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Navigators to success

Businesses recognized for community contribution

Danie Harrelson

— Some contributions to a business community cannot always be measured in dollars and cents.

One local business and one individual whose dedication and commitment have led the way in the community will be recognized tonight at the Steamboat Grand Hotel.

The Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association and Steamboat Pilot & Today will present their annual Navigator Awards at the awards dinner and banquet beginning at 6 p.m.

“It’s an honorary award that has nothing to do with how much money you make and everything to do with how you are viewed by your peers in the community,” said George Noyer, former president of the chamber’s board of directors. “Otherwise, it would just be another award.”

Noyer, who helped to present the awards last year, said the award winners represent the very best in the Steamboat Springs business community.

The selection process is complicated by the large pool of qualified candidates who all deserve an award for their contributions to the community, he said.

“It’s an agonizing decision to decide who the recipient will be,” Noyer said.

Along with the business leader of the year and the business of the year, the businesswoman of the year will also be recognized by the Yampa Valley Business and Professional Women. Stacey Foster, ice rink manager for the city of Steamboat Springs, received the BPW award last year. She said the addition of the BPW award to the evening’s presentations widens the scope of recognition for businesswomen in the local business community.

“It’s nice that the BPW is able to consolidate with the chamber to present its award,” she said. “It gives them a larger audience.”

Foster’s role in establishing after-school programs for young people, as well as attracting attention to girls’ and women’s hockey programs, earned the respect of her peers last year. The BPW award serves to honor women who guide others, she said.

Valerie Effinger-Kish, chamber membership director, said the format of the evening has been changed from last year’s presentation style.

Rather than announcing award candidates and bringing them to the front, she said, only the winners will be announced.

“It’s going to be a surprise this year,” she said. “We thought it would be more fun to keep the excitement this way.”

Effinger-Kish said candidates who were nominated answered a series of written questions, and several judges rated their answers.

“It gives the judges a picture of how they fit in with the community,” she said. “It makes for a tough decision, but we feel that the best candidates were chosen.”


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