2017 Community Leadership Awards Winners

The Denver Foundation

On Monday, November 6, The Denver Foundation held our annual Community Leadership Awards ceremony in the Community Room at the Foundation's office in Cherry Creek. 

History of the Community Leadership Awards

John Parr was the co-founder of Denver-based Civic Results, served as president of the National Civic League from 1985 to 1995 and was a board member of the Downtown Denver Partnership. Parr also worked to help elect Dick Lamm, Governor of Colorado in 1974 and, in 1983 served as the transition director for Denver Mayor Federico Peña. His wife, Sandy Widener wrote for the Denver Post and co-founded Westword Newspaper. John, Sandy, and their daughter, Chase, tragically lost their lives in 2007. Their friends established The John Parr and Sandy Widener Civic Leadership Award to recognize people exemplifying John and Sandy’s commitment to, and passion for, improving the metro Denver community.

Created by Ambassador Swanee Hunt, chair of Hunt Alternatives Fund and the Eleanor Roosevelt Lecturer of Public Policy, Harvard Kennedy School of Government, The Swanee Hunt Individual and Youth Leadership Awards recognize outstanding Metro Denver leaders. Swanee Hunt created these awards to honor women and men who spend their lives making life better for others and young people who have shown the promise of leadership. The awardees are selected by a committee of community leaders including several former employees and trustees of the Hunt Alternatives Fund.

The 2017 Community Leadership Award Winners

John Parr and Sandy Widener Civic Leadership Award- Eric Duran

Eric J. Duran is a Managing Director at D.A. Davidson in the Public Finance Division of Investment Banking. He provides financial advisory services and bond financing to schools, municipalities, and affordable housing developers, both private and nonprofit. He has worked in the municipal finance business for more than 17 years.  Eric earned his bachelor’s degree at Colorado College and a master’s of public administration from the University of Pittsburgh. Eric has shared his financial expertise in the non-profit community through board service on a number of 501(c)(3) organizations including Denver Health and the Colorado Children’s Campaign. Eric was named the 2010 9News Leader of the Year in recognition for his civic activities and for his leadership in Denver’s business community. He is a Woodrow Wilson fellow and was recognized in 2015 for his work in the community with an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from his Alma Mater, Colorado College. His exemplary community leadership was also imperative to the opening of the Rodolfo “Corky” Gonzales Library in February 2015.

Swanee Hunt Leadership Award: Emerging Leadership Award- Angela Cobián

Angela Cobián is a first-generation Mexican-American from southwest Denver. She graduated from The Colorado College with a Bachelor's in Political Science and Minor in Spanish in 2011. She earned the Fred Sondermann Award in Political Science and membership in the Pi Gamma Mu Honors Society. After graduation, Angela returned to her hometown to teach 2nd and 3rd-grade Literacy for English Language Acquisition-Spanish students, while concurrently earning a Masters in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Colorado-Denver. In 2013, Angela was awarded a Fulbright scholarship to consult with the NGO Enseña por Mexico on program-development for student-led social change initiatives, as well as teach English at the National Pedagogical University in Mexico City. Upon returning from Mexico, Angela worked as a Community Organizer for Together Colorado, an affiliate of the PICO National Network. She is currently the Manager of Organizing Strategy for Denver-Memphis with the Leadership for Educational Equity (LEE). Her teams are confronting issues including inequitable educational practices; ending the school to prison pipeline; support for people who are immigrants, refugees, or are undocumented; and increasing diversity in school and system leadership. Angela also was recently elected as District 2 Director for the Denver Public Schools Board of Education this November 2017.

Swanee Hunt Leadership Award: Individual Leadership Award- Carlos Martinez

Carlos Martinez is the Executive Director of the Latino Community Foundation of Colorado (LCFC), an initiative of Rose Community Foundation. He directs the LCFC’s efforts to expand philanthropy by Latinos, supports nonprofit organizations serving the Latino community in Colorado through grant making and oversees the foundation’s work in building a vibrant narrative for the Latino community of Colorado. Prior to joining the LCFC, Mr. Martinez was CEO of the GLBT Community Center of Colorado and was responsible for launching a multi-million dollar capital campaign, and providing strategic leadership in delivering an array of services to over 38,000 visitors annually. He is a former board member of the Latino Community Foundation of Colorado and previously served on Rose Community Foundation’s Committee on Aging because of his policy, education and direct service experience in the gerontology field. His undergraduate degree is in business administration from California State University, Dominguez Hills where he also did graduate work in gerontology. Throughout his almost 28 years of nonprofit work, Mr. Martinez has held various executive director positions and led the transformation of several social service and arts organizations in Colorado, California, and Massachusetts. Currently, Carlos is on the Wells Fargo Community Advisory Board for Colorado, serves as a board member of the Foothills Art Center, and is an honorary board member of the GLBT Community Center of Colorado.


Contact us

Senior Communications Officer: Laura Bond | lbond@denverfoundation.org

Communications Associate: Dele Johnson | djohnson@denverfoundation.org


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