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Introducing Six New Colorado Business Hall of Fame Inductees

The Colorado Business Hall of Fame will honor six new inductees Feb. 15 at Hyatt Regency Denver, Colorado Convention Center, presented by Junior Achievement-Rocky Mountain and the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce. Here are the 2024 honorees: 

Rose Andom 

The first person in her family to attend college, Rose Andom earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Kansas and then an MBA from the University of Missouri-Kansas City while working full-time at Hallmark Card Co. 

She went on to serve as district sales manager for Ford Motor Co. for three years, before moving from Kansas to Los Angeles. There, she entered an accelerated management development program at McDonald’s Corp. In her 10 years at McDonald’s, she was an assistant manager, restaurant manager, area supervisor, business consultant, training consultant and franchising manager. 

In 1991, Andom left the corporate world and purchased her first McDonald’s franchise in Kansas City. Over the next 24 years, she owned and operated six McDonald’s restaurants, including the three at Denver International Airport. When she bought the DIA locations, total annual sales volume was around $6 million. By her retirement in 2015, annual net sales were nearly $20 million. Andom remained involved with the corporation and served on the board of the National Black McDonald’s Operators Association for more than 20 years in various positions, including as the vice chair for her last four years. 

Andom consistently donates to many nonprofit organizations, including the Denver Rescue Million, Warren Village, Women’s Foundation of Colorado, Denver Health, and Food Bank of the Rockies. Her proudest community involvement has been her role in opening the Rose Andom Center, which provides services to those suffering from domestic abuse. The Center opened in 2016, and Andom has contributed more than $2 million to date. Andom’s next project: a 70-unit affordable apartment complex in Northfield for those without shelter.  

In 2013, former Denver Mayor Michael Hancock honored Andom by proclaiming October 31 “Rose Andom Day” for her leadership and willingness to give back to the city. 

Pat Hamill 

Growing up in the Midwest, Pat Hamill was attracted to Colorado because of the mountains and his passion for skiing. He made the move in the late 1970s to attend the University of Denver and the Daniels College of Business. 

After graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree from the Burns School of Real Estate and Construction Management in 1981, he founded Oakwood Homes, which grew to become one of the largest homebuilding companies in the Denver area. In 2017, Oakwood was sold to Berkshire Hathaway and is a premier master-plan developer in Colorado, Utah and Arizona.  

In 2021, the company launched On2Homes, a modular product that provides housing at 40 percent of the area median housing price. Hamill’s passion for supporting the community was instilled in him at a young age; his father taught his children to give back as often as they could. Hamill co-founded both the BuildStrong Education Foundation and the 21st Century High-Tech Academies at Martin Luther King Middle School and Montbello High School in the Green Valley Ranch area. 

He has been a member of the board for the Boys and Girls Club of Metro Denver, Colorado Golf Foundation, First Western Trust Bank and chaired Colorado Concern, a group of top executives focused on enhancing and protecting the state’s business climate.  

John Ikard 

After receiving his MBA in Business Management from St. Edward’s University in Austin, Texas, John Ikard came back to Colorado in 1981 and was hired as a management trainee at FirstBank Holding Co. that year. The following year, he was promoted to bank officer. In 1991, he was named president of the FirstBank in the Denver Tech Center and was then promoted to CEO of FirstBank Holding Co. in 1999, a position he held until his retirement in 2017. 

Ikard made a commitment to implement a culture of philanthropy and community involvement at FirstBank. From the inception of the bank in 1963 until 1999, when Ikard took the reins, the bank had contributed a total of $10 million to charitable causes. From 1999 to 2016, it contributed more than $57 million and consistently ranks in the top three of all corporate givers in the state. Additionally, under Ikard’s leadership, FirstBank has grown to be the second-largest bank in Colorado by deposits. FirstBank assets topped $17 billion in 2016, which marked 10 straight years of record profits.  

Ikard’s commitment to the community reaches well beyond FirstBank. He has chaired numerous organizations including the Denver Economic Development Corp., the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce, the Denver Boy Scout Council, and Colorado Concern. He was on the Board of Trustees at Colorado State University and a board member of the Children’s Hospital Foundation and the Women’s Foundation of Colorado. Ikard also served on the Kansas City Federal Reserve Board of Directors during the 2010 financial crisis.  He is currently involved with the St. Joseph Hospital Foundation and the Denver Scholarship Foundation. Ikard remains on the FirstBank board as chairman, and as chairman of the National Western Center Authority, he is overseeing the multi-billion-dollar redevelopment of the National Western Complex.  

Ikard has received numerous awards, including the Community Banker of the Year award from American Banker, the Mize Community Enrichment Award, the Daniels Ethics in Business Award, the Boy Scout “Vale La Pena Award,” and the Colorado State University Alumni of the Year award. 

Robert Katz 

Rob Katz first visited Vail in 1991, a few years after graduating from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania. He wasn’t seeking the mountain life; his ambitions were around his career on Wall Street at Apollo Management, which he joined at its founding in 1990. But a year after his visit to Colorado, Apollo took control of Vail Resorts, and shortly thereafter Katz joined its board of directors.  

