Representatives from the BBB’s founding accredited businesses (1980) pose for a group photo during the organization’s 2016 Night of Excellence awards gala.

The Better Business Bureau of Southern Colorado announced the winners of its annual Excellence in Customer Service awards last week during a private event at Cheyenne Mountain Resort.

The organization honored the award winners last Thursday during its 1920s-themed Night of Excellence event, which was sponsored by BBB founding business Bob Penkhus Volvo (the event also served as the local public debut of Volvo’s new 2017 models).

“The gala drew in record numbers of attendees, 50 percent more than last year’s event and also experienced a record number of sponsors and supporters,” according to BBB spokesperson Becca Tonn, who works as director of public relations for Blakely + Company.

During the event, the BBB recognized Excellence in Customer Service winners: Colorado Springs Utilities, Genesis Med Spa, Two Men and a Truck, Peak Structural Inc. and The WireNut.

“We are proud of our Excellence in Customer Service Award winners,” said BBB CEO and Executive Director Jonathan Liebert. “This vetting process is rigorous and lengthy — and these companies have proven they are superstars in customer service.”

The organization also partnered with UCCS to award college senior Tatiana Loa with a $2,500 fellowship, and awarded high school seniors Claire Brockway (Rampart High School) and Andrew Marshall (Air Academy High School) with $2,500 scholarships.

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The event was concluded with a keynote speech by Steph Davis, a 42-year-old rock climber, base jumper and wingsuit flyer who was made famous as the first woman to have free climbed the 3,200-foot Salathe Wall on El Capitan (Yosemite National Park in California). Davis wrote “High Infatuation: A Climber’s Guide to Love and Gravity” and “Learning to Fly: An Uncommon Memoir of Human Flight, Unexpected Love, and One Amazing Dog.” She lives in Moab, Utah, and now runs her own business and works as a public speaker.

“We chose Steph Davis because we felt her story would really resonate with our audience of small business owners and entrepreneurs,” said BBB Marketing Director Gina Sacripanti. “Her message of embracing change, learning from failure, and managing risk and fear are all pillars to starting and managing a business. As both a small business owner and professional climber, Steph provides an alternative lens at looking at life’s challenge and choosing a nontraditional career path.”