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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.




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


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


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


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.


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


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


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


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.