DENVER, CO--(Marketwired - Aug 28, 2014) - Navin Dimond will receive the Colorado "I Have A Dream" Foundation (CIHAD) Dream Maker Award during the organization's annual gala Thursday, October 30 at Denver's Hyatt Convention Center. CIHAD believes that every child deserves a quality education and that every child has a fundamental right to reach his/her highest potential. Since its founding in 1988, the foundation has developed and fine-tuned a multi-year "hands-on cohort model" for its participants, who are affectionately called Dreamers. The Dream Maker Award is presented to a community leader whose commitment to quality education has an enduring impact on area youth.
"Navin Dimond was selected to receive the Dream Maker Award because he embodies the mission and values of CIHAD," said Rachael Gazdick, the foundation's president and chief executive officer. "His deep commitment to providing opportunities for all children to succeed, both in the United States and abroad, are unparalleled."
Dimond is the founder, president and chief executive officer of Denver-based Stonebridge Companies, a development and hotel management company with a portfolio of 49 hotels in the United States. A graduate from Washington State University with a bachelor of arts in business administration and a bachelor of science in construction management, he earned his MBA in real estate and construction management from the University of Denver. Under Dimond's leadership, Stonebridge has achieved substantial growth and earned prestigious awards in the hotel industry.
"I have a longstanding interest in supporting education and I have a strong belief that education should be accessible to all students," says Dimond. "I am the product of immigrant parents who arrived in the United Kingdom with minimal language skills. My parents did everything from work in factories to driving buses and, as a child, I didn't really know much more than that. Nobody in my family went to college. I'm a believer that every human being has the intellectual capacity to thrive; it's just a question of whether they are put into the right environment to flourish. In my case, I was fortunate that I was put into an environment where I could flourish."
As a child, Dimond says he was not a good student. One day his father looked at his grades and said simply, "Go find yourself a boarding school." "That was the turning point in my life," says Dimond. "I was in this circle with family and friends, and all I could see were the choices that they made and the responsibilities that they had.
"When I started boarding school, all of a sudden, that completely changed. I was interacting with a completely different set of people. That was the catalyst. It took me out of where I was and helped me to see more, and be what I am today.
"The Colorado I Have A Dream Foundation is the perfect catalyst for a young life to take shape. I am deeply honored but equally humbled to be selected by this wonderful organization."
Dimond's passion is education, at Washington State University he serves on the College of Engineering and Architecture Executive Leadership Board and at Cornell University on the Dean's Advisory Board for the School of Hotel Administration.
In the Denver community, Dimond serves on the Foundation Board of Metropolitan State University of Denver and is a board member of the Denver Metro Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Metro Denver Sports Commission. He is a trustee of the University of Denver, The Denver Kent School and the Denver Center for the Performing Arts. Dimond also is a board member of the Colorado Hotel and Lodging Association (CH&LA) and served as chairman in 2003. In 2008, he was inducted into the CH&LA Hall of Fame.
CIHAD's McHugh Award will be presented to Leslie and Noel Ginsburg. The McHugh Award honors individuals for their long standing commitment to CIHAD and exemplary efforts to level the playing field in education, as exhibited by Jerome and Anabel McHugh. Leslie Ginsburg has served on the CIHAD board of directors since 2007 and is the current incoming chair. Chairman and chief executive officer of Intertech Plastics, Noel Ginsburg was inspired by a 60 Minutes story about Eugene Lang establishing the I Have A Dream program in New York and leveraged his Leadership Denver class project to become a founding member, and later board chair, for the Colorado I Have A Dream chapter. In addition, the Ginsburgs were the class sponsors for the Ginsburg Family-South Lincoln Class.
Dr. Elson Floyd, president of the four-campus Washington State University, will be the gala's keynote speaker. Since 2007, Dr. Floyd has led one of America's most productive land-grant research universities. He previously served as president of the University of Missouri and Western Michigan University, held leadership positions at the University of North Carolina and Eastern Washington University, and was executive director of the Washington State Higher Education Coordinating Board.
Over the last 26 years, CIHAD has impacted the lives of more than 650 Dreamers through mentoring, academic enrichment services, social-emotional supports, life skills development, global cultural exploration activities, experiential learning, community service projects, internship and corporate networking experiences, collegiate coaching, and tuition assistance for higher education. Dreamers are selected and adopted in kindergarten and are provided these services up and through post-secondary pursuits. To learn more about CIHAD visit http://www.cihadf.org/.