New year, new faces

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We are so fortunate at the Denver Metro Chamber to be a gathering place for some of the region’s best and brightest leaders who come together to share their expertise and discuss solutions for the most critical issues of our day.
With the start of a new fiscal year, several of those leaders are stepping into new leadership roles on our various boards and committees. Bill Lindsay of Lockton Companies is taking the helm as chair of the Denver Metro Chamber board after serving as chair of the Health Care Committee for several years. He also served as the Chair for the National Small Business Association.
In turn, Dr. Ted Clarke of COPIC and Ruth Benton of New West Physicians will be co-chairing the Health Care Committee. Lisa Decker of Snell & Wilmer and Bob Loew of Fairfield and Woods PC will be the co-chairs for the Transportation Committee and Joel Rosenstein of Senn Visciano Canges Rosenstein P.C. and Jim Mulligan of Snell & Wilmer will lead the Public Affairs Council. Together, these public policy committees and councils provide a forum for our members to receive updates and weigh in on issues and discuss upcoming legislative action. Our Legislative Policy Committee, led by Lori Fox of United Airlines, then determines the Chamber’s position on specific bills.
We also welcome new leaders to the Metro Denver Economic Development Corporation and its industry affiliates. Todd Munson of JP Morgan Chase & Co. will join John Beeble of Saunders Construction in co-chairing the Metro Denver EDC’s Executive Committee. G. Thomas Marsh, retired executive vice president of Lockheed Martin Space Systems, has joined Colorado Lt. Governor Barbara O’Brien and Major General Andy Love (Ret.) as a co-chair of the Colorado Space Coalition. Lee Boughey of Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association Inc. and Tim Heaton of Coolerado Corporation will each serve two-year terms as co-chairs of the Colorado Energy Coalition. Travis Vallin of Jviation will serve as chair of the Metro Denver Aviation Coalition MDAC and Bob Deibel of OfficeScapes will be vice chair.
Finally, David Palmer of Greenberg Traurig will be serving as chair of the Denver Metro Chamber Leadership Foundation board in 2010-2011.
We thank these leaders for their commitment of time and service to the Denver Metro Chamber and its affiliates. Their dedication makes us stronger and leads to more effective collaboration and problem-solving for all of Colorado.
Nothing is more important than having people just like these, who are directly addressing challenges and issues for their businesses and companies every single day, helping find solutions that will continue to move all of us toward our goal creating a economy for Colorado.
Best regards,
Kelly J. Brough
President and CEO
Denver Metro Chamber

Sep
23

Budget update

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This week, Governor Ritter announced $60 million in additional cuts to bridge the latest gap in the state’s annual budget.
Because Colorado didn’t receive as much federal Medicaid money as it had expected-we received $144 million rather than the $212 the state had hoped for-Governor Ritter and his team had to come up with $60 million in budget cuts, in addition to those already conducted this year.
With limited options outside of the legislative session, the solution relies heavily on cash funds, including $9 million from the state’s Medical Marijuana Program Cash fund as well as $6.2 million in cuts from spending from the General Fund and a $53.4 million transfer from various cash funds.
Governor Ritter’s plan will save $4.9 million from a 1 percent reduction in payroll costs by not filling vacant positions as well as through cuts to the Department of Corrections. Nearly $41 million of the stop-gap actions comes from oil-and gas-related funds originally intended for local communities and higher education.
Not using that money, he said, would have led to cuts in other places, including taking teachers out of classrooms. “Truly, we find ourselves in difficult, difficult budget circumstances,” he said.
We hope these latest adjustments-described by Governor Ritter as preserving essential services and requiring a collective commitment-will be the last needed for this fiscal year. The next revenue forecast will come in September, which will be used to shape the FY 2011-12 budget request.
So, we now begin to focus on the next year, when our state will face a budget deficit that has been estimated as high as $1 billion. Closing that gap will require even more sacrifices, tough choices and thoughtful leadership.
As business leaders, we will do all we can to share information and help ensure these budget decisions don’t further challenge the business community’s ability to grow our economy and jobs.

Sep
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