Inductees to this year's class of the Boulder County Business Hall of Fame included, from left, Dale Katechis, Richard Barrett, Tom Brock, Carolyn Conarroe, Linda Snyder Crockett, David Brown, David Cohen and Wally Grant. (Dallas Heltzell/BizWest)

11 inducted into Boulder County Business Hall of Fame at luncheon

LONGMONT — Eleven new honorees were inducted into the Boulder County Business Hall of Fame on Wednesday before a crowd of hundreds who attended a luncheon at the Plaza Convention Center in Longmont.

More than 160 Boulder County leaders now are members of the hall, which was established in 1992.

Inducted Wednesday were Richard Barrett, founder of Leasetec Corp. and principal of the St  Julien Hotel and Spa in Boulder; Tom Brock, founder and chief executive of Brock Media Co., whose publications include Boulder magazine; Techstars founders David Brown, David Cohen, Brad Feld and U.S. Rep. Jared Polis, D-Colo.; Carolyn and the late Percy Conarroe, former owners of the Louisville Times, Lafayette News and Erie Review newspapers; Linda Snyder Crockett, owner of Snyder Jewelers in Longmont; attorney Wally Grant of Lyons Gaddis Kahn Hall Jeffers Dworak & Grant PC; and Dale Katechis, owner of Oskar Blues Brewery.

Barrett, whose professional experience also includes positions with Storage Technology Corp., Digital Equipment Corp. and Pearl Izumi, traced his business experience to age seven, selling maple syrup at his home in the Adirondack Mountains of New York state, and later to a paper route on which he learned to deal with customers who wouldn’t hear of excuses for missed deliveries.

“Warren Buffett likes to tell people that getting a paper route shows an early interest in business,” Barrett said, “and I certainly had that.”

He said he chose Boulder for the site of his luxurious hotel and spa because it was right for a “casual, sophisticated place that could serve the university and tech communities.”

Brock recalled working as a freelance journalist – a “stringer” – at papers such as the Durango Herald, Vail Trail and Steamboat Pilot, then venturing into the business side by selling advertising.

“Then I took a hike in the Boulder foothills,” he said, “and I told the Flatirons that if I could contribute to this community and do something I’d enjoy, I’d never ask for money.”

For 37 years, his Boulder Magazine, Boulder County Home & Garden and more than 20 additional publications have shared stories of the remarkable people in Boulder County and beyond.

Cohen recalled that he and Brown “wrote on a napkin a bunch of places to visit” to start their mentorship-driven accelerator that invests in promising startups. “Then we got to Boulder and stopped.

“Boulder is known globally now as a place to start high-growth companies that change the world,” he said. “I’ve given speeches in places like Tokyo and Singapore, and they ask why that is. I just say it’s Boulder’s open-door, welcoming attitude.”

A fourth-generation Coloradan, Percy Conarroe died in 2013 after 55 years of running weekly newspapers with wife Carolyn working at his side.

“One of my big inspirations was Percy the newspaper guy,” she said. “I loved the people and the towns. I always felt that I was meant to be there and that there were things for me that needed to be done” – including publishing three books on Louisville’s rich history of coal mining.

Snyder Crockett recalled going to the family jewelry store every day after school “and Mom would always find ways to keep us busy. … I owe everything I am and everything this store has come to be to you, Mom.”

She noted Longmont’s growth and that the store – which opened on Main Street in Longmont in 1948 – has “come along for the ride.”

Snyder Crockett also is a co-founder of A Woman’s Work and serves on the board of directors of Lafayette-based TRU Community Care Hospice.

Grant, a Longmont native, expressed pride in having been able to meet his three goals: raising a family, building a law firm “strong enough to survive me,” and getting involved with the community. Grant has been a director of the Economic Development Association of Longmont (now Longmont Area Economic Council), Longmont Downtown Development Authority, Longmont United Hospital and Longmont National Bank, and has worked with many other area organizations.

“It’s been really a good ride so far,” he said.

Katechis credited his start in business to his dealings at age 9 with Howie, his school bus driver. He said he would buy Jolly Rancher hard candies wholesale and sell them on the bus until Howie kicked him off. To keep his business going, he said, he would give Howie a Jolly Rancher and a dollar.

“Over the course of our relationship,” he said, “I learned that you’ve got to grease a few people along the way.”

After falling in love with the town of Lyons, Katechis went on to found Oskar Blues Brewery and its spinoffs, Oskar Blues Original Grill & Brew, REEB Cycles, Hops & Heifers Farm and the REEB Ranch.

The Hall of Fame also awarded scholarships to University of Colorado students Peter Ziel of Niwot High School, Jackie Dong of Monarch High School, Kimya Nia of Peak to Peak Charter School and Grace McCarthy of Boulder High School.

The Hall of Fame is a private, nonprofit 501(C)(3) dedicated to the encouragement of business excellence in Boulder County by recognizing and inducting local business leaders. A permanent installation honoring alumni inductees is located at the Plaza Convention Center, including photographs and biographies.

Read profiles about the 2015 Boulder County Business Hall of Fame Honorees

Read about the 2014 Boulder County Business Hall of Fame Honorees

LONGMONT — Eleven new honorees were inducted into the Boulder County Business Hall of Fame on Wednesday before a crowd of hundreds who attended a luncheon at the Plaza Convention Center in Longmont.

More than 160 Boulder County leaders now are members of the hall, which was established in 1992.

Inducted Wednesday were Richard Barrett, founder of Leasetec Corp. and principal of the St  Julien Hotel and Spa in Boulder; Tom Brock, founder and chief executive of Brock Media Co., whose publications include Boulder magazine; Techstars founders David Brown, David Cohen, Brad Feld and U.S. Rep. Jared Polis, D-Colo.; Carolyn and the late Percy Conarroe, former owners of the Louisville Times, Lafayette News and Erie Review newspapers; Linda Snyder Crockett, owner of Snyder Jewelers in Longmont; attorney Wally Grant of Lyons Gaddis Kahn Hall Jeffers Dworak & Grant PC; and Dale Katechis, owner of Oskar Blues Brewery.

Barrett, whose professional experience also includes positions with Storage Technology Corp., Digital Equipment Corp. and Pearl Izumi, traced his business experience to age seven, selling maple syrup at his home in the Adirondack Mountains of New York state, and later to a paper route on which he learned to deal with customers who wouldn’t hear of excuses for missed deliveries.

“Warren Buffett likes to tell people that getting a paper route shows an early interest in business,” Barrett said, “and I certainly had that.”

He said he chose Boulder for the site of his luxurious hotel and spa because it was right for a “casual, sophisticated place that…