The People Behind the Scenes

Contact Arvada Chamber

The Chamber Team

Healthy businesses, thriving community. This statement is at the core of the work we do as the Arvada Chamber of Commerce. With a diverse business community of nearly 600 members in our corner, we work diligently to serve our local businesses and develop strategies that help our community be one of the best in the state. Meet the team that is stiving to reach new heights and help our community.

Kami Welch

Kami Welch

President & CEO

kami@arvadachamber.org
More About Kami

Kami Welch is the President of the Arvada Chamber of Commerce. A 13-year Chamber veteran, Kami has earned a reputation for developing strategic, innovative business and community growth opportunities. Kami is a U.S. Chamber of Commerce Talent Pipeline Fellow and a board member for the Western Association of Chamber Executives (WACE) and Association of Colorado Chambers of Commerce, where she is Past-Chair. Kami also sits on community boards for non-profit organizations that focus on children, education, homelessness, and domestic violence, including Family Tree, where she is the Past Chair. Kami loves living in Colorado with her husband of 15 years and two young children, where they enjoy hiking, skiing, and exploring.

Certifications or awards

  • EIDA Center Cultural Intelligence Certification – Complete In Spring 2022
  • U.S. Chamber of Commerce Talent Pipeline Management Program Graduate
  • Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives Workforce and Education Fellowship Graduate
  • Colorado Association of Commerce and Industry EXECS Leadership Program Graduate
  • U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation Change Management Fellowship Graduate
  • Denver Business Journal Outstanding Woman in Business 2023

Boards, committees, or groups

  • Rocky Mountain Partnership (RMP) Community Leaders Council
  • Western Association of Chamber Executives (WACE) Board of Directors
  • Association of Colorado Chambers of Commerce (ACCC), Past-Chair
  • U.S. Chamber of Commerce Talent Pipeline, Fellow
  • Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives Board of Directors
  • Jeffco Schools Foundation Board of Directors
  • Family Tree Board of Directors
  • Juvenile Diabetes Research Fund (JDRF) Board of Directors
  • Arvada Vitality Alliance Board of Directors
  • Arvada Visitor’s Center Board of Directors, Treasurer

Your favorite quote to live by

“Be the change you wish to see in the world.” – Gandhi

What is your walk-up song?

“High Hopes” – Panic at the Disco

Member Services

Samantha Geerdes

Samantha Geerdes

VP of Member Services & Events

samantha@arvadachamber.org
More About Samantha

As the VP of Member Services for the Arvada Chamber of Commerce, I am here for you and your business to help you succeed, grow and connect. I’d love to talk with you more about how joining the Chamber can help your business succeed. Want to attend, host or sponsor an event? I’m your girl! How about joining one of our amazing Leadership programs to connect and learn with other local professionals?

I have been with the Chamber for over 7 years and previously worked in events, marketing and promotions for a variety of non-profits and entertainment organizations. I graduated from the University of Colorado at Boulder with a degree in Broadcast News and am a proud Colorado native. In my free time, I enjoy spending time with my husband, our son, Callen and dog, Waffles. We love traveling, spending time outside and hanging out in Olde Town.

Your favorite quote to live by

“Happiness is the consequence of personal effort. You fight for it, strive for it, insist upon it, and sometimes even travel around the world looking for it.”- Elizabeth Gilbert

What is your walk-up song?

“Don’t Lose Sight” – Lawrence

Paul Lillagore

Paul Lillagore

Director of Member Outreach & Growth

paul@arvadachamber.org
More About Paul

Paul Lillagore is a dedicated Arvada resident whose deep-rooted commitment to his
community has made a significant impact over the years. With a passion for public
service, he proudly served the City of Arvada in various capacities, contributing to the
betterment of the city and its residents. Paul’s commitment to safety and community
well-being extended beyond his city employment as he generously volunteered his time
and expertise to the Fire Department, further reinforcing his dedication to public service.

In addition to his civic contributions, Paul was a business owner, exemplifying the
entrepreneurial spirit that thrives in Arvada.

Furthermore, Paul has been an active member of the Arvada Chamber of Commerce,
demonstrating his unwavering support for the businesses that form the backbone of
Arvada’s vibrant economic landscape. Through his participation in the Chamber, Paul
collaborates with fellow business leaders to foster a thriving business environment,
contributing to the prosperity and vitality of his beloved Arvada. His multifaceted
involvement in the community reflects a genuine commitment to its well-being, making
Paul Lillagore a true Arvada advocate and community champion.

Boards, Committees, or Groups

  • Arvada Chamber Member Services KAPS Council

    Your favorite quote to live by

    “I am here to help!”

