The state’s leading advocacy organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer Coloradans and their families, will honor allies Saturday beginning at 6:30 p.m. at the Four Seasons in Denver.
The group, One Colorado, stated in a news release:
One Colorado’s 2016 Ally Awards will honor those who have been allies to LGBTQ Coloradans and their families. Special guests will be in attendance including Kathleen Sebelius, Former U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services, and Cecile Richards, President of Planned Parenthood.
Ally Award recipients:
Matthew Huron — Chief Executive Officer, Good Chemistry
Nita and Rudy Gonzales and the Gonzales Family — Servicios de La Raza; Escuela Tlatelolco
Kristin Strohm — Managing Partner, Starboard Group
Ted Trimpa — Principal and Chief Executive Director, Trimpa Group, 2016 Lifetime Achievement Award Winner
People’s Choice Award Nominees (winner to be announced at the ceremony):
Dr. Dan Reirden, Denver, CO
Reverend Christopher Gilmore, Denver, CO
Ally Award Recipients
Matthew Huron | Chief Executive Officer, Good Chemistry
With fifteen years of experience in the marijuana industry, and widely recognized as one of the most experienced cultivators of marijuana in the United States, Matthew Huron started Good Chemistry Colorado in 2010. Huron became involved in the medical marijuana industry when his father and his father’s partner were diagnosed with HIV/AIDS. In 1996, when medical marijuana became available in California, Huron saw firsthand the symptomatic relief patients experienced from this alternative medical treatment. In 2000, he began growing medical marijuana for AIDS patients throughout the state, founding and operating a nonprofit medical marijuana co-op that became one of the most respected and well-known facilities in San Francisco. In 2010, he launched Good Chemistry Colorado, which is considered to be one of the finest vertically-integrated cannabis companies in the state.
Nita and Rudy Gonzales and the Gonzales Family | Servicios de La Raza; Escuela Tlatelolco
The late Rodolfo “Corky” Gonzales was at the forefront of the country’s civil rights struggle in the 1960s and 70s, leading Denver’s Chicano Rights Movement, founding the Escuela Tlatelolco — a school built around integrating Chicano culture and history into education, and penning his famous poem “I am Joaquin,” which is taught in schools across the nation today. Today, his family continues the Gonzales legacy. His daughter, Nita Gonzales, continues to run Escuela whose mission is to empower students to become well-educated, responsible, and self-directed; as well as to acknowledge and embrace their own self worth and history with a commitment to social justice. His son, Rudy Gonzales, is the Executive Director of Servicios de La Raza, which provides mental health access services, promotoras, and emergency services to the Denver Metro’s Latino community. These programs include HIV/AIDS testing and counseling services with specialized LGBTQ programming. Other members of the Gonzales family members continue to lead, work, and organize around educational equity, creating and promoting Latino culture and heritage through fine art, music and film, and pushing progressive policies and issues in Denver and across the state.
Kristin Strohm | Managing Partner, Starboard Group
Kristin Strohm co-founded the Starboard Group in 2008 to marry her love of politics with her desire to give back to the community. Known for her ability to maintain grace under pressure, Managing Partner Kristin Strohm’s poise, confidence, and creativity give her an edge in the fast-paced world of politics. Kristin is intimately acquainted with Colorado’s local businesses, foundations, and nonprofits. She was a founding member, and served on the board of Coloradans for Freedom, the group that successfully organized conservatives to advocate for the passage of civil unions at the state legislature. Kristin is also one of Congressman Mike Coffman’s closest and longtime advisors. Due in large part to her counsel, Coffman has bucked Congressional Republican Leadership to take a number of pro-LGBTQ votes.
Ted Trimpa | Principal and Chief Executive Director, Trimpa Group
Ted Trimpa, from a tiny farm town in Kansas, eventually came to Colorado and joined forces with activist Tim Gill to change the political landscape across the state and nation. The two leveraged donors — gay and straight — to target legislative candidates who were attempting to ban same-sex marriage in their states. It is because of Ted’s ability to compromise that he was largely responsible for the Democratic takeover in the Colorado Legislature in the 2004 election. While Ted’s work isn’t done, he is deserving of a Lifetime Achievement Award because of his dedication to improving lives of LGBTQ Coloradans and his ability to find middle ground.