For 150 years, the Chamber has been led by leaders who aren’t afraid to roll up their sleeves and get the job done in order to better Colorado and make businesses successful. From William Byers and Former Gov. John Evans in 1867 to first Chamber board chair R.W. Woodbury in 1884 to current president and CEO Kelly Brough – our leaders have been dedicated to making our community sustainable. It’s a vision to better the community that hasn’t changed since 1867 except maybe a beard or two.
A Vision of Connecting Denver:
William Byers, who established Denver’s first newspaper the Rocky Mountain News, and Former Gov. John Evans were among the group of businessmen who brought the Union Pacific Railroad to Denver in 1867 – they knew that Denver’s economy needed to be connected to the rest of country in order to survive as a city.
On Nov. 13, 1867, they marched up the stairs of Colo’s Hall on Larimer St. and before they marched down again as the Denver Board of Trade (the predecessor to the Chamber) had been born with the task of securing a railroad. When the railroad came through Denver on June 15, 1870, it brought along the promise of trade and transportation. Imagine what Denver would be today without it.
Byers and Evans had a long-term vision for Denver that was shared among the business community. A shared vision is still what makes Colorado great today – it’s a part of Colorado’s Civic DNA™. It’s how our leaders work together: to be solutions-oriented, to roll up their sleeves and invest in the short term, but plan for the long term.
Vision brought a rail spur to Denver, but it also helped create Denver International Airport, FasTracks, Coors Field and much more. As the Chamber celebrates our 150th year, you’ll discover the vision that helped bring Denver landmarks to fruition and the leaders like Byers and Evans who helped make it happen.