Chamber Banquet Honors Those Who Worked for the Community During the Pandemic | The business

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Taets has been with Timberline since day one back in 2005 and has helped it grow to what it is today. He thinks that Timberline’s role in PPP distribution is evident of their commitment to the community, and noted that it was entirely a team effort. “Think back to those early months. No one knew what was going to happen the next day. There wasn’t much clear guidance from the government, so all we could do was block the outside noise, roll up our sleeves and process the applications,” Taets said. “We didn’t see this as money but as our friends and neighbors. We took the approach that the money was going to be a job or more saved, and that made the early mornings and late nights worth it.” In May, Timberline announced that Taets would be transitioning away from his role as president of the Grand Junction branch and is passing the torch to Louise Goodman. His time isn’t over, but he’s able to smile on the waning months of his role at the branch he helped build.

Timberline, 649 Market St., has multiple locations across this side of the state, but it first started in Grand Junction. It’s the town that helped foster the growth and the same one many in the company call home, Taets said. Timberline’s recognition was because of its vital role in distributing federal money to small businesses through Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans. It processed over 2,000 applications and awarded nearly $200 million in funds.

That made it all the more important for the staff to persist and do everything it could to get money to businesses. “Obviously we don’t do good things for recognition but because it’s what’s right,” said Jeff Taets, President and CEO of Timberline. “The community votes on this, so it’s nice to know that we were recognized by our peers. It’s humbling.”

Leenerman helped tackle CMU’s testing efforts to ensure that not only could students return to campus, but stay there and have a fulfilling education. That required a smooth operation at CMU’s testing center, which Leenerman and others worked at day in and day out. CMU helped administer over 80,000 tests throughout the CMU community as part of its robust system that kept students in class. Emma Leenerman has been the Coordinator of Alumni Engagement at Colorado Mesa University for seven years. But her duties were upended when the COVID-19 pandemic began.

“We got a new building last fall and we helped many businesses survive. I think that’s going out on a high note,” Taets said. “This isn’t my award, it’s the company’s. We worked really hard to help our community and I think we’ll hold our heads high when we look back at what we did.” In October of last year, Timberline opened its new 40,000 square foot building after a 14-month construction project.

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