The Spirit of Entrepreneurship Awards Inaugural Laureates 2020
Jessica Fierro, Owner/Head Brewer, Atrevida Brewing Co.
Prior to owning Atrevida, Mrs. Jessica Fierro was a homebrewer and the winner of the national homebrew competition BEERLAND season one, which aired on the VICELAND channel. She also brewed with multiple charity organizations, and guest brewed at various breweries for 10 years. Jess was a professional hair stylist, make-up artist, barber, and instructor for 7 years. Jess was a military spouse where she was the leader of family readiness groups during four combat tours and 15 years in the service. She also worked from a Barista to Management of Starbucks in San Diego from 1995-99. She is the mother of two children, Kassy and Ricky and married to Rich Fierro. She is an amazing spirit and one of the hardest working entrepreneurs in the Springs.
Heather Bryan, Founder, Jupiter & Company
As the pioneer of the onsite engraving experience and founder of 3 companies, Heather Bryan is expanding her entrepreneurial spirit into others. After engraving at over 500 events around the world, Heather took on the journey of designing, developing and funding her own engraving system. Her Jupiter Engraving company has over 200 engraving systems working in the golf, stadium, and educational fields as well as her expanding custom promotional products line they engrave. Heathers' latest business venture is helping others into entrepreneurism with not only a business for them to run but guidance, equipment and support. Jupiter & Company is a group of individuals that are looking to own their own business and to live a connected life with their family and communities.
Yemi Mobalade, Co-Founder, Wild Goose Meeting House, Good Neighbors Meeting House, Wild Goose Management Group
Yemi collaborates for the health, growth and flourishing of Colorado Springs making his impact through economic development, entrepreneurship, community development, ministry, and leadership development. In his role as Small Business Development Administrator, Yemi serves as the first point of contact to the small business and start-up community. He is the central figure to support business enterprises across the myriad agencies, putting a strategy in place to assist small businesses. Yemi, a Nigerian Immigrant, served as the Vice President of Business Retention and Expansion for the Colorado Springs Chamber & Economic Development Corporation. He co-founded the Wild Goose Meeting House, Good Neighbors Meeting House, Niche Coaching and Consulting, and has established a church. Yemi, a Nigerian Immigrant, served as the Vice President of Business Retention and Expansion for the Colorado Springs Chamber & Economic Development Corporation. He co-founded the Wild Goose Meeting House, Good Neighbors Meeting House, Niche Coaching and Consulting, and has established a church. He was the minister of City Outreach and Engagement at First Presbyterian Church Colorado Springs and spent a previous career in quality control manufacturing. A strong community advocate, Yemi, holds two master's degrees, is involved with many boards; the Pikes Peak Community College President's Advisory Council, Men's Xchange, Spring Rescue Mission, Thrive Colorado Springs, and is a Co-founder and Chairperson of COSILoveYou, a collaborative gospel movement that exists to unite and ignite Colorado Springs churches to love the city through city engagement and service. While Yemi has a variety of accolades and awards honoring his leadership, his proudest achievement is his family. He and his beautiful wife Abbey, a nurse educator, are parents of an adopted son and two biological children.
Russ Ware, Co-Founder, Wild Goose Meeting House, Good Neighbors Meeting House, Wild Goose Management Group
Russ is a development-minded business owner focused on the downtown area of Colorado Springs. He is the co-founder of The Wild Goose Meeting House, Good Neighbors Meeting House and the Wild Goose Management Group with business partner Yemi Mobolade. Russ' emphasis is the creation and operation of spaces and experiences that build community and spur economic development in a way the elevates relationships and promotes further growth. Russ also serves on the Business Improvement District board with the Downtown Partnership.
Dennis Maes, Retired Chief District Judge
Dennis Maes has been a fixture of the Pueblo community for over 48 years serving with distinction as a Staff Attorney for Pueblo Country Legal Services, Deputy State Public Defender culminating as the Chief District Judge for the 10th Judicial District. In this role, he impacted and served with integrity while on the bench playing an integral role in establishing the city's Truancy Reduction Program resulting in national recognition and used as a model by other judicial districts throughout the country. He has and continues to lecture nationally on the subject of school engagement. His commitment and selfless service to the Pueblo community are exhibited in his work in the mental health field and Mental Health Pro Bono Program. This program has become indispensable in the community by offering free mental health services for those who financially could not afford these services. The program provides services through a corps of 25 volunteers and several middle school volunteers. Additionally, through this program he has spearheaded programs for girls and boys who have suffered abuse or trauma in their lives. He serves on the Pueblo School District 60 Board of Education and was also recently appointed by Governor Polis to the Education Leadership Council. Dennis was also key in developing the Adopt a School Program where local businesses sponsor a Pueblo school and develop a mutually beneficial relationship by providing mentoring, instruction, and school beautification. There is no doubt displays the entrepreneurial spirit. His integrity has been on display throughout his legal career and has been demonstrated by the trust placed in him through recognition by several civic organizations and Lifetime Achievement Awards. He is married to Donna and has 2 daughters, Melisa and Lise and is extremely proud of his 2 granddaughters, Maya and Lily. He has been a member of St. Pius X Catholic Church for 42 years.
Arturo Acosta Chavez Owner, Araco Concrete Contractors, LLC
Mr. Chavez came to the United States to pursue the American Dream. While searching for meaningful work, he became proficient in many skills but excelled at concrete construction. In 2006, Arturo founded ARACO Concrete Contractors, LLC. After the real estate crisis in 2008, Mr. Chavez changed ARACO's focus from residential to commercial construction after seeing higher profit margin and success in the commercial business. Today more than 95% of ARACO's work projects are office buildings, retail, multi-family and industrial spaces. The business he built has grown from a one-man start up business to a multi-million dollar operation with over 100 employees. Mr. Chavez also founded the Katartizo-Araco Foundation, a nonprofit foundation committed to helping small and medium businesses in the development of their personnel, specifically in three areas: self-knowledge, development of personal abilities and internal potential. With a focus on job training programs for their employees, ARACO is committed to providing access to skills and opportunities for their teams, creating better people and ultimately, better employees.