Sunday, 7 Aug 2022

Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce names new CEO – The Denver Post

The Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce’s board of directors on Tuesday named J.J. Ament, head of the Metro Denver Economic Development Corp., as the chamber’s new president and CEO.

Ament, 49, replaces outgoing president and CEO Kelly Brough, who announced her departure in early June after 12 years of leading the business group. Her final day was Sept. 1.

After netting what it called 425 “highly-qualified” candidates, the board, in the end, decided the best person to replace Brough was already in the chamber’s headquarters building, running the group’s economic development arm for the past four-and-a-half years.

“J.J.’s intimate knowledge of the Chamber, the business community and the region is invaluable for bringing stability, continuity and consistency to a complex organization,” Mark Spiecker, chairman of the chamber’s board and president of STAQ Pharma, said in a statement.

Before joining the EDC in 2017, Ament was chairman of the Colorado Economic Development Commission, which oversaw the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade and voted on incentive awards, a post he held for six years. He is also board treasurer at Careerwise Colorado and trustee of the National Western Stock Show Association.

A native of Logan County and graduate of the University of Colorado Boulder Leeds School of Business, Ament worked for years as an investment banker in municipal finance, including stints at RBC Capital Markets, Citigroup and UBS.

“Denver is at a crossroads — facing an ongoing pandemic, slow but steady business recovery and a high amount of turnover in both companies and local leadership,” said Ament, in the release. “It’s a critical time for our business community to coalesce around the needs of the economy and workforce. I look forward to working with our partners in a shared effort to address the issues we face and plan together for the road ahead. It’s important that we get this right.”

Jennifer Kostka, a spokeswoman for the chamber, said a search would begin immediately to find a new CEO for the EDC, which has amassed its biggest corporate prospect list in six years. Sam Bailey, who was the group’s vice president of economic development and would have been a potential successor, left in June to head up Amazon’s economic development efforts in the Rocky Mountain region.

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