On July 12 at Four Mile Historic Park in Denver, Gates Family Foundation Chair person Valerie Gates was awarded the prestigious Cranmer Award from Colorado Open Lands for her critical role (separate from her foundation work) in creating the Conservation Fellows program. Since its inception in 1998 the Fellows program has placed 44 young professionals in Colorado conservation organizations. The Fellows Program has grown the capacity of those organizations and provided valuable professional growth opportunities. Many fellows have gone on to play important leadership roles in the conservation community statewide. 78% of all Fellows in the program still work in the conservation field and 58% continue their work on conservation in Colorado. Congratulations Valarie!