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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.




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


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


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


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


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


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


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


CareerWise and CareerX 2023!

Vail Valley Partnership's Christy Beidel and Erik Williams discuss the Modern Youth Apprenticeship Program CareerWise as well as CareerX, the career exploration services from Eagle County School District. Learn how your business can take advantage of our growing workforce pipelines that are putting our students into positions that are serving both them and the companies they work for. Christy and Erik also discuss the upcoming workforce luncheon, details below: Workforce Luncheon, September 12, 11:00am - 1:00pm Learn how your business can access our youth workforce pipeline! We will discuss job shadowing and internships through Eagle County School District, as well as the CareerWise modern youth apprenticeships that are training our next generation of valley professionals RSVP for the Workforce Luncheon HERE


Board Service Basics is Back!

This podcast was originally recorded in 2021, but this amazing course is offered annually. For upcoming course dates, visit We at Vail Valley Partnership are really excited about these guests. We've been following the work of Dr. Jill McCrory and Dr. Steve Swafford with Leadership Outfitters. These are two nationally recognized educators and they join us for a conversation about a one-day program they will be leading called Board Service Basics. This is coming directly from our interaction with businesses asking for more community diversity on their boards, as well as the community wanting to serve. Topic Outline:


Vail iV Wellness and Recovery LIVE!

VVP's Erik Williams steps just a bit out of his comfort zone to receive a wellness IV live on the podcast. If you've always wondered what it feels like? What are the medical benefits? Why is taking vitamins in this manner so much more effective? If I'm not an extreme athlete, does this make sense for me? Well...Erik asks all of the above and more while having the process done. Listen to learn about this incredible newer service industry that's growing both here and around the country. Or just listen in to see if Erik can handle the whole treatment! Learn more about Vail iV Wellness and Recovery HERE


Orisek Brothers Accounting

Erik heads down the road here in Riverwalk to the Diamond Building to visit Orisek Brothers Accounting. Joe and Chris Orisek join him to talk about the importance of professional bookkeeping services in the valley and what are some of the most often asked questions by small business? They also discuss how Joe and Chris came to be in this place, what it's like working with family (spoiler: more perks than pitfalls!) and what their vision for the future. Join the Partnership Podcast for this look at an emerging business in our valley. Find more information about Orisek Brothers Accounting HERE


Vail Jazz Summer 2023!

Erik thoroughly enjoys this conversation with Vail Jazz Artistic Director Drew Zaremba about his history, vision and all things jazz. Like an improvised piece of music, they both let this conversation unfold and carry them in it's wake:) Drew talks about the importance of legacy, the incredible work that is being done in the local schools and of course previews what he's looking forward to most for the Labor Day Party this year! Learn more about Vail Jazz and get tickets to upcoming performances HERE


Town of Avon Sustainability

Erik get a chance to sit with Charlotte Lin, Sustainability Coordinator with the Town of Avon to talk about everything they are doing around sustainability and hold on because Avon is quickly moving in some very positive directions! Charlotte shares some stories from her past life as a climate scientist studying tundra ecosystems in the Canadian Artic and how she's taking those lessons and applying them to her work here. She also speaks directly to the impact that business can have as well as individuals in this work. "As a mountain and recreation-based community, Avon has a close connection with the environment and understands that nature’s health and well-being is one of the town’s most valuable assets. Therefore, reducing Avon’s carbon footprint is one of the town’s priorities." Town of Avon Sustainability Learn more about Avon's plans and goals HERE.


2023 Success Award Winner Your Hope Center Best Non-Profit

Erik has the honor of sitting down with two of the amazing staff at Your Hope Center, Executive Director Carrie Benway and Clinical Director Dr Teresa Haynes, PsyD. to both celebrate being named the 2023 Vail Valley Partnership Best Non-Profit by their peers in the business community but more importantly to talk about their ongoing and vital work. Both are quick to point out what a difference an excellent staff makes and how important it is that we as a community care for those who care for us! Don't worry, they explain it nice and slow for Erik and have fun along the way:) Please take the time to listen as they discuss what services are available, when to call for yourself or a loved one and other essential needs. This is information we all need to have and we're thankful for the work they do. Find more information about Your Hope Center HERE Your 24/7 Support Line: (970) 306-4673 If you or someone you know is struggling or having thoughts of suicide, call your 24/7 support line now. Your Hope Center’s team of professionally trained clinicians are available 24/7 to support Eagle County residents during difficult times. Tu Línea De Apoyo 24/7: (970) 306-4673 Si usted o alguien que conoce está luchando o teniendo pensamientos suicidas, llame a la Línea De Apoyo 24/7 ahora. El equipo de médicos certificados de Your Hope Center está disponible 24/7 para apoyar a los residentes del Condado de Eagle durante tiempos difíciles.


2023 Success Award Winner Colorado Mountain College Best Place to Work

Erik gets a chance to sit with Marc Brennan, Ph.D. Vice President and Campus Dean of CMC Vail Valley to discuss their latest win in the 2023 Success Awards, Best Place to Work. Marc discusses not only the reason for the best place to work (hint: it's the people!) but also what CMC means to the people of this valley and how our local community college is meeting our needs in extraordinary ways. Learn more about Colorado Mountain College HERE Learn more about Vail Valley Partnership's Annual Success Awards and watch the awards show HERE


2023 Success Award Winner Dwight Henninger

Erik gets a chance to chat with former Vail Police Chief and this year's Vail Valley Partnership Chairman's Award recipient Dwight Henninger. Dwight reflects on his years in the valley, the importance of a strong team and community partnership and also advocates for more resources dedicated to first responders. Vail Valley Partnership (and the community!) thank Dwight for his service. Learn more about Vail Valley Partnership's Annual Success Awards and watch the awards show HERE


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