2007 – 2008 Honorees

To read Honoree bios and Q&A interviews, please click on the links above.


Arts & Humanities

Maggie Divelbiss

Margaret (Maggie) Divelbiss is a community leader and champion for the arts and humanities in Southeastern Colorado. As Executive Director of Pueblo’s Sangre de Cristo Arts and Conference Center, Maggie has established her organization as a major cultural institution that includes a theatre, conference center, dance program, art galleries, a children’s museum and year-round educational programs for children and adults. She has presided over the Center’s growth, engaged area citizens, and contributed to Pueblo’s educational, artistic and economic development. Throughout her tenure, she has made it her personal mission to represent all aspects of Pueblo’s rich cultural diversity.

Once a public school English teacher, Ms. Divelbiss joined the Arts Center as Development Manager in 1973, and became Executive Director in 1989. In her leadership role, she led the Art Center through two major expansions, spearheaded two successful capital campaigns, and two endowment campaigns valued at more than $4,000,000. She established the Arts Center as a collecting museum when she secured a gift of 101 Western artworks from Pueblo businessman Francis E. King. The Arts Center’s most recent expansion resulted in the stunning Buell Children’s Museum and Jackson Sculpture Garden. Under Maggie’s leadership, the Arts Center’s collection has grown in size and reputation and now includes more than 1,600 works.

In addition to her role as Executive Director at the Arts Center, Ms. Divelbiss serves as General Manager of the Broadway Theatre League of Pueblo, which brings Broadway-caliber shows to Memorial Hall in Pueblo.

Outside of her professional role, Maggie is a dedicated community advocate. She is a Director of US Bank of Pueblo and has served on the Board of Directors of the Colorado Endowment for the Humanities and as a member of the Western Alliance of Arts Administrators, Western States Arts Federation, Rocky Mountain Arts Consortium and the National Museum of Women in the Arts. She served a six-year term as a gubernatorial appointee to the Colorado Council on the Arts. Maggie has also served on the Board of Directors of Posada, a shelter for homeless men.

Ms. Divelbiss received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Northern Colorado and pursued graduate studies in education at the University of Southern Colorado. Her commitment to the community has been recognized by numerous awards including the Lifetime Achievement Annie Award from the Damon Runyon Repertory and the Shrine of the Sun Award from the El Pomar Foundation.

Maggie is the premier patron of the arts in her community. She is the mother of four sons and one daughter all of whom are college educated.

How did you come to be an arts administrator?

I had been a schoolteacher off and on for about twelve years while my five children were young. Two of my friends had the inspiration for starting the Arts Center. They really did push me to come to work here, even though I didn’t have an arts background. I actually started here just about a year after the Center opened. I came on in a part-time position and you know what happens with that. I feel that I’ve had the best of both world – a family and a profession.

What are your responsibilities as Executive Director of the Center?

Basically, I consider myself a marketing fundraiser or actually, a good salesperson. My philosophy on asking people for money is that I am giving them the opportunity to do the right thing. The Center is in good financial shape and we’ve been very, very careful with other people’s money. When people know that, you can go back to them and they will give you money again if you take care of it.

We are an economic player in Pueblo. Our budget is $1.6 million and our attractions here are quality. We built the new Children’s Museum as part of our complex and we didn’t dig dirt until we had 110% of the money needed, either pledged or in the bank. We do not owe on anything. We believe in pay-as-you go and run the Center like a business – because it is a business.

What is the role of the Center in the community?

Everything we do is education-based. We bring in all different kinds of exhibitions and programs. Some of our most popular exhibits include an exhibition on the history of baseball, another on the Holocaust, and a showing of period costumes that have been in movies like Titanic, Pride and Prejudice and Out of Africa.

We have a rental facility; we have a great visual art program, and we produce events out of our school of dance. We have two dance companies. One of them is called Sangre de Cristo Ballet Theater and the other is called Dancerz, and includes people with and without physical disabilities.

Our audience is families. We built the Children’s Museum and it is really a gem. It was voted by Parent Magazine as the second best Children’s Museum in the United States that is focused on art. It has helped to bring a lot of attention to our whole facility.

