James Stewart has worn many hats: colonel, fighter pilot, Pikes Peak United Way board chair, business developer, War College, Sachs Foundation, business professor and co-chair of the National Museum of World War II Aviation.
Add to that, founding president of the Colorado Springs Black Chamber of Commerce.
Celebrating its 25th anniversary with the theme "Soaring to New Heights," the chamber, along with many of the groups and individuals working with it over the years, formally saluted Stewart on June 3.
They did it with some aviation fun as well, inviting guests to make paper airplanes to fly down a runway. The best plane creator to hit the mark was Larry Shaffer.
A surprise award was delivered by Mayor John Suthers, the Spirit of the Springs.
Honored along with Stewart during the evening were other chamber founding members Tom Bennett, Queen Brown, James Sauls and Alice Wallace.
Current board members include Jaki Taggart, president; Bregitta Hughes; Liv Taylor, Ronnie Haskins, Janet Brugger, Elayne McKenzie and Rodney Gullatte Jr.
Keynote speaker Tiffany Anderson, the first African American female superintendent of Topeka, Kan., schools, has been called "the superintendent who made schools work for poor children" in Jennings, Mo., the next town over from Ferguson. She used her story as a challenge to the audience.