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Posted: July 08, 2010

Denver in a word

When people ask you to describe it, what do you say?

Maureen McDonald

We know Metro Denver is a rapidly growing region, well-educated (2nd in country) fit and lean (6th in country) , and wealthy (average income 15 percent higher).

We are diverse, with 32 percent people of color. We spend money and time on arts, culture and sports . We are considered a "purple" state in political affiliation, and our current legislators are majority Democrat. The web of services available through the independent sector is vast, as the metro region is home to over 13,650 non-profits. 75 percent  of our citizens volunteer in the community, and 96 percent make gifts to charity.

What's the story YOU tell about Metro Denver?

When you are asked to describe metro Denver to someone from outside the state, what do you say? What are our greatest attributes? What are the people like? How does the business community function? How do big ambitious projects get accomplished? Is it easy to get involved? What are the political leaders like, and does local government function well? How would you describe the vibe, the energy, the ethos?

From where I sit, and even in tough times, things look pretty rosy. Take today for instance. 55 members of the 36th annual Leadership Denver class will walked across the stage in June as graduates of a program that has brought together inspired emerging leaders to study and experience the issues that challenge our region and those that help us to flourish. These people, and their colleagues in Impact Denver, Access Denver, and all our programs, really care about contributing to the quality of life in our region through community service.

At the graduation ceremonies each June, I find myself wondering which classmates will use their network and knowledge to fully leverage the possibilities their experience has provided them. Who will lead, collaborate, negotiate, influence, gather resources and make things happen? Who will become true change-makers? What will their legacy be?

As an alumnus or friend of the Denver Metro Chamber Leadership Foundation, please share your thoughts with us on the Metro Denver you experience, as a citizen, a leader, a professional, a parent...or in whatever role you feel most inspired to comment. Send us a single word or phrase in response to one of the questions above, or several paragraphs. We want to hear your story of Metro Denver!
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Maureen McDonald has been the Executive Director of the Denver Metro Chamber Leadership Foundation since January of 2000. Prior to joining the Leadership Foundation, Maureen worked in institutional advancement in the field of education. She directed the alumni and development teams at St. Mary's Academy and the University of Colorado at Denver. At CU Health Sciences Center, she served as Director of Community Affairs for University Hospital. She started her advancement career at her alma-mater, Washington University in St. Louis, as Associate Director of Alumni and Parent programs.

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