During the summer, we have “Festival Fridays” in our garden. We bring in bands and have 1,000 or more people come. We are helping some of the businesses in the downtown area by having people come to the Center and then go to dinner or visit other places.

Why do you believe art education is important?

All youngsters need to find something that they can feel good about and be successful at. Some of them will find that in the arts. I believe that arts could play a big role in decreasing the drop out rate. People are saying that the next generation has got to be creative in order to do the new jobs. When you’re in the arts, you use both sides of the brain.

Elementary school children in Pueblo get out of school early every Friday afternoon and we have developed a complete arts program for them. They can come here and take a guitar class, be part of a choir, take a pottery or painting class, or even try a dance class. We are trying to make a statement that these things are important. I feel strongly that arts education should be in all our schools – 100% – because it’s not!

What advice do you have for others who might be interested in a career like yours?
You have to like people, because that’s where it’s at. People are the ones who make it possible for you to succeed. One of the things I’ve learned through the years is that you need to treat everyone with respect – including your maintenance staff and the secretaries. They have their hands under your armpits and if they decide to drop you, you will fall hard.

What’s your secret to success?

I work hard and I play hard. I try not to bring my work home with me and I’ve hired good people. A strong staff is what has made this place the way it is. When I’ve lost staff, I’ve always tried to hire up. Even though the ones I had were good, you’ve got to find even better people to help create new programs and new ways of reaching our audiences. We are attracting younger people for our staff and they are knowledgeable about technology – it’s fabulous! I credit our staff – they are doing a wonderful job for us.

Community Service

Harry T. Lewis Jr.

Harry Lewis is an outstanding community leader who has brought his keen understanding of civic finance, broad knowledge of the local economy, and commitment to economic and cultural development to leadership roles throughout our community.

Harry has been a leading contributor to many civic organizations addressing Denver’s growth, planning, and future development. As Chairman of the Denver Downtown Partnership, he was a driving force behind the development of the 16th Street Mall. His long association with the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce included work on a task force that led to the creation of the Regional Transportation District (RTD). He was instrumental in planning for the redevelopment of the Stapleton airport site and served as Chairman of the Stapleton Foundation for Sustainable Urban Communities.

Harry helped to create the Scientific & Cultural Facilities District (SCFD) in 1988 and championed the implementation of a 1/10 of 1% retail sales tax to increase community access to the arts, science, and culture. Since 1993, he has served as President of Citizens for Arts to Zoo, an organization formed to assist the SCFD in promoting the District’s reauthorization efforts.

His financial acumen has helped strengthen many Colorado nonprofit organizations. As a long-time trustee of the Denver Museum of Nature and Science (DMNS), Harry assisted with the establishment the DMNS Foundation and, as Chairman, oversaw its growth to $80 million. He also served on the board of the Colorado Outward Bound School and currently serves on the board of the Institute of International Education, Rocky Mountain Region. He completed a fifteen-year term as a Trustee of the Boettcher Foundation in 2000.

Mr. Lewis is the recipient of many prestigious awards including SCFD’s Rex Morgan Community Service Award and the Denver Metro Chamber’s Del Hock Lifetime Achievement Award. Harry has served on the boards of numerous corporations, including Berger Mutual Funds, Rocky Mountain World Trade Center Association, and J.D. Edwards. He was inducted into the Colorado Business Hall of Fame in 2006.

Harry began his business career with Peat Marwick, Mitchell & Company where he became a CPA. He subsequently joined Boettcher & Company where he became a General Partner and then went on to be the Senior Vice President of the Rocky Mountain Region for Dain Bosworth, Inc. He currently heads his own private investment firm, Lewis Investments.

A Denver native, Mr. Lewis graduated from East High School, received his bachelor’s degree in Art History from Dartmouth College and an M.B.A. from Dartmouth’s Amos Tuck School of Business. He served two years in the U.S. Navy assigned to the Naval Guided-Missile Group I in Hawaii. In 2001, Harry lost his beloved wife of 45 years, Tanya deLuise Lewis. He has three adult children and six grandchildren.

Where did your interest in community service begin?

