Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce Appoints Recognized Business Leader J. J. Ament as New CEO
Ament Takes Reins at Critical Moment in Colorado’s Business Recovery
DENVER – The Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce today announced the appointment of J. J. Ament as its new president and chief executive officer. Former CEO of the Metro Denver Economic Development Corporation (EDC), Ament brings proven leadership to his new role along with financial acumen, a deep understanding of what organizations and communities need now to succeed, and pro-business passion to create a climate for growth and opportunity.
Mark Spiecker, STAQ Pharma president and Chamber Board of Directors 2021-2022 chair, co-chaired the executive search and collaborated with the Board to choose Ament for his previous experience working within the Chamber ecosystem and oversight of the state’s largest private sector economic development organization. “J. J.’s intimate knowledge of the Chamber, the business community and the region is invaluable for bringing stability, continuity and consistency to a complex organization,” said Spiecker. “I am excited about partnering with J. J. to usher in a new era for the Chamber, focused on efforts to solve the state’s most pressing issues to strategically accelerate Colorado’s extraordinary growth.”
Ament will steer the Chamber at a time when the national economy is making a rebound and Colorado leads the way with positive signs of recovery. Colorado’s labor force participation is third strongest in the nation at 68.5% and the EDC’s active prospect list contains more qualified leads for companies considering expansion or relocation to metro Denver than in any of the past six years. Additionally, new business filings posted record gains in the second quarter, increasing 25.7% year over year. The work will continue to ensure Colorado maintains a thriving business climate.
“Denver is at a crossroads – facing an on-going pandemic, slow but steady business recovery and a high amount of turnover in both companies and local leadership,” said Ament, president and CEO of the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce. “It’s a critical time for our business community to coalesce around the needs of the economy and workforce. I look forward to working with our partners in a shared effort to address the issues we face and plan together for the road ahead. It’s important that we get this right.”
With his proven success at the EDC, leadership skills and strong relationships, Ament is poised to make an immediate impact at the Chamber. “It’s a great privilege and responsibility to continue the collaborative, inclusive and bipartisan leadership of the Chamber, representing the diverse voices of our vibrant community to create advantages for metro Denver-based businesses,” said Ament.
As co-chair of the executive search committee, Trey Rogers, shareholder with Recht Kornfeld and 2020-2021 chair of the Chamber Board of Directors, expressed confidence in Ament’s ability to immediately move the organization forward. “J. J. is passionate about the Chamber’s mission and possesses the skills and experience to excel as our new president and CEO. After nearly five years leading the EDC, he will hit the ground running.”
Ament takes the reins from Kelly Brough, who announced her departure earlier this year after 12 years with the Chamber. Brough has successfully completed her transition in working with the leadership team of the Chamber, which has created a solid foundation from which Ament will lead.
The CEO selection followed a robust and intensive search, netting 450 highly qualified candidates and led by the Denver-based search firm HR Advantage Group. Ament’s appointment was ratified by the Denver Metro Chamber Board of Directors on Sept. 7, 2021, and is effective immediately.
The Board will formally introduce Ament to Chamber members at the Chamber’s 2021 Annual Meeting on Sept. 17. If you are interested in attending, please contact Jennifer Kostka Beck at Jennifer.firstname.lastname@example.org or 303-263-4561. Learn more about the event.
Additional Comments of Support
Mowa Haile, president and CEO of Sky Blue Builders and 2022-2023 chair of the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, said: “Through a rigorous process with a third-party search firm, we were presented with a group of diverse finalists. J. J. stood out as the next CEO of the Chamber. In his current role and previous stint with the Chamber, he knows the expectations of our members and community throughout the metro region and the state. He is not only the right CEO to lead us through the ongoing pandemic, but also will continue to position our region as the best place to work and live.”
Anthony E. Graves, CU Denver managing director of partnerships & innovation and Denver Metro Chamber Leadership Foundation past chair, said: “No one knows the operations of the Chamber ecosystem better than J. J. He has also committed to champion important initiatives like Prosper Colorado to advance economic equity and invest in the Leadership Foundation to educate and inspire leaders to make a difference in the community.”
About the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce
For 153 years, the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce has been a leading voice for Colorado’s business community. With a membership that spans the state, the Chamber is an effective advocate for small and large businesses. The Chamber’s family of organizations includes the Metro Denver Economic Development Corporation, the Denver Metro Chamber Leadership Foundation, the Denver Metro Small Business Development Center, the Colorado Competitive Council, B:CIVIC, Prosper Colorado and the Denver Opportunity Youth Initiative. For more information, go to denverchamber.org