It’s not very often that we can put something over on our whip-smart Board of Directors Chair Janet Martin.

But last Friday afternoon we managed a surprise party in her honor to celebrate her as a Boulder Chamber Women Who Light the Community Award recipient.

After walking in to “Surprise!” from her family, friends and supporters, two representatives from the Boulder Chamber gave Janet flowers and the news that she was one of six women chosen (out of 50 applicants) as a 2017 honoree.

The prestigious award will be given out at a gala dinner on September 6 at the Jewish Community Center hosted by the Boulder Chamber. The Boulder Chamber Business Women's Leadership Group annually honors women who have made significant contributions through innovations and a committed effort to address a meaningful business or non-profit, arts or community need, locally, nationally or globally.

“I was honored and privileged to nominate Janet for the Boulder Chamber Women Who Light the Community Award,” said Dr. Robert Vissers, President and CEO of Boulder Community Health, during a champagne toast.

“Janet is now in her tenth year as a trustee on the BCH board and in her second year as chair. Simply put, Janet’s leadership has inspired a vision for our organization that will enhance the health and wellness of Boulder County for decades to come. She is an incredibly talented, creative, thoughtful and intelligent leader. What sets her apart is how she applies these qualities in a gracious, humble and inspiring way to serve the community she lives in and passionately cares about.”

Caroline Grinnell of the Boulder Chamber said the nomination package for Janet was impressive, which included letters of support from community leaders and fellow board members:

“Janet Martin has been an integral part of Boulder’s non-profit organizational leadership over the past several years since her retirement as a leader in the business community. She didn’t cut back on her efforts but rather re-directed them into the betterment of our society,” wrote Sonny Flowers, member of the BCH board of directors.

“Her contribution to the Museum of Boulder has been enormous; the new museum simply would not have been created without her,” wrote Boulder City Council member Bob Yates.

“I’ve never encountered a more graceful, articulate and transparent person,” wrote Ron Secrist, former Boulder city manager.

“I have a deep appreciation for her intelligence, her leadership capabilities and her willingness to dedicate her time without any expectation for recognition. Janet exemplifies the qualities of a selfless, honest, genuine, humble and committed community leader,” wrote Dee Perry, BCH board vice-chair and a previous Women Who Light the Community Award recipient.

“She is a person to trust,” wrote Kaye Howe of the Museum of Boulder, “She is a person who combines vision with enduring hard work and constant integrity. She has been all that for years. We have been fortunate to have that light.”

Dr. Vissers said that Janet was integral to the creation of BCH’s new vision statement: Partnering to create and care for the healthiest community in the nation.

BCH Foundation President Grant Besser credited Martin for her leadership on the new mental health facility and mental health endowment benefiting patients and their families in our community.

Joining in on the big surprise were Janet’s husband, Scott, and daughter, Lauren.

Before retirement, Martin served as president of Communication Arts Inc., a multi-disciplinary design firm founded in 1973. Under her leadership, the Boulder-based company expanded into a global enterprise with offices in 26 states and 34 countries employing hundreds of design professionals. She was instrumental in the acquisition of the firm by Stantec in 2010, now North America’s second largest architecture and engineering consultancy. Following retirement, Martin has immersed herself in projects benefitting the community, including serving on the board of Boulder Community Health.

Congratulations, Janet, on behalf of everyone at Boulder Community Health! This recognition is well-deserved.