McCallum, Virgili honored for long chamber roles
Glenwood Chamber annual Award recipients
Citizen of the Year
ATHENA Award (Honorary Lifetime Chamber Member)
ATHENA Young Professional
Bosco Tourism Business of the Year
Sunlight Mountain Resort
Honorary Lifetime Chamber Member
Top Brass Business of the Year
Bay Equity Home Loans
A year of transition for the Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association served as the backdrop for the chamber to honor some of its own at its annual gala event, held at the Hotel Colorado Saturday night.
Michael McCallum, a GSCRA board member for the past 10 years and champion of several Community on the Move tax questions to support public amenities over the years, was named Citizen of the Year.
And Marianne Virgili, who recently retired as president and CEO after more than three decades with the Glenwood Chamber, was bestowed with the honor of receiving this year’s ATHENA Award. The annual award recognizes someone in the community who has worked to help women succeed.
Receiving the ATHENA Young Professional Award was Crystal Young, advocacy director at the Advocacy Safehouse Project, for her work in helping women to overcome domestic abuse.
The annual awards banquet doubled this year as a retirement party for Virgili, with the theme “Hello, Goodbye — Memories & Milestones.”
“When I look back and can say some of the best days of my life were days at the office, that’s pretty good,” Virgili, who spent 32 with the chamber, most of that as director, said during her retirement address.
She described her life’s passion as having been put on the earth to do one very important job, and that was to help build a community. But she couldn’t have done it alone, she said, thanking her “supportive family, wonderful friends who have your back, and the best community leaders you can imagine.
“It was a wonderful ride,” Virgili said.
Instead of being on the presenting end of the annual ATHENA Award, as she has in past years, Virgili was surprised to learn she was this year’s award recipient.
Among her nominators was Colorado Mountain College President Carrie Besnette Hauser.
“When I arrived four years ago to lead Colorado Mountain College, Marianne’s name immediately came to my attention as someone to meet, tap for ideas and wisdom, and to ‘tell me how it is’ both in Glenwood Springs and the broader Roaring Fork Valley,” Hauser wrote. “We met early on and her advice, sense of history, and involvement in so many major issues was evident within minutes. It was also clear to me that Glenwood Springs would not resemble the town it has become in recent years without Marianne’s tenacity and special touch.”
Angie Anderson, Virgili’s successor in the chamber president and CEO role, thanked her former boss as part of a video tribute.
“I can’t think of a more worthy ATHENA recipient,” Anderson said. “You truly embody what the award means, and I’m so grateful for your mentorship and everything you’ve done for me and the community.”
During Virgili’s tenure, the GSCRA earned dozens of accolades including a Daily Points of Light Award from President Bill Clinton and being named the National Chamber of the Year by the Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives in 2013.
Particular to the ATHENA award, Virgili worked to develop a professional staff, most of them women, and encouraged their professional development and promotion, and has advocated for community organizations that promote women’s and children’s health and well-being.
CITIZEN OF THE YEAR
Michael McCallum was honored as Citizen of the Year for “quietly and humbly making significant contributions to Glenwood Springs over the past three decades.
“When examining their qualities of leadership, generosity and dedication to our city and its residents, I can honestly say that nobody embodies the ‘Citizen of the Year’ criteria more than Michael McCallum,” stated one of his nominators.
McCallum, a financial advisor and principal in the firm Stifel, has had a hand in several Glenwood Springs public works programs that were paid for by tax-supported bond issues. They have included the Glenwood Springs Community Center, the Municipal Operations Center and City Hall, as well as numerous biking and hiking trails, streetscapes, West Glenwood sidewalks and other amenities. He was instrumental in establishing the city street maintenance tax, and the formation of the Downtown Development Authority.
“Mike was deeply involved with the Community on the Move campaigns to dedicate sales tax dollars toward the accomplishment of these projects,” former city finance director Mike Harman said. “Mike’s knowledge and expertise in the financial world helped with coordinating the financing of these projects through Special Revenue Bonds.
For the GSCRA, McCallum has served on the board of directors for the past 10 years, acting as chair for three consecutive terms. In that role, presenters said he has been instrumental in building partnerships with CMC and the city, growing tourism promotion efforts, moving the chamber to a central downtown location, and leading the charge when the Glenwood Chamber was selected as National Chamber of the Year in 2013.
McCallum has also been involved over the years with the Glenwood Springs High School Booster Club, Glenwood Springs High School Cheerleaders, Sopris Barracuda Swim Team, Glenwood Springs Financial Advisory Board, Kiwanis Club, and LIFT-UP’s Extended Table.
athena young professional
“Crystal Young has been a role model and mentor for many young women who are survivors of domestic and/or sexual violence in our community through her work here at Advocate Safehouse Project,” noted Julie Olson, Safehouse director. “She listens to them and helps them identify their strengths, which they have often lost in their abusive relationships. Crystal understands the difficulty many survivors experience as they leave their abusive relationships and is able to help them connect to the resources they need.”
One survivor of domestic violence wrote in support of Young’s nomination, “For me she is nothing short of a life saver. Had I not had the opportunity to be blessed with Crystal’s knowledge and expertise and human kindness I would not be where I am today — alive.”
Young is also a volunteer in the community and has attended many trainings focusing on domestic violence and sexual assault. She is on the 9th Judicial District Sexual Assault Response Team, the Garfield County Domestic Violence Coalition and Mountain West SANE Alliance.
In 2016, she was awarded the Colorado Coalition Against Domestic Violence Purple Ribbon award with Leadership in Victim Advocacy.
Another award nominator stated, “She is a highly polished professional with absolute integrity in all she does. She is articulate, focused, organized, ambitious and hard working. She is a role model to the young women she strives to empower.”
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Imagine Glenwood and The City of Glenwood Springs is slated to host a virtual town hall at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, March 11.