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Ashley McNeely recognized at an early age she’d one day help people financially. McNeely’s grandparents raised her and provided a stable childhood. But when Ashley was 11, her grandfather died. Financial hardship followed. “My grandmother didn’t know what to do; she didn’t have resources and didn’t know who to turn to,” McNeely said. “When I […]

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Zac Egeler is defined by his faith — it both sustains and guides him. “I believe in Jesus Christ,” he said. “My faith is what drives me to get up and make a difference in the world.” The Colorado Springs native says his Christian faith is part of the reason why he wanted to work […]

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Few of us are fortunate enough to find our career path early, and fewer still find the job and organization of our dreams on the first try. Shana Lachowicz is one of the fortunate few. After graduating from Colorado Christian University in 2006, Lachowicz took some time off and traveled the country. She soon returned […]

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Shane Sherman was born “dirt poor,” as he says, into a family where no one had ever graduated college. “My dad left when I was 4, and my mom worked at a florist shop,” he says. “We didn’t have much. I’m the first in my family to earn a bachelor’s degree, to earn a master’s […]

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Ian Hancock was a puzzling applicant on paper: What, Vice President Wylie Lewis wondered, did someone with a background in e-commerce want with a yard staff member position at Bill’s Equipment & Supply Inc.? That question was quickly answered: When a branch manager position opened up at the construction equipment supplier’s Platte Avenue location in […]

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When students question whether they really belong at Pikes Peak Community College, when they struggle with cultural or socioeconomic gaps, when they worry about their citizenship status or when they just need an empathetic ear, Ben Gallegos-Pardo is there. And when he offers advice, they can count on it being good. “It’s all about sharing […]

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Danielle Gaffney has made a name for herself at Stockman Kast Ryan + Co and in the Springs by helping her clients to plan for the future and her colleagues to stay connected. “I’m an accountant … which doesn’t always turn into being in the community,” she says. “I think a lot of people think […]

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Reanna Werner has always had a passion for people — so it’s fitting she’s made her career working in the field of human resources. The 39-year-old owner of consulting firm HR Branches got her introduction to the industry when she was barely old enough to drive. “I actually started my career in HR when I […]

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Zuleika Johnson came to the Springs from New York City to live with her older sister, Cinthya Lucas, and for a change of pace. But looking at her résumé, she brought the work ethic and discipline she learned surviving the New York rat race along with her. In a brief two years with UCCS, she’s […]

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Higher education is rarely a solo venture, and Antonio Huerta knows this better than most. Huerta’s father, a migrant farm worker born in Mexico, changed the course of his future children’s lives for the better when he decided to pursue a bachelor’s degree — an accomplishment that would have been impossible if not for Huerta’s […]

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Julie Ramirez is the first to say she has big shoes to fill. Her father, Julio Cesar Ramirez, was a formidable advocate for Fayetteville, North Carolina, until his death in 2016 at age 54. The senior Ramirez, a native of Linares, Mexico, and a retired Green Beret, elevated Fayetteville’s Mexican-American contingency in the annual International […]

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Brandon Eldridge thinks of himself as “almost a native” of Colorado Springs. He’s been involved in and dedicated to this community since arriving here in 1998. “My Dad was in the Army, and he was stationed here,” Eldridge recalled. “We moved from Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri, and I’ve been here ever since.” After graduating […]

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Each year, Noah Botkin invites a group of people to a “Friendsgiving” potluck dinner. But it’s not just food and fellowship that brings them together. The friends choose a local charity, dedicate their support and help raise funds for the organization — and that event typifies Botkin’s unique and creative approach to giving back. According […]

Long before she came to work at the Space Foundation Discovery Center, Rachel English was fascinated with science and history. “I’ve always enjoyed [history],” English said. “It’s people telling stories about themselves as a way of understanding each other and understanding ourselves.” The 28-year-old is a Colorado Springs native who graduated from Air Academy High […]

Matt Kubiak has a track record of achievement. A runner in high school and college, he earned an endorsement from Reebok and competed professionally for several years. He was also a professional rodeo cowboy until an injury ended that career. “As an athlete, I was very much focused on myself,” he said. But after the […]

Nico de Vries knows what it’s like to be without a voice. The Miami native has battled a stutter all his life, but it was that hurdle that ultimately drove him toward his purpose: educating young people. A graduate of the University of Florida, de Vries earned a bachelor’s degree in physiology and a master’s […]

Corrie Smith has always been drawn to people who need someone in their corner — and she has a knack for helping them tackle big issues in practical ways. The signs of her vocation were there, in her bachelor’s degree in social work from Indiana’s Taylor University and her master’s in crisis response and trauma […]

Those close to Justin Hermes say his real estate career is about far more than the commission check he receives at the end of each transaction. “If his clients aren’t raving fans throughout the process, he feels like he has failed,” wrote nominator Martha Marzolf, managing broker of RE/MAX Properties Inc., where Hermes has been […]

Jini Bornes is helping unite people of color in a new and positive way, through her social enterprise business, MyBlackColorado.com. “She is creating sweeping changes in the landscape of this community,” said her nominator, Rodney Gullatte. “She’s inspiring other women business owners to reach and achieve.” Bornes owns BornesPro Media with her husband, Brandon, who […]

Sam Minneti is a storyteller. But you won’t find her work in books, nor will you see it in theaters. She tells her clients’ stories through her work with Design Rangers, where she’s a partner, project manager and content strategist. Her work has earned her a strong professional reputation and a fair few awards — […]

Stephanie Adams has one of the most visible workspaces in Colorado Springs. In fact, if you live, work in, or frequently visit our downtown, you’ve probably walked past Stephanie’s lair a dozen times. She’s the site director at UCCS Downtown, a ground floor space on Tejon Street just south of Colorado Avenue. To passersby, it […]

