7 Takeaways from the 2023 Arvada Leaders Roundtable

April 07, 2023

The Arvada Chamber hosted the 2023 Arvada Leaders Roundtable on April 5, inviting ten community leaders to share updates and answer questions from members in attendance. This luncheon, hosted at the Hilton Garden Inn, is part of the Chamber’s four-part 2023 Leadership Luncheon Series.

Seven key takeaways from the luncheon:

1. City of Arvada Mayor Marc Williams noted the top three challenges for the City are crime, homelessness, and attainable housing. Addressing the latter concern, the City is engaged in a number of residential projects, including those through a partnership with Arvada Urban Renewal Authority (AURA), and has 600 attainable units in the pipeline. Hear more from Mayor Williams during his State of the City Address on April 21.

2. Arvada City Manager Lorie Gillis echoed the Mayor’s sentiments on housing and noted new strategic initiatives to tackle housing, including a new housing advisory committee. Appointments for the committee will be made on April 17th by City Council. The committee is still looking for interested business community representatives. For general information on serving, please contact the City Clerk’s Office at (720) 898-7550

3. Arvada Police Chief Ed Brady highlighted a rise in car break-ins and a string of landscape rocks thrown into business windows. Chief Brady mentioned that crime prevention through environmental design, or CPTED, tactics can help businesses less attractive to burglars. Some elements of CPTED include lighting, landscaping, and locks. Businesses can reach out to the Arvada Police Department for guidance on environmental design.

4. Arvada Fire Chief Mike Piper introduced the new STARvada program, which expands care to individuals experiencing behavioral health crisis, substance abuse, and/or homelessness in our community. The innovative program deploys a community support team consisting of a licensed mental health clinician and a firefighter paramedic. The co-responder team provides crisis assessment and referral services, counseling, social services and resource navigation, and transportation to alternative destinations such as a crisis center if needed.

5. Kathy Blegen-Huntley (Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities) and Jeff Glenn (Apex Park and Recreation District) each highlighted their organizations’ massive employment impact. The Arvada Center, counting performers, instructors, designers, builders, and more, is one of the biggest employers of creative in the state. And Apex, which serves 142,000 residents counts about 600 part-time staff.

6. Iza Petrykowska, Economic Development Specialist at Arvada Economic Development Association, reminded us that only 23% of residents work in Arvada.

7. Joe Hengstler, Executive Director, Olde Town Arvada, noted that the Business Improvement District offers mural grants to all businesses and highlighted two new murals in the downtown. Olde Town is also designing a 20-year visioning plan, which you can read about on the City’s website.

Additionally, attendees heard extensive updates from Maureen Phair, Executive Director, AURA, and Jean Gordon, Executive Director, Arvada Visitors Center, and updates from Arvada Chamber Board Chair Vanessa Kendrick on our new members and upcoming programs.


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