My family upbringing is a big part of that. My parents moved to Colorado in 1936 when I was three years old. I grew up in the Park Hill neighborhood and went to Park Hill Elementary, Smiley Jr. High, and East High School. My father enlisted in the Army in 1942 (even though he was above the draft age) because he felt that he had an obligation to serve his country. While my father was in the service, my mother became my Cub Scout leader. In those days we were told it was really the patriotic thing to do, to just go out and help with newspaper collections and aluminum collections. That had an effect on me. I graduated from East High School in 1951 and the Korean War had just started. I enrolled in the Naval ROTC at Dartmouth College. Dartmouth had a program where you could start on your master’s program in your senior year of college and finish in your fifth year of college. I got my commission in the Navy about an hour and a half before I got my MBA degree in early June of 1956. I was on active duty in the Navy about thirty-one days after graduation.

How did you get started in community service?

I started my career with Peat Marwick & Mitchell where I became a CPA. Within three years, I went to work for one of their clients — Boettcher and Company. The managing partner, Warren Willard, encouraged all of the firm’s employees to get involved in community activities. I started out in the municipal bond department and worked with a lot of school districts and special districts. I worked on many municipal bond election campaigns and that’s where I really got my eyes opened to how important community involvement is.

What are some of the most memorable projects you’ve been involved in?

When I was a junior partner at Boettcher, Warren Willard called me into his office and said, “The Denver Tramway Corporation is going out of business and they’ve gone into bankruptcy. The Chamber wants our help to see what we can do to maintain the region’s public transportation system.” I became involved in a Chamber task force that created the RTD concept. The Chamber then took the necessary steps that convinced the Colorado legislature to create the RTD.

I resigned from Boettcher in 1980 to become the head of the Rocky Mountain Region for Dain Bosworth. I spent a lot of time at their headquarters in Minnesota. Dain had a great corporate culture that cultivated involvement of all their employees in community activities. They were strong advocates and supporters of the 5% Club in the Twin Cities where more than 200 corporations contributed 5% of their pre-tax profits to charities. I had never realized how important it was to contribute time and effort to nonprofits in our communities until then.

In the early 1970’s, I went on the board of the Colorado Outward Bound School. It was a real eye-opener for me. I learned a lot and became acquainted with a number of strong community leaders. One thing led to another and I got involved in the Downtown Denver Partnership. I was the chair when we got the 16th Street Mall going. It was at that time that retailers were abandoning downtown Denver. That’s where I learned a lot about working collaboratively between the public and private sectors.

In 1988, when I was a trustee on the board of the Natural History Museum, the largest cultural organizations (the Denver Zoo, the History Museum, the Botanic Gardens and the Art Museum), were arguing for support in front of the legislative subcommittee and were getting nowhere. A group of board members got everybody from the major cultural organizations together and came up with the concept of a tax district. That was the beginning of the SCFD, the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District. Now, we’re the envy of almost every major metro area in the United States. I’ve continued to be involved as Chair of Citizens for Arts to Zoo that helps support the SCFD. We’ve successfully reauthorized the SCFD twice since it started. That goes to show you what you can do if you get strong community involvement and the cooperation between the public and private sectors.

What advice do you have for future leaders interested in community service?

Take one small step at a time. Become a volunteer in an organization that looks like it might have some appeal for you and where you think your background could add something. My business mentors have had the most influence on me. Each of them encouraged me to give back to my community. Finding an older person in your life or your career to serve as a mentor can help get you involved where you can start making a difference. If you do it that way, it’s a positive virus that you never want to cure.

What challenges do you see for Colorado in the future?

I served on the Economic Futures Panel that was sponsored by the University of Denver. It was an incredibly enlightening experience. Our state is in the most dire financial situation it’s ever been in. We have underfunded our entire infrastructure including higher education, K through 12 education, as well as transportation. We have a tremendous challenge to educate voters and the public about the consequences of an underfunded infrastructure. We also have a major problem with the initiative process and amending our constitution. Our state constitution is currently nine times longer than the U.S. Constitution. We need to have a well-organized private sector working collaboratively with the public sector to restore our Founding Father’s intentions of creating a well-conceived representative government as opposed to a direct democracy, where special interest groups try to take over their government through the initiative process.

Science & Medicine

David J. Wineland, Ph.D.

