When was the last time you really looked closely at your home state and all of the gems that call it home? Can you remember the last time you played a visitor in your own city, perusing your local museum or making a day of it at some area tourist attractions?
A lot can be learned when you stop and look around. The Denver Metro Chamber Leadership Foundation has made doing so an expertise over the past 22 years of Leadership Exchange (LEX) trips. The organization has traveled annually with 150 of Denver’s top leaders to cities across the country – and even to cities in other nations – to pause and discuss the innovations and best practices of a city facing relevant business and policy issues while strengthening the collective vision and collaboration in our own community.
We have gleaned much from those visits, but we realized something was missing – and it wasn’t just the dozens of people left behind; their names on the waiting list for the next year’s LEX trip. Colorado’s own cities and towns have so many lessons to teach us. Colorado Experience was developed as a pilot program this year to provide an opportunity for emerging and executive leaders to explore our state’s regional issues in much the same way as the LEX trips.
On April 29 and 30, more than 150 delegates will travel to one of Colorado’s southern crown jewels, Colorado Springs, for a host of rich experiences and compelling dialogues in the home of the United States Air Force Academy, Garden of the Gods Park and the United States Olympic Training Center. Colorado Springs is the state’s second-largest city, is home to more than 399,000 people and has been named on dozens of “best” lists for places to live, work and recreate.
During the two-day event, attendees will enjoy visits to military installations and the United States Olympic Training Center, dinner hosted by the El Pomar Foundation, an interactive session on the Colorado state budget and discussions on space, water, tourism, and key industries and infrastructure in the Pikes Peak region and our state.
Involving more leaders, emerging and seasoned, in the Leadership Foundation’s selection of programs can only help us find solutions to the issues that plague any growing community: economic challenges, health care costs, education and transportation. This trip will prove a wonderful opportunity for these leaders to forge stronger relationships and build a strong future for our state.
The final deadline to apply for this new program is on Monday, April 4. I urge you and others in your companies to apply to participate in what will be a memorable and rewarding lesson in what makes Colorado so very special.