Rebekah Gans may not be a Colorado Springs native, but she’s just as invested in bettering her community as anyone from the Centennial State. Born in northern California, the 31-year-old came to Olympic City USA more than a decade ago to attend Colorado College, where she earned her degree in biological anthropology. But after graduation, […]

Surviving and escaping domestic abuse demands an incredible strength and reliance on community; the effort is nothing short of titanic. Recovering is no less a feat. But what comes next? Kristen Faith started Break the Silence Against Domestic Violence in late 2011, while she was earning her bachelor’s degree in journalism at San Diego State […]

A nonprofit’s core mission rests as much in the hands of the employees as the community. For a nonprofit to do all the good it can, its board needs to hire and retain the right people for the job. But that isn’t always easy. There’s a certain public perception of how nonprofits work that lumps […]

It’s hard to miss Chrissy Williams’ ambition to improve those around her. In her work at Ent Credit Union and out in the community, Williams knows her efforts have an impact — and she leads by example. It’s a lesson she says she learned throughout grade school, where her teachers built a positive foundation and […]

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Best Shopping Center 1. The Promenade Shops at Briargate The open-air shopping center on Briargate Parkway in north Colorado Springs features specialty retail stores like Anthropologie, Apple, lululemon and Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, as well as restaurants like Ted’s Montana Grill, Panera Bread, Bad Daddy’s Burger Bar and Biaggi’s Ristorante Italiano. According to its website, […]

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Best Architectural Firm 1. RTA Architects RTA Architects continues to thrive after 45 years in business. Stuart Coppedge, principal of the firm, is thankful for locals and their appreciation of the company.   “We’re thrilled that folks recognize that we matter to the community and we do good work,” he said. “We’re appreciative of the […]

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Best Nonprofit Organization 1. Cheyenne Mountain Zoo Ranked one of the top zoos in the country by several national media outlets, it should be no surprise Cheyenne Mountain Zoo is also voted Best Place to Take Your Family and Tourist Attraction by nearby residents.  “This local recognition means a lot to us because we work […]

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Best Bank 1. ANB Bank  ANB Bank is committed to making sure its clients are financially savvy — providing financial education for adults and young people as well as tools to figure out mortgage savings, retirement, debt and insurance.  “We don’t exist without our community and our customers,” said Tom Ashley, ANB Bank regional president of […]

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Best HR Firm  1. Pikes Peak Workforce Center Since the days of the Great Depression, workforce centers across the country have helped businesses and job seekers connect.  The Pikes Peak Workforce Center, serving El Paso and Teller counties, still forges ahead with its mission of promoting the economic vitality of the region.  “In 2019 we […]

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BEST BAKERY Boonzaaijer’s Dutch Bakery Boonzaaijer’s Dutch Bakery opened its doors in 1999. Founded by fourth-generation baker Stephen Boonzaaijer, it reflects the long history of the Boonzaaijer baking family, beginning in Holland in 1896. Stephen apprenticed in his father’s Kalamazoo bakery, trained in the Netherlands and eventually took a job at The Broadmoor, moving on […]

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BEST HEALTH CARE FACILITY 1. UCHealth With hospitals, clinics and urgent care centers across Colorado Springs, UCHealth has become an unmissable provider of health and wellness in the city.  “What makes UCHealth such an extraordinary organization are the nearly 6,000 employees and physicians who help fulfill our mission every day of improving lives across southern […]

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BEST COLLEGE, UNIVERSITY & TRADE SCHOOL 1. UCCS UCCS is the only research-level university in southern Colorado. It developed the world’s first bachelor of innovation program and was among the first to offer a fully online degree program — way back in 1996.  “Our commitment to the community goes back to our roots in 1965 […]

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Best Photography & Videography Company 1. Bourbon Street Productions When you first step through the doors of Bourbon Street Productions you’re enveloped in an atmosphere that feels more like the communal spaces scattered through high-end art galleries than one of the city’s top videography companies. It’s the appropriate aesthetic for a business that consistently produces […]

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Best Bed & Breakfast 1. The St. Mary’s Inn Bed & Breakfast Nestled between bustling downtown Colorado Springs and the sprawling Colorado College campus, The St. Mary’s Inn Bed & Breakfast is a rarity in hospitality these days, a traditional bed and breakfast that isn’t rented via app and followed up with an impersonal, hastily […]

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As former business relations and employment development director for the Pikes Peak Workforce Center, Dana Barton made a difference in the lives of job seekers. Now, as director of the Rocky Mountain ADA Center, she’s making a difference in the lives of people with disabilities and their families. The common thread: affecting numerous lives for […]

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If you don’t ask, the answer is no. If you have a chance, take it. If it changes your life, let it. That’s the advice Kristen Christy’s mother gave her years ago, and it’s the way she’s lived her life ever since. It hasn’t been easy. Christy has seen far more than her share of […]

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Torie Giffin’s dream of founding and operating a cycling-centric lodge began as just that — a dream. “I always wanted to do my own thing,” Giffin, owner of the Buffalo Lodge Bicycle Resort, told the Business Journal. “Two nights in a row I had a dream about a hotel that would cater to bicyclists. It […]

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Native Coloradan Amber Coté has been a go-to person in the Colorado Springs nonprofit world for more than 20 years — and she’s far from finished. So extensive is her resumé that it might be that of someone a generation older, about to enter a well-deserved retirement. She’s served on the boards of the Fine Arts […]

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Not long after Cynthia Chung Aki retired from the military and moved to Colorado Springs, she felt a need to give something back to her new community. Since her arrival 21 years ago, she’s volunteered her time serving on numerous boards and committees for city and county government initiatives, as well as for local businesses […]