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Celebrating Durango during this Year’s Durango Rocks Awards Event Mar. 9th!

All of us at the Chamber are honored to host one night every year, bringing together the community to applaud the achievements of businesses, nonprofit organizations and leaders. It’s an evening of celebration, unity and community pride.

It’s a time-honored event that began more than 40 years ago. Every year, the Chamber solicits nominations from the community for various award categories. We take these nominations to a Selection Committee to review the criteria and the nominations, ultimately selecting the finalists and the recipients. The awards are given based on merit and a demonstration of leadership, achievement, innovation, employee relations, development and resilience. It’s a great way to recognize all of these characteristics that, in the end, contribute to the overall betterment of the Durango-area.

This year, the Chamber is hosting the Durango Rocks Awards Ceremony on Thursday, March 9, at the Community Concert Hall at Fort Lewis College, starting at 5 p.m. We celebrate awards for businesses, small businesses and the Spirit of Durango that exemplify commerce and civic leadership, community involvement and management practices. The nonprofit award goes to an organization that accomplishes noteworthy results on behalf of the community, embodies altruism and respect.

Individual awards include the Citizen of the Year, who is selected based on significant contributions to our community and outstanding leadership, and inspiration to others by example. The entrepreneur award is selected based on demonstration of entrepreneurial spirit through the creation of a local business, and noted for creativity and sound business practices. Volunteer of the year criteria includes cooperation, positive interaction with others, dependability and demonstrates exceptional service to the community and organizations. The Leadership La Plata award recipients inspire others to work collaboratively, demonstrate initiative and are graduates of the LLP program.

If you know of a business, organization or individual who fits any of these criteria, we invite you to nominate them (for next year), along with some background on their achievements. It’s easy to fill out the online form found on our website.

We couldn’t hold this event without the support of other organizations! Thank you to our sponsors who, many have supported us over the years, including 1st Southwest Bank, Baird Wealth Management, Colorado Housing & Finance Authority, Durango Area Association of Realtors, Bank of Colorado, A&L Coors, Tafoya Barrett & Associates, Sky Ute Casino and Resort, Fort Lewis College and Mercy Hospital.

Again, please join us March 9 to celebrate Durango. Reserve your seat by going to our website, DurangoBusiness.org now through March 9. Discounted tickets are available only through Feb. 9.

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank the Chamber Board Members who dedicate their time and services to help reach the short & long-term goals we set every year. In 2023, Chamber board leadership is under president, Charles Spence with Maynes, Bradford, Shipps, & Sheftel. Many thanks to immediate past president, Vaughn Morris with the Boys & Girls Club of La Plata County, for his leadership on the board. Other board members include: Diana Murray, ASAP Accounting; Dr. Karen Cheser, 9-R School District; Michael Hennon, The Payroll Department; and Melissa Youssef, City of Durango representative. Join me in welcoming our new board members: Brandon Mencini, Mercy Hospital; Melisa Jackson Palmer, Bank of Colorado; Rebekah Click, Durango Motor Company; Joseph Kuzma, YPOD representative; Neil Dolder, LLP representative; and Matt Gomez, Diplomat representative. And thank you to our 700+ members for all you do! Learn more at DurangoBusiness.org.

Jack Llewellyn is executive director of the Durango Chamber of Commerce. Contact him at jack@durangobusiness.org.