SMDC Annual D.C. Fly –In
The trip’s mission was twofold: to educate and empower Chamber members, and to represent the voice of the south metro Denver business community at the Capitol.
• Dr. John Batey, Assistant Town Administrator, City of Parker
• Abraham Laydon, Attorney/Shareholder, Burns, Figa, Will P.C.
• David Schlatter, Commercial Real Estate Advisor
• Steven Sherman, Civil Engineer, Colorado Department of Transportation
• Maggie Fouquet, President, International Business Circle
• Darrell Schulte, President, Commercial Lending, Colorado Business Bank
• Jeffrey Sprole, Ambassador Field Manager, Colorado PERA
• Dennis Houston, President and CEO, Parker Chamber of Commerce
• Michele McKinney, Assistant Vice President External Relations and Advocacy, University of Colorado
• Amy Sherman, President and CEO, NW Douglas County Economic Development
• Jeff Wasden, President, The Colorado Business Roundtable
On the U.S. Department of Energy… Martini: They presented the Quadrennial Energy Review. Harden: There were high level energy policy discussions, specifically regarding the President’s energy priorities, renewables, research at Colorado’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), and lowering emissions.
On the Congressional Reception Dinner… Harden: This was a formal kick-off to the trip at the D.C. Coast restaurant. Martini: Yes, very elegant. Senator Michael Bennet and Congressman Ken Buck stopped by to personally welcome the business leaders.
On the VIP Reception at the W… Harden: It gave you a feeling of being part of the D.C. culture… having a drink, on a beautiful rooftop overlooking the White House and the U.S. Treasury.
On the White House Tour… Harden: You can take photos now, which is exciting.
Was it just a tour of the East Wing? Harden: Yes, we saw the green room, press conference rooms, formal dining room, and the east lawn.
How about the White House Business Council Meeting? Harden: We met with Senior White House Policy Advisors to the President. We wanted to get insights on the President’s views about infrastructure, international trade, education, and energy. Then we met with our entire Colorado Congressional Delegation: Senators Michael Bennet and Cory Gardner; Representatives Perlmutter, Tipton, DeGette, Coffman, Polis, Lamborn, and Buck. Martini: Our members liked to see the entire delegation interact with one another and razz each other up. We talked about the Trans-Pacific Partnership the day before the text was released to Congress. So fascinating to hear about that just before Congress begins to read and deliberate on the agreement.
On the breakfast at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce... Harden: We were hosted by them in the executive board meeting room. This building was very ornate and historic. We received formal briefings from the U.S. Chamber staff. Because of this meeting, our members were invited to participate in the upcoming meeting, “Transforming Higher Education Outcomes,” which will occur in Denver on December 1.
On the Pentagon Tour… Harden: It should be noted that the Pentagon does not ever give tours and briefings to the same group on the same day, but we were given the opportunity. The halls looked like a museum – armed services memorabilia, portraits, historical displays. There’s a very patriotic feel. Martini: There was a briefing from Lt. Colonel Patrick Seiber about increasing visibility opportunities for the Army and engaging with the business community, specifically with regards to STEM-related opportunities.
In conclusion: a testimony…
(This trip) was one of the most enriching, insightful, informative, special, and mentally energizing visits. The chamber and Jeff tapped their connections and did their research, reaching out to key entities in D.C. in order for us to get the most timely and in-depth insight on matters important to our county.
I felt like I was on a diplomatic visit. And...I know these trips, schedules, travel arrangements, dinners, etc. only happen because someone is making them happen. And to have ALL NINE congressional members spend time with us...unprecedented!!! Hats off to the chamber team.
A very special thank you to Amy Sherman and Dennis Houston for the VIP Reception at the W.
This is an annual Fall trip and space is limited. Next year’s fly-in is scheduled for November 14-17, 2016. If you have interest in being put on the contact list for next year, e-mail Natalie: firstname.lastname@example.org.