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The Partnership Podcast

Business & Economics Podcasts

Dive into the latest happenings in the Vail Valley direct from the heart of Colorado’s Rocky Mountains. Vail Valley Partnership brings you the scoop on business news and current issues to advocacy alerts and community conversations.


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Dive into the latest happenings in the Vail Valley direct from the heart of Colorado’s Rocky Mountains. Vail Valley Partnership brings you the scoop on business news and current issues to advocacy alerts and community conversations.




Foresight Adventure Guides for the Blind

Erik gets a chance to sit with Christine Holmberg, Executive Director and have an awesome conversation about where Foresight has come from, where it's going and how you can get involved, particularly in the upcoming summer programs. Learn more about all of that below! SUMMER CAMP FOR BLIND YOUTH ​JUNE 19-21 AND JULY 10-12, 2023 Foresight Adventure Guides for the Blind is thrilled to offer another opportunity for blind and low vision youth to push through barriers, build confidence and increase self-esteem. Foresight's Summer Camp for Blind Youth is for any blind or low vision child between the ages of 8-21. Follow this link to register. Campers meet in the Vail Valley for three days of fun and outdoor adventure which may include paddle boarding or canoeing on an alpine lake, rock climbing at historic Camp Hale, hiking, horseback riding and more. Meet new friends or reconnect with old ones. Foresight's summer camp is a safe place for youth who are blind or experiencing low vision to get outside and empower themselves through goal-oriented adaptive recreation. All activities, lodging, lunches and around town transportation are provided by Foresight, at no cost to program participants. Donations are requested to help offset the cost of camp at whatever level is comfortable for families. Please consider making a donation so programs like this can continue and thrive for years to come. For more information or if interested in sponsoring a camp please email Christine or call 303-506-3859.


Venture Sports Spring Bike Preview

Erik gets a tour of the Venture Sports warehouse from Owner/Operator Mike Brumbaugh, meets some of the team and learns about all things spring biking in the valley. From what you need to get the machine up and running again, to some of the newer technology coming out, best trails, hero dirt, favorite road rides and more, they cover it all. While Erik struggles to keep up with Mike's wit and and wisdom, all will benefit from the good advice here. Learn more about Venture Sports HERE *AUDIO NOTE* Around minute 6 and again at minute 11 there is some slight audio feedback that is on OUR end, not yours. Thanks!


Eagle Valley Community Foundation REcover food program

Feed neighbors in need and get tax credit and marketing benefits? It’s a win-win! More than 38 million Americans lack reliable access to nutritious meals. In Eagle County alone, over 8,700 community members are food insecure. Meanwhile, 108 billion pounds of food go uneaten in the U.S. — the equivalent of 40% of the country’s food supply. REcover, a program of Eagle Valley Community Foundation’s The Community Market, exists to bridge the gap between perfectly good food that goes to waste and the demand for meals that many of our food-insecure neighbors face. We aim to create better connections in our food system by partnering with restaurants, food purveyors, and companies to collect and utilize their excess food to provide meals to the community. Volunteers and staff from EVCF will pick up your excess food and bring it to the nearest market location while your business receives tax credit and marketing benefits. To get involved and learn more click here.


LEAD Eagle Certification

Erik is joined by Vail Valley Partnership's own Anna Robinson to talk about the LEAD Eagle Certification. They discuss who this is for, what the programs entail and why the certification came about in the first place. New in 2023, Vail Valley Works is pleased to introduce the LEAD Eagle Certification (Leadership Education And Development). This certification is awarded to individuals in Eagle County who show a commitment to their leadership journey by completing the four courses on the LEAD Eagle Pathway. For the local workforce, the LEAD Eagle Certification is an opportunity to understand the stages of leadership from tactical to strategic. Each course features a specific “Leadership Pillar” and every course in the pathway includes content focused on communication, emotional intelligence, and values-based leadership, to establish a common language for leaders across Eagle County. Participants will also make quality connections across industries and agencies to establish a solid professional network. This network will be a crucial support as participants grow and take the next steps in their leadership journeys. For local employers, the LEAD Eagle Certification is a strong indicator that an employee or candidate has invested in themselves and put down roots in the local community. You can expect someone with emotional intelligence, self-awareness, and the tools to lead, who comes with a robust professional network. The LEAD Eagle certification is a tool to move current employees to the next level of leadership or integrate new employees into the community. While most Eagle County employers strive to hire locally, we know it’s not always possible. A key challenge of recruiting outside talent is ensuring they stay in Eagle County. Establishing a network and community connections are vital components to workforce retention – the LEAD Eagle Certification programs are designed to do just that! Sign up and learn more HERE


