The Royal Gorge Chamber Alliance’s 2022 Distinguished Citizen has been described as conscientious, gracious, charitable and a pillar of the community.
Beth Katchmar was presented with this prestigious honor during the 135th annual chamber banquet Friday at Pathfinder Park Event Center. The sold-out event seated a record 240 people.
“This is a total surprise, I had no idea,” Katchmar said. “I don’t know that I deserve it, I don’t think that I’ve done enough.”
Katchmar purchased Pizza Madness in 2005, around the time she and her husband, Colby, moved their three children to Fremont County. She immediately became involved with the Chamber of Commerce and many other local organizations.
Katchmar was nominated for the award by retired Fremont County Commissioner Tim Payne, which was supported by Commissioner Debbie Bell.
“Even with all her accomplishments, Beth is a humble person who downplays her significant contributions to the well-being of so many in the community,” Bell’s letter of support states. “… Beth has the heart of a community and public servant, and she never seems to tire from her unselfish philanthropic efforts to improve the quality of life of all those she encounters.”
Katchmar is an active participant in the Royal Gorge Chamber Alliance, Fremont County Tourism Council and downtown merchant groups. She also was a founding member of the Cañon City Whitewater Kayak and Recreation Park Committee, which brought the Whitewater Park and the Royal Gorge Whitewater Festival to the area.
“I’m going to continue to be so much a part of this community,” she said. “I intend to spend the rest of my days being even more of a part of this community and contributing because I think this community is so special; we have so much to offer each other.”
The most important part of this community is the community itself – the residents’ sense of place, sense of being and just being together, knowing everybody you meet is important, she said.
“Treating everybody kind is important because you are going to see them again,” she said.
Katchmar was named the 2011 Distinguished Citizen of the Year by the Royal Gorge Association of Realtors, the 2011 Elks Citizen of the Year, and she was the recipient of the 2019 Fremont Exceptional Women Cara Fisher Award for Community Service. Later this year, Katchmar will be inducted into the Pueblo Community College’s Fremont Hall of Fame.
“I think that by making the community a better place, it makes my world and my children’s world better,” she said. “We moved down here to raise our children in a small community where you could walk your kids to school, and I just love the fact that I can walk down the street and say hi to everybody and make a difference, and know that you are making a difference in so many people’s lives.”
During Friday’s event, Dee Stubbs was awarded the Myron ‘Smitty’ Smith Lifetime Achievement Award, which was presented by Smitty’s son, Frank Smith.
The award was created in 2020 to recognize individuals with a significant demonstration of history and dedication to the City of Cañon City and the Chamber of Commerce.
“You won’t believe this, but I don’t have anything to say,” Stubbs said when presented with the surprise honor. “This is the best honor that I’ve ever, ever, ever, ever received.”
Smith described Stubbs as fun, happy, enthusiastic, determined, dependable, a leader and a devoted volunteer. She is a liaison between the Chamber and the Prospectors.
Stubbs formerly ran her own printing business, Dee’s Pace, similar to Smitty’s Master Printers. She now works for the Smith family at Master Printers.
“Smitty was the very first person that came to my shop and asked me what are you selling, what are you doing,” she said. “I told him and he said, ‘I have that business.’ I said one more isn’t going to hurt you. I always admired him and his whole family.”
Stubbs can be found volunteering on behalf of a number of local groups and organizations, and she is well known for her portrayal of the iconic Bird Millman O’Day, whom she presents on behalf of the Spirits of the Past.
“Last, but not least, (thank you to) my husband who allows me to roam like this free spirit to do everything that I want to do and have fun at,” she said.
Also recognized Friday were Laurie Haak of Fremont360, Business Member of the Year; Kathy Madonna, Rising Star Ambassador; Dennis Podzemny, Ambassador of the Year; and Mike Bandera, retiring board member.
“I’ve been so passionate about this community, and to get this honor is just icing on the cake,” Haak said.
To learn more about the Royal Gorge Chamber Alliance, visit https://www.royalgorgechamberalliance.org/.
Royal Gorge Chamber Alliance Awards/Recognitions
2022 Distinguished Citizen Award: Beth Katchmar
2022 Myron ‘Smitty’ Smith Lifetime Achievement Award: Dee Stubbs
2022 Business Member of the Year: Laurie Haak/Fremont360
2022 Ambassador of the Year: Dennis Podzemny
2022 Rising Star Ambassador: Kathy Madonna
2022 Retiring board member: Mike Bandera
Incoming Board President: Brian Konty
Myron ‘Smitty’ Smith Lifetime Achievement Award
2019 Myron ‘Smitty’ Smith
2020 Larry Otto
2021 Dave and Lynda Lambert
2022 Dee Stubbs
1962-63 C.A. Fredrickson
1964 Don Hardy
1966 Ralph Printz
1968 Karol Smith
1970 Joe Chapman
1971 Stanley Blunt
1972 Lee R. Blackwell
1973 Curtis Lowry
1974 Fr. Justin McKearnon
1975 Virginia Blunt
1976 Gus Stansell
1977 Olus Embry
1978 Clara Sonneland
1979 John McPherson
1980 Elvira Brown
1981 Clarence Canterbury
1982 A.J. Cronk
1983 Frank Romanick
1984 David Palmer
1985 Eric Domroese
1985 John Griffin
1986 Robert Harber
1987 Don Packard
1988 Alice Jurjovec
1989 George Turner
1990 Darryl Biggerstaff
1991 Ruth Stimack
1992 William Jackson
1994 Ruth Carter
1995 William Simpson
1996 Linda Carlson
1997 Ed Norden
1998 Melodi Tezak
1999 Judy Lohnes
2000 Lavelle Craig
2001 Debbie Brixey
2002 Larry Weaver
2003 Sandi Allen
2004 Paula Sheagley
2005 Myron Smith
2006 Bob DiRito
2007 Mike & Cathie Merlino
2008 Kathy Herrin
2009 Gloria Stultz
2010 Mike Bandera
2011 Will Colon
2012 Ed Tezak
2013 Becky Walker
2014 Jim & Jolene Meisner
2015 Dave & Lynda Lambert
2016 Larry Oddo
2017 Dave Reynolds
2018 Mary Chamberlain
2019 Tim & Emmy Dennehy
2020 Keven & Jodee Zerby
2021 Tim Payne
2022 Beth Katchmar
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