Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday – both of my girls were born the week of Thanksgiving. So, for my family it’s a gathering of people we deeply love celebrating all that we are grateful for! And even in my family’s most challenging years with great losses, we had much to be thankful for.
So much of what we all have to be thankful for are the people in our lives – and that includes our Chamber members. For more than 150 years, members of the Chamber have taken on some of the greatest challenges of our state. It’s inspiring.
And, we will get a chance to say thank you for another great year at our annual Holiday Net90 on Dec. 20 at the Holiday Inn Cherry Creek.
We’re thankful to voters for supporting Denver Initiative 300. While votes will be officially certified tomorrow, we received confirmation that Denver Initiative 300, Prosperity Denver, has passed. It will dedicate a .08 percent sales tax increase to post-secondary scholarships for Denver high school graduates. The new funding will underwrite scholarships, based on a sliding income scale, for eligible Denver residents between the ages of 18 and 25 who have lived in Denver for at least 36 months. Students with a high school diploma or GED may attend a Colorado-accredited public or nonprofit two- or four-year college, university, community college or technical college. We thank voters for recognizing the need for an educated workforce and seeing how this can serve as a model for other communities in our state to motivate students to not only enroll, but complete these critical classes and degrees.
We’re thankful for amazing leaders. Each year we recognize some of the best of who we are through a partnership between our Denver Metro Chamber Leadership Foundation and 9NEWS to select and honor the 9NEWS Leader of the Year. For the first time in the history of this award, Chamber members will also help select this year’s winner.
Here are the 2019 9NEWS Leader of the Year finalists:
- Anthony Aragon, senior advisor of community affairs for the Agency of Human Rights & Community Partnerships for the City and County of Denver. Anthony has dedicated his time to countless community organizations, from serving on boards including the VISIT DENVER Foundation to throwing Denver’s PrideFest for the past 16 years.
- Dr. Nita Mosby Tyler, chief catalyst and founder of The Equity Project and founder of the HR Shop. Nita has focused on building community through conversations about diversity, equity and inclusion. She is a member of the Denver chapter of LINKS and is president-elect of the Denver Foundation board of directors.
- Andrew Schmidt, founding partner of Core Contractors, Roofing Systems. Andrew has spent the last two years working to bring an innovative, self-sustaining, two-year vocational training school to Denver that helps men and women break the cycles of addiction and crime. The Other Side Academy Denver is set to open in January 2019.
If you learned nothing else this November, you did learn that being an informed voter is important – so in true Chamber fashion you can meet each of the finalists on Feb. 5 here at the Chamber for a panel conversation moderated by the Denver Business Journal. Voting will open that day, and we’ll be sure to share the link so you and your colleagues can cast your digital vote for the next 9NEWS Leader of the Year.
Kelly Brough is the president and CEO of the Denver Metro Chamber.