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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.



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Let's talk Insurance! With Cornerstone Insurance and Financial Group

Erik is joined by Tony Martinez, Founder and President of Cornerstone Insurance and Financial Group to discuss the vital role that proper insurance coverage plays in owning and operating a business of any size. Tony talks about some potential pitfalls that may occur but focuses more on the idea that working with an insurance broker is relational rather than transactional and can have so many benefits for both your long-term and short-term business goals. Tony shares some real life examples, including a recent relationship he's working on with a group that just purchased a town! Yes, you heard me, you've got to listen to this story... Learn more about Cornerstone Insurance and Financial Group HERE


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VVMTA Spring Trails Preview!

It's a real "plodcast" this time with Vail Valley Mountain Trail Alliance as we hike and talk! Erik is joined by Ernest Saeger, Executive Director with VVMTA and Nicky Asselin, Development and Engagement Manager. Join this trio as they head up Boneyard in Eagle on a cold Spring morning to talk about spring trails, hiking, protecting our resources (including wildlife!) best hiking shoes (randomly) and their second favorite trails. C'mon, nobody shares their favorite! The VVMTA advocates for soft surface trails, manages trail stewardship programs, maintains and builds trails, coordinates and trains volunteers, educates outdoor recreational users, and creates opportunities to access the outdoors. They provide expertise, resources, and the experience to support local land managers in various soft surface trail initiatives. Learn more about their incredible work and see how you can get involved HERE


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Apres IV, Aesthetics and Dental Haus

Erik gets a tour of the new medical spa in town, Apres IV, Aesthetics and Dental Haus from Dr. Hillery Oliver. Dr. Oliver talks with Erik about their multifaceted business, from skincare to dental and more while trying not to look too closely at how Erik himself is aging. Yes, he was invited back for a free consultation and you are too! Dr. Oliver talks about the business community in Avon, what she sees as her target demographic and what has been the best advertising for her (spoiler: it's not what you think!) Join us for an insightful look at a growing business and hear what's fueling that success. Learn more about the good work being done at Apres IV, Aesthetics and Dental Haus HERE.


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Skivenger Hunt 2024!

Erik has a chance to visit an actual podcast room in the Slifer House, Slifer Smith and Frampton's shared workspace, with guests Jay Peterson and Kim Fritzler. They discuss the Slifer Foundation, why community involvement is so important and the upcoming Skivenger event to benfit the Community Market. The 4th annual Skivenger Hunt is a fun-filled day on Vail Mountain to give back to the place we call home. The SSF Foundation was established in 2015 focusing on supporting local community organizations that do an amazing job making our area the best place to live. All proceeds this year will go to the Community Market, learn more about their good work HERE.


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The Story of Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park

Erik has a chance to chat with Nancy Heard, GM of Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park and it's such an enlightening conversation! From the history of the Caverns, to the creation of the first attraction, to the addition of Iron Mountain Hot Springs, this longtime local business has been growing strategically and with community in mind. Nancy shares stories from the Caverns as well as some great business insights. Learn more about their incredible story HERE.


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Alliance Moving Systems...and so much more!

Erik had a chance to take his mic on the road for another "plodcast" and couldn't be happier to visit the fabled Alliance Moving Systems warehouse. Owner/Operator Andy Clark takes Erik on a tour of the facility that includes residential moving, document storage and shredding, what you might expect from this type of business. Then things get a little different. T There's also a professional recording studio, a weight room, a bbq deck and "The Attic" which you have to see to believe. Erik gets a chance to talk with Andy about small business strategy in this valley, employee retention and somehow ends the podcast sitting on Gerald and Betty Ford's favorite couch! Like Andy Clark himself, this was an eclectic conversation that you won't soon forget. Learn more about Alliance and what they do HERE


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Senate Bill 33 and it's effect on Mtn Communities

Erik is joined by Vail Valley Partnership President and CEO Chris Romer to discuss Senate Bill 24-033 that has recently been introduced in the Colorado Senate. Vail Valley Partnership’s board has expressed opposition to this legislation due to the negative impacts on our economy. We believe it will essentially destroy spring, summer, and fall tourism and lead to a sizable decrease in our transient visitor bed base with no benefit to the creation of long-term rental inventory. This issue has implications for our entire state, thank you for listening and should you want to get involved you can reach out to your State Senators and State Representatives to express opposition. Read Chris' article HERE


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Project Management with PEAK

In this episode Erik gets a chance to sit with Barb Waters, owner and founder of Peak Business Management, to talk about the world of project management. There is a good chance you are actively involved in project management right now (even if it may be called something else!) and Barb talks about ways to not only maximize your results but perform in an agile way. Peak Business Management guides and inspires individuals, leaders, and organizations with quality learning experiences through an engaging and supportive customer journey. They are a one-stop shop that provides all the resources a student needs to complete their project management exam prep and obtain their PMI certification. Peak instructors take students’ training personally and measure their own success by the success of our students. Learn more about Peak Business Management HERE Learn about Disciplined Agile Scrum Master Training course HERE Find the Project Management software mentioned in the podcast HERE


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SpotSurfer - mountain parking made easy!

