(COLORADO SPRINGS) — Linda Weise, CEO of the Colorado Springs Community Cultural Collective, was chosen as the Accolades Business Leader of the Year, a program hosted by the Southern Colorado Women’s Chamber of Commerce (SCWCC).

A luncheon and gala was held on Tuesday, Aug. 15, emceed by FOX21’s Abbie Burke and featuring Olympian Jackie Joyner-Kersee as the keynote speaker, where Weise was honored among other business leaders in the community. More than 700 people attended the luncheon.

Women's Chamber of Commerce luncheon
Courtesy: FOX21 News chief photojournalist Mike Duran

Accolades has been honoring accomplishments in business for the past 29 years, according to the SCWCC.

Weise was honored for her decades of work in the community through the Colorado Springs Conservatory, as well as her role in renovating the century-old City Auditorium and creating new workforce programs in hospitality and theater technology.

“Celebrating women in business is just one facet of the SCWCC, along with economic development, leadership and business training,” said Lola Woloch, CEO of SCWCC. “We are always thrilled to recognize the success of accomplished women in Southern Colorado; it’s important that we hold up these women as role models for those who come after us.”

Accolades also honored De’Aura Lemus, strategy and culture specialist at The Resource Exchange, as Young Professional of the Year. Uyen Lee, owner of the Beauty Bar, received the Minority-Owned Business of the Year award. Travis Bockenstedt received the Member of the Year award. Dr. Cristi Bundakamara won the Don Brown Entrepreneur Award. She is owner of Mentally STRONG, a local behavioral health clinic.

Proceeds from the Accolades Silent Auction support programs at the SCWCC and scholarships for women through the SCWCC Foundation.