Belonging with SOS Outreach and My Future Pathways

What does it take to make it long term in this valley? What does it take to put down roots in this place and see them grow? Erik is joined by Bratzo Horruitiner, Executive Director of My Future Pathways and Seth Ehrlich, Executive Director of SOS Outreach to talk about the idea of BELONGING in this community. Through the lens of their individual organizations as well as a greater community lens, these gentlemen share experiences, lessons and tangible ideas we can all do to increase the sense of belonging in this community. Learn more about SOS Outreach HERE Learn more about My Future Pathways HERE


Climate Action Week 2023!

Erik heads over to Walking Mountains Science Center to learn more about this year's Climate Action Week...or 10 days...c'mon it should be everyday! He's joined by Elizabeth Baer, Sustainability Fellow and Will Barror, Climate Action Coordinator and they discuss highlights from the upcoming week and how this initiative only works with COMMUNITY behind it. Find out how you can get involved HERE. Climate Action Week is an extended week of events to inspire climate action and highlight local climate action partners! Throughout the week, events will be held that encourage increased awareness and action on community-based climate solutions in Eagle County. Climate Action Week is organized by Walking Mountains Science Center and the Climate Action Collaborative. Each event highlights a different sector of the collaborative and emphasizes how partnership and community action is crucial to progress. Join us as we engage the Eagle County community around climate action and help us meet our Climate Action Plan goals of 50% greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction by 2030 and 80% GHG emission reduction by 2050.


Cooley Mesa Detailing and the future of rental cars

Erik heads to Cooley Mesa Detailing for a tour and conversation with owner Chris Baddick. They discuss a number of different business issues including the joys and challenges of taking over a family legacy business. Chris also discusses how a former professional cyclist came to work in the auto business and how he and his team can work towards positive social and environmental outcomes. As Chris shares, the rental car experience is often someone's first "handshake" with the valley and wouldn't you like that handshake to be competent and CLEAN?! Founded in 1988 and locally owned ever since, Cooley Mesa Detailing has established itself as the Vail Valley’s primary high touch auto detailing specialist. Located at the Eagle County Regional Airport, Cooley Mesa Detailing built it’s reputation by providing exemplary service to passengers flying in and out of the Vail Valley Jet Center. Learn more about Cooley Mesa Detailing HERE


Talking Small Biz with Slalom Fox Cocktails

Erik is joined this week by John Burns, owner/operator/co-founder of Slalom Fox cocktails. Based in the Front Range but with a strong mountain presence, John recounts the story of how this company came to be, what challenges they faced building their dream and how it is moving into the future. They talk candidly about challenges around brand awareness, local market share and running a small business with a regional and statewide focus. Join us as we look at small business through the lens of a craft cocktail company and I imagine you'll be surprised at what can apply to business of any size. Learn more about Slalom Fox cocktails HERE


It's not Shark Week, it's Work Week! Summer Hiring Expo in March.

Erik is joined by Shannon Grant, Director of Post Secondary Learning and Career Readiness for Eagle County School District and Carolyn Tucker, Regional Business Services Coordinator for the Colorado Workforce Center to discuss WORK WEEK! It's not Shark Week, it's Work Week. Work Week 2023 March 28 – March 30 Join us for the new, week long spring hiring event! Over 100 business positions available. Explore what business is right for you. There are options to participate both in-person and virtually. Resumes are required. Join us at one of the following locations to chat with businesses in-person. Tuesday, March 28th Thursday, March 30th *View businesses participating in-person. Virtual Participation Click here*View businesses participating virtually. Is your business interested in participating in work week? Click here to fill out the business registration form. If you have already signed up and wish to participate in virtual interviews, click here to register.


