Governor’s Citizenship Medal winners

From left to right: Federico Peña, Amy Schwartz and Ed Perlmutter

Six Colorado leaders and one company were honored Tuesday with the announcement of the annual Colorado Governor’s Citizenship Medals. 

Each year since 2015, the governor of Colorado has bestowed the medals upon citizens and organizations that inspire excellence and public service. The medals are the state's highest honor recognizing significant contributions to communities across Colorado. 

“The recipients truly embody leadership and are driven to make Colorado an even better place to live,” Gov. Jared Polis said in a release. “On behalf of all Coloradans, thank you for your dedication to building a Colorado that can be enjoyed for generations to come.”

The medal recipients will be recognized during a ceremony on Jan. 26 as part of Colorado Leadership Month. 

The six award categories and recipients are as follows: 

The Vanguard Legacy Award — Federico Peña, honoring the career contributions of Peña, a lifetime civic leader, Denver's first Hispanic mayor, a civil rights attorney and a former U.S. secretary of transportation, U.S. secretary of energy and state legislator. 

Emerging Community Leader Medal — Mitchell Mauro, recognizing a young community leader in Mauro, a University of Colorado freshman and former Pueblo Central High School student who served on the Mayor’s Youth Council and the Pueblo Health Department Youth Advisory Board. 

Public and Community Service Award — Ed Perlmutter, honoring the public service of Perlmutter, U.S. representative for Colorado's 7th Congressional District and a former state senator, boasting 25 years of elected office in Colorado. 

Growth and Innovation Award — Amy Schwartz and Kelly Leid, honoring entrepreneurs Schwartz and Leid as the founders of the STEAD School, a high school created in Commerce City in 2021 focused on agricultural education through an active STEM perspective. 

Corporate Citizenship Medal — Ball Corp., recognizing the Colorado-based company, Ball Corp., for its impact on the state, particularly its financial support of the victims of the Marshall fire in Boulder County and of global communities during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Colorado Mountain Leader Medal — Clela Rorex, a posthumous recognition of the legacy of Rorex, a pioneering LGBTQ+ rights advocate who issued marriage licenses to six same-sex couples in 1975 as Boulder County clerk. She died in June 2022. 

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