Opinion | Chris Romer: Vail Valley chamber, current CMC board experience is key
- Occupation: Vail Valley Partnership president and CEO
- Hometown: Cincinnati, Ohio
- Family: wife, Stacey; daughter, Kylah, age 12
- Years in Colorado: 27
- Civic involvement: Board member atWestern Association of Chamber Executives, Colorado Mountain College, Colorado Tourism Office, Tourism Industry Association of Colorado, Colorado Association of Destination Marketing Organizations, Colorado Chamber of Commerce Executives, Northwest Colorado Council of Governments Economic Development Board, Rural Workforce Consortium and Vail Economic Advisory Council.Governor appointee to the Brand Colorado Council and the Colorado Tourism & Outdoor Recreation Key Industry Steering Network, and president of the EagleVail Property Owners Association.
I am honored to serve as the Colorado Mountain College trustee representing Eagle County and look forward to continued service on behalf of our mountain region. In my “day job,” I serve as president and CEO of the Vail Valley Partnership. Vail Valley Partnership is the regional chamber of commerce, destination sales and marketing organization, and economic development organization representing Vail Valley. It has more than 880 member organizations and plays a leadership role in the continuing process of building trust between the various sectors, both geographic and economic, in the region. In this role, I am able to provide community leadership and vision to enhance commerce and economic vitality of the Vail Valley and our organization was named Chamber of the Year by the Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives in 2016.
I help lead the partnership team to help positively impact the community via various business programming, workforce development efforts and economic development endeavors. Community and industry engagement is a part of who I am; I am a graduate of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Institute for Organization Management program and have been named a Top 25 Mind in Hospitality Sales, Marketing, and Revenue Management by Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International and Chamber Executive of the Year by the Colorado Chamber of Commerce Executives. I also have been actively involved in a variety of community and industry associations for the past 20-plus years.
This background and engagement with the business community provides me a unique view into the important role of Colorado Mountain College in our mountain region.
Priority 1: Student success
My top priority as an elected trustee for Colorado Mountain College is to ensure the college continues to provide inclusive student access, support services and academic pathways for our students. Students must be our top priority and all efforts should remain focused on providing the tools and resources that result in improved retention, completion and preparation for our complex mountain economy and society at large.
Priority 2: Economic and community development
Colorado Mountain College is much more than a community college; CMC is our community’s college. Given our unique funding mechanisms via property tax investments from our homeowners, it is important that CMC continues to engage in strategic partnerships that benefit the students, employees and communities CMC serves. These partnerships will necessarily vary by community, but the theme of community engagement and implementing programs that meet community and business needs applies to the entire system; examples include programming, apprenticeships, facility use and joint partnerships.
Priority 3: Organizational excellence
Among the most important roles of an elected trustee for Colorado Mountain College is to ensure the organization has strong governance, aligns efforts with the strategic plan, and is fiscally viable and responsible. These governing principles should be a priority for all elected officials; our role is not to manage the organization, but rather to hire great staff and empower them to achieve great things. A focus on organization excellence ensures that CMC has the resources and tools to meet top strategic priorities while remaining accountable to the communities we serve.
Thank you for the opportunity to share my background and priorities with the voters of Summit County.
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