Past Business Forum Events

2020 Business Forums

January 23, 2020
Topic: Beating Burnout: Using Inspiration and Empowerment to Foster Successful Organizations

WATCH: Video recording of the full presentation

Two-thirds of Americans report being burned out on the job — a staggering percentage of the workforce. But burnout isn’t an abstract phenomenon: It’s been shown to have serious health consequences up to and including precipitous death. But what’s causing it? And what can we do about it? In this interactive talk, Dr. Kate Newburgh drew from a decade of research and practical experience to reveal the real origin of burnout. She delve deep into the assumptions that undergird how we organize ourselves at work, examined the leadership practices that result in employee disengagement and illuminated what needs to change in order for us to re-engage in our work on a global scale.

Deep Practices Founder Dr. Kate Newburgh has more than a decade of experience and research in organizational change. She began her career as a New York City Teaching Fellow in the Bronx, NY. Since then she’s held diverse roles in the field of education including Educational Researcher, Academic Affairs Director for a national non-profit, and Curriculum Lead for Transformative Learning for Eagle County Schools, CO. She currently works with executive leadership to create sustainable, trust-based workplace cultures and practices. She also runs a Women-in-Business Empowerment Group in the Vail Valley. She earned her Ph.D in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Denver with a research focus on system-wide teacher retention and structural, whole-teacher supports.

April 9, 2020
Topic: The Costs of Miscommunication and Strategies for Effective Communication

WATCH: Video recording of the full presentation

The moment you have more than one person in a room, there are going to be misunderstandings. Unresolved breakdowns in communication are costly; if left unaddressed these breakdowns can derail a team, division or company. Whether you’re trying to develop a high-performing team, resolve a potentially explosive employee issue or negotiate with a client or customer, creating mutual understanding is the key to moving forward.

In this program, attendees will gain insights into the strengths and preferences of their own communication styles and the styles of those around them. When we know how our audience needs (or prefers) to receive information, we are better able to tailor our spoken and written words to have the greatest impact. Attendees will learn to: Build personal and professional trust within teams; develop and innovate solutions to everyday issues and replace judgment with understanding.

Julie Holunga is a leadership coach who trains and develops business leaders with expertise in effective communications. Her trainings inspire driven professionals to bring their careers to the next level. Holunga started her career working at Harvard University in the Capital Gifts group, assisting high-net worth alumni impact change. At The Center for Corporate Citizenship at Boston College, she worked with senior leaders at Fortune 500 corporations to develop, implement, and improve corporate citizenship initiatives. Following her work at The Center, Holunga served as the project manager for Alumni Career Services at Harvard Business School focusing on the careers of alumnae. Holunga received her bachelor’s degree in French Literature and Economics at Union College and her MBA from Boston College. She spent seven years living and attending school in France, India and Hong Kong.

May 14, 2020
Topic: 4 Non-Obvious Megatrends That Matter Since the Pandemic (And How To Use Them)

WATCH: Video recording of the full presentation

One of the biggest effects of the disruption we are facing today is the acceleration of ideas. Distance learning, ghost restaurants, esports, telemedicine, streaming entertainment, videoconferencing and more than a dozen other futuristic ideas are now becoming daily realities and going mainstream.

In this candid talk, bestselling author and trend curator Rohit Bhargava will share how anyone can become an observer of the non-obvious and why the people who build this skill will be the ones who emerge from this time of change better prepared for whatever comes next. The future will belong to non-obvious thinkers; this talk will help you become one of them.

Rohit Bhargava, founder of the Non-Obvious Company, is on a mission to help the world be more open-minded by teaching others how to be non-obvious thinkers. He previously spent 15 years in leadership roles at two renowned ad agencies: Leo Burnett and Ogilvy. Rohit is the Wall Street Journal bestselling author of six books and has been invited to deliver keynote presentations in 32 countries around the world. His signature workshops have been used by the World Bank, NASA, Intel, Disney, Colgate, Swissotel, Coca-Cola, Schwab, Under Armour, NBC Universal, American Express and hundreds of others. Rohit is a popular Adjunct Professor of storytelling at Georgetown University and also writes a monthly column for GQ magazine in Brazil.

June 11, 2020
Topic: The Business of Connection – Skills to Cultivate Thriving Relationships in the Workplace

WATCH: Video recording of the full workshop

Whether we have a formal role inside an organization, lead efforts in our communities or manage clients and partners in our own business, we’re all leaders in some way and we all need to relate well with others. With the challenges brought on by COVID-19, maintaining strong relationships despite social distancing is vital for our well-being and success.