Katz ultimately became Vail Resort CEO in 2006, and his vision to “re-imagine the mountain experience around the world” drove a revolution at the company and across the ski industry. In 2008, he developed the Epic Pass, a season pass that wasn’t just for locals, providing unprecedented access and value. Season passes are now a defining feature of the ski industry, making the sport more accessible and providing stability from weather fluctuations. Under Katz’s leadership, Vail Resorts became the global leader in mountain resorts, growing from five resorts to 41 resorts across 15 states and four countries.  

Today, the company has 55,000 employees, up from 8,000 when he joined. With a focus on leadership development, Katz drove a dramatic improvement in gender diversity within a historically male-dominated industry. Vail Resorts now has women running 10 resorts, up from zero, including Vail, Breckenridge, Crested Butte, Park City and Whistler Blackcomb. Today, its CEO, CFO and 50 percent of its board directors are women.  

Katz spearheaded Vail Resorts’ industry-leading responsibility platform, EpicPromise, which supports communities, employees and the environment. Each year, the company provides nearly $25 million to its mountain communities to support critical needs such as affordable housing, childcare and youth access. In 2017, Vail Resorts made a sustainability pledge to reach a zero net operating footprint by 2030 and remains on track to reach its Commitment to Zero. 

After almost 16 years as CEO, Katz stepped down and named Kirsten Lynch as his internal successor in 2021. He remains fully involved in Vail Resorts’ strategic operations as executive chairman of the board. 

Katz and his wife, Elana Amsterdam, a New York Times best-selling author, founded the Katz Amsterdam Foundation in 2017. Among other efforts, the Foundation works with mountain communities to advance access to mental and behavioral health care, with $22 million in grants to date. 

Steve Schuck 

Steve Schuck founded Schuck Communities, now Schuck Chapman Companies, more than 50 years ago, and the company remains a major developer of commercial, residential, industrial and mixed-use projects in multiple markets.  Schuck has had more than 50 joint ventures and partnerships, creating and developing thousands of residential home sites and acres of commercial land in the Denver, Colorado Springs, Portland, and Phoenix markets, valued in billions of dollars. 

 As founder and/or co-founder of both Colorado’s and Colorado Springs’ private economic development programs, the Greater Denver Corp., the Colorado Leadership Forum, and the Republican Leadership Program (now the Leadership Program of the Rockies), Schuck’s entrepreneurial leadership reaches far beyond business and into public policy, including a run for governor. 

He and his late wife, Joyce, were school choice activists for decades, creating Parents Challenge more than 22 years ago. The organization has empowered low-income parents of more than 3,000 economically disadvantaged kids in Colorado Springs with privately funded scholarships, grants and mentoring that can be used in both public and private schools. Their private foundation, The Schuck Initiatives, is a leader and activist in advancing freedom and personal responsibility, moving people from dependency to independence. 

Schuck has been recognized with numerous honors, including Citizen of the Year by the Colorado Springs Chamber of Commerce, the Lifetime of Community Achievement Award from the Colorado Association of Homebuilders, a medal of merit from the University of Colorado Board of Regents, the David S. D’Evelyn Award for Inspired Leadership from the Independence Institute, and the 2021 Leadership Program of the Rockies Legacy Award, among many others. 

 Schuck earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, after which he became the head football coach at the West Point Prep School. 

Pioneer: Elizabeth Hickok Robbins Stone 

In 1862, Elizabeth Hickok Robbins Stone and her second husband, Judge Lewis Stone, packed up their covered wagon and made the move from Minnesota to Colorado, traveling down the South Platte River. After two years in Denver operating a restaurant and hotel in what is currently Union Station, they relocated north to Camp Collins, where she played a major role in developing the city we know today as Fort Collins. She is recognized as the only woman founder of the city.  

After arriving at Camp Collins in 1864, which was an outpost of the U.S. Army used to protect the Overland Trail from attacks by Native Americans, Stone was given permission to build a two-story house, which served as the officer’s quarters and lodging. Within the first month, the building was able to bring in additional officers and was used as a dining hall. Stone was the only woman in town during her first year at Camp Collins.  

Lewis passed away in 1866, and the following year the Army decommissioned Camp Collins. Instead of demolishing the building, Stone turned the property into a two-story hotel called the Pioneer Cabin. She built the Cottage House a few years later where she ran a hotel, and in 1873 she bought the Blake House Hotel and renamed it the Metropolitan Hotel. On top of her involvement with multiple hotels, she had the idea to build the first mill in the city, which was the city’s tallest building at the time, and she operated the region’s first brick kiln in her brick-making business, which she established after visualizing the possible destruction of a fire destroying all of the city’s wooden structures.  

On Stone’s 81st birthday, four generations of her family held a birthday party in her honor. Legend has it that she danced until 5 a.m. and then went home to make breakfast for her guests. She then continued dancing for the next five years. An advocate for women’s suffrage, Stone cast her first vote at the age of 93, two years before she passed away in 1895.