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Inside the Chamber: Celebrating the superheroes of Glenwood Springs

Angie Anderson
Inside the Chamber
Dr. Brett Hesse accepts the Resiliency Award on behalf of Valley View at the 2022 Superhero Annual Gala and Awards.Photo Credit: Avery Smith, Emotion Cinema.

“I think a hero is an ordinary individual who finds strength to persevere and endure in spite of overwhelming obstacles.” — Superman

On Saturday, April 2, the Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association had the great honor to celebrate achievements of businesses and individuals at the Superhero Annual Gala and Awards at the Hotel Colorado.

Given in the name of Dean Vogelaar, the Citizen of the Year Award is given to a citizen who has made significant contributions to Glenwood Springs resulting in substantial betterment of the community. This year’s recipient, Mike Picore, is an exemplary professional in the community helping its residents realize homeownership as a mortgage lender. Though busy running a business and raising three active kids with his wife, Kristi, Mike gives generously of his time, energy and resources to better those around him and the community as a whole in a variety of ways.



Passionate about sports, Picore coaches all three of his kids’ sports teams and over 20 years ago founded Hoop d’Ville, an annual basketball clinic in conjunction with a tournament. Athletes benefit from the program, and proceeds of the event are donated to local charities.

Picore recently played a significant role in making much needed improvements to the Sayre Park basketball courts. Hoop d’Ville, in partnership with Game on Camps, Grand River Construction and other community stakeholders, worked together with Glenwood Springs Parks and Recreation to make the renovations a reality. The project is being completed without cost to taxpayers through community donations, grants and a substantial in-kind contribution by Grand River Construction.



As a son of two educators, Picore is acutely aware of challenges teachers face, especially when it comes to resources. A quiet leader and visionary, Picore realized a deficiency in supplies and equipment for teachers and students. He took to action, rallied together partners across the community and created the Glenwood Springs Public Education Fund.

Through this effort, thousands of dollars have been raised and distributed through grants directly to teachers to help them provide more educationally enriching experiences for students. The next Corks and Kegs fundraiser, with all proceeds benefiting the education fund, takes place May 13 at the Hotel Colorado.

A special Resiliency Award was given to Valley View for its perseverance in overcoming significant challenges presented by the pandemic, Grizzly Creek Fire and Glenwood Canyon mudslides. Since March 2020, Valley View has been on the forefront responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. Staff have cared for thousands of members of our community from testing to administering thousands of vaccines and providing the most advanced treatment in our region for those needing to be hospitalized.

Valley View worked diligently and creatively to ensure that patient care would not be compromised during both the Grizzly Creek Fire and Glenwood Canyon mudslides. In January 2021, Valley View opened a brand-new After-Hours Urgent Care facility, offering a new level of care for the community as well as an open heart-program, offering an advanced, specialized care close to home for community members. Responding to a global pandemic but also achieving many other accomplishments is a powerful reflection of the tenacity and resilience of Valley View’s entire team.

Top Brass Outstanding Business of the Year is given to a business that made a big impact in the Glenwood Springs Community and economy during the previous year. For over 40 years, Gould Construction has been a mainstay in the community, providing support and leadership for community initiatives. The company has and continues to give back with time and financial commitments to many nonprofits and organizations.

In 2021, Gould Construction answered a very important call that impacted the entire community and beyond. CDOT asked Gould Construction for help when the Glenwood Canyon had been closed due to mudslides for nearly two weeks. Knowing how important getting the canyon open was to Glenwood Springs and surrounding communities for transporting goods, workers and tourists, Gould Construction committed to help CDOT get the canyon open. After three full days of tireless work, which included multiple trucking companies, dedicated Gould staff including its own CEO, and the team effort from CDOT, the road was ready to be paved. CDOT paved the road on day 4, and the canyon reopened on day 5.

For its work in 2021, Gould Construction was also awarded the “Best Overall Safety Performance” award from the Colorado Contractor’s Association for companies that worked between 100,000 and 200,000 worker hours.

Top Brass New Business of the Year award is given to a business in operation less than a year, but already making significant achievements in the community. Johnston | Van Arsdale | Martin (JVAM) launched as a new law firm in August 2021. The firm has dedicated itself to community involvement through a robust pro-bono legal program and volunteer days. JVAM is quickly growing and becoming an employer of choice in Glenwood Springs, the Roaring Fork Valley and Colorado as a whole.

JVAM closes its offices two times per year, and the entire staff commits to tackling a community service project. For their first project, they painted the basement of YouthZone. They purchased and supplied all the materials necessary to complete the task. JVAM is committed to continuing this program well into the future.

Last but certainly not least, two Lifetime Chamber Memberships were awarded, which is a distinction given to a select few people who have contributed exemplary service to the Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association over an extended period. Joni Bates and Debbie Bannon have been an integral part of the chamber family for over 20 years. We are grateful for all these two amazing women have done for the chamber and the community and wish them the very best in retirement.

Congratulations to all the award recipients, who are true superheroes.

Angie Anderson is executive director for the Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association.


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