Vail Daily column: Vail Valley Business Forum spotlights community topics |

Vail Daily column: Vail Valley Business Forum spotlights community topics

Vail Valley Business Forum series is a gathering of ideas and innovation to discuss and tackle big issues facing our community.

Vail Valley Partnership has historically hosted an annual Business Forum bringing in leaders from Colorado to discuss issues of importance. While these annual forums offered a great launching point for many initiatives, it has become apparent that a series of forums would present a greater platform on which to build a strong foundation for the future of our communities.

This year, Vail Valley Partnership, in collaboration with Vail Symposium, will host a four-part Vail Valley Business Forum Series that focuses on issues that impact our trade region, our communities, our businesses and our citizens. We’re kicking off the Vail Valley Business Forum Series this month with two great programs:

The Economic Status of Women in Colorado (Tuesday):

The Economic Status of Women in Colorado Report examines how women in Colorado fare with regard to employment and earnings and poverty and 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. This 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 perspectives from those working on several levels to improve economic opportunities for women and their families.

Speaker Louise V. Myrland joined The Women’s Foundation of Colorado in 2014 to lead the organization’s work in research, public policy and strategic community investments. Before joining the foundation, she developed, implemented and evaluated college access, affordability and success programs for students in Denver.

Panelists include: Louise V. Myrland, MPA; Dr. Carrie Besnette-Hauser, Colorado Mountain College; Jen Brown, Beaver Creek Resort Company; Susie Davis, Our Community Foundation; and panel moderator Pam Smith. Healthcare in the High Country (June 28):

Locals are acutely aware that health insurance costs in Colorado’s Rocky Mountain Resort Region — Eagle, Summit, Pitkin and Garfield counties — are among the nation’s highest. As costs soar and competitive options remain limited, we are bringing together state and local health leaders with small business owners in the Vail Valley to discuss the health care challenges and opportunities facing Colorado’s High Country.

Health care access and cost are typically second only to affordable housing as pain points for local businesses and employees. This is reinforced by panelist Kathy Jacoby, marketing director for Delta Dental of Colorado, who shared “our small business survey has helped us understand the challenges employers face, especially in the mountain region. This event is a great opportunity for us to continue that dialogue.”

State Insurance Commissioner Marguerite Salazar will offer a keynote introduction and participate in a panel discussion and audience question time. Panelists will include Kathy Jacoby, Delta Dental of Colorado; Jandel Allen-Davis, Kaiser Permanente Colorado; Janet Pogar, Anthem Blue Cross; and Doris Kirchner, Vail Valley Medical Center. Panelists will have an opportunity for remarks followed by a facilitated panel discussion with questions from the audience.

Both programs are hosted at Colorado Mountain College in Edwards. Vail Valley Business Forum events are $25 for Vail Valley Partnership and Vail Symposium members, and the public price is $35 per event. Tickets purchased at the door will be an additional $10. Visit http://www.VailValley or for complete details.

Chris Romer is president and CEO of the Vail Valley Partnership.

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