The Ben Johnson Memorial Award winner is chosen by the Rodeo Committee and honors a living individual who represents the Western lifestyle as exemplified by screen and rodeo legend Ben Johnson. The 2022 Ben Johnson Memorial Award recipient is Chuck Sylvester.
Chuck Sylvester was born in La Salle, Colorado on a farm he continues to work to this day. His showed his first steer at the age of 15 at the National Western Stock Show in Denver, Colorado. He became a member of the Rodeo Club while attending what is now Colorado State University, and participated in the Little National Western and Skyline Stampede Rodeo. Following CSU, he was a member of the Colorado Fair leadership team. After that he went into ranching and became the Manager of the National Western Yards operation from 1976-1978. His excellent work opened the role of General Manager of the National Western Stock Show and Rodeo, a position he held for 25 years until 2013. During his tenure, he was responsible for managing the rodeo and stock show and horse show. Under his leadership, attendance tripled and the National Western Rodeo was honored as the best Indoor Rodeo of the Year in 2000 and 2001. He was also responsible for organizing the Draft Horse Show and Pull and developing the Dancing Horses Event in the horse show, as well facilitating school tours and supporting youth programs.