Denver Metro Chamber Names 2022 Business Awards Finalists

DENVER – The Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce has named 17 organizations as finalists for its 2022 Business Awards, presented by BOK Financial, recognizing the best in the Denver Metro area business community. A winner will be chosen for each of six categories: disruptor, large nonprofit, woman or BIPOC-owned, small business, small nonprofit and start-up. New this year, we want our community’s input determining which businesses walk away with the title. Community members can cast their vote to help decide this year’s winners. The winners will be announced live at the Business Awards on April 29 at the Infinity Park Event Center.

“The Metro Denver business community has been incredibly resilient during the past two years in the face of some extraordinary hardships,” said Chamber President and CEO J. J. Ament. “We are thrilled to recognize these fantastic organizations and their incredible achievements through this year’s Business Awards.”

The finalists are:

  • Disruptor of the Year, Sponsored by First Onsite: GoQAV – Quality Audio Video and MIKADO International
  • Large Nonprofit of the Year: A Precious Child, CareerWise Colorado and Mile High United Way
  • Woman or BIPOC-Owned Business of the Year, Sponsored by Xcel Energy: Barefoot PR, Diverse Talent, LLC, and Marisol Solarte-Erlacher, M.A., LPC and Associates
  • Small Business of the Year, Sponsored by Delta Dental of Colorado: High 5 Plumbing, Rupp’s Drums and Tributary Real Estate
  • Small Nonprofit of the Year, Sponsored by Emerge: Dress for Success Denver, Economic Literacy Colorado and WeeCycle
  • Start-Up of the Year, Sponsored by Emergenetics International: An Artist Prints, BreakAway Meetings and Collective Counseling Solutions

The 2022 Business Awards have been made possible by Community Sponsor Southwest Airlines.

Get to know our finalists:

A Precious Child is more than a resource center; it is a one-stop shop for families in crisis to receive the goods, opportunities and resources they need. These additional resources provide more than a bandage of services; they provide the foundation families require to become empowered to achieve their full potential, for children to grow up to be secure, self-reliant, contributing members of their community. Through five Cradle to Career Initiatives and 11 programs, A Precious Child provides basic essentials to children challenged by poverty, abuse, neglect or crisis situations with resource navigation and case management.

An Artist Prints is a graphic design company that brings over a decade of experience in apparel, promotional and other print forms. The team matches customers with the best production companies to suit their needs.

Barefoot PR is a group of purpose-driven public relations and design professionals who work with nonprofits, foundations, government agencies and companies focused on community impact. The team believes people have the power to change our world for the better and uses their skills to help facilitate this change.

BreakAway Meetings creates custom boxes for attendees of virtual and hybrid events, employee and client appreciation gifts, and hotel welcome gifts for in-person events in the Metro Denver area. Every order is customized to the specific event, attendees, themes and budgets. These custom boxes provide an opportunity to bring people together through a shared experience when meeting in person isn’t feasible. The boxes include locally sourced snacks and beverages, branded swag, event collateral and a branded note with a logo and custom message. Event boxes can be shipped to individual attendee addresses or bulk shipped to one location.

CareerWise Colorado’s youth apprenticeship system creates new, diverse talent pipelines for employers and new career pathways for students to access high-demand, high-paying careers. Student apprentices work toward high school graduation and earn post-secondary credit, industry credentials or both in their chosen career path. Established by the state of Colorado’s Business Experiential-Learning Commission in 2016, CareerWise works with more than 170 employers and 16 school districts to facilitate apprenticeship.

Collective Counseling Solutions was founded in Denver and is a national collective of skilled and passionate clinicians in private practice who share in the common value of accepting insurance benefits for mental health treatment. Therapists live and practice all over the country, offering high-quality mental health counseling to clients of all genders, age ranges, orientations and cultural/ethnic backgrounds. With an emphasis on diversity of specialties, training and education, the team is confident that they are the best way to find a therapist who is licensed and suited to meet each person’s personal needs.

Diverse Talent, LLC, is an executive search and placement firm that specializes in dispelling the notion that a pipeline issue exists between diverse candidates in the STEM, legal, business and nonprofit realm. Diverse Talent’s sister organization Colorado REACH (Respecting Ethnic and Cultural Heritage) specializes in providing diversity, equity and inclusion training and education. REACH was created in Seattle in 1976 to promote inclusivity and understanding. While bringing REACH to Colorado and developing the organization, CEO Michelle Campbell alongside her family had decided to use their 60-plus years of combined experience in the legal and STEM fields to create Diverse Talent.

