Inside the Chamber column: Work together, get along and have fun
Inside the Chamber
“Work together, get along and have fun.” These are the words that came directly from the mouth of my 5-year-old daughter when I asked her what story she would tell if she had the chance. Though I would consider this more of a philosophy than a story, I can’t help but think she’s on to something. Maybe it is that simple.
This year is the 100th anniversary of the Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association, and this important milestone has provided an opportunity to pause and reflect. As I have dug through boxes of archives, read old newspaper articles and looked at hundreds of photos, I’ve come to realize that so many of the great things the GSCRA and the community have accomplished can be credited to the philosophy my kindergartner so eloquently described.
I was reminded of this a couple of weeks ago when had the opportunity to chat with David Delaplane, also known as the “Father of Colorado Mountain College,” at the dedication of the new buildings at CMC’s Spring Valley campus. He was the newly hired manager of the Glenwood Springs Chamber in the 1960s when he found a folder labeled “education committee.” At the time, he thought to himself, “There really ought to be a college here.” Over 50 years later, we have a thriving college that has educated thousands of nurses, teachers, first responders and so many others. This is just one of the many examples of successful collaborations that have occurred over the last century in our community.
Fast-forward to 2019, and we are continuing to work together, get along and have fun with a variety of businesses and organizations in the community, including our neighboring chambers of commerce. Just last week, we co-hosted a State of the State business luncheon along with the Colorado Chamber and our neighboring Carbondale, Basalt and Aspen chambers. While our communities are unique, we are very interconnected. We share many of the same challenges and opportunities, and by working together we can accomplish so much more.
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One of my personal favorite ongoing partnerships is the Business and Breakfast series. Classes are held the first Tuesday of every month at the Glenwood Springs Library. These classes are free, and attendees walk away with tools that they can easily apply to their businesses. This is thanks to a collaboration of the Glenwood Springs Library, Colorado Mountain College, BlizzardPress, Glenwood Springs Post Independent, River Blend Coffee and the Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association.
While fun is weaved into a lot of what we do, it will be at the forefront of our Centennial Gala on Saturday, Nov. 2, at Hotel Colorado. The prestigious event is the largest annual community gathering of local businesspeople and features food, drinks, a silent auction, live music and entertainment.
The program will include the presentation of Citizen of the Year and Top Brass Business of the Year. The community is invited to nominate a deserving citizen or business for these awards, and the nomination deadline is Oct. 4. Nomination forms are available at glenwoodchamber.com/gala.
The Top Brass award will recognize one outstanding business of the year for a major contribution that reflects commercial growth, creativity or community involvement. Businesses or professionals marking career milestones will earn Top Brass anniversary certificates or plaques. Bay Equity Home Loans was last year’s recipient.
Locals are also invited to thank a noteworthy fellow citizen through the Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association’s Citizen of the Year Award given in the name of Dean Vogelaar, a longtime chamber director and the award’s first recipient. The award is intended to honor an individual (or in particular instances a married couple) who makes a substantial contribution to Glenwood Springs. As a result of the nominee’s efforts, the community should have received notable benefits and become a better place to live and work. Last year’s recipient of this award was Michael McCallum.
The years seem to go by faster and faster, and 2019 has been no exception. Thank you to our amazing local businesses and fellow community members for all you do. We look forward to recognizing a couple of you on Nov. 2. We are grateful for the opportunity to share with you in the role of making Glenwood Springs a wonderful community for the last 100 years. We look forward to working together, getting along and having fun for the next century and beyond.
Angie Anderson is president and CEO of the Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association.
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Scott Ely founded Sunsense Solar 30 years and initially operated as a one-man crew. His focus was installing solar electric systems on backwoods cabins off the grid. Now the company’s work includes some of the biggest solar farms in the region.