Chamber’s honors presented at Wintersköl dinner


Forum Phi, Aspen Camp for Deaf and Ajax Adventure Camp recognized

The Aspen Chamber Resort Association honored its business, entrepreneur and nonprofit of the year on Wednesday night, while also recognizing three locals for service and dedication to the community at the 2017 Helen K. Klanderud Wintersköl Dinner and Celebration held at the St. Regis.

Forum Phi, an architecture and planning firm, won Business of the Year. Formed in 2006 by Steev Wilson, the firm has gained accolades for its work-life balance and was placed on Outside Magazine’s best places to work list.

“Knowing he wanted to create a team-based environment Steve was careful as he opened the doors to Forum Phi … to leave his name off the door and his ego outside,” says a chamber press release. “Over the past decade, the firm has grown sustainably into a talented team of 25 designers with two offices in the Roaring Fork Valley.”

The chamber named Danny Hundert from Ajax Adventure Camp and Ivy League Camps as Entrepreneur of the Year. Hundert started his summer camp programs after growing up enjoying outdoor activities in the Aspen area, and then working at other camps, where he was encouraged to start his own. He has brought his “creativity, leadership and desire to work with kids to create a premier camp for kids and teens in Aspen. He looks forward to seeing every camper embark on new adventures, learn important skills and make friends who will last a lifetime,” says the press release.

The 2016 Nonprofit of the Year was presented to Aspen Camp for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, which is nearing its 50th year and is one of the oldest nonprofits in the valley.

Aspen Camp is the oldest camp in the United States specifically for deaf people. It is the only not-for-profit camp in the world explicitly for deaf youth, adults and their families, with year-round programming set to improve self-esteem, resilience and efficacy, the release says. It served over 2,300 people of all ages through family camps, youth camps and adult programs last year. Aspen Camp has six full-time, year-round staff and up to 25 summer seasonal staff. In addition, more than 100 local citizens volunteered a total of 4,562 hours in 2016.

Ernie Fyrwald is the 2016 Molly Campbell Service Award winner.

“A family man through and through,” according to the release, describing the local realtor who has also lived in Spain and France, “ … [Fyrwald’s] commitment to children has motivated him to take a very aggressive role in both local and national charity work.” The release points to a foundation Fyrwald established in 1984 that accommodates up to 400 children for golf and other recreational programs. He remains actively involved in its operation to this day, and the majority of his additional charity work involves children’s programs in various venues.

The service award is named in honor of the late Molly Campbell, a longtime local hotelier who was “deeply involved in the community during a period of great growth.” She is a former chair and director of the Aspen Chamber Resort Association and played a pivotal role in establishing a lodging tax in 2002.

Klaus Obermeyer, founder of Sport Obermeyer, and Sarah Broughton, principal of one of the town’s leading design firms, were honored with the chamber’s Defy Ordinary award, presented to individuals for their outstanding passion, leadership, and commitment to the Aspen community.

Obermeyer arrived in Aspen in 1947 and worked as a ski instructor, where he came up with ideas that changed the gear industry, including down jackets, the first high alpine sunscreen, two pronged ski brakes, turtle necks, nylon wind-shirts, mirrored sunglasses and double lensed goggles, just to name a few. In 1961 the first Obermeyer factory warehouse was opened in Aspen. As the business flourished the warehouse was moved down to Denver but the main offices remain in Aspen to this day.

At 97, Obermeyer still resides on his ranch in the Roaring Fork Valley and comes into work five days a week with a smile and hello to each employee. He leads by example skiing most days of the season and lives by the words, “the days you don’t ski you don’t get back.”

“To hear him yodel is to experience the depth of his soul and to watch him ski is to witness his true love for the sport,” says the ACRA release.

Broughton, principal of Rowland+Broughton, has over 20 years of experience in the architecture and interior design.

“She is the champion of Rowland+Broughton’s design philosophy and rigorous quality control standards as well as a leader to her design staff,” says the ACRA release. “In addition, she is a highly-respected colleague in the hospitality design community and among clients.”

Among numerous accolades, R+B was awarded several city of Aspen Historic Preservation Commission awards for renovation, including the Hotel Jerome in 2013. Broughton is active in the Aspen community and has served as the chair on the city Historic Preservation Commission.