Dress for Success Denver empowers women to achieve economic independence by providing a network of support, professional attire and the development tools to help women thrive in work and in life.

Economic Literacy Colorado’s (ELC) mission of empowering Colorado students to achieve a lifetime of economic understanding and financial security begins with educating teachers, personally and professionally. ELC is Colorado’s only nonprofit dedicated to economic and personal financial professional development for teachers. More than 1,100 K-12 teachers participate in one-day to week-long programs annually, most of which are university-accredited through the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs. ELC is also home to a Stock Market Experience virtual investment program for more than 10,000 third through 12th graders, a newly-launched Invest in Girls personal finance program for high school girls, and a soon-to-be full suite of K-12 student programs.

GoQAV – Quality Audio Video is a global leader in design-focused technology solutions for homes and businesses. Awarded best demo space in the world for smart home solutions in 2019, GoQAV continues to innovate and create elements that bring experiences to life in any space while driving emphasis toward interior design. The Experience Center, located in Centennial, is like Tony Stark’s Colorado hideout and the mission is simple: Help educate the design-build community about the latest advancements in energy-efficient interior lighting, hidden technology solutions and wellness within the home.

High 5 Plumbing is a local, family-owned plumbing company that offers comprehensive plumbing, sewer and drain services throughout the Denver Metro area. The business was established in 2012 by professionals with nearly two decades of experience in the industry and a commitment to providing service with honesty and integrity. The company is proud to have opened a second location in the Denver Metro area and plans on continual growth and expansion.

Marisol Solarte-Erlacher, M.A., LPC and Associates was previously a psychotherapy group practice and has transitioned to consultation, training and coaching for companies and nonprofit organizations to help mitigate the impact of trauma and build resilience in their workforce, with particular emphasis on working with BIPOC employees. Over the past 15 years, the company has provided trauma therapy to help individuals resolve and heal their most difficult life experiences. The team has specialized in providing services to communities that are historically underserved. In 2020, the company started the Resilience and Resistance Podcast. The podcast is about successful Black and Indigenous people and women of color who are overcoming trauma and becoming resilient.

MIKADO International is a culture-first advertising agency that strives to create a more connected world through multicultural marketing. Founded in 2010, MIKADO empowers organizations to celebrate diversity, equality and inclusion in their communication to achieve unparalleled success while building a brand for the world tomorrow. With diversity in its DNA and heart in the agency’s work, the team’s mission is to bring consciousness to cultural marketing through a collaborative mindset. It is a diverse and inclusive company that is enriched with people from all walks of life. MIKADO is proudly both a certified minority and woman-owned company.

Mile High United Way, the first United Way in the world, was founded in Denver 135 years ago in 1887. Working side by side with the community, Mile High United Way takes on critical human services issues facing our seven-county footprint including the Metro Denver, Boulder and Broomfield communities. Through community programs and initiatives, the organization focuses on community priorities: giving all children a strong start, supporting education and academic success, and creating economic opportunity for all.

Rupp’s Drums is a locally owned music retail business selling new, used and vintage drums, electronics, world percussion, parts and accessories. The company also offers rentals, repairs and private drum lessons. In addition to the products and services offered at the Denver store, Rupp’s Dream hosts a large number of drum-related events throughout the year and provides drums for Denver’s biggest annual music festivals, such as the Westword Music Showcase and the Underground Music Showcase.

Tributary Real Estate leverages its trusted relationships, depth of experience and robust real estate knowledge to provide a customized approach to commercial real estate brokerage and investment services in Denver. Founded in 2015, the company believes that the best results come from building lasting, mutually beneficial relationships and works hard every day to cultivate those relationships with clients and within the Denver community. From site selection through negotiation and closing, the team serves both local and national clients of all sizes and across all industries to ensure their success now and into the future.

WeeCycle was founded in 2008 and strives to improve the welfare of families and their children raised in poverty. The organization collects “weecycle” and matches essential baby gear, including baby formula, baby food, diapers and wipes, to families in need both directly through mobile distributions and through its 60-plus primary community partner organizations and an additional 60-plus secondary partners serving individuals experiencing poverty, homelessness, domestic violence, teen pregnancy, under-employment and single mothers, as well as organizations serving immigrants and refugees. By “weecycling” baby gear, the organization helps keep children clean and safe and contributes to a healthier environment for their future.