2015 MPMSDC Bus Tour Builds Minority Business Relationships


Talk about good fortune from the weather gods. Representatives and prospective members of this year’s Mountain Plains Minority Supplier Development Council annual bus tour were able to enjoy a rare, 67-degree November day—just before a major snowstorm—to visit a spectrum of certified Minority Business Enterprises (MBEs) around the Denver metro area.

A pull-up fitness bar in the office? You bet!

A pull-up fitness bar in the office? You bet!

The genial business gurus boarded the bus at 8:30 a.m. and traveled to locations where member businesses were able to show off their success as well as their personality. At Campos EPC in LoDo, owner Marco Campos even added an impromptu demonstration of pull-up bar and Swagway skills to his site tour.

Participants were rewarded with mementos at each stop, enjoyed a hearty lunch, and the day ended at Society Sports and Spirits, where they were able to kick back and talk about their experience. The common thread of post-event comments? Building relationships…as well as planning on attending next year’s tour.

The group relaxes with food, beverages and good conversation.

The group relaxes with food, beverages and good conversation.

The mission of the Mountain Plains Minority Supplier Development Council is to provide Corporate America and government entities with greater access to the goods and services of minority-owned business in order to develop lasting and mutually beneficial business relationships. As an affiliate regional council of the National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC) serving Colorado, Kansas, Western Missouri, and Nebraska, the organization provides a direct link between Corporate America and Asian-, Black-, Hispanic- and Native American-owned businesses.

Today there are over 130 local corporations and government entities involved with the council, and over 500 minority-owned businesses certified with the Mountain Plains MSDC. Several of these certified MBEs have grown to the level of Fortune 500 companies and achieved Corporate Plus status with the NMSDC. Through the extensive certification process, corporate member support, free networking events, educational programs and supplier diversity initiatives MPMSDC strives to develop minority-owned businesses to their full potential. For more information, please visit: www.mpmsdc.org

Colorado Business Hall of Fame 2015


This 26th Annual Colorado Business Award winners this year represented two Colorado farm families, a NFL football team owner, a corporate investor, and a ski industry pioneer.  Held at the Hyatt Hotel Colorado Convention Center Thursday, January 29, the event’s theme–“Sketching the Future of Colorado”–was represented at each dinner table and in marketing materials by the familiar red Etch-A-Sketch tablet, a kid’s drawing toy popular in the 1960s.

Underwritten by UMB, proceeds benefited Junior Achievement and the Denver Metro Chamber. More than 1,000 guests heard stories of inductees who pioneered various thriving Colorado businesses through persistence, leadership and a firm belief in the free enterprise system.

9News Anchor Gregg Moss welcomed guests and acknowledged a procession of past inductees representing various Colorado industries.
Throughout the evening Moss–with help from Junior Achievement student ambassadors/co-emcees—introduced honorees and acknowledged top sponsors.

Each year event organizers honor Colorado Business Hall of Fame laureates, a group of stellar business leaders who have made legendary contributions to Colorado’s economy and civic life through their innovation and pioneering spirit.

This year’s laureates are:

  • Pat Bowlen,who was the longtime owner of the Denver Broncos and is the chairman of the board of Denver Broncos Charities, which has donated $25 million to Denver area organizations;
  • H. Brown Cannon, Brown W. Cannon and George R. Cannon–a family whose business acumen is legendary, only surpassed by their civic leadership. H Brown Cannon was founder of Windsor Farm Dairy and Presbyterian Hospital, and his two sons Brown W Cannon and George R Cannon returned to Denver after WWII to become community leaders and successful businessmen.
  • Klaus Obermeyer is a 94-year-old ski legend and industry icon who has turned his passion for skiing to an international conglomerate. He founded Sport Obermeyer in 1947 and designed and produced a successful down parka, then parlaying his innovations into many other ski accessories and skiwear.
  • Thomas A Petrie, chairman of Petrie Partners, has been an active advisor on more than $200 billion of energy-related mergers and acquisitions. He is an active member of several industry associations, as well as a trustee for the Denver Art Museum and a board member of the Colorado School of Mines Foundation.
  • Bob and Joanna Sakata began Sakata Farms with the purchase of 40 acres in Brighton after WWII. Today, Sakata Farms owns and farms more than 3,200 acres of vegetables, including its renowned sweet corn.  The Sakata family was instrumental in founding the Brighton Community Hospital.

