Chamber awards community service

A bicycle shop and retired bank executive turned leader of an innovation center were among the latest winners of awards presented by the Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce honoring community service.

Bicycle Outfitters owned by Brad Stewart was recognized as the Business of the Year. Tom Benton, director of the Maverick Innovation Center at Colorado Mesa University, was named Citizen of the Year. Tamara Krizman, director of marketing and business development at Mesa Mall, was named the Young Professionals Network of Mesa County Young Professional of the Year. Leroy and Patsy Arguello received the chamber Lifetime Achievement Award.

The awards were presented during the annual chamber banquet.

Stewart founded Bicycle Outfitters in 1993 after working at other local bike shops. The operation since has grown into a full-scale retail shop that also offers bicycle repairs and rentals. Bicycle Outfitters supports the CMU Cycling Foundation, Colorado Plateau Mountain Bike Trail Association, Grand Valley Youth Cycling and Learn the Loops. Amateur and professional cyclists also compete under sponsorships from the business.

Benton became director of the Maverick Innovation Center after his retirement from a 25-year career in the financial services industry. He’s also served on the boards of the Grand Junction Economic Partnership as well as the Grand Junction Regional Airport Authority, Grand Junction Rotary Club, Grand Valley Power and United Way of Mesa County. He’s long encouraged participation in 4-H programs in Mesa County and helps stage the annual 4-H livestock auction.

Krizman joined Mesa Mall after working for the Mesa County Health Department and Mosaic. She volunteers with Mosaic and the Initiate Conference and serves as president of the CMU Alumni Association. She received the CMU Alumni President’s Award in 2018 for her efforts.

The Arguellos operated La Mexicana Restaurant and for 15 years were the force behind the La Mexicana Ballet professional dance troupe that performed nationally.

The Arguellos offered a discount and favorable terms in selling the building that housed their restaurant to the KAFM community radio station. While serving as a Community Action volunteer, Patty Arguello helped more than 300 families obtain homes of their own. The couple also served as counselors at the Business Incubator Center in Grand Junction and taught business startup workshops there in Spanish.