This workshop offers training in the Emotional Intelligence (EI) skills tied to connection mainly self-awareness and empathy. Strengthening these two EI domains enables better collaboration with team members, clients and partners. Self-Awareness means honest clarity about our “internal states, impulses and disposition,” a foundational EI skill that positively impacts self-regulation. Empathy, an interpersonal skill, attunes us to how others are feeling enabling improved social interactions and better teamwork. Increased self-awareness and empathy translate to greater purpose, improved communication skills and productivity. As we’ve experienced on a global scale, human connection is crucial for business and life.

Founder of A Traveling Time, A Well Being Consultancy, Amy Quinn brings her facilitation, speaking, coaching and creative skills to the travel and wellness industries providing mindfulness workshops, retreat and travel services, and an active blog. As we “travel our lives”, Amy is passionate in her current work as a Certified Teacher of the global Search Inside Yourself program, teaching emotional intelligence skills. For the Outer Journey, Amy creates meaningful Wellness travel itineraries, active, adventure, restorative, and or culturally immersive experiences for solo travelers or groups of families, friends, passionate pals and Executive teams.

Hear from the Vail Valley Businesses

Member Minute: Iliana Salazar

The Sebastian - Vail

2019 Business Forums

January 9, 2019
Topic: Increased Productivity and Decreased Stress: Achieve Better Life Balance Through Time Management (Health and Wellness)

Squeezing more hours out of your day is not always possible. Are meetings and email weighing you down? Are you perpetually procrastinating or finding yourself sucked down the hole of the internet? If your workload is growing and you constantly feel overwhelmed and stressed, then this is the program you need to attend. Stephanie Wachman will address how to manage your time and energy to lower your stress, increase your productivity, improve work performance and find more balance in your life.

Stephanie Wachman is a Certified Executive Coach, author, public speaker and trainer. She was born in Montreal, Quebec, Canada where she received her BA in Communications from McGill University. With more than 25 years of experience in marketing, product management, sales and national sales management, Stephanie’s business and sales skills were honed at both small companies and Fortune 500 companies. She is the author of “Own Your Time: Professional Time Management Strategies for a Profitable and Balanced Life” and “Own Your Sale: Techniques on How to Sell Without Being ‘Sales.’” Stephanie works with all levels of organizations in areas of time management, business development, leadership, conflict management and culture.

April 9, 2019
Topic: Immigration, Locally: How to Protect Your Business and Advocate for Workers

Since the start of the Trump administration, workplace enforcement actions have increased 5-fold. No longer is the focus merely on compliance within the frame of I-9 regulations, but the government is also focused on compliance surrounding the hiring of temporary seasonal workers. Now, coupled with a constricting visa processing system and aggressive removal practices, the constraints on foreign workers and the companies that employ them have never been more challenging. This practical panel will explore what employers can do to ensure compliance and help lobby for an expansive use of business based visas for low skilled workers.

June 13, 2019
Healing What Ails Us: Affordable Healthcare In Our Community

  • Presenters: Brent Bowman, Lee Boyles, Will Cook, Dylan Roberts and Chris Romer, moderated by Jon Stavney

Mountain peaks are not the only thing sky-high in our community: Insurance premiums in Eagle County are among the highest in the country. Healthcare, unlike a waffle iron or a hula-hoop, is not a discretionary expense. Whether it is an annual check-up, a sports injury, or a serious illness, healthcare— and access to it— impacts everyone in our valley. However, the cost of wellbeing can be more painful than the symptoms it treats.

Vail Symposium, in conjunction with the Vail Valley Partnership, will host a healthcare panel featuring the primary stakeholders in healthcare delivery in the valley. Listen to, and have the opportunity to question, representatives from Vail Health, Centura and Kaiser as well as elected officials.

October 3, 2019
Tabor and Gallagher: Power to the People or Fiscal Stranglehold?

WATCH: Video recording of the full discussion

  • Presenters: Reeves Brown, Nicholas Colglazier and Luke Ragland, moderated by Jon Stavney

Colorado Proposition CC, the “Allow State to Retain Excess Revenue for Transportation and Education Measure,” is on the ballot in Colorado as a legislatively referred state statute on November 5, 2019. Learn more about this proposition and the reasons for and against it. Also, learn more about Tabor and Gallagher in the process.

Brown will explain the history and intent of the Gallagher and TABOR amendments to our state constitution and review how they impact our quality of life, both individually and collectively, and in both positive and negative ways.  Because these are amendments to our state constitution, only the voters — not their elected representatives — can amend them if they ever desire such change.

This will be a facilitated panel discussion. Each panelist will provide a brief introduction and overview, followed by a moderated Q&A with the audience.

Hear from the Vail Valley Businesses

Jeanne Fritch

Sitzmark Lodge

2018 Business Forums

January 31, 2018
Topic: Negotiation Best Practices: Ensure that you get the upper hand in your next negotiation

  • Presenter: Erich Rifenburgh, Negotiations Expert
  • Read Bio

Description: When dealing with negotiation, it’s easy to fall into self-doubt and anxiety: Did I get the best deal? Did I leave anything on the table? Did I just get taken for a ride? In this seminar with Erich Rifenburgh, attendees will attain a baseline of current strengths and learn five practical steps for preparing for upcoming negotiations.

