Colorado’s leading news resource 9NEWS and the Colorado Leadership Alliance, in collaboration with the Denver Metro Chamber Leadership Foundation, present the annual 9News Leader of the Year award, recognizing an emerging leader who has greatly contributed to the welfare of the community. This is an investment in the potential of individuals who, during the early stages of their career, have shown competence and character through their accomplishments and behavior.
Since 2001, 9NEWS has been acknowledging promising leaders in the community. Emerging leaders are those who are working in their early stages of their careers, or those who are already professionals at the age of 25 or below, and who have not previously been publicly recognized for a huge, comprehensive organization of community work. Appointed and elected officials and those who are presently running for office are not qualified for the award. Individuals are not also allowed to nominate themselves.
The 9NEWS Leader of the Year Award acknowledges that leadership happens in all facets of the society. The award-giving body encourages nominations from all areas of the state, all parts of the community and all walks of life.
For the year 2011, the award was presented on April 12 at the Colorado Leadership Alliance Luncheon. Over 600 community and business leaders from throughout the state attended the event. The winner was also featured on 9NEWS.com and 9NEWS after the luncheon.
Entries can be made by completing a nomination form available on the 9NEWS website. They can also be submitted in a form of an essay with less than 1,500 words. When submitted as essay, entries must be double-spaced and typed. Selected finalists will be contacted in late November and interviewed by the selection committee in December, with the winner being selected in January and notified soon after.
The most recent recipient of the 9NEWS Leader of the Year was Richard Lewis, who owns the RTL Networks. His IT business has enjoyed a 900 percent growth in revenue over the previous few years. Lewis’ involvement and support in over 40 not-for-profit youth programs has been recognized by 9NEWS. He began the Black Chamber’s Leadership Development Program and has had an important role in drawing varied resources to the Blair Caldwell African-American Research Museum.
Other previous winners include Eric Duran, who has spearheaded the effort to construct new libraries in the state, and James Mejia, chief executive of the Denver Preschool Program providing a quality standard for private and public preschools.