Hybl honored with Mizel Institute’s 2014 Community Enrichment Award

The Mizel Institute’s dinner to honor the recipient of its annual Community Enrichment Award was once again buzzing with politicos — elected officials, candidates, policymakers and other political stakeholders — but for a couple of hours on the evening of May 21 in the cavernous space at the Wings Over the Rockies Air and Space Museum, all the countering forces were united in congratulating William J. Hybl as this year’s honoree.

Among the attendees were more than 300 elected officials, public servants, members of the military, first responders and public safety officers. Aside from the bipartisan show of politicians, there was also a large cadre of those hoping to enter public office — candidates from local jurisdictions to statewide offices to federal positions were all in attendance, making this annual affair one of the premiere events of the election season.

Several community leaders, including Major General Andy Love, USAF-ret. and principal at Morrison, Love & Co,; Scott Blackmun of the United States Olympic Committee; and Larry Mizel, founder and chairman of the Mizel Institute, spoke about the work of Hybl, who began his illustrious career as a state representative from Colorado Springs.

Bill Hybl, left, stands by the engraved kiddish cup, which was presented to him by Larry Mizel at this year’s Community Enrichment Award Dinner on May 21.

Mizel, who introduced Hybl at the event, summarized the award winner’s experiences. “Throughout Bill’s life he has kept reaching, and in so doing, he has forever impacted countless lives and changed the state of Colorado through this civic contributions and determination,” Mizel said.

Ben Curtiss-Lusher, left, a former mayoral fellow with Denver Mayor Michael Hancock, center, and Barry Curtiss-Lusher.

Throughout his life, Hybl has stood at the forefront of public service and civic engagement. For the past 40 years, he has served in several high level positions at El Pomar Foundation, and in 1989, he was elected chairman and chief executive officer. Under Hybl’s leadership, the Foundation has provided more than $450 million to date in grants for education, health care, the environment, amateur sports, human services and the arts throughout the Rocky Mountain region.

Janice Sinden, chief of staff in the Denver Mayor’s office, Mayor Michael Hancock, Arlene and Barry Hirschfeld.

El Pomar Foundation received the National Foundation of the Year Award from the Association of Fundraising Professionals in 1998, in recognition of its innovative grant making.

Denver Post Chairman Dean Singleton, developer Rick Sapkin, Gregg Kvistad, provost of the University of Denver, and Greg Moore, editor of the Denver Post.

Hybl grew up in Pueblo and attended Colorado College and law school at the University of Colorado. After serving as a Captain in the U.S. Army, Hybl served as a state representative to the Colorado Legislature and became Special Counsel to President Ronald Reagan. He served on the U.S. Commission on Public Diplomacy under four United States Presidents. He then became the U.S. Representative to the 56th General Assembly of the United Nations and is now the Civilian Aide to the Secretary of the Army. For the past 40 years, Hybl has served in several leadership positions at El Pomar Foundation in Colorado Springs, and now serves as chairman and chief executive officer.

Among those delivering video remarks about Hybl was Lynne Cheney, wife of the former Vice President and a fellow student at Colorado College. She described Hybl as a “good and decent man.” Former Olympic speedskater Bonnie Blair Cruikshank also paid tribute to Hybl’s stellar career as an Olympics official when she competed.

The Community Enrichment Award is presented each year to an individual who makes outstanding contributions to the community. As the 2014 Community Enrichment Award honoree, Hybl joins a list of distinguished past recipients that includes Pat Bowlen, Glenn Jones, Sharon Magness Blake, Dean Singleton, Norman Brownstein, Anna and John Sie, and Gov. John Hickenlooper.

Quinn Washington and Sean Tonner, president of R&R Partners in Colorado.
Virginia and Major General Andy Love, USAF-ret.

The Hon. Bill Owens, Monica Owens of Owens Public Affairs, and Adam Magary, chief of staff for U.S. Rep. Doug Lamborn.
Deb Jensen, the new director of development and communications for Leadership Program of the Rockies, and David Jensen.

Ginnie and Scott Eldredge.
Joe Blake, Suzanne Nicholson, former Secretary of the Interior Gale Norton, and Jim Nicholson.

Charlie McNeill, Sharon Magness Blake and Ernie Blake.
Bill and Kathy Hybl and hosts Carol and Larry Mizel.

Melissa Kuipers of Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, David Blake, Deputy Attorney General, Mark Grueskin of Recht Kornfeld, P.C. and Jack Finlaw, Chief Legal Counsel at the Office of the Governor.
Fernando Sergio, news director of KBNO Radio, Senate President Morgan Caroll, D-Aurora, and Zee Ferrufino, owner of KBNO Radio and a founder of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper is flanked by 2014 Mizel Institute Community Enrichment Award honoree William J. “Bill” Hybl, left, and Larry Mizel, chairman of the Mizel Institute.
Aurora Mayor Steve Hogan, Janet Suthers, Attorney General John Suthers and Becky Hogan.
Photos by William Thach/William Thach Studios

See the June 6 print edition for full photo coverage.