Talking taxes (and more!) with Brush Creek Financial Advisors

In this podcast Erik steps WAY out of his comfort zone to talk taxes...and finds out it's not really that uncomfortable after all! Brush Creek Financial Advisors' Matt Welsh joins Erik to talk about new additions to the tax code, things we should be aware of in the coming year and some simple strategies that make sense for people of all income levels. There's also an impromptu Mettalica "quote-off" and perhaps the best answer you've ever heard when a financial planner is asked "tell me the future". Join Matt and Erik for this fun and informative conversation and learn more about Brush Creek Financial Advisors HERE.


Talking Childcare with The Family Learning Center

Childcare. Early Childhood Education. It's a topic frequently in the news, it's a strategic priority for Eagle County but what does it look like from a local childcare provider perspective? Whitney Young, Executive Director of The Family Learning Center (FLC) and Cristina Betancourt Santos, Site Director at FLC invite Erik into the school (during'll hear how that went!) to talk about what Early Childhood Education looks like from the ground level. They discuss the push for more educators in this field and the steps being made to fill those positions. Both Whitney and Cristina stress the need for greater community awareness and knowledge around the issue of childcare so...thanks in advance for listening and sharing! Learn more about the Family Learning Center HERE


History and wonder at The Museum at Dinosaur Eagle County!

This is the podcast where host Erik Williams says "Really?" and "No way!" far too many times, however we dare you to listen and not feel the same! Local archeologist, founder and curator of The Museum at Dinosaur Junction, Billy Doran takes the listener on a private tour of the museum, sharing stories of Eagle County's incredibly rich dinosaur history, how he came to find some of these pieces, and who he calls first when he makes a big discovery (spoiler, it's mom...and then the scientists!) The Museum at Dinosaur Junction is dedicated to inspiring, educating and enriching life in Eagle County and Colorado as a whole by deepening the understanding and appreciation of history and science through the research, preservation and exhibition of paleontological discoveries. Exhibits cover a comprehensive 200 million year history of the region, from fossil dinosaurs beginning in the Triassic, through the Jurassic, and into the Cretaceous including fossils from the Western Interior Seaway that covered the land millions of years ago. Learn more about the Museum at Dinosaur Junction HERE: Also, on Feb 8th Vail Valley Partnership will be hosting their monthly mixer at the Museum, learn more and register HERE:


Life, Business and Team Coaching with Kim Smith

VVP's Erik Williams learns about the world of professional coaching, not sports however, you'd be surprised at some of the parallels. Kim Smith talks about her personal journey to becoming a coach, working with teams and maximizing potential that exists in both us and the system around us. Learn more about Kim Smith and Professional Coaching HERE They also discuss Vail Valley Works Industry Groups new offering "Women in Business" The Women in Business Series will be focused on challenges and opportunities that women face in business and their careers. There will be a focus on leadership and what that can look like for any stage of your career. The group will meet for eight 90 minute sessions, starting in March 2023 and going through October 2023. Each session will go over a topic designed to build a foundation of leadership, awareness, insight and skills for success. Find more information and register HERE


