Eagle’s 2021 Community Impact Award given to local leader for supporting downtown development | VailDaily.com

Eagle’s 2021 Community Impact Award given to local leader for supporting downtown development

Jennifer Filipowski is honored for commitment to civic engagement and economic development through the arts

Eagle residents mill about at a Second Friday Eagle ARTwalk event held during summer 2020.
Courtesy photo

Treasurer of EagleARTS Jennifer Filipowski was presented with the town of Eagle’s 2021 community impact award for the deep impact she has made on downtown Eagle in just two short years of living in town.

Like many, Filipowski was drawn to Eagle in 2019 for its small-town charm, characteristic downtown area and potential for growth, she said. Filipowski knew straight away that she wanted to use her background in philanthropy and civic engagement to be a part of this growth.

“I’ve only been here a couple years and it’s great to have the validation of knowing that the work I’m doing is not going unnoticed and that I’ve actually made quite an impact in that amount of time,” Filipowski said in an interview Thursday.

She categorized her impact on the town in two main areas: civic engagement and economic development.

“I am a firm believer in economic development through the arts,” Filipowski said, adding that she was inspired to get involved in EagleARTS and the ARTwalk by 2019 community impact award winners Tara Novak and Kat Conner.

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She supported the Second Friday Eagle ARTwalk program in a phase of massive growth last year when the town closed down Broadway Street for the monthly celebration of local art and local businesses.

Filipowski also helped plan last year’s “Murder on Broadway” murder mystery date night, which won best event in the 2021 Governor’s Awards for Downtown Excellence.

In addition to serving as the treasurer of EagleARTS, Filipowski serves on the board of Eagle’s Downtown Business Alliance and was one of the initial founders of the Downtown Development Authority.

She was also instrumental in getting out the vote for the last two ballot questions put before Eagle voters to support the Downtown Development Authority.

The first was in 2020 when voters approved the creation of a downtown development district along Capitol and Broadway streets, along with the Downtown Development Authority, as a way to revitalize the area and support local business and homeowners.

The second came this year when the Downtown Development Authority asked voters for the power to borrow up to $27 million dollars in tax increment financing bonds for small business grants and other improvements to the downtown area.

Both initiatives passed.

Treasurer of EagleARTS Jennifer Filipowski was recently awarded the town of Eagle’s 2021 Community Impact Award.
Jennifer Filipowski/Courtesy photo

Filipowski was revealed as the winner of this year’s community impact award in a meeting of the Eagle Town Council last week.

“Don’t cry, because then you’ll make me cry,” Mayor Scott Turnipseed said following a round of applause for Filipowski.

“I’m honestly in shock and so appreciative of all the people who do so much for our community,” Filipowski said then. “Thank you so much.”

Filipowski was nominated by Kat Conner, owner of Katch of the Day, Wine Bar & Market.

Conner said she nominated Filipowski because of everything she has done to support local businesses over the last two years.

“Since we met … she’s just put in a ton of work and all volunteer and she’s just amazing,” Conner said in an interview Thursday. “She’s just super on top of things and gets a lot of work done.”

The community impact award has been presented every year since 2014 to a resident who has an especially significant positive impact on the community at large, Turnipseed said in the meeting.

Nominations for the award took place during the month of September. Eagle Town Council members ranked the four nominees in a ballot poll and the winner was announced at the Nov. 9 meeting.

The other three Eagle residents nominated were Kyle Foster, Matt Solomon, and August Wittenberg.

“Thank you so much for all you do for our community to help it be a better place,” Turnipseed said to this year’s nominees.

Solomon is a former Town Council member who stepped down in August to ensure his seat would be filled by Eagle voters rather than by appointment. He served on the Town Council for a total of six years in addition to being the owner of Alpine Arms.

Last year, Solomon introduced a measure to get all Eagle Town Council members to donate their paychecks back to the town’s general fund during the pandemic.

Foster is the owner and founder of Seagull’s Cycles in Eagle. He was nominated for partnering with local nonprofit organizations, using his personal story and love for cycling as an avenue for mentorship. The various programs he has helped run use cycling to overcome substance abuse and improve the mental and physical well-being of cyclists of all ages, Turnipseed said.

Wittenberg is the chief operating officer of SayNoMore! Promotions, Inc. in Eagle. She was nominated for her involvement in coaching various little league baseball teams and starting three travel teams, Turnipseed said.

Last year’s winner was Andy Clark of Alliance Moving Systems. Clark operates a program called “Home to Home” to find new purposes for donated furniture. During the pandemic last year, he hosted a large furniture sale, offering five trailers’ worth of heavily discounted items to homeowners in need. Proceeds from the sale were donated to the Vail Valley Foundation.

In 2019, Novak and Conner were honored for their work in founding Eagle ARTwalk. Jay Lucas was also recognized for founding Eagle County BMX in Eagle.

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