Discover how you are doing with respect to negotiations best practices and what they can do to prepare and gain the upper hand in your next negotation. You will learn five practical steps to preparing for your next negotiations and learn what top companies are doing to get superior results.

April 11, 2018
Topic: Workforce Trends & Challenges in the Vail Valley

  • Speakers: 
    • Jessica Valand, Director of Workforce Development for Northwest Colorado (Read Bio)
    • Teresa Friel, Human Resources Professional for Human Resources Plus (Read Bio)
    • Aryn Schlichting, Senior HR Professional for Town of Vail, Co-founder of Mountain Careers (Read Bio)
    • Michelle Griffith, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, Human Resources Manager for The Christie Lodge (Read Bio)
Workforce Trends and Human Resource Professional Panel

Local human resource professionals, business owners and representatives from governmental organizations will join together to discuss trends and offer viewpoints regarding employee attraction, retention and benefits in a panel format, using the Vail Valley Partnership’s annual workforce study as a guide.

September 11, 2018
Rocky Roads or Smooth Sailing? A Discussion on the State of Transportation in Colorado

  • Presenters: Herman Stockinger and Chris Lubbers

There are few topics that get locals talking as quickly as transportation. What’s happening in regard to transportation in Colorado? How are we funding our roads now and in the future? And how are we dealing with the pressures of local transit needs throughout the valley?

Join us for a discussion with state and regional transportation experts, including Herman Stockinger, Colorado Department of Transportation, a representative from “Let’s Go, Colorado” and local ECO-Transit Director Chris Lubbers, as we explore transportation in Colorado and within Eagle County.

November 7, 2018
Topic: The State of the Valley

Join us as we explore the latest hot issues of the day in Eagle County. Housing, health insurance, transit, workforce development and sustainability continue to present community challenges. This will be an interactive panel discussion between local leaders from throughout the valley and the audience. The audience is encouraged to come prepared with questions.

Hear from the Vail Valley Businesses

Member Minute: Zack Cole

Venture Sports - Avon

2017 Business Forums

June 28, 2017
Topic: 2016 Key Election Ballot Outcomes: What’s next?

Speaking Locally: Nick Colglazier,  Jill Klosterman, Dr. Jason Glass

This program presented in conjunction with the Vail Valley Partnership’s Business Forum Series provides an overview of key state and local ballot issues from November’s election, and what the election results mean to Eagle County and Colorado moving forward. This includes Amendments 69, 70 and 71, as well as Eagle County ballot issues 1A (workforce housing), 3A (Eagle County Schools mill levy override) and 3B (Eagle County schools bond). Win or lose, each issue has a vibrant discussion of where we go from the election result.

  • Nick Golglazier is the Director of Colorado Council, and discusses state election outcomes and their impact.
  • Jill Klosterman, Eagle County Housing Director, addresses the impact of ballot measures on affordable housing and workforce housing.
  • Dr. Jason Glass, former Eagle County Schools Superintendent, covers issues relating to education funding initiatives.

Chris Romer, President and CEO of the Vail Valley Partnership will moderate the discussion.

June 28, 2017
Topic: Colorado Demographers Office

Program description: The State Demography Office is the primary state agency for population and demographic information. Its data are used by state agencies to forecast demand for facilities and services. These data are also used by local governments and non-profit organizations in the state to anticipate growth or decline and to plan and develop programs and community resources. The office’s location in the Department of Local Affairs insures that its data and information is developed in ways that account for local input and needs. The office makes the data publicly available on their website, answers requests for economic and demographic data and provides training workshops on accessing and using the data.

This program will review demographic trends in Colorado and Eagle County today and in the future – what will be the impacts and opportunities?  This presentation will focus on population change throughout the state with a focus on Eagle County and the resort region. What are the forecasts for population change, aging, the labor force, and jobs?

Chris Romer, President and CEO of the Vail Valley Partnership moderates the discussion.

This event is co-hosted by Vail Valley PartnershipVail Symposium and Colorado Mountain College – Vail Valley.

August 2-3, 2017
Topic: NIMBY Jamboree – Creating a Healthy Community through Affordable Workforce Housing
Nimby (Not In My Back Yard)

The Jamboree was a day and a half interactive program: It was designed to bring together a diverse cross section of the public and private members of the development community to engage participants to explore the problems, possibilities, and solutions to achieving sustainable workforce housing.

Session 1: Panel & Topical Discussion Groups

All housing developments are realized through a cooperative effort between the public, regulatory authority, and the private developer.  The panelists, representing both sides of the equation, will address their experiences with brief presentations and then address questions and share lessons learned.

