The Arvada Chamber of Commerce held its 71st Annual Awards Luncheon on May 11 at the Arvada Center, honoring the Woman and Man of the Year and recognizing recipients of the Image Award, the Young Professional Leadership Awards, the Pioneer Award, the Rising Star Award and Lifetime Membership Awards.
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“What’s so special about our community is the fabric,” said Arvada Mayor Marc Williams to kick off the ceremony. “People who are being recognized exemplify that by giving back to our community each and every day.”
Gillian McCarron won Woman of the Year for her philanthropic efforts, while Jeff Cannon was awarded Man of the Year for his contributions to the Chamber and the Arvada Jaycees.
“When I was six, I had leukemia,” Cannon said. “Fortunately, things worked out and they developed a new drug — the good Lord helped out. I always figured if I went through all of that, then I’m supposed to be here to help.”
“I’m truly honored and humbled to be recognized alongside such an electric group of individuals,” McCarron said. “Giving back is a passion of mine.”
Mike Litzau was honored with the Pioneer Award for lifetime contributions to the community — the first Pioneer Award Winner since Mary Jo Giddings in 2018.
Dan Quarantino, the assistant principal at Arvada High School, won the Image Award for his work with the school’s athletic department and for spearheading the Arvada Sports Institute. Quarantino said he was grateful for the opportunity to work with local students on their athletic and academic goals.
“We’re so glad to represent this great community and work with kids in this great community and we’re going to keep providing opportunities for kids in the community, especially the east Arvada community,” Quarantino said.
Emily Grace King — a gallery exhibition manager at the Arvada Center — and April Lambatos —the co-owner of Footer’s Catering and Social Capitol Event’s Center — won the Young Professional Leadership Awards.
King said she was focused on expanding free access to the arts to the public and providing equitable opportunities for artists, while Lambatos thanked her Footer’s team, which she called “the best team in the world.”
Genesis Rodriguez Esparza, a senior at Pomona High School, won the Rising Star award for her philanthropic efforts through the Girl Scouts of the USA. She was awarded a $500 scholarship as part of the award.
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