Posted: June 21, 2010
Denver biz has got it goin’ on
The new energy economy is bringing 'em inBy Kelly Brough
If the world didn't know it before, it certainly does now: Denver is home to one of the most vibrant, energetic business communities around.
USA Today last week detailed Chamber board members' support of the Denver B-Cycle program, demonstrated when they rode B-Cycle bikes to their regular board of directors meeting.
That little board outing came on the heels of an extremely successful visit to Dallas, where members of our Metro Denver Economic Development Corporation (Metro Denver EDC) shared with the world's wind energy leaders Colorado's assets in that arena and returned home with more leads for companies looking to expand in the Centennial State than ever before.
This week, Tom Clark, Holli Baumunk and Laura Brandt of the Metro Denver EDC team are in Europe, wooing solar and wind companies in Munich and Copenhagen, respectively, touting our low corporate tax rate and highly educated and energetic workforce.
These visits to other regions are part of the Colorado Cleantech initiative, which focuses on our state's newest industry sector that includes wind, solar, biofuels, smart grid and natural gas. Nestled in the nation's wind tunnel and boasting 300 days of sunshine every year, Colorado is primed for cleantech growth.
Over the past two years, 17 wind and solar companies have announced plans to relocate to or expand in Colorado and the rest of the world is taking notice. The fact that Gov. Ritter during his tenure has signed 56 pieces of legislation toward the energy economy in Colorado also does not hurt.
I'm looking forward to the EDC team's return to find out what more we can be doing to remain attractive to companies around the world.
I have said it before and I will say it again: We Coloradans are a determined lot. Rather than navel-gazing or getting caught up in worrying about the what-ifs and could-bes, we have stood up, brushed ourselves off and are taking those long strides toward our future.
Kelly J. Brough is the current president and CEO of the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce. She previously served as the chief of staff and deputy chief of staff for Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper. She also served as a personnel analyst and a legislative analyst for the City and County of Denver. Kelly has served on a number of boards and commissions, including the Denver Metro Chamber Leadership Foundation board. She has a bachelor's degree in sociology and criminal justice from Montana State University and an MBA from the University of Colorado at Denver.