Julie Penrose Award
The Julie Penrose Award honors outstanding women who, like Julie Penrose, made (or are making) significant contributions to community through dedicated leadership, engagement and service.
Julie Villiers Lewis McMillan Penrose
An astute community leader, dedicated philanthropist and patron of the arts, Julie Penrose was one of the most influential women in the growth and development of Colorado and Colorado Springs. Born August 12, 1870 in Detroit, Michigan to Alexander Lewis and Elizabeth Ingersoll, Julie inherited from her father a commitment to community service. The death of her young son and first husband when Julie was 31 made her acutely aware of the suffering of others and inspired her legendary compassion. In the 56 years that Julie lived in Colorado Springs, she was instrumental in the founding and success of numerous institutions, including the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center and Fountain Valley School. She also made catalytic contributions to Colorado Springs Day Nursery Association (now Early Connections Learning Centers), Boys Club of the Pikes Peak Region (now Boys & Girls Club of the Pikes Peak Region), St. Mary’s High School, Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, Glockner Hospital (now Penrose-St. Francis Hospital) and many more. Julie Penrose’s commitment and leadership, particularly to arts and cultural organizations, led many institutions to invite Julie to serve on their respective boards. These included the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center, Central City Opera and Cheyenne Mountain Zoo. Her tireless work in advocacy for arts, education, human services and healthcare is posthumously recognized in the form of the Julie Penrose Award.
The Legacy of Julie Penrose
Meet the Honorees
2022 Honoree Nancy Richardson
Nancy Richardson was born in Denver, Colorado and earned a degree in Interior Design from Colorado State University. In 1998, she and her husband Curt created Otter Products, LLC, leading provider of protective cases for handheld devices. Nancy is the brain behind the iconic OtterBox brand name and logo, as well as the heart of the organization. The values and culture of Otter Products, LLC, operating in four countries, reflect her compassion and drive to serve those in need. Nancy also serves as co-founder and board member of Blue Ocean Enterprises, Inc. and Blue Ocean Holdings, LLC, firms dedicated to strategic investments in new businesses and real estate. The mission for all the companies is “We Grow to Give.”
The Richardsons’ enormous business success led them to create their own privately funded foundations.
In 2010, Nancy founded OtterCares Foundation with a mission of inspiring youth to change the world through philanthropic and entrepreneurial education. OtterCares Foundation invests in future generations by funding opportunities for kids, classrooms and communities. Nancy also focuses her time and efforts on serving the community through the Richardson Foundation, the family’s private philanthropic organization. Additionally, she serves on the board of Rescue Freedom International, a non-profit organization that empowers the rescue and restoration of women and children suffering in sexual slavery, and previously served on El Pomar Foundation’s North Regional Council.
Nancy Richardson has been widely recognized for her service to the Northern Colorado community. She is a woman of lasting impact, who invests her entrepreneurial successes into the community through innovative initiatives to support economic development, education, youth and philanthropy.
2021 Honoree Margot Lane
Margaret (Margot) Carolyn Ladwig Lane was born in St. Louis, Missouri on January 12, 1939. In 1952, her family moved to Colorado Springs, where her father Frank Ladwig started a foundry.
She met her future husband John E. Lane (1936-2005) in junior high school and at First Presbyterian Church. The couple married as John began his service in the United States Army, had three sons, David, Bruce and Philip, and in 1971, took over John's family business at Lane Sales Inc., the local Pepsi-Cola Bottler. They expanded the business into Arizona and New Mexico. In 1982, Margot earned a bachelor’s degree in history from the University of Colorado in Colorado Springs.
A couple of faith and vision, Margot and John believed the community is better when individuals come together to support and advance common goals, and shared great conviction for the spirit and potential of Colorado Springs. With these guiding values, their business success enabled them to fund philanthropic endeavors in education, culture, health and faith. Margot was a driving force in the couple’s civic engagement and unwavering dedication to the betterment of Colorado Springs. Though John passed in 2005, Margot carried on her personal commitment to philanthropy and community engagement. She later married former Colorado Springs High School classmate John Francis.
Margot was an energetic and committed booster for the community. She served as president of the Junior League in the late 1970s and served on the boards of many community organizations including Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center, Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, First Presbyterian Church and Young Life. She won a Partners in Philanthropy award in 2012 and earned an Unstoppable Woman award in 2013.
Lively and delightful, Margot is remembered as the life of the party. She enjoyed traveling the world and meeting new people. A devoted Christian with incredible grace, generosity and compassion for others, Margot passed on June 12, 2017. Her legacy continues through the John and Margot Lane Foundation.