2017 Great Year for Chamber

2017 was an ambitious year for the Fort Collins Chamber. In addition to a list of significant goals and projects, we also undertook fund raising for a major 5-year key strategic initiative called Northern Colorado Prospers. Here’s a summary overview:

  • The Chamber helped elect a City Council that respects and appreciates business. 2 of 3 chamber-endorsed candidates won
  • The Chamber continued to lead the lobbying effort through the Fix North I-25 Business Alliance to secure funding to widen I-25 to 3 lanes between Highway 14 and Highway 66. So far $5M has been committed to North I-25 –
    • $5M investment in Phase One I-25 Express Lane Project (Interim Solution). This includes money for an additional lane each way between Highway 14 in Fort Collins and Highway 402 south of Loveland, a rebuild of the Highway 402 interchange, improvements to Prospect interchange, and a third lane on Highway 34
    • $200M for I-25 from Highway 402 south of Loveland to Highway 66 north of Longmont
    • $32.5M Crossroads intersection– rebuilt / widened bridges, leveled out grade separation
    • $14.5M south-bound Berthoud hill climbing lane
    • Another $90M has been applied for through a federal grant process, Fix Colorado Roads completed two statewide polls in the fall and has been discussing legislative strategies and ballot options with allies
  • The Chamber implemented Year 1 of the Talent 2.0 workforce development plan. The Chamber is the convener of a steering committee working on this goal.
    • Published Talent 2.0 and held roll-out event in February
    • Steering Committee fully engaged – set priorities, developed implementation plan, settled on governance structure
    • 9 top priorities are being worked with focus on providing recruitment tools for employers
  • The Chamber helped expand and formalize a countywide business retention and expansion (BR&E) program. The Chamber is part of a BR&E coalition led by Larimer County.
  • The new BR&E program has been designed
  • Appointments with primary employers now underway
  • CRM software selected and training underway
  • The Chamber worked directly with two primary employers regarding their expansion plans.
  • In March the Board launched Northern Colorado Prospers, a 5-year key strategic initiative to address the four things cited above. Against a goal of $3.35M the committee led by Kevin Unger (President of Poudre Valley Hospital and Medical Center of the Rockies and 2016 Chamber Chair) raised $3.83M.
  • The annual Moving Fort Collins Forward Campaign led by Deb Kelly of Guaranty Bank and Chris Otto of EKS&H raised $560,918 against a goal of $500,000 and recruited 118 new members.
  • The Chamber held several successful major events in 2017 including the Annual Celebration Dinner, Health Care in Your Future Summit, Small Business of the Year Breakfast, and the Thought Leader Speaker event featuring best-selling author Patrick Sheahan.
  • The Chamber’s Leadership Fort Collins program was a big success as was the regional leadership program Leadership Northern Colorado.
  • Dozens of networking and education programs were held for members: Leads Groups, Envision Young Professional Programing; Lunch n’ Learn; Fridays at the Chamber; Connect@Lunch; Business After Hours; Red Carpet Receptions.