The value of working together

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Two weeks ago, I traveled to  Chicago with 84 other business and civic leaders from the metro area as part of the Downtown Denver Partnership’s (DDP) annual Urban Exploration trip.

We visited the Windy City to benchmark best practices and to gather additional information to support implementation of the DDP’s Downtown Area Plan, which reflects our community’s 20-year vision to ensure the ongoing vitality of our capital city.

The plan includes efforts to make the downtown area more walkable and easier to traverse, as well as enhanced connections to surrounding neighborhoods. This plan will shape downtown’s future development and strengthen Denver’s role as the heart of the region.

While in Chicago – aside from enjoying a walking tour and river cruise of this pillar city in our nation – we have had the opportunity to network with Illinois CEOs and to view firsthand how Midwesterners do things differently.

Tami Door and her team credit these annual visits as contributing to the ongoing success of the Area Plan, which is in its fifth year of implementation.

Our own Denver Metro Chamber Leadership Foundation sees the value in such shared experience and collaboration. With its annual Leadership Exchange Trip, now in its 23rd year, groups of Denver-area leaders have expanded their horizons in a number of United States cities as well as in Canada and Mexico. In September, the Leadership Foundation will travel to Austin, Texas.

By maintaining our valuable partnership with the DDP, our organizations can share the information collected on these trips to propel our collective goal: a better future for our city, state and its residents.

The week before, I enjoyed a visit with Her Royal Highness Major General Princess Aisha bint Al Hussein, of Jordan. The princess traveled to Colorado because our state’s National Guard has a training relationship with Jordan, providing extensive training to its military. Further, Colorado’s National Guardsmen would be first to be asked in the event Jordan needs military support.

I was part of a roundtable discussion with Princess Aisha and a delegation about the role of women and our work. The audience included women who are working to balance career and family and who are also learning what it means to be women in leadership in rapidly changing and challenging times.

These kinds of discussions are an integral part of growing our communities into better places. Coloradans understand that well. We know that, by working together, can we achieve the very best for our communities.


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