Let's talk business in Pueblo: Silver Queen crowned, Pueblo West chamber seeks nominations

Tracy Harmon
Pueblo Chieftain
Dorothy Ohlsen is crowned the 49th Silver Queen by Nicole Sanok, vice president of business development for Sangre de Cristo Community Care during a ceremony Sept. 14, 2023 at Pueblo Country Club.

Bonaventure of Pueblo resident Dorothy Ohlsen, 98, was crowned the 49th Silver Queen during aprivate ceremony Sept. 14 at the Pueblo Country Club.

A total of 27 contestants competed. Charlotte Garnett, 78, of Chateau at Sharmar was crowned first runner-up, while Sally Castillo, 68, of the Trinidad Inn was crowned Ms. Congeniality.

From surviving the Dust Bowl to pulling people out of the rubble from a Category 5 tornado in Norman, Oklahoma, this year’s nominees recalled significant historical events, and provided stories about their lives that both inspired and endeared them to the judges, according to event organizers. The annual pageant has highlighted the area’s older adults in good-natured judging of a video interview and display of character and community contribution.

The contest is open to hopefuls ages 60 and older, with contestants nominated by staff and administrators of local skilled-nursing and assisted living facilities. A panel of judges narrowed down the 27 candidates to eight finalists. The competitor’s interviews are streamed on Sangre de Cristo Community Care’s Facebook page.

Pueblo West Chamber board, annual award nominations sought

Oct. 2 is the deadline to apply for Pueblo West Chamber of Commerce Board of Director positions as well as the chamber's annual award nominations.

To apply for the board, email a resume and a letter of interest to The resume should include other volunteer and board experience.

To nominate a candidate for the annual awards, go to by Oct. 2. Nomination categories include member of the year, business of the year and community member of the year.

Questions can be directed to new Executive Director Samantha Hardcastle at 719-647-9086.

Colorado State University's Pueblo Works program receives grant

The Colorado State University Pueblo Foundation-CSU Pueblo Works program recently received a grant from Pinnacol Assurance, a workers' compensation insurer.

The goal of the Pueblo Works program is to reduce workforce shortages by awarding stipends for Black, Indigenous, people of color or low-income nursing students. The program was one of 29 nonprofit organizations selected to receive $405,750 in grants.

"Pinnacol is integral to the health and longevity of Colorado’s workforce — one way we demonstrate that is through our commitment to the community. We are dedicated to promoting inclusiveness, resilience and access to community services that support Colorado’s employers, nonprofits  and workforce," said John O’Donnell, chief executive officer and president at Pinnacol Assurance.

Pueblo Association of Realtors hosts annual awards and installation banquet

The Pueblo Association of Realtors hosted its annual awards and installation banquet Saturday evening to celebrate excellence in the real estate industry.

The prestigious Arthur C. Leach Outstanding Salesperson of the Year award was given to Donna Austin of RE/Max of Pueblo.

Other award recipients included:

  • Rookie of the Year — Eli Byler of RE/Max Associates
  • Volunteer of the Year — Melanie Magee of Re/Max Associates and Jeff Divelbiss of Re/Max of Pueblo.
  • Lifetime Achievement awards — Clyde Laut, Robert O’Callaghan, Diane Hartman, Phil Beeman, Scott Moore, Ralph Garcia, Bob Schilling, Karen Carlsson, and Garth Scott
  • Closer of the Year — Roxi Dase of Unified Title
  • Lender of the Year — Angela Ahlers, Advantage Home Mortgage

The evening also included the installation of new officers for the upcoming year. Kris Magby of Muldoon and Associates assumed the role of chair, and Dave Mauro of Sun Mesa Realty became the chair-elect.