Aspen chamber recognizes business, nonprofit leaders |

Aspen chamber recognizes business, nonprofit leaders

Aspen Times Staff Report
Aspen, CO Colorado

ASPEN ” Three Aspen organizations emerged as community leaders during this month’s Wintersköl festivities.

The Aspen Chamber Resort Association, or ACRA, named Charles Cunniffe Architects the Business of the Year, Timberline Bank as the Emerging Business of the Year and Aspen Youth Experience as the Nonprofit Organization of the Year.

The ACRA established the annual awards to recognize and honor one business, one emerging business and a nonprofit organization for their achievements to the community.

A committee made up of chamber members reviews and the scores the applications before selecting the winners.

This award recognizes achievement in best business practices.

Charles Cunniffe Architects is celebrating more than 28 years in business. Cunniffe heads a staff of 18 in his Aspen office. The firm’s goal is to not only design the appropriate solution for each project, but to also ensure the spirit and inspiration behind the solution, ACRA representatives said.

Since its inception, this firm has been on the forefront of economic and business development in Aspen. All of the company’s marketing efforts promote Aspen, the lifestyle and contribute to responsible economic development, according to the ACRA.

In 2008, the firm was awarded the Aspen Z Green Certificate, which demonstrates the architects’ dedication to designing and operating green. They also have an aggressive recycling program, and support Aspen businesses by engaging in commerce locally. The firm continues to be recognized for design excellence, with numerous awards from the prestigious American Institute of Architects, as well as other national and local awards.

The firm’s architects have donated countless hours of pro-bono design and consulting services to numerous local nonprofit organizations, the ACRA noted, including the Aspen Art Museum, Challenge Aspen, Jazz Aspen/Snowmass, Theatre in the Park, River Bridge Children’s Advocacy Center and Computers 4 Kids.

In the fall of 2004, Timberline Bank was started by two brothers who thought banking was a natural extension of their upbringing.

While many banks are facing tough conditions, Timberline Bank strives to be known as the “community bank above the rest” by putting guest service as one of their highest priorities.

There were 13 employees when their branches opened; now there are 45 companywide, with a new branch in Montrose.

Timberline Bank’s involvement in civic, charitable and professional organizations is comprehensive, and includes both personal and institutional commitments, according to ACRA representatives. Many bank employees are involved with the Rotary Club, Kids First, Aspen Young Professionals, the local emergency medical team and the Buddy Program, to name a few.

Aspen Youth Experience’s stated goal is to reach out to at-risk teens from across the United States and the Roaring Fork Valley, empowering them to overcome their obstacles, and visualize and achieve their potential.

Since 1991, professionals, volunteers, mentors, and programs have taught youths to be responsible for the choices they make and not be limited by their environment.

Since its inception, more than 2,000 youths have participated in Aspen Youth Experience programs. They have come to Aspen from communities in Denver, New York City, Chicago, Phoenix, Los Angeles, Washington DC, Kansas City, San Francisco, New Orleans, various Native American reservations and the Roaring Fork Valley.

Aspen Youth Experience partners with local nonprofit organizations or schools in each city it serves. Working with those partner agencies, Aspen Youth Experience identifies, encourages, and prepares youths in need of a unique opportunity, and then helps to create a network of support and follow through that participants can depend on into their adult lives.

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