February 4, 2009

Bob Morehouse named Boulder Chamber of Commerce Business Person of the Year!

Boulder’s Mad Man: Bob Morehouse of Vermilion Design is honored by the Boulder Chamber of Commerce as Business Person of the Year.

via Waylon Lewis

Last night I joined approx 500 members of Boulder’s storied, active, powerful Chamber of Commerce at the Glenn Miller Ballroom on the University of Colorado Campus for their 104th Annual Dinner (presented by Roche Colorado and Caplan & Earnest). We were there to socialize and raise some money for good causes via a silent auction. We were there to wine and dine, and listen to speakers (including an old-school big-deal newsman, Peter Copeland of Scripps Howard News Service, whose speech about old media vs. new media took me back to my Boston University Colleage of Communication days, when I studied magazine journalism at the feet of Globe, Post and Christian Science Monitor writers and editors). 

Seemingly, half the vast room—including Bob’s partner, Noel; Kevin Daly of the Mountain Sun empire; many Buddhist community friends of Bob’s including yours truly; clients including CU Continuing Education, UCAR, CU Art Museum, Balfour, Panorama, Case Logic, OZ Architecture, Biodesix, Special Transit, KGNU, Global Greengrants Fund and Family Learning Center; and fellow ad and design firm colleagues Crispin Porter + Bogusky, CommArts, Sterling Rice, TDA and Studio Signorella were there to honor our celebrated mentor and colleague, Bob Morehouse, founder of Vermilion Design.

We pause for a commercial break. See Vermilion’s cool flash ad, to the left of this article, on elephantjournal.com, and click it!

Okay, we’re back. From the Chamber’s evening programme:

Bob is the founder and creative director of Vermilion, a graphic and web communications firm. Vermilion designs logos, packaging, ads and websites that are widely seen throughout the county. 

And, country—they do work for IZZE and many others.

In the 30 years that Bob has lived in Boulder, he has made a visual impact through his work for numberous businesses as well as civic, political and nonprofit orgnaizations. He is a founding member of the Colorado Chapter of the American Institute of Graphic Arts and an AIGA Fellow.

His firm has received scores of local and national wawrds, most recently the Webby Award for outstanding interactive design. Vermilion was also honored by BCAP as corporation of the year in 2007.

Bob is a former Community Foundation board member, where he served as board chair in 2006 and 2007 and currently serves on the Open Door advisory committee. He received the Daily Camera Pacesetter Award for Business in 2007.

Why do folks love and look up to Bob? Because his notion of success includes—indeed, is dependent upon, generosity.

Give and ye shall receive, as the saying goes. And so he’s active in politics, in social causes, in donating his time and resources to non-profits and non-profitable for-profits (such as elephant, which he and his fellow Vermilionaires have helped at key points over the years).

While the evening was a tad long, and less-than-inspired at a few points (the cuisine inspired one of the guests to say, “Now this is why I don’t go into politics”) it was fun to learn about the Chamber’s proud, effective local history, and an honor to hear from (via video, and in person) the lovely, dignified, regal Virginia Patterson. Overall, it was a revelation to sit in a roomful of successful businesspeople whose Boulder, Colorado notion of success, as was mentioned throughout the night, not merely the bottomline—but the triple bottomline.

Moment of my night: when Bob noted how his father, Bob, would’ve been so proud of his honor via the Chamber. “He always wanted me to be a businessman, a lawyer…instead I went off and became a hippie, a Buddhist, I wanted to work in creative…well looks like things have come full-circle.” Something like that, anyway.

Finally, be sure to check out the 21-40 year old Chamber gathering at Rembrandt Yard (which never hosts a dull party) on February 11th, from 530 – 730 pm. More info at boulderchamber.com. Rumor has it Boulder’s Most Eligible Bachelor will be there—but I can’t confirm it.


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