No one ever said business awards events are required to be stuffy.

How about candlelight, table linens, flowers and a 25-piece Broadmoor Pops orchestra instead?

The Colorado Springs Regional Business Alliance led the way with its Nov. 9 annual gala, which filled the Broadmoor International Center.

The top award of the evening, Business Citizen of the Year, went to Tony Fagnant, CEO of Qualtek Manufacturing Inc. Cheers erupted from the Qualtek table, including from Fagnant's son and daughter, and from the exuberant staff of Blue Star Recyclers, which Tony and wife Mary helped found. Blue Star hires and trains the developmentally disabled to disassemble electronics for recycling.

The man of the year deflected the honor, saying, "I'm only one cog in the wheel." He's a Rotarian, but, "there are 500 Rotarians and I'm only one. At Blue Star and Qualtek, I'm only one."

Other top award winners:

Aerospace/Defense: Colorado Engineering

Information Technology: Cherwell Software

Manufacturing: Diversified Machine Systems

Local Business: American Overhead Door

Nonprofit: Colorado Springs Philharmonic

Sports Economy Award: USA Volleyball

Business Investment of the Year: JPM Prototype and Manufacturing

Startup Company: Fat Bike Co.

Company of the Year: Boecore Inc.

Military Support: Keith Klaehn

More about the awards: