Romer: Community doesn’t happen by accident; invest in career development (column) |

Romer: Community doesn’t happen by accident; invest in career development (column)

Chris Romer
Vail Valley Partnership

When it comes to professional development, many organizations are reluctant to invest in their people. Just because an employee has been with your organization for any length of time does not mean he or she should stop learning. In fact, professional development has many benefits that can help a company in the long run — including helping build a sense of community.

Community doesn’t happen by accident, and the most successful individuals and organizations invest in the professional development and growth of their employees. Vail Valley Partnership offers a variety of program for our member businesses to help achieve this goal; we are uniquely positioned to convene business leaders in a meaningful way and through a variety of channels as Eagle County’s largest business organization.

Power Groups

Consider engaging in one of our Power Groups. These are curated, facilitated groups of 10 to 12 professionals dedicated to connecting with and learning from like-minded professionals in the Vail Valley. Your Power Group will help you connect with your peers, establish strong networks and foster professional growth. Discussion topics are selected by members, coordinated by the Partnership and led by a facilitator each month.

Power Groups are designed to bring business leaders into peer advisory groups. Local businesses bring their advice and perspective to address common challenges and opportunities; no hidden agenda, no competition, no sales — just a collaborative group where members support one another and improve the performance of their businesses.

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These are designed for professionals who are looking to make better decisions and achieve better results for their company, employees, careers and personal lives. Our Power Groups for 2018 focus on three distinct categories: marketing, young professionals and small business. Each Power Group is open to all industries.

Additionally, NEXT Vail Valley is a program of the Vail Valley Partnership designed to support and advance emerging professionals in our community. This program aims to serve professionals with a “mentee” mindset who seek to learn from and be inspired by established community leaders in the valley while connecting with other emerging professionals. We encourage you to apply for this program if you consider yourself as part of the NEXT generation of professional leaders in the valley.

Every day, companies in Eagle County are faced with many business issues that are key to their survival. None of these are more important, nor more challenging, than finding, developing and retaining top talent. With the goal of ensuring a continued pipeline of qualified and capable leaders, we have partnered with community leaders across industry segments and throughout the Vail Valley to prepare rising stars to embrace increasing levels of responsibility and ready them for the challenges and the opportunities that they will face.

NEXT Vail Valley is an opportunity for 12 emerging professionals to meet, converse and engage with a community leader in a group setting. Every month, the NEXT group will meet to reflect on the previous month’s meeting and to prepare for the upcoming meeting with the community leader. NEXT participants will have two hours to inquire and converse with the leader in a group setting about topics determined in the planning meeting. The NEXT group will meet with a different community leader each month.

Employees are the outward face of your organization. Professional development helps employees continue to not only be competent in their profession, but also excel in it and to build community. We encourage all businesses to be engaged, be involved and to invest in your team.

Chris Romer is president and CEO of the Vail Valley Partnership, the regional chamber of commerce. Learn more at

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