The Downtown Boulder Partnership Honors 2023 Annual Award Winners
Awards celebrate the extraordinary contributions and accomplishments of businesses and individuals within the downtown community.
Boulder, CO [February 14, 2023] – The Downtown Boulder Partnership (DBP) hosted its Annual Awards Luncheon on February 10, 2023, to recognize the champions of local businesses and innovators that help the downtown community thrive. Over 200 attendees enjoyed the celebratory event at the St Julien Hotel & Spa.
In addition to honoring this year's award winners, the luncheon featured an update from the Downtown Boulder Partnership’s CEO, Chip. With a focus on the future, Chip outlined DBP’s Five-Year Vision Plan, emphasizing the goal for a co-created downtown district. “Our biggest role is to invite more people in to create this space with us,” said Chip. “Every person we invite has a unique capacity to create meaning - for themselves, for each other and for us. That is how downtown Boulder remains relevant.”
The 2023 Annual Award Winners were acknowledged for their commitment to enhancing the vibrancy of downtown Boulder.
Virginia Patterson Business of the Year - Avanti Boulder
During her lifetime, Virginia Patterson fiercely advocated for local 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 2023 Business of the Year award recipient is Avanti F&B Boulder. This creative dining hall is home to seven local restaurants, two bars and a plethora of events from weekly trivia nights to themed holiday celebrations. Avanti F&B Boulder embraces an innovative spirit and provides a welcoming space for all from early morning coffee meetings to late night dance parties. They truly embody what it means to be a local business in downtown Boulder.
Rising Star Award - Gemini
The Rising Star award is presented to an up and coming business in the downtown district that has dazzled visitors and locals alike. Gemini, open for just over a year, continues to impress with their emphasis on family-owned and family-feeling business. From the moment you walk inside to when you are heading out, you are treated like a part of Gemini’s family. This Spanish tapas-style restaurant embraces local events, creating specialty-themed cocktails for celebrations such as the Tulip Fairy & Elf Festival. Whether you are seeking a spot for a lunch meeting or looking to honor a special occasion, Gemini will treat you like one of their own.
Nonprofit Organization of the Year - Street Wise Arts
Street Wise Arts has installed over 85 murals throughout the City of Boulder in the last three years. Their mission to amplify arts and culture, represent diversity, equity and inclusion through public art and encourage conversations around social justice and community resilience has made a profound impact on the downtown Boulder landscape. In 2022, Street Wise artist Austin Zucchini-Fowler designed and painted a large mural in an alleyway on the 1400 block of the Pearl Street Mall. Titled “Gaia Boulder Sun, Wind and Moving Water,” this piece focuses on the importance of sustainable energy for our climate. Because of their contributions to art and activism, Street Wise Arts are the recipients of the 2023 Nonprofit Organization of the Year award.
George Karakehian Community Service Award - Dennis Paul, Elevations Credit Union
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 2023 Community Service award named in his honor was presented to Dennis Paul of Elevations Credit Union. Born and raised in Boulder, Dennis has a long history of giving his time and talent back to the local community, including serving as the 2022 treasurer of the Downtown Boulder Partnership Board. His dedication to service is felt throughout the city.
Ron Porter Special Achievement Award - Dave Adams, Downtown 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. He is survived today by his son, Ron “Tyler” Porter, Jr. and his daughter, Lori Cady, who were in attendance at this year’s luncheon.
This year, Dave Adams was the recipient of this special honor to recognize his lifetime dedication to the downtown district. Dave is the current Business Liaison for the Downtown Boulder Partnership. Dave has spent much of his life supporting local businesses, from being a restaurant owner himself to advocating for their interests within DBP. From the early 90s on, Dave has been an invaluable resource to downtown businesses - offering advice and recommendations and providing the highest level of customer service to every DBP member that has ever been a part of the organization. He is a true example of what it means to be a servant leader, and he is beloved by all within downtown.
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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.