THE DENVER METRO “CHANGER” OF COMMERCE, CAREERS, COMPANIES AND COMMUNITY
Sept. 7, The Metro Denver business community and Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce members gathered to celebrate the 2022 Annual Meeting at the Gaylord Rockies resort in Aurora. One of the Chamber’s signature events for the year, the Annual Meeting provided attendees a high-level look at the team’s accomplishments and strategies for the year ahead and celebrated incoming board leadership.
To kick things off, Chamber president and CEO, J. J. Ament, gave opening remarks to the crowd of over 600 business community members. Centered on breaking down silos and advancing positive change, he discussed challenges faced by the business community and how collectively the Chamber and its members are working together to tackle problems and support growth at the individual, company, community and economic levels.
“Despite the challenges we face, we continue to believe that Colorado is a place where businesses thrive, communities flourish, and people can live the lives they’ve always dreamed of,” Ament stated. “We are proud to represent a team and a membership that has risen to the occasion and is driving our region forward, none the less. Some might say that together, we’re more than a Chamber. But rather a ‘Changer’…of careers, of companies, of competition, the community, and of commerce.”
This year, the Chamber offered a report on how it has progressed under new executive leadership. The 2021-2022 Impact Report features the FY21-22 accomplishments of the Chamber teams including a 23% increase in membership, $545 million in economic impact, 600 participants in Leadership Foundation programs, and engagement in 70 different bills throughout the legislative session.
The Chamber also welcomed new board chair, George Sparks – president and CEO of the Denver Museum of Nature & Science. In his keynote speech, Sparks spoke about history as a foundation for change, detailing how the 20th century has impacted business and worked to inform his role and perspectives as a leader.
Looking forward, Sparks stressed that issues like energy and water are too big for the private market to handle on its own, and that industries need to be involved in legislative and social issues. “We’re either going to have it done to us, or be part of the solution,” Sparks stated.
Also announced at this year’s Annual Meeting was the winner of the Del Hock Lifetime Achievement Award, which recognizes incredible wisdom, involvement, leadership and impact. This year’s winner was Phil Kalin, former president and CEO of Pinnacol Assurance, who was surprised by the award. “We must make a difference,” said Kalin in his impromptu speech, “and to the extent I’ve done that in my work, I’m very proud.”
The Denver Metro Chamber Leadership Foundation’s board chair, Adeeb Khan, chief brand & impact officer at Delta Dental and executive director of the Delta Dental Foundation, discussed legacy and leadership in his journey. Coming from a Pakistani family that built their careers from the ground-up in the U.S., Khan said he noticed much about the business community from the way it interacted with his family, “I found that the business community was often self-serving, they were looking for opportunities to make impact in the community that was going to help their business first.” This realization inspired Khan to pursue an education and career in corporate social responsibility (CSR) and make positive change.
“The Chamber has always taken pride in the fact that it doesn’t matter where you come from, [the Chamber] just wants to work with you and make [Metro Denver] the best place possible,” said Khan.
The event ended with a surprise visit from the Stanley Cup, which attendees were able to take photos with at the conclusion of the event.
This event was presented by Boettcher Foundation, Comcast, DaVita, Denver International Airport, FirstBank, HealthONE, Modivcare, United Airlines, U.S. Bank, VF Corporation, Wells Fargo and Xcel Energy. Event sponsors included Colorado State University Global and Sherman & Howard.
To view the Chamber’s full 2021-2022 Impact Report, visit: https://www.flipsnack.com/denverchamber/2022-dmcc-impact-report.html
About the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce
For 155 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 EDC, the Denver Metro Chamber Leadership Foundation, the Denver Metro Small Business Development Center, the Colorado Competitive Council, B:CIVIC and Prosper Colorado. For more information, go to denverchamber.org.