Hall at Fort Lewis College. Applications are now open and we invite you to tell the stories of those who were remarkable in 2021.

The Citizen of the Year is awarded to individuals who have made an outstanding contribution to our community beyond their profession or usual responsibilities. Someone who puts community first and makes Durango a better place. Bob Wolff is the 2020 Citizen of the Year, and other recent recipients include Ellen Roberts and Joanne Spina.

The Business of the Year award recognizes dynamic businesses that share a commitment to excellence, business growth and community. They have a proven track record of financial performance, strategies and expansion. They demonstrate achievement in service and innovation in management. The Company of the Year 2020 is the 1st SouthWest Bank; other recent recipients include Peak Food & Beverage and Durango Dermatology.

The Small Business of the Year award is given to businesses that have been in business for at least three years and have fewer than 20 full-time employees. These companies demonstrate innovation, perseverance and exceptional management accomplishments while creating a successful and growing business. Honeyville & Honey House Distillery is the 2020 recipient, and others include Durango Harley-Davidson and Pet Haus.

The Entrepreneur of the Year award is given to someone who starts a new business and is seen as a source of new ideas, goods or services. Entrepreneurs take risks when creating a startup, show vision, leadership and ingenuity. Erin Neer with MuniRevs is Entrepreneur of the Year 2020; previous recipients include Jeff and Jennifer Vierling of Tailwind Nutrition, and Jessika Buell of Lucky Services / Marketing Concepts Squared.

The Nonprofit of the Year Award honors outstanding achievement in the nonprofit sector, addresses an unmet need for community improvement, and serves with distinction. The Economic Development of Region 9 is the non-profit association of the year 2020; previous recipients include Sentiers 2000 and the Community Foundation.

Volunteer of the Year honors an individual who embodies the spirit of volunteerism and community leadership that goes beyond their profession and normal responsibilities. Dave Woodruff is the 2020 Volunteer of the Year; past recipients are Lisa Barrett and Jeff Givens.

Applications are accepted online at and the deadline is November 5th. Be sure to tell why the candidate should be considered. Finalists are announced in December and the recipient is recognized at the ceremony on January 20.

In addition to Durango Rocks, the Chamber offers programs and seminars to grow your business and monthly networking opportunities. For more details, visit

Jack Llewellyn is executive director of the Durango Chamber of Commerce. Contact him at [email protected]

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