O’Neil named Business Citizen of the Year

Kevin O’Neil

Kevin O’Neil is the Colorado Springs Chamber & EDC’s 2019 Business Citizen of the Year.

O’Neil, founder of the Catalyst Campus for Technology & Innovation, CEO of The O’Neil Group, and chairman of the board for Braxton Technologies, LLC, was honored at the organization’s annual gala, held at The Antlers hotel tonight.

Titan Robotics, Bluestaq, and Children’s Hospital Colorado, Colorado Springs were honored with Excellence in Industry Awards at the gala.

Business Citizen of the Year “recognizes a business person who contributes to the economic growth and prosperity of the Colorado Springs area, is involved in the betterment of the community through active civic participation and demonstrates a willingness to assist in business and community projects, among other factors,” according to the Chamber & EDC.

“Kevin is an entrepreneurial powerhouse and one of our region’s most accomplished business leaders,” Dirk Draper, president and CEO of the Chamber & EDC, said in a news release. “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.”

O’Neil is a Colorado Springs native who started his first business, a flooring store, while attending Hastings College in Nebraska.

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“A year later, he closed the store and moved back home to begin what would become a legacy of revitalization and economic development in downtown Colorado Springs,” according to the release. “O’Neil has since purchased and transformed several downtown buildings, created the Catalyst Campus, and brought the multi-million-dollar Braxton Technologies to downtown Colorado Springs.”

The Excellence in Industry Awards were given as follows:

  • 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. 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. 

  • Community Investment of the Year: Children’s Hospital Colorado, Colorado Springs

The new $160 million medical facility employs an 850 people and includes a 50-bed neonatal intensive care unit plus a host of other pediatric departments. Children’s Hospital contracted with Chamber & EDC member GE Johnson Construction to build the facility. 

Additional awards presented during the evening included:

  • Military Affairs Award of Excellence to Chuck Moneypenny, retired Sergeant Major, United States Army, for his involvement in the Chamber & EDC’s Military Affairs Council activities, including the Armed Forces Week Committee, Outstanding Enlisted Military Representative of the Year sponsorship program, and the Senior Enlisted Leader Council. Moneypenny also volunteers with other organizations and events that support the military community.
  • Ambassador of the Year to Melanie Clay, Six & Geving Insurance, for her leadership of an ambassador team the past two years, and outstanding support to the business community while growing the value of Chamber & EDC membership.
  • Community Service to Don Addy, Colorado Thirty Group, for collaborating with community leaders, government officials, and top military officials to preserve and grow the region’s defense sector.
  • Legislator of the Year to Senator Bob Gardner, Colorado District 12, for work on new rules regarding sales tax collection.