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LAEC awards set for Wednesday

By Tony Kindelspire
The Daily Times-Call

LONGMONT — The economy hasn’t improved in the past year, but John Cody expects a larger turnout than in 2002 for the Longmont Area Economic Council’s fourth annual Cornerstone Awards Luncheon this Wednesday.

Approximately 180 people attended last year’s luncheon, and Cody said about 225 are expected this year.

“In 2002, we lost about half as many jobs as the year before, so even though it was a down year for us it was still a better year than before,” Cody said. “Even in bad times you’ll have businesses that do well, and we want to recognize and continue to recognize those companies that do well.”

The Cornerstone Awards — “designed to recognize new and expanding companies in the Longmont area,” Cody said — will be given this year to Nypro, a manufacturing company that recently underwent a major expansion; Pillar Data Systems, a new data storage company that has received financial backing from Oracle chief executive Lawrence Ellison; and Xilinx, which makes programmable computer chips and moved its Colorado headquarters from Boulder to Longmont last year.

The 2003 Tom Brock Memorial Award, named after the late accountant and small business advocate, will be handed out at the Cornerstone awards this year. In the past, that award had been given at the annual Boulder Technology Incubator — now CTEK — awards.

Past winners of the Brock Award include Larry Green, Jim and Ed Kanemoto and the late Ruth Lehman.

“It was established to recognize business leadership in building a healthy economy and a stronger community,” Cody said, noting that this year’s winner, Steve Strong, deserves the recognition on both counts.

Cody added that another addition to this year’s program will be a special recognition for all of LAEC’s investors.

Tony Kindelspire can be reached at 303-776-2244, Ext. 291, or by e-mail at tkindelspire@times-call.com.