In addition to welcoming Trey Rogers as the chair of the Denver Metro Chamber, its family of organizations – the Colorado Competitive Council, Denver Metro Chamber Leadership Foundation, Denver Metro Small Business Development Center and the Metro Denver Economic Development Corporation – all welcomed new board leadership. They’re part of our collective work to make Colorado a great place to live and do business. Get to know these incoming leaders.
Colorado Competitive Council Chair
Senior Vice President of Public Affairs COPIC
After being engaged with C3 for more than 10 years, “I am excited and humbled at the opportunity to support [C3 Director] Lauren Masias in leading it forward,” Razon said.
And, Razon is ready to get to work: “This unprecedented time presents unprecedented opportunity for C3 to collaborate with, support and represent businesses across the state at the Capitol. This is critical to ensuring Colorado’s policies work to lift up the recovery of our economy in order to keep our citizens working or get them back to work. C3 is well-positioned to represent this statewide voice as we work through thoughtful, balanced policy with our elected leaders on the many issues we know are ahead of us.”
Denver Metro Chamber Leadership Foundation Board Chair
Principal, GRAVES CIVIC SOLUTIONS, LLC
A longtime speaker at the Leadership Foundation’s Leadership Denver program days, Graves has engaged more deeply with the organization as a board member since 2015. A member of Mayor Michael B. Hancock’s cabinet for seven years, Graves recently launched a public affairs and economic development consultancy, and he’s seen an outpouring of support – something that makes doing business in Colorado special: “I love the focus on building long-term, authentic relationships and the personal interest that business leaders take in one another,” Graves said.
But with dual challenges of combatting coronavirus and racial injustice, Graves said the Leadership Foundation, which works to educate and inspire leaders to make a difference in the community, is critical: “This confluence of crises has underscored the importance of developing a pipeline of leaders in our society who can address the intractable challenges of today and prepare for the unknown challenges of tomorrow,” he said.
Denver Metro Small Business Development Center Board Chair
Executive Director of Rocky Mountain MicroFinance Institute
Smith returns as Denver Metro SBDC Chair, a role he’s held since 2018: “Ensuring small business has a voice at the table is incredibly important to me.”
“Colorado has a ‘go for it’ spirit,” he said. “If we don’t know how to do it, we figure it out (and we do a really good job at it). There has been a lot of damage done as a result of COVID-19 and the waves of uncertainty and fear it brings, and we’ll see a fundamental re-orientation of our economy as a result. We’re an entrepreneurial state, through and through, and I’m excited to support our path forward through the incredible adaptability and resilience of our small business community.”
Metro Denver Economic Development Corporation Incoming Executive Committee Co-Chair
Vice President of Business Development for the Fitzsimons Innovation Community
Coloradans are up for any challenge, and that’s why Giles loves living and working here: “Time and time again when we call on our community to step up, lead, solve, inspire, mentor – you name it – Coloradans will join in to contribute,” she said.
And, Giles has seen that in action at the Metro Denver EDC. “Issues, such as workforce development, transportation, housing, arts and culture, are at the forefront of their work. Metro Denver EDC intuitively understands that by optimizing complementary economic development ‘systems’ we invest in long-term sustainable results,” she said.
And, she’s proud to serve an industry working on the frontlines to stop the pandemic: “They’ve rolled up their sleeves to serve. Colorado has a number of bioscience companies and hospital systems with high national regards for their work to provide diagnostic tests, leadership on vaccine clinical trials and their daily care of COVID-19 patients.”
Metro Denver Economic Development Corporation Incoming Board of Governors Co-Chair
Market Director at JLL
In the year ahead, Washington said he sees a unique opportunity “to brand the Denver region as a thought leader in how it will operate and compete in a post-COVID virtual economy.”
Washington first got to know the Metro Denver EDC as the executive director of Denver’s Office of Economic Development, where he saw how the Metro Denver EDC’s approach – of collaboration and coordination among the companies and municipalities from across the metro area – “distinguishes the Denver region from its competitors.”
And it’s that attitude – “the general culture that people are here to help and that we are in the process of really defining ourselves” – that Washington says makes Colorado a great place to live and work. “This allows for everyone to participate in the legacy of this state,” he said.