Belonging is at the heart of our core values and work at the Arvada Chamber of Commerce. By creating an inclusive environment we will empower new perspectives, solutions, and opportunities for our local economy and serve our mission as a champion for advancing ALL businesses and employees in Arvada. For the last 19 months, the Arvada Chamber of Commerce has committed to strengthening our role as a business and community leader in diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEI+B) best practices. The Chamber’s DEI+B focus has allowed our staff and board members to engage in four distinct training experiences to help us better understand internal and external opportunities to support our businesses and community.
In March 2021, the Arvada Chamber began work with Thriving Culture, a Denver-based consulting agency to audit, engage and educate the organization’s stakeholders and business leaders on DEI+B best practices. As the first step of this initiative, the consulting firm performed a comprehensive cultural assessment with internal constituents as well as our membership to understand cultural, structural, and leadership gaps as well as opportunities for development. As a next step in the initiative, Thriving Culture led four hours of DEI training for the Chamber staff and organizational leadership (board and key constituents) to better understand what it takes to build inclusive organizations
In May of 2022 Arvada Chamber President & CEO, Kami Welch received the DEI and Organizational Change Certification from the EIDA Center. The EIDA Center certification lasts 4 months consisting of two 2-hour training sessions per month. This certification uses the cultural intelligence framework to increase executive leadership cross-cultural competence at the individual level and at the organizational level. This certification is for the leader of the future as a changing diverse workforce requires all employees to be able to manage and develop diverse people groups to increase innovation and creativity through structural, systemic, and leadership change management.
The full Chamber team has just completed Inclusion on Purpose by Ruchika Tulshyan. This book has challenged our thinking as an organization and fostered internal dialogue around our own biases and opportunities close knowledge gaps.
Overview of the book: Few would disagree that inclusion is both the right thing to do and good for business. Then why are we so terrible at it? If we believe in the morality and the profitability of including people of diverse and underestimated backgrounds in the workplace, why don’t we do it? Because explains Ruchika Tulshyan in this eye-opening book, we don’t realize that inclusion takes awareness, intention, and regular practice. Inclusion doesn’t just happen; we have to work at it. Tulshyan presents inclusion best practices, showing how leaders and organizations can meaningfully promote inclusion and diversity.
Colorado Inclusive Economy has the goal of making Colorado the most inclusive economy in the nation: an economy that works for everyone, especially those who have been overlooked and marginalized. They will work with CEOs/Executive Directors on their own personal DEI journeys so they can return to their organizations to help lead their own teams in this work. The Arvada Chamber of Commerce Staff and Incoming Chair of the Board of Directors, Vanessa Kendrick, are pleased to be part of Cohort 5.
Apply Now to Join the Diversity, Equity, Inclusion + Belonging (DEI+B) KAPS Council
What is a KAPS Council?: KAPS stands for Kick-Ass Problem Solvers. These groups of business and community leaders are brought together to work diligently toward an aligned outcome that will solve a persistent problem.
The Vision: Belonging is at the heart of our core values and work at the Arvada Chamber of Commerce. By creating an inclusive environment we will empower new perspectives, solutions, and opportunities for our local economy and serve our mission as a champion for advancing ALL businesses and employees in Arvada.
The Goal: Ensure that Arvada is leading the way by increasing the number of businesses that take meaningful action to improve their DEI+B best practices.
- Full completion of the application process found HERE
- One meeting per month – must attend a minimum of 8 meetings per year
- Plan to serve on the KAPS Council for a minimum of 2 years – terms can be renewed up to 3 times
- Complete the 2-hour self-paced onboarding course through MightyNetworks within one month of acceptance on the KAPS Council
Benefits of Participating:
- Access to timely data and case studies to grow your own knowledge around DEI+B
- Connections and information from DEI+B experts across the country
- Build a network of culturally intelligent leaders who are committed to celebrating the diversity in our community
- Marketing and branding opportunities via online platforms and events as an inclusive leader who is committed to DEI+B
- The opportunity to drive meaningful change to DEI+B in Arvada and beyond