Erik gets a chance to sit down with SpotSurfer Founder and President James Hohenlohe and Marketing Director Marissa Selvy to talk about this incredible idea and how it came to fruition. Not only are travelers taking aware of this new option but both businesses and homeowners are finding a simple passive income stream. The location-based app provides ski drivers a hassle-free way to locate and secure advance parking reservations, while property owners can utilize unused parking spaces. Through AI-enabled marketing programs, Spotsurfer drives parking demand and delivers skier-driver data to simplify skier parking experiences, ease traffic congestion, and reduce the number of cars on the road. Spotsurfer is doing its part to reduce carbon emissions and aid in the economic development of local ski area communities. For more information click HERE


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Healthy Kids Colorado 2024...and beyond!

Erik has a chance to sit with Cam and Marcus from Mountain Youth to talk about the Healthy Kids Colorado Survey and why it's important to our students, families and businesses. The Healthy Kids Colorado Survey is an important tool for educators, nonprofit leaders, policymakers and community program providers to truly know what issues young people are facing and how we can work together to help them learn and thrive. ​ 2024 Administration Mountain Youth is working with local schools to prepare for our next administration in January of 2024. • Learn more about the project through our Frequently Asked Questions HERE • Explore the Middle School survey instrument HERE Puedes encontrar el instrumento de encuesta para intermedia en español aquí. • Explore the High School survey instrument HERE Puedes encontrar el instrumento de encuesta para secundaria en español aquí. • Sign up to volunteer as a classroom proctor HERE Please contact your specific school for a current copy of the survey instrument they plan to use in 2024.


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Land and Rivers Fund...because we love our mother!

Erik is happy to be joined by Sue Nikolai, the Program Director for the Land and Rivers Fund to talk about an important way to give back for businesses and consumers. Protecting healthy rivers and open spaces in our community is simply good business. It is an investment in the future of our economy and community. We are fortunate to live in an area where the natural beauty attracts tens of thousands of visitors each year. Eagle Valley Land Trust (EVLT) and Eagle River Watershed Council (ERWC) together are Eagle County’s only non-profits exclusively focused on conserving and protecting rivers and open spaces for the benefit of the community. Together, we have launched the Land & Rivers Fund. EVLT and ERWC help local businesses to establish and promote the program to their customers & clients who voluntarily participate by making a 1% donation with their purchase. Customers and clients have the opportunity to opt-out of the program. The 1% donation is clearly outlined on the sales receipts. Funds collected help promote and restore healthy rivers, clean water, conscientious development, preservation of open space, wildlife and fish habitat, agriculture, water rights and economic diversity throughout the Valley. Learn more about how your business can sign up HERE


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Break Through Your Hiring and Retention Barrier with Holly Johnson

One of Erik's favorite guests is back! Author, speaker, coach athlete and more Holly Johnson returns with a new message and a new book! If you’re a chief executive officer (CEO) or business owner struggling to attract and keep the employees that matter, Holly understands your frustration. Prompted by three decades of her own experiences managing two public relations (PR) and marketing firms and working with businesses—from small hotels and restaurants to a large national health insurance company—Holly has personally witnessed how having a great team makes a great company. In Break Through Hiring and Retention Barriers, Holly shares the key strategies used by successful leaders to attract and keep the right employees. Learn how to effectively address these hiring and retention challenges and build your team, and your business, so that they want to work with your company—and stay. Learn more about Holly and her work HERE


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One Valley Healthcare Program

Erik is joined by VVP's Anna Robinson to talk about the One Valley Healthcare Program, in partnership with the Small Association Leadership Alliance (SALA) Healthcare Program, is a comprehensive and cost-effective alternative to traditional plans. While not a replacement for traditional health insurance, this new program offers affordable, accessible, and effective healthcare options for Vail Valley Partnership members – both businesses and individuals alike. The One Valley Healthcare Program provides a high-quality, affordable healthcare solution for employers, employees and sole-proprietors. While not health insurance, the program provides preventative care, options for co-payment features for additional services, and addresses unforeseen medical expenses, such as illness and injury. A live webinar was held on November 21, 2023 – click here to view the recording. Learn more at


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Eagle County Gives 2023!