David Wineland is a distinguished atomic physicist widely recognized for pioneering the use of lasers to cool ions to near absolute zero. Much of his early work focused on using these techniques to develop extremely accurate time and frequency standards. His group recently demonstrated the most accurate atomic clocks to date. His work has helped lead transforming commercial applications such as the Global Positioning System and cellular communications networks, as well as new scientific applications such as precision tests of quantum mechanics, relativity, and astrophysics.

Significant accomplishments of his group include the first spectroscopy on a single atom and the first laser cooling of an atom or ion to its lowest energy state by use of sideband cooling. His mastering of ion cooling has led to advances in quantum computing that promise to introduce a type of computation that is more different from modern electronic computers than those computers are from the ancient abacus.

David received a bachelor’s degree from Berkeley and his Ph.D. from Harvard. After a postdoctoral appointment at the University of Washington, he joined the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) where he is the leader of the Ion-Storage Group in the Time and Frequency Division at Boulder, Colorado. He was named a NIST Fellow in 1988.

Dr. Wineland is the recipient of numerous awards and prizes, including the Davisson-Germer Prize of the American Physical Society, the Frederick Ives Medal of the Optical Society of America, and the Department of Commerce Silver and Gold Medals. He was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 1992.

He has published more than 250 refereed articles, many in the most prestigious resource journals such and Science, Nature, and Physical Review Letters. He also speaks at national and international conferences on laser cooling, quantum information and quantum engineering.

Dr. Wineland continues to have a major impact on the international scientific community through training scientists at all stages of their careers. For thirty years, he has led an exceptionally productive and creative research group that has trained many dozens of students, post-doctoral fellows, and guest scientists from across the world, many of whom have gone on to lead their own highly successful programs in quantum engineering and optics.

He and his wife, Sedna, are the parents of two sons.

When did you first discover an interest in physics?

I remember playing mathematical games with my father. And I always liked mechanical things—and I still do. I was one of those straight arrows and I liked physics in high school, but I spent most of my time on cars and motorcycles. I still feel like that was good training, just learning how those things worked. You know, it’s sort of all the same process whether it’s mechanical things like gearboxes or how lasers work. It takes curiosity and the same kind of thought process.

Who inspired you along the way?

When I was an undergraduate at Berkeley, there was a teacher that I particularly liked who pushed me along. And, that was lucky. Then, I went to graduate school and had a great thesis advisor who was very supportive. Here at NIST, we’ve had very supportive bosses.

When I first started over 30 years ago, I was given a specific task. The cesium (atomic) clock wasn’t working and my job was to get it to work. After that, I was able to start a group working on ions. I was able to hire three others guys and we’ve been together since then. NIST has been very supportive of team accomplishments rather than focusing on individual stars.

What advice do you have for students interested in a career in physics?
Of course everyone is different, but I would say, find something that interests you and dive in. If you are going to be successful in any career, you have to spend a lot of time at it and go into it with both feet. We mostly work with graduate students and there are no motivation problems. They want to get a project that they can hang their hat on when they go to their next position.

What are you trying to achieve?

I’m in the Time and Frequency Division of NIST. Our main mission is to keep time and make good, accurate clocks. Historically, the main application of clocks is for navigation and this continues to be true. A prime example is the Global Positioning System where the precise timing provided by atomic clocks enables navigation that increasingly affects our everyday lives. Precise timing is also important in today’s high-speed communications systems.

As physicists in the lab, generating time is also interesting because there are unusual physics effects that show up as we progress with these experiments. Einstein predicted that clocks would run at different rates depending on their gravitational environment. So, for example, clocks on Earth run slower than they do in space. This becomes an issue because we have to know where we are in the gravitational potential of Earth in order to do accurate comparisons. Our group has made clocks that can sense changes in height of 30 cm, about 1 foot, due to Einstein’s gravitational effect. This might eventually lead to different way to determine altitude.

Another potential application of the atomic ions we use for clocks is in advanced computers. In a quantum computer, the memory capacity scales exponentially with the number of bits and gives us the capability of massively parallel operations. The capabilities that allow us to make accurate clocks also turn out to be very nearly identical for what we need in a quantum computer.

One nice thing about the clock business is that we can always do better. In principle, there’s just no end to how well we can do. Our quest is to be the best.