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Catalyst Campus President and CEO Kevin O’Neil gives Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper a tour of Catalyst Campus in June 2016.

Kevin O’Neil, a Colorado Springs native, launched his first business, a flooring store, as an undergrad at Hastings College in Nebraska.

Just a year later he closed the store and moved back home, bringing with him an entrepreneurial drive that would change the face of Colorado Springs for years to come.

Among his many roles now, O’Neil is the CEO of a business acquisition company that bears his name; founder of the Catalyst Campus for Technology & Innovation business park; and board chairman of Braxton Technologies, a military software developer.

For his efforts and investments in the city, O’Neil was named the 2019 Business Citizen of the Year by the Colorado Springs Chamber of Commerce & EDC at the group’s annual gala Saturday night.

The award recognizes a business person who contributes to the economic growth and prosperity of the Colorado Springs area.

It also honors someone who improves the community through civic involvement and who demonstrates a willingness to assist in business and community projects, among other factors.

“Kevin is an entrepreneurial powerhouse and one of our region’s most accomplished business leaders. He will undoubtedly have a special spot in our city’s story of growth and revitalization when we look back on this era,” said Dirk Draper, president and CEO of the Chamber & EDC. “His passion for this community is equally as impressive as his business acquisitions. He invests in both capital projects and relationships that benefit all of us. He truly embodies Business Citizen of the Year.”

The Chamber and EDC also presented their Excellence in Industry awards to three local businesses. Titan Robotics, a 3D printing and manufacturing powerhouse founded by Clay Guillory out of his garage, was awarded the Company of the Year.

Bluestaq, a Department of Defense software firm designing analytics for the Air Force was awarded New Company of the Year. Finally, the Children’s Hospital Colorado, which constructed a new $160 million medical facility, was awarded the Community Investment of the Year award.

conrad.swanson@gazette.com @conrad_swanson

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