It's time to talk about how we can serve others! Brooke Skjonsby, Executive Director of Vail Valley Charitable Fund and Eagle County Gives expert talks to Erik about this important day in our community. Founded in 2010, Eagle County Gives is a coalition of over 50 Vail Valley nonprofits dedicated to strengthening the collaboration, fundraising capacity and awareness of the non-profit sector that enhances the quality of life in Eagle County. Together, we strive to increase the awareness of our collective impact and have banded together to increase total local donations on Colorado Gives Day and year-round. Support for Eagle County Gives provides local organizations the means to provide basic human needs, protect the mountains you explore, and develop and protect the next generation. ​Colorado Gives Day is Tuesday, December 5, 2023, and features a $1.4 million Incentive Fund. Every nonprofit receiving a donation on Colorado Gives Day will receive a portion of the fund, increasing the value of every dollar donated. Colorado Gives Day has grown to be the state’s largest one-day online giving event, raising more than $500 million since it began nearly two decades ago. Schedule your donations and learn more HERE


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Community Conversations: Employee Retention/Satisfaction

Join the Vail Valley Partnership staff and trusted guests for Community Conversations, where we’re able to share thoughts, challenges and ideas around a specific topic in a relaxed and welcoming setting. VVP will invite subject matter experts on the topic and let the conversation go from there. As business leaders, we are stronger when we’re able to collaborate with like-minded professionals and look forward to robust and spirited discussions on how to improve our community – together. Community Conversations: Employee Retention and Satisfaction November 7th at Color Coffee, Eagle CO. 9-10:30AM. No registration needed, just show up! Learn more about Community Conversations HERE


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Elevar 2023!

Erik Williams from VVP welcomes Erin Janklow, the Entrepreneur-in-Residence for Elevar, an ecosystem building program to prepare and support Black, Indigenous, and People of Color to launch businesses in Eagle Valley. Erin is the Founder of Entrada ESL, a workforce program to teach immigrants English in 100 days. She currently splits her time consulting in European cities and also developing programming for Elevar. Are you considering launching a business here in Eagle Valley? Listen to learn more about the program! Elevar is an emergent leadership development program and social impact fund that provides community investments through grantmaking and program-related investments to emerging Latinx leaders and people of color. Through existing programs and partnerships with local nonprofit organizations, EVCF’s Elevar fund will create the connection point between existing education and leadership training programs, to the resources needed for emerging leaders to make their dreams a reality, while building economic power, and creating a more empowered and socially just community. Find a link to the Community Grant application HERE Learn more about Elevar HERE


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Students Shoulder to Shoulder and the Ethical Leadership Forum 2023

Erik gets a chance to sit with Bob Bandoni, Executive Director of Students Shoulder to Shoulder,to talk about the unique lens through which they teach ethical leadership by case studies and living examples. Shoulder-to-Shoulder is an organization of four partner groups: schools, nonprofits, businesses, and philanthropists. Together, we create a broad range of programming for all members in our mission to inspire and support ethical leadership. We continue to push forward, having seen time and again that collaboration across sectors creates a sustainable strategy to advance our mission and scale its impact. Learn more about Students Shoulder to Shoulder HERE Coming October 26-27! Open to the Public on October 27th The Ethical Leadership Forum is a collaborative event that brings together emerging and experienced leaders across sectors—education, non-profit, business, government, philanthropy, media, and more—to learn, share and grow their unique and interconnected ways of advancing ethical leadership. This year, the Forum will interactively explore our theme, “Fostering Generations of Ethical Leaders,” featuring session formats to inspire, inform, and interconnect ideas beyond the conventional conference setting. Join us in the natural beauty of Vail, Colorado, to connect and collaborate towards a more ethical & thriving world. Find more info and register HERE


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SpeakUp ReachOut Fall '23

One of our favorite quotes at VVP is "Be brave enough to have conversations that matter." SpeakUp ReachOut lives by this tenet every day...and teaches us how we can be brave as well. Erik is honored to be joined by Leslie Robertson, the Awareness and Brand Manager for SpeakUp ReachOut and she shares her views on the state of our valley, what resources are available now and education opportunities coming this fall. From SpeakUp ReachOut: We reduce instances of suicide in Eagle County and help those affected by it address their pain. Through educational programs, events, peer groups, and partnerships, we bring community members together to learn and share their unique experiences. If you’re struggling or having thoughts of suicide, call Colorado Crisis Services, (844) 493-8255 or text "TALK" to 38255 Or visit SpeakUp ReachOut HERE


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Business Lessons from Coach Prime

Erik is joined by Vail Valley Partnership President and CEO (and University of Colorado Alum!) Chris Romer to talk about the player-centric coaching style of new head football coach "Neon" Deion Sanders. Coach Prime's innovative and immersive style is taking the college football world by storm and Chris breaks down for us how that parallels our business here in the Vail Valley and what we can apply locally. Learn more about how you can connect to your community HERE


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Local Radio and the Business Community

Erik gets a chance to sit at the feet of the master, local legend Steve Leigh, when it comes to on-air presence, local radio strategies and the future of radio ('s not going away...hyper-local content works!) Let Steve's rich baritone voice wash over you while both entertaining and educating on what the local radio landscape looks like...and will the robots take over? Listen and find out! Check out all three of the local stations in the family here: 104.7 The Mile 977.7 KZYR 102.1 The Outlaw