All Ships Rise with the Tide! Non-Profit Networks and Professional Fundraising

President John F. Kennedy once said in a speech “No American is ever made better off by pulling a fellow American down, and every American is made better off whenever any one of us is made better off. A rising tide raises all boats.” The non-profit collaboration and coordination in this valley is a testament to those words, however it hasn't always been the case. Learn a little about the history of non-profit collaboration in the valley as well as updates on current programming. Erik Williams is joined by Vail Valley Partnership's Maren Cerimele and local Non-profit expert Robin Thompson to talk about the non-profit learning series and Professional Fundraising Certificate program and how you can get involved. Learn more on Jan 25th with The Key to Charting your Course in 2023 Register HERE The Nonprofit Learning Series is kicking off 2023 with a new program on January 25th featuring inspirational Ted Talk style presentations on topics that are vital to your nonprofit work. Then, the presenters will be part of a panel discussion where you can ask the experts questions culminating in an interactive roundtable session with the speakers and topics. Sign up today so that you don’t miss this in-person program to help chart the course for a great 2023! Learn more about the Non-Profit Network HERE. Professional Fundraising Certificate dates: Thursdays, Weekly (11am – 1pm, lunch provided) One week off for Eagle County Schools’ Winter BreakLearn more about the Professional Fundraising Certificate program HERE:


Community Impact award winner (and important voice!) Ariana Gonzalez

Host Erik Williams at VVP is honored to be joined by this year's Vail Valley Partnership Success Awards Community Impact award winner Ariana Gonzalez. Ariana is a true success story from this community with as much as she has already accomplished. She has worked with United Way, Community Consciousness and TEDX Youth Vail. She has also served on the District Accountability Advisory Council, the Youth Equity Stewardship team and more. She's now using her skills at Battle Mountain High School through the AmeriCorps program. She's quite simply...awesome. Ariana graduated in 2021 and shares her unique perspective on growing up in this valley. They also get discuss opportunities for students of color and what we as a community can do to build stronger relationships.


Little Bird Commissary Kitchen and Market

Join Vail Valley Partnership and host Erik Williams as we take a walk (Plodcast?) through Little Bird Commissary Kitchen and Gourmet Market. Owners/operators Anne and Scotty lead the conversation around many relevant business topics including effectively listening to your customers and changing business plans and adapting to current conditions. Learn about what a commissary kitchen is (think "shared space" in the personal chef/food truck world) and how Little Bird is accepting new partners and seeking to build community. Oh, and the market! You're just going to have to listen... Learn more about Little Bird Commissary Kitchen HERE.


Legacy and Change at The Sitzmark

VVP's Erik Williams is welcomed into the lobby of the classic Sitzmark Hotel in Vail Village to talk transitions! How do you let go of something after 49 years? In this case with grace and confidence in those you are handing it to. Erik is joined by Jeanne Fritch, whose family has owned and operated the property for 49 years and Steve Kisielica, who's family takes over the reigns. Jeanne talks about the importance of finding an "heir" to The Sitzmark who will maintain the legacy while still embracing changes in the industry. Steve shares his vision for the future while talking about employees and business in Vail Village. Erik mostly keeps quiet in this one, it's a fascinating discussion:) Learn more about The Sitzmark HERE.


Eagle County Gives 2022 is almost here!

Brooke Skjonsby, Executive Director of Vail Valley Charitable Fund breaks down Eagle County Gives day with Erik Williams from VVP. Learn about some of the participating organizations, the mission and goals and how you can maximize your donations before December 6th. Learn more about the 67 participating non-profits HERE.


Winter Business Preview

Erik Williams is joined Chris Romer, President and CEO of Vail Valley Partnership, for a look ahead at the 2022-23 Winter Season. Chris breaks down current economic data as well as giving us a historical perspective on guest occupancy, sales tax, community collaboration PLUS the "secret sauce" for a successful year. Find more information and resources HERE.


Seagull's Cycles...the bike shop our valley needs.

Kyle Foster, owner/operator and more of Seagull's Cycles invites Erik from VVP (and you!) behind the counter on location in Eagle. They discuss what it takes to start a small business in this community through the lens of Kyle's story and why Seagull's Cycles is more than just a bike shop. Kyle believes that through building community and relationships this is exactly the bike shop our valley needs. In his own words: Committed to passing on knowledge, Seagull’s Cycles offers education, repair and consignment. Our desire to guide clients through the world of bike nuances is built on transparency, which results in a sense of ease and trust. Learn more about Seagull's Cycles HERE.