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Downtown Boulder Partnership Announces 2024 Award Winners

Category: Press Room

Downtown Boulder Partnership’s Annual Awards Luncheon set for Friday, February 2nd will celebrate the outstanding contributions and accomplishments of businesses and individuals within the downtown community

Boulder, CO [January 24, 2024] –  On Friday, February 2, 2024, the Downtown Boulder Partnership (DBP) will host their Annual Awards Luncheon at the St Julien Hotel & Spa starting at 11:30 am.  A limited number of tickets are still available for this celebratory event recognizing the heroes of local businesses and passionate individuals that make downtown Boulder one of the most vibrant districts in the nation. 

“The Downtown Boulder business community is thriving, and we look forward to celebrating the achievements of these innovative and committed people in this fun setting,” said Bettina Swigger, CEO of Downtown Boulder Partnership. The following businesses, organizations and individuals will be honored for their accomplishments and support of the downtown business community.

Virginia Patterson Business of the Year - The Sophomore

During her lifetime, Virginia Patterson fiercely advocated for downtown businesses. She brought a positive energy to all her work and committed her life to making Boulder a better place. In the late 1970s, it was Virginia who persuaded many business owners to remain downtown following the 1976 construction of the Pearl Street Mall. Virginia was also actively involved in advocating for the creation of a business improvement district, which was eventually formed in 2000.

The 2024 Business of the Year award recipient is The Sophomore. Josh and Kate Dinar opened up this neighborhood sports bar in just six weeks after transforming their Ash'Kara location on Pearl Street's West End.  With a focus on connecting the community through sports and good food, the restaurant has become the place to gather and cheer on the Buffs (and other local teams) and celebrate the Prime Effect!

Rising Star Award - Süti and Co.

The Rising Star award is presented to a business that demonstrates a notable innovative approach to enhancing the downtown atmosphere by creating a distinctive and memorable experience for visitors. Süti and Co., has become a delightful addition to the East End community generating an exciting buzz from visitors and locals alike for their unique Scandinavian flavor and flair in a fresh, community-oriented environment.  Owner and head chef Andrea Uzarowski draws inspiration from her hometown of Copenhagen, Denmark and shares her grandmother's cherished recipes in her delectable menu created with seasonal ingredients and inspired by people and places.

Nonprofit Organization of the Year - Mindful Works

The annual recipient of the Nonprofit Organization of the Year award is a downtown organization that has distinguished itself through its significant impact on the overall well-being of the downtown community.  Mindful Works will be recognized for their job-driven training and real-life employment opportunities for those recovering from mental illness.  In 2023, they proudly supported 32 individuals through these efforts. Program artisans design, produce and sell high-quality, hand-crafted, wellness, meditation, and home décor products. 

George Karakehian Community Service Award - Terri Takata-Smith, Downtown Boulder Partnership

Since opening Art Source International in the 1970s, George Karakehian has been a force in downtown Boulder, contributing much of his personal time and energy to making Boulder a special place to live and work. The 2024 Community Service award honoree is Downtown Boulder Partnership’s own Terri Takata-Smith.  Celebrating her 16th year as Vice President of Marketing and Communications, Terri also assumed the Interim CEO position in the summer of 2023 working tirelessly to ensure the continued success of the downtown district through strong partnerships and collaborations with the business community and partnering organizations. 

Ron Porter Special Achievement Award - Bob Yates, Museum of Boulder

Ron Porter, a well respected and beloved attorney in the 1970s, walked the Pearl Street Mall every day, stopping to say hello to local business owners or to play a game of chess outside Art Source. He was one of the biggest champions of the downtown Boulder community and a dear friend to everyone he met. Whether he was offering legal advice to business owners or working with city officials on parking, Ron dedicated his life to improving the downtown experience. 

This year, Bob Yates will be the recipient of this special honor to recognize his lifetime dedication to the downtown district.  Bob was a tremendous supporter of small businesses during his city council terms and has also generously donated his time and expertise to the Downtown Boulder Community Initiatives Board of Directors raising funds for beloved community events and traditions. A longtime champion of LGBTQ+  rights, Bob founded Rainbows Over Pearl celebrating Pride Month by providing free pride flags to all interested businesses.  Bob is currently the Interim CEO at the Museum of Boulder. 

For more information:

General public: 303-449-3774 |

Press: Kate Hernandez, Marketing & Communications Coordinator

303-449-3774 (office)|

About Downtown Boulder Partnership

Downtown Boulder Partnership (DBP) is a non-profit organization, originally founded in 1984 as Downtown Boulder Incorporated, dedicated to continued preservation, promotion and enhancement of Downtown Boulder as the heart of the greater Boulder community.  With a mission to maintain Downtown as the center of commerce, government, culture and leisure, DBP’s membership supports the overall vitality of Downtown through public advocacy, political involvement and by producing year-round community events that enhance the Boulder experience for residents and visitors.