Chamber awards businesses and individuals for their contributions

The Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce has honored two companies, a married couple and long-time businessman for their economic and philanthropic contributions.

The chamber selected West Star Aviation and Impact Promotions as its large and small business of the year, respectively. Jerome and Mary Gonzales were named citizens of the year. Denny Granum received a lifetime achievement award for his more than 25 years of involvement in economic development.

The chamber presented the awards during its annual banquet at Two Rivers Convention Center.

With 300 employees, West Star Aviation ranks among the largest private employers in the Grand Valley. The company serves as a fixed base operator at Grand Junction Regional Airport, selling fuel and providing a wide range of aircraft maintenance and repair services.

By one estimate, West Star Aviation derives about 99 percent of its business from outside the Grand Valley, bringing in nearly $250 million annually to the local economy.

West Star Aviation supports Community Hospital, Hospice & Palliative Care of Western Colorado and United Way. The company also serves as title sponsor of the Grand Junction Air Show and contributes to the West Slope Honor Flight and Palisade Olde Fashioned Christmas.

Impact Promotions, a 32-year-old family owned operation, sells a variety of promotional products for business. The company employs 15 full- and part-time employees.

Over the past six years, Impact Promotion has provided more than $200,000 in discounts and donations to hundreds of organizations and community causes.

Jerome Gonzales serves as president and chief executive officer of JG Management Systems, a professional services firm based in Grand Junction. The firm ranks among the fastest-growing privately held companies in the United States and top private companies in Colorado.

In 2011, JGMS was selected as one of 11 winners of the Colorado Biz magazine Top Company competition.

In addition to doing well, Gonzales promotes a philosophy of doing good. Employees receive 40 hours of paid time off a year to volunteer with a community organization or join in community service activities.

JGMS has a stated goal of donating a portion of net income to charitable organizations each year.

Gonzales himself serves on the Colorado Mesa University Board of Trustees.

Mary Gonzales is founder and executive director of the Riverside Education Center in Grand Junction, which offers after-school tutoring and other enrichment activities to more than 100 students a day. The center strives to inspire in students improved academic achievement as well as foster social and emotional development.

Granum was among the founders and the first fund-raising chairman of the economic development organization now known as the Grand Junction Economic Partnership. He continues to serve on the GJEP board and prospect committee.

Granum also has served as chairman of the Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and a member of many other boards. He currently serves on the Grand Junction Regional Airport Authority Board.