2016 was Strong Year for Chamber

Happy New Year!

With the books closed on another year, I wanted to give a quick look back on 2016. It was a good year for the community and a very productive one for the Chamber

The Fort Collins community and region continued to prosper. Millions of dollars were invested in private homes, commercial and industrial properties and public infrastructure. Unemployment was low though under-employment remains an issue for area residents.

I haven’t had a chance yet to write the narrative of the year, but regarding the Chamber’s plan of work, here’s a starter list of what we accomplished:

  • I-25 is being widened. $270.5 million has been secured for North I-25 over past 2 years (~$22.1 million for the Crossroads Interchange bridges which will be rebuilt by the end of 2017); ~$11.4 million for a recently completed climbing lane on Berthoud Hill south-bound; ~$237 million committed for an additional lane each way between Fort Collins and Johnstown to be done the end of 2020). The Chamber has been a key leader in this initiative.
  • First-ever talent development plan done. The Chamber assembled 8 partners to develop actionable programs to help employers meet their workforce needs. The partners included United Way of Larimer County, Loveland Chamber, Loveland Economic Development Department, City of Fort Collins Economic Health Office, Larimer County Workforce Center, Larimer County Economic Development Department and Northern Colorado Economic Alliance.
  • Continued fighting for business. The Chamber had representatives at hundreds of local government meetings such as City Council, Futures Committee, Finance Committee, Economic Advisory Commission, Climate Action Plan, and Broadband Citizens Advisory Committee to name a few.
  • Stood with Woodward during silo controversy.
  • Helped Citizens for a Sustainable Economy produce paper on what 100 primary jobs mean to the community
  • Led the effort with community partners to re-establish a proactive business retention and expansion program to maintain more consistent contact with primary employers
  • Driving the Regional Conversation
    • Northern Colorado Legislative Alliance (NCLA) – a partnership of the Fort Collins, Greeley and Loveland Chambers of Commerce, UpState Colorado Economic Development and the Northern Colorado Economic Alliance
    • Regional Issues Summit on Dec 6 attended by 156 people to hear about I-25, water and workforce development.
    • As noted above, drove effort of widen North I-25
    • As noted above, drove work for create first-ever Larimer County talent development plan
  • Provided Information to Succeed
    • Presented nationally renowned author, Charles Duhigg – The Power of Habit
    • 302 attended 12 Lunch n’ Learns on the topics varying from cognitive learning skills to implementing new HR policy.
    • Health Care in Your Future Summit with 270 attendees
    • 10 Envision Young Professionals “Meet the CEO” dinner series
  • Put People Together to Do Business
    • 3 Leads Group meetings with 59 participants
    • 12 Business After Hours with 1842 attendees
    • 6 Fridays at the Chamber with 420 attendees
    • 90 Red Carpet Receptions for 78 members attended by 40 people held every Tuesday and Thursday
    • 12 Connect @ Lunch meetings attended by 383 people
    • 4 Connect @ Breakfast meetings attended by 104 people
    • Annual Golf Classic on August 1 at Fort Collins Country Club with 115 golfers
  • Developed Community and Regional Leadership Capacity
    • 33 graduated from Leadership Fort Collins
    • 37 graduated from Leadership Northern Colorado
  • Served as the Front Door to the Community
    • Serviced hundreds of inquiries for personal relocation information
    • 62,269 unique visits to FortCollinsChamber.com, an increase of 9.75 percent over the previous year
  • Told the Chamber Story
    • 46 e-weekly Chamber SmartBrief newsletters and numerous special e-newsletters
    • 12@12 Luncheons with Chamber President
    • 17 columns in the Coloradoan
    • Annual Dinner and Celebration in February with over attendees
    • Board updated the Chamber’s Vision and Values
  • Celebrated Small Businesses
    • Small Business of the Year Celebration May 26
  • Building Improvements. Interior painting, retrofitting of lighting fixtures for energy efficiency, carpet replacement, finished replacing out-of-date office furnishings, replaced copy machine, repaired exterior trash container enclosure, replaced garbage disposal, replaced several computers.
  • Finances in Good Shape:
    • Clean annual audit
    • $1.4 million budget
    • In 2016 significantly modified Chamber funding model by initiating Northern Colorado Prospers – a 5-year key strategic initiatives campaign – to fund work on major projects like Fix North I-25
    • Successful total resource campaign (Moving FC Forward) that generated $575,000 in 10 ½ weeks; Yvonne Myers, Top Producer; Columbine Health Systems, Top Team
    • Membership continues to grow; now at 1,222 and approaching pre-recession high of 1,230.
  • Engaged, Committed, Effective Leaders
    • Strong board led by Kevin Unger, UCHealth
    • Executive Committee: Chair Kevin Unger, UCHealth; Chair-Elect Lucia Liley, Liley Law; Immediate Past Chair Yvonne Myers, Columbine Health Systems; Treasurer Connie Dohn, Dohn Construction; President & CEO David May; Wynne Odell, Odell Brewing Company; Pete Gazlay, Total Facility Care
    • Active committees with significant ‘ownership’: Moving Fort Collins Forward! campaign (Co-Chairs Yvonne Myers and Chris Otto), Local Legislative Affairs Committee (Chair Nick Haws), Northern Colorado Legislative Alliance (Chair Laurel LaBonde), Fix North I-25 Biz Alliance (Convener David May), Envision Steering Committee, Red Carpet Committee Steering Committee, Leadership Fort Collins Steering Committee, Leadership Northern Colorado Steering Committee and Finance and Budget Committees (Treasurer Connie Dohn).

Thanks for making this journey with us as members! Because of you we had a successful and impactful 2016!