  • Laurie Best: Senior Planner; Town of Breckenridge
  • Scott Kratz: Director, 11th Street Bridge Park Project, Washington, DC
  • David O’Neil: CEO & Founder of Brynn Grey Partners; Developer of Peak One and Wellington Communities
  • George Ruther: Community Development Department Director; Town of Vail

Mediator: Dr. Bobby Lipnick MD MBA LEED AP & Michael Hazard AIA, Vail Symposium Programming Committee members

Session 2: Community Tour

Participants will have an opportunity to tour 2 local projects. These tours will provide participants the opportunity to walk the properties with those who developed them and ask specific questions on the pros and cons of these communities.

Session 3: Town Hall Meeting

Town Hall meeting on affordable workforce housing, community impacts, and other related follow-up issues. The Town Hall will provide local residents and others an opportunity to ask the experts questions that pertain to their unique situations. This two way conversation will provide the planners and developers with direct information of what the end users of affordable housing in the Valley are looking for and what they expect in the next five years.


  • Elyse Howard, Development Director, Habitat for Humanity
  • Molly Murphy, Property Coordinator, Vail Valley Medical Center
  • Kim Bell Williams, Interim Housing Director, Eagle County
  • Mark Bergman, Association Director, Vail Board of Realtors
  • Kristin Kenny Williams, VP of Mountain Community Affairs, Vail Resorts
  • additional panelists to be announced soon!

Presented by Vail Valley Partnership & Vail Symposium and underwritten with support from Vail Board of Realtors. Hosted by Antlers at Vail.


Hear from the Vail Valley Businesses

Member Minute: Owen Hutchinson

Vail Jazz

2016 Business Forums

June 14, 2016
Topic: The Economic Status of Women in Colorado

Program Description: The Economic Status of Women in Colorado report examines how women in our state fare with regard to Employment & Earnings and Poverty & Opportunity and identifies policy recommendations for progress.  Key findings include:  Women in Colorado are above average on several economic measures, but women are more likely to live in poverty than men and the pay gap is not expected to close until 2057.  However, if women earned the same as comparable men, the poverty rate for working women would be cut in half and the state economy would grow by $9.2 billion.  The research will be presented by Louise Myrland, vice president of community initiatives and investments for The Women’s Foundation of Colorado.  A panel discussion will follow to bring in local perspective and expertise from those working on several levels to improve economic opportunities for women and their families.

  • Louise V. Myrland, MPA
  • Dr. Carrie Besnette Hauser
  • Jen Brown
  • Susie Davis, Our Community Foundation
  • Diane Mitsch Bush
  • Moderator – Pam Smith

June 28, 2016
Topic: Healthcare in the High Country
Program description: This program will bring together state and local health leaders with small business owners in the Vail Valley to discuss the health care challenges and opportunities facing the region. State Insurance Commissioner, Marguerite Salazar, will offer a keynote introduction and participate in a panel discussion with audience Q&A. Panelists will have an opportunity for remarks followed by a facilitated panel discussion with questions from the audience

  • Keynote Speaker: Marguarite Salazar, State Insurance Commissioner
  • Jandel Allen-Davis, Kaiser Permanente Colorado
  • Kathy Jacoby, Delta Dental of Colorado
  • Doris Kirchner, Vail Valley Medical Center
  • Janet Pogar, Anthem Blue Cross

September 14, 2016
Topic: State of Eagle County’s Economy
Miss the event? View the September 14 Business Forum here
Program description: This program will provide an overview of Eagle County’s economy and leading economic indicators followed by a panel discussion with local leaders

  • Brent McFall, Eagle County Manager
  • Michael Glass, Alpine Bank
  • Trevor Theelke, Land Title Guarantee Company
  • Rachel Lunney, NWCCOG
  • Mike Pearson, NAI Mountain Commercial

November 1, 2016
Topic: Workforce Housing in Eagle County
Miss the event? View the November 1 Business Forum here
Program description: This program will provide an overview of Eagle County’s affordable housing stock, as well as a real estate market update, followed by a panel discussion with both public and private sector housing and real estate experts from throughout the valley.

  • Jill Klosterman, Eagle County Housing Director
  • Alan Nazzaro, Town of Vail Housing Manager
  • Julie Bergsten, Slifer, Smith, and Frampton Real Estate Vice President
  • Elyse Howard, Habitat for Humanity Development Director
  • Gerry Flynn, Polar Star Properties


2015 Business Forums

9th Annual Business Forum
July 23, 2015


Importance of being business-friendly: A case study of Beaver Creek’s development presented by Harry Frampton, East West Partners.
Importance of Regional Partnerships– Frank Gray, Castle Rock Economic Development.
The role of county government– Information on additional speakers coming soon.
The role of municipal government– A review of the Town of Vail’s efforts in creating a business friendly environment presented by George Ruther, Town of Vail community development.