South Metro Denver Chamber Initiates Economic Development Engagement

By Diane Irvin, Strategic Programs Inc.


The South Metro Denver Chamber has given its support to an economic development outreach initiative under the direction of the Economic Development Group, headed up by Jeff Holwell, director. The purpose of this outreach is to express the chamber's genuine appreciation to South Metro Denver business leaders for their contributions to the economy and the community.

In on-site conversations with business leaders, EDG trained and certified ambassadors will seek to understand each leader's current level of engagement in and future commitment to the area's economic development, partly by asking about their vision for their company in 2012 and beyond. This information will help the EDG assist businesses by creating synergies among area leaders, for the mutual success and increasing well being of the South Metro Denver community, in making it a Best Place to Live and Do Business.

To ensure confidentiality of the respondents and reliability of the results, the EDG has engaged the services of one of its clients, Strategic Programs Inc., to assist with the effort. Strategic Programs, headquartered in Denver since 1988, is an individual and organizational development and research firm that designs client-specific assessments with data-driven solutions to improve organizational effectiveness. Their expertise in survey design and cutting edge technology will aggregate the outreach data and produce user-friendly reports that are easy to understand and interpret by the EDG, chamber leadership, and the board of directors.

"The EDG's training and certification process, along with Strategic Programs' commitment to the quality of this research," said Holwell, "ensure that the data will not only be accurate, but will not be used to solicit business or for any other purpose than that expressed by the EDG in our certification agreement and training for this outreach."

The resulting reports will provide the EDG and the chamber's board of directors with fundamental information that is essential to determining potential new services for SMDCC investors. This includes measuring the quality of current SMDCC services as perceived by business leaders and advocating for business support and economic development at the city, county, state, and federal levels of government.

For the convenience of leaders whose schedules do not permit on site appointments, telephone interviews will be an option offered by Strategic Programs professional interviewers, or email assessments may be requested by respondents.

The chamber's goal is to reach out to 1,000 primary employers by the end of 2012. The first report by Strategic Programs will be provided in late Q1 of 2012, with the outreach continuing through the end of the year. "Our volunteers are excited about this opportunity to serve the business community. Preliminary conversations are already teaching us a lot that we could not learn without this high-touch process," Holwell said. "We are expecting to get a 75 percent participation rate giving the business community a significant ROI on the time they are investing in our conversations. We greatly appreciate that, and look forward to sharing significant findings from the aggregate data. With the benefit of Strategic Programs' research expertise and technology, we and the business community have an exceptional partnership for this outreach effort."

For more information regarding the survey methodology, reliability, or other client-specific assessments, call Yosuke Carter, Strategic Programs marketing manager, at 303-389-9031, or email



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