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24-Karat Gold Winners

2013 Winner – Andy O'Riley (Blue Star Recyclers)


Mr. Andy O'Riley of Blue Star Recyclers has managed to implement ethical recycling programs in other communities, modeled after Blue Star Recyclers, called VERN. These programs have created jobs in areas that are notorious for having high unemployment rates for individuals with disabilities. Through the implementation of VERN, over 50 jobs have been created for individuals with disabilities in five different communities. By successfully implementing VERN in various communities in Colorado, the jobs created have positively impacted each community. Each position held by a disabled individual at VERN relieves the state from providing them a percentage of Social Security benefits, as well as it positively impacts the individual employed on a very personal level. These individuals are now contributing members of society, rather than dependents, boosting confidence and morale levels across the board. Mr. O'Riley's dedication and effort resulted in the first 501c(3) social enterprise in the nation to earn a BAN e-Steward certification.


Past Award Winners

2006 Vail Resorts
2007 Roche Colorado Corporation
2008 Denver International Airport
2009 Goodrich Corporation AWB, Carbon Operations
2010 Aircraft Service International Group (ASIG)
2011 Gary Horton, Cripple Creek & Victor Gold Mining Company (AngloGold Ashanti)
2012 The Aspen Skiing Company Team -- Todd Richmond, Matt Jones, Dave Bellack, and Auden Shendler


The 24-Karat Gold Challenge Award is addressed as follows:

  • At each year’s fall award ceremony, the Gold Leader Champion will be honored with the “24-Karat Gold Challenge Award” to be displayed at their facility for a one-year term.
  • At the next annual award’s ceremony, the Gold Champion will return the award in good order, so that it may be handed over to the next facility who may win (unless the past year’s champion “wins” it again).
  • The award is to remain a challenge competition and will not become the property of any one facility, even if won more than once.


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