Chamber Celebrates Past and Future at 2017 Annual Meeting

The Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce celebrated 150 years of doing business in Colorado at its 133rd   Annual Meeting this afternoon. The Chamber was started in 1867 to bring a rail spur from the Transcontinental Railroad to Denver from Cheyenne, an accomplishment that transformed the future of our region. Today, Chamber President and CEO Kelly Brough announced that Coloradans for Coloradans, the Chamber’s campaign committee, will stand up to again engage in transportation, promoting a 2018 transportation ballot issue.

“Transportation work is what built this Chamber – that railroad was the rallying cry that brought us to this very moment. And, today transportation is again going to define our future,” Brough said.

As the Chamber celebrated 150 years of milestones, another milestone was accomplished.  Denise Burgess, CEO of Burgess Services, became the Chamber’s first African-American chair. Selected by her peer board members, Burgess accepted the Chamber board of director’s gavel from outgoing chair Todd Munson, executive vice president and director of commercial banking for Vectra Bank.

Burgess outlined the Chamber’s new goals as an organization.

“This summer we framed our goals into three focus areas that drive our mission and capture the essence of what we’re trying accomplish – those three areas are people, place and prosperity,” said Burgess.

  • People – we will build capacity in our people to overcome challenges and take advantage of opportunities for themselves, their organizations and our state.
  • Place – we embed our values in our daily lives (a shared vision and inclusive, collaborative, accountable leaders) making our region the best place in the world to live and work.
  • Prosperity – we are committed to ensuring all people and organizations are able to prosper, build wealth and create a better future for themselves, their employees and future generations.

“As we move from 150 to 151 years old, we won’t slow down,” Brough said.  “We’ll be campaigning; we’ll be advocating for our businesses and the smart and healthy workers they employ; we’ll be tackling education, health and wellness and infrastructure challenges; and yes, we’ll be putting more Coloradans to work in really good jobs.”

Watch this video or visit our 150th anniversary site to see the Chamber’s history and just how we got started – what you learn about the Chamber might surprise you.

Luella Chavez D’Angelo  Receives Del Hock Lifetime Achievement Award

Kelly Brough, president and CEO of the Chamber and Luella Chavez D’Angelo, vice chancellor for enterprise development at CU South Denver

The Chamber also honored a member who has made a significant impact on the business community and the Chamber during her career, recognizing  Luella Chavez D’Angelo, vice chancellor for enterprise development for the University of Colorado South Denver.

“For me to be given this honor tells me that I made the right decisions at the right time. And if I could make a contribution similar to Del (Hock) and those that followed him that would be amazing,” Chavez D’Angelo said. “I am blessed as you are to work in this vibrant city full of connected people … they really care.”

New Board Members Welcomed

The Chamber also welcomed new members of its board of directors, who include:

  • Ray Bellucci, senior managing director and head of institutional retirement plan services for TIAA
  • Jerome Davis, regional vice president of Colorado for Public Service Company of Colorado, an Xcel Energy Company
  • Ivette Dominguez, owner and president of Alpine Buick
  • Helen Drexler, president and CEO of Delta Dental of Colorado
  • Jason Dunn, shareholder of Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck
  • Tara Dunn, president of HighMark Law, LLC
  • Jennifer Evans, office managing partner for Polsinelli
  • Mike Harms, vice president and district manager for PCL Construction
  • Monica Lang, chief of staff for Zayo Group
  • Ted Leighty, vice president of government affairs for the Colorado Association of REALTORS
  • Brian McDonald, senior vice president of Investor Services for Charles Schwab
  • Eddie Sim, president and CEO of the Mountains North Denver Operating Group, Centura Health – St. Anthony Hospital
  • Rick Wagner, director of medical professionals for Eide Bailly
  • Chris Woolsey, senior vice president chief communications and marketing officer of SCL Health

See all members of the Chamber board of directors at

Laura James is the marketing and communications coordinator for the Denver Metro Chamber.