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March 11, 2011 - Networking for Change at the CNPA Awards Luncheon

What: Colorado Nonprofit Week Awards Luncheon

Where: Marriott City Center

When: Friday, March 11, 2011

Time: 11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Welcome: Renny Fagan, President & CEO

Speaker: Lt. Gov. Joe Garcia, Board Chair Juan Botello, State Treasurer Walker Stapleton, Secretary of State Scott Gessler


Sponsors: Boettcher Foundation, Daniels Fund, The Denver Foundation, The Denver Post, Colorado Health Foundation, The Colorado Trust, Pinnacol Assurance, Rose Community Foundation, BBVA Compass, BKD, Colorado State Bank & Trust, Kaiser Permanente, Polsinelli Shugahart, Colorado Housing and Finance Authority, Developmental Disabilities Resource Center, Ehrhardt Keefe Steiner & Hottman, Kundinger Corder & Engle, Wells Fargo, Colorado Business Bank/CoBiz Financial, Holland & Hart, Mountain States Employers Council, Pismo Fine Art Glass

Menu: Roasted chicken and asparagus, salad greens, cheesecake

Attendance: 400

Attire: Business Casual, military dress

Special Thanks: Colorado Nonprofit Week Task Force

Event Coordinator: Sara Raab

Board of Directors: John Arigoni, Rebecca Arno, Bruce Atchison, Juan Botello, Mary Carraher, Tom Downey, Sonya Garcia Ulibarri, Noreen Keleshian, Monique Lovato, Carolyn Love, Elaine Mariner, Rich Martinez, Lydia McCoy, Lisa Meacham, Amanda Mountain, Frances Owens, Kevin Seggelke, Michaelle Smith, Tim Walsworth, Brad Young

Blacktie Photos by: M Darcy

 Ken Gordon (left) accepts the Public Service Lifetime Achievement Award from Brad Young
Ken Gordon (left) accepts the Public Service Lifetime Achievement Award from Brad Young


 Networking for Change at the CNPA Awards Luncheon

story by M. Darcy

One of Denver's best networking opportunities is the annual awards luncheon hosted by the Colorado Nonprofit Association.  Here, you'll find Colorado's top nonprofit groups and foundations, civic-minded corporations, senators and legislators, all with the mindset that "we're in this together" and all talking across tables to other groups.  This year it was held at the Marriott City Center on Friday, March 11.

The concept of solidarity was echoed at this year's luncheon by every award winner.

The William Funk Award for Building Stronger Communities went to Dr. Dixie van der Flier Davis, founder of the Adoption Exchange and Joe Higgins, Executive Director of Mesa County Partners.

Davis noted that, "none of us do this alone; we work together.  Every day our goals require us to stretch beyond attitudes, fears and systems that divide us."

Higgins recognized the importance of "government, nonprofit and businesses to work together." He stressed that "we are all more effective when we can work together, pool our resources, and invest our talents, time and treasure in our communities."

Gates Family Foundation Executive Director, Tom Kaesemeyer, received the Steve Graham Award for Building Nonprofit Capacity.  He sees what nonprofits achieve as "truly remarkable", lauding "the power of foundation collaboration and public-private partnerships."  Those collaborations and partnerships, he said, "can fan the spark of a nonprofit's great idea into something much greater with more impact." 

Rep. Mark Ferrandino, winner of the Legislator of the Year Award, has long been a strong advocate for nonprofit groups in the House of Representatives.  He appreciated how essential nonprofits are, especially during a slow recovery of this economy, and stated that "More than ever, we need to continue to build a sustainable public-private collaborative delivering much needed outreach to ever greater numbers of people."

Senator Al White also recieved the Legislator of the Year Award. Most of White's political career has been dedicated to protecting funding for the arts, tourism and creative industries throughout Colorado.

The Public Service Lifetime Achievement Award went to Ken Gordon, for his work in and out of the Legislature.  "I believe that we are all in this together," he said, "We can aspire to consider our family to be the whole universe and everyone in it.  When looked at in this way, conflicts fall away, progress can be made, suffering can be reduced."  "The path toward a better society," he claimed, is by creating "a positive feedback loop that will improve the community and allow people to pay it forward."  This, he said is what collaboration of our institutions is all about.

The Excellence in Media Award to encourage more engagement and investment in solutions to our communities' greatest concerns was hard-reached and went to the Denver Post for its community relations arm that has gone above and beyond to support the nonprofit sector and Coloardo communities.  Tracy Ulmer, Community Relations Director, accepted the award. 

Scott Gessler, Colorado Secretary of State remarked that "nonprofits are critical for the health of the community," and argued that the State Office is "the gateway to businesses, but also to the nonprofit community", encouraging both entities to work together through government channels.

In the luncheon's closing remarks, CNPA's President and CEO Renny Fagan quoted Benjamin Disreali: "The greatest good you can do for another is not just to share your riches but to reveal him his own."  This is the task Fagan set to the attending guests and to keep up the good work of doing good works - together.

The Colorado Nonprofits Association connects nonprofits of all sizes across the state.  They act as a coaltion to influence public policy and public opinion and serve their members by providing tools for communication, networking and administration, trainings, forums and advocacy.

Connect with the rest and join the Colorado Nonprofits Association at











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