For more information visit the Denver Metro Chamber and Junior Achievement web sites at www.denverchamber.org and www.jacolorado.org 

Denver Hosts Clinton Global Initiative Conference


Denver was the host city for the 2014 CGI America conference, the flagship gathering where business and government leaders, philanthropists and NGO join forces to brainstorm ideas that promote economic recovery in the United States. More than 1,000 business, government and philanthropic leaders converged for a few days of brainstorming and commitments toward a better economic future.

Former President Bill Clinton, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Chelsea Clinton hosted the fourth meeting of CGI America, part of the Clinton Global Initiative. The conference, held June 23-25, is a continuation of breakthrough collaborations that have thusfar formed more than 300 commitments valued at more than $15.3 billion when fully funded and implemented.

Mr. Clinton established the Clinton Global Initiative in 2005 to convene leaders to seek — and put into motion — solutions to the world’s biggest problems. In 2011, he began the nationally focused CGI America to take on domestic issues — including jobs, the economy, education and health care.

The Denver host committee was chaired by Steve Farber of Brownstein Farber Hyatt Schreck and Steve Bachar of Silver Bullet Water Treatment Co. Three host dinners were held to top off the first day of the conference, and photos here are from the Brownstein Farber Hyatt Schreck dinner at the History Colorado museum.

Farber recently told the Denver Post, “President Clinton’s work — both during his time in office and with CGI America — has reached across party lines.”

For more information on the conference and the Clinton Global Initiative, log on to www.cgiamerica.org.

11th Annual Breakfast for Humanity


Area coffee shops surely felt a slowdown in business on Wednesday, May 7, as nearly 700 supporters got their java jolt at the 11th annual Breakfast for Humanity, hosted by Habitat for Humanity of Metro Denver. The event, held at Infinity Park Event Center, was a celebration to thank sponsors, vendors and volunteers for their time, donations and hard work. It was also a chance to introduce the Habitat “building a foundation for success” credo to newcomers.

CEO Heather Lafferty, the Angel Meza family and Cheryl Preheim

CEO Heather Lafferty, the Angel Meza family and Cheryl Preheim

The organization’s largest fundraiser of the year featured a packed one-hour program of speakers and video presentations that surrounded a complimentary sit-down breakfast served by Footers Catering. Vivacious 9News anchor Cheryl Preheim emceed the program with energy and sincerity—not only an event host, but an active Habitat hammer-wielder. She promised guests they would be so inspired by event speakers, “…you will be skipping to work.” Rev. Dr. James E. Fouther, Jr., of United Church of Montbello not only offered a pre-meal blessing, but a short inspirational talk surrounding the “theology of the hammer” concept, quoting from Habitat for Humanity founder Millard Fuller’s book.

Heather Lafferty, Habitat Metro Denver’s CEO and project participant, spoke about the positive impact of Habitat projects on families and the community along with the definition of home—and the difference that Habitat owners felt after being part of the build-and-buy process. Angel Meza, along with her children Christian, Danielle, Rebekah and Paris, each spoke about their Habitat home experience, and guests were also treated to videos celebrating the organization’s 35th year. Board vice president Steve Shaffer ended the program with a call for donations—and most of the guests grabbed a pen to fill in various dollar amounts on their pledge cards.

Habitat for Humanity was established in 1976 by Millard and Linda Fuller to address poverty housing on a global scale through “partnership housing.” The Fullers’ concept centers on those in need of adequate shelter working side by side with volunteers to build simple, decent houses. Habitat’s no-profit and no-interest financing is affordable. And the “Fund for Humanity” (homeowner mortgage payments, no-interest loans and fundraising dollars) provides the capital needed to build. Today Habitat for Humanity has completed more than 600,000 homes around the world, completing the construction or repair of a home at the rate of one every 5.5 minutes.

Habitat for Humanity of Metro Denver was established in 1979 by a group of passionate volunteers who worked tirelessly to raise funds, acquire land, select families and manage all of the logistics to build the first Habitat homes in Denver. Since then, Habitat Metro Denver has become one of the largest affiliates in the U.S., celebrating the construction of a 500th home in 2012. In 2014, the organization announced a goal to serve 500 more families in five years. For more information, please visit: https://www.habitatmetrodenver.org/