The Business Leaders for Responsible Government (BLRG) group is getting a new direction under the leadership of co-chairs Bill Shepard and David Schlatter. The group will host structured monthly meetings on the fourth Tuesday of the month from 7:30 am – 9:00 am at the South Metro Denver Chamber’s WhippleWood CPAs Conference Center.
The first meeting, held on Tuesday, March 24, will focus on oil and gas. The meeting will feature three speakers who will address the implications of potential legislation, the Governor’s Taskforce recommendations, and potential 2016 ballot issues. Speakers will include Commissioner Nancy Doty, an elected official, and Vital for Colorado speakers.
The monthly meetings will be conducted according to the following structure: Local elected official (mayor or councilmember) will provide a 10 minute overview of local issues; county, state or federal representative will provide a 10 minute overview of current issues or important priorities; subject matter expert will speak on a current hot topic issue for 30 minutes. A question and answer period will be included, followed by a breakout discussion of potential political action activities and next steps for approximately 30 minutes.
“The new structure reflects our members’ desire for two things: education on current political issues as they relate to the business community, and a forum to take action via strategic political activities. We feel that these meetings will provide both opportunities to interact with elected officials, as well as create opportunities for our members to actively engage in the political process,” said Natalie Harden, Director of Public Policy and Economic Development.
The group plans to tackle important and divisive issues in 2015, including meetings on oil and gas, TABOR refunds, construction defects legislation, tax reform, urban renewal authorities, the state budget, ballot reform, and funding for higher education.
The BLRG committee structure will now include a leadership committee comprised of Bill Shepard, David Schlatter, Jeff Wasden, and Natalie Harden that will work to create the vision for the overall group and lead engagement opportunities. The BLRG will also utilize a steering committee, comprised of Chelsie Miera (Fisher), Bill Shepard, Tom McDermott, David Bear, David Schlatter Dennis Brovarone Eric Lake Kevin Sullivan, Mike Sutherland, Natalie Harden, Paul Archer, Robin Whitelaw, Sue Kenfield, Michelle Mckinney, Mae Ann Saas and Jeri Kay Lockwood. This committee will reach out to targeted speakers and collaborate with the Leadership Committee to create engagement and mobilization strategies for the greater BLRG membership.
All Chamber members are invited to attend the BLRG monthly meetings. For questions regarding the group, structure, or speakers, please contact Natalie Harden at firstname.lastname@example.org or 303-795-0142.
David Schlatter, Corporate Real Estate Advisor with DTZ, a global real estate services company. David has 20 years of experience with commercial/industrial real estate sales, leasing, and investments, as well as a prior background in economic development leading a membership-driven business organization. Throughout his professional career, David has received awards recognizing his standard of excellence, client satisfaction, and outstanding achievements. David specializes in companies seeking strategic industrial real estate solutions. With a focus on ever fluctuating market conditions and corporate insight, he is uniquely positioned to advise clients on current real estate trends with his ability to create and/or identify hidden opportunities. Through his experience in leasing, acquisitions, dispositions, build-to-suits and consulting, he demonstrates a number of value-added skills to the real estate user and investor. On a personal level, David lives in Centennial and enjoys volunteering in his community as president of his HOA and as VP of the Centennial Council of Neighborhoods, plus he serves as a local precinct leader and is a member of the Arapahoe County Budget. David is an active member of the South Metro Chamber, engaged in public policy with the Business Leaders for Responsible Government.
For the last 25 years, Bill Shepard has worked directly with C-level leaders in Fortune 500, mid-market, and entrepreneurial environments as an accomplished analyst, project leader, executive and team builder in numerous high-visibility undertakings. Bill is principal of W. J. Shepard Consulting, an independent business consultancy specializing in C-level strategic project planning, analysis and execution services. He also serves as Associate Executive Coach for Portocol Business Strategies, a Denver-based professional services company providing executive coaching, training and consulting to Denver’s small and mid-sized business market.
Bill has been an active member of the South Metro Denver Chamber since moving back to Denver in 2006, and also serves on the board of directors for the Association for Corporate Growth, Denver Chapter. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Civil Engineering and MBA, both from the University of Denver.