Last week, the Board of Directors met in Vail for the Chamber’s annual board retreat. We enjoyed the beautiful Colorado mountain air and the change of scenery (and lack of cell service in the room we held our sessions) inspired a thoughtful review of this past year and the challenges and opportunities presented in the next.
We had the chance to provide an orientation for our newer board members-and we were quickly reminded what incredible leadership we have in the business community. New to the Board this year are John Beeble, Denise Burgess, Ray Cullen, Ken Feiler, Dwight Pullen, Al Timothy and Steve White.
The overarching theme of the retreat was jobs for Colorado and the majority our time was spent exploring strategies and outcomes for four critical areas from that point of view: education, transportation and health care (the pillars of Colorado’s economy and the Chamber’s focus) and economic development (the roof those pillars hold up). Those areas of focus impact every business and every person in our state. The board developed key performance areas for each pillar and really showed their commitment to supporting economic development efforts for existing business and new businesses in Colorado.
We also spent some time discussing our strategy and approach to defeat some of the greatest threats to Colorado’s economic recovery-three ballot issues on the ballot this fall-Amendments 60 and 61 and Proposition 101. The Chamber has reconstituted Coloradans for Responsible Reform, our issue committee, to defeat these measures. Should these measures pass, they will take $4.2 billion of Colorado’s economy leading to the loss of 73,000 jobs on top of the 100,000 jobs Colorado lost in the recession. The Board emphasized its commitment to defeating these three issues to protect Colorado’s schools and Colorado’s economy from further destruction. I couldn’t be more proud to stand with this team of business leaders during such difficult times taking on such challenging issues. I am honored by how the Board of Directors has and continues to put our state’s best interests first.
These were a thought-provoking three days. Our leadership, our staff and our Board, under the leadership of new Board Chair Bill Lindsay and Chair-elect Hassan Salem, are all committed to ensuring a healthy economic climate now and into the future. We look forward to the challenges of the 2010-2011 fiscal year with resolve, a strong plan for moving forward and creating jobs for Coloradans and a renewed sense of common purpose.