Bravo for Bravo! |

Bravo for Bravo!

Veronica Whitney

Earlier this year, the Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival welcomed the New York Philharmonic for its first residency outside Manhattan. The 17-year-old nonprofit organization will end the year on another high note: It has been chosen the nonprofit of the year in the Vail Valley.

The Vail Valley Chamber and Tourism Bureau – or, VVCTB – announced the Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival has received the Success Connection Award for Nonprofit Organization of the Year.

“Bravo! is extremely honored to have been selected for this award and recognized for its contribution to the local economy and community,” said Liana Carlson, a spokeswoman for Bravo! “This was a landmark year for Bravo! with the addition of America’s flagship orchestra, the New York Philharmonic, to the roster. We plan on building upon this success in the coming years.”

The inaugural Success Connection Awards honor the best business practices in five different categories. The remaining winners will be announced at the Roaring “20s Gala event, on Jan. 23, at the Vail Marriot Mountain Resort and Spa. A portion of the proceeds for the event will be donated to Bravo!

“Bravo! was chosen based upon their significant economic and cultural impacts to the Vail Valley in 2003,” said Robin Litt, director of business services for VVCTB. “For the past 17 years, the Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival has brought world-class musical acts to the area. This was a truly impressive year of accomplishment for them.”

The other finalists included the Gore Range Natural Science School and the Eagle Valley Land Trust.

Bravo! was selected from a group of nonprofits from around the valley, where there are more than 100 nonprofit organizations. Other award nominees included the Vail Leadership Institute, the Snowboard Outreach Society, Meet the Wilderness, the Vail Symposium and the Eagle Valley Christian Academy.

“It’s great to have been nominated along with Bravo! and the other nonprofits,” said Arn Menconi, founder and executive director of the Snowboard Outreach Society. “It’s very important to recognize these organizations that do so much for the community.”

Nominees for the award were evaluated on several criteria including service to their constituency, involvement with the local business community, community impact, quality of contribution to the local community, fulfillment of mission, reputation of the organization and financial viability. Bravo! received nominations from the local business community and was selected by a special committee of VVCTB partners.

“The music festival saw a record attendance of 57,000 people – up 20 percent from 2002 – with 34 percent of attendees coming to Vail specifically for the Bravo! concerts,” Litt said.

The overall economic impact of the festival on the community was an estimated $11 million, she added.

Bravo! also demonstrated a commitment to fostering collaborative relationships within the local business community, said Ian Anderson, a spokesman for the VVCTB.

“The organization partnered with several businesses on community and educational outreach programs, sponsorship opportunities, program books, locals discounts and lodging for the visiting musical groups,” Anderson said.

In addition, , Litt said, Bravo! brought music education to children and adults in the community through scholarships, free educational concerts, interactive musical opportunities and more.

At the “Success Connection Awards” dinner in January, the VVCTB also will be honoring the best businesses in the valley. The other Success Connection Awards include: “Business of the Year,” “Emerging Business of the Year,'” “Marketing Campaign of the Year,’ “Customer Service of the Year,’ and “Business Person of the Year.’

“Several communities around the country have awards programs for local businesses,” Litt said. “We realized the need for this in the valley and created the Success Connection Awards to recognize the outstanding businesses in our own community.”

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