As we celebrate 150 years of working for business, we never lose sight of the fact that we exist solely because of our members, and so many of you are celebrating big milestones, too. Here’s a few who have been doing amazing work and shaping Colorado for generations:
40 years of innovating in energy: Colorado has one of the highest concentrations of federal research facilities in the country. These facilities are economic powerhouses too – employing nearly 7,800 Coloradans and generating $2.6 billion in economic impact. By providing the investment that allows the private sector to conduct research and development, labs are advancing innovation and building strong partnerships between public and private sectors. This year is NREL’s (the National Renewable Energy Laboratory) 40th year in business, and while it was initially focused just on solar power, it has evolved to advancing all forms of renewables. This lab is crucial to helping Colorado achieve it’s “all-of-the-above approach” to energy development. Here are some cool projects NREL has helped deliver: working with automakers to develop the country’s first mass-production hybrid cars, discovering how to extend the life of LED bulbs and making countless innovations to improve efficiencies in solar and wind power. You can read about all the advancements they’ve made in these past 40 years here.
130 years supporting the community: Started in the fall of 1887, Mile High United Way’s founders were looking for a way to better the community. They set up the organization to fund charities, and the organization continues to work in our community today through its programs and by partnering across all sectors. We have a business community who knows that the success of our companies depends on the success of our nonprofits as well, so give and get involved. And, of course being home to the first United Way in the country shows these values of supporting our community have been around a long time.
136 keeping us healthy: Once separate hospitals, St. Luke’s admitted its first patient in 1881 and Presbyterian Hospital did so in 1926. Throughout their 136 years of keeping Coloradans healthy they have been employing leading-edge technology, bringing in X-ray machines in the 1920s and serving as the home for the Rocky Mountain region’s first cancer center in 1933. Today, the medical professionals at Presbyterian/St. Luke’s Medical Center continue to come up with life-altering innovations, like a metal rod that has changed prosthetics – and reduced the likelihood of infection.
These members have provided great jobs to many Coloradans for generations and truly dedicated themselves to serving all of us. We want to keep talking about our members and your milestones, so please share them with us. And, thank you all for choosing to do business in Colorado.
Kelly Brough is the president and CEO of the Denver Metro Chamber.