    What is your walk-up song?

    “I Got a Feeling” – Black Eyed Peas

    Kristy Howell

    Kristy Howell

    Director of Member Experience

    kristy@arvadachamber.org
    More About Kristy

    I have lived in Colorado for 21+ years, working in the sports and entertainment industry (Colorado Rockies and Ball Arena) as well as for the South Metro Denver Chamber and Northwest Douglas County Chambers of Commerce. My background in sales and membership hospitality spans over 2 decades. I am passionate about working to support local communities and love when people learn the importance of relationship building and forming connections in business. I am a Louisiana native and love College sports (specifically LSU), being outdoors, supporting local businesses (good food, coffee and wine) and am extremely honored to be a part of the Arvada Chamber of Commerce team.

    Certifications or Awards

    4-Year Graduate of Denver Catholic Biblical School- Archdiocese of Denver

    Boards, Committees, or Groups

    WACE Emerging Leader (2023), Stride Fitness Coach, ONEHOPE Wine Lead Cause Entrepreneur

      Your favorite quote to live by

      “We can choose courage or we can choose comfort, but we can’t have both.” – Brene Brown

      What is your walk-up song?

      “Callin Baton Rouge” – Garth Brooks

      B.O.L.D. 2026

      Kylie Parks

      Kylie Parks

      Director of Talent Pipeline Development

      kylie@arvadachamber.org
      More About Kylie

      Over the last 9 years, I have built my career and developed teams in talent acquisition, and HR project management in varying industries. I thrive in fast-paced and rapidly growing organizations and can translate what I’ve learned there to help newly growing teams scale successfully. In my current role, I am most excited to be able to support businesses through an industry experience lens by connecting and building the right resources to support their growth!

      Certifications or awards

      • Master of Science, Organizational Leadership

      Boards, committees, or groups

      • State Youth Council
      • Mile High SHRM
      • ACCE Fellowship Program Enrollee

      Your favorite quote to live by

      “Love the life you live, Live the life you love!”

      What is your walk-up song?

      “Unwritten” – Natasha Bedingfield

      Tess McShane

      Tess McShane

      Director of Housing & Childcare

      tess@arvadachamber.org
      More About Tess

      I have over a decade of experience working in the non-profit sector to serve various communities in Oregon and Colorado. I have transferred from working with individuals to taking a more community and systems-level approach to identifying innovative solutions to complex needs. This has included individual direct service and leading a statewide professional network for practitioners to support families all across Colorado. I am a strong Starter and love working on new projects and initiatives to develop processes, build partnerships, engage stakeholders, and support success. I am excited to take my professional experience supporting community and systems-level change and developing key partnerships to the Arvada Chamber of Commerce in the Director of Housing & Childcare role.

      Certifications or awards

      • Masters of Social Work

        Your favorite quote to live by

        “You have to act as if it were possible to radically transform the world. And you have to do it all the time” – Angela Davis

        What is your walk-up song?

        “Diva” – Beyoncé

        Alexandra (Ali) Stofflet

        Alexandra (Ali) Stofflet

        Director of Business Outreach and Growth

        ali@arvadachamber.org
        More About Ali

        With a passion for sales and a foundation built on customer service from my early days assisting my grandmother in her chocolate shop, I’ve cultivated a career dedicated to fostering business growth. From refining my skills in retail during my college years to owning and operating a successful business focused on business-to-business sales, I’ve honed an instinct for understanding client needs and creating tailored solutions.

        At the Arvada Chamber of Commerce, I’m driven by fostering connections that spark growth and innovation. I find immense fulfillment in facilitating partnerships, leveraging my background to not just meet but exceed the needs of businesses, ultimately contributing to the prosperity of our vibrant business community in Arvada. I am committed to continuing to be a catalyst for business success, driving impactful relationships and amplifying the potential of our local businesses.

          Your favorite quote to live by

          “Find a group of people who challenge and inspire you, spend a lot of time with them, and it will change your life.” – Amy Poehler

          What is your walk-up song?

          “9 to 5” –  Dolly Parton

          Operations

          Molly Kust

          Molly Kust

          Director of Operations

          molly@arvadachamber.org
          More About Molly

          My professional passion is delivering solutions that enrich the stakeholder experiences through leveraging and improving systems and communication. I have earned my team’s title for me of “Process Princess” in my five years as the Director of Operations with the Arvada Chamber of Commerce. I’m thrilled to be in a career and industry where I can best utilize my strengths to do exactly what I love to help our businesses and my team thrive. I have over 13 years of experience in the private sector including careers in food retail, project management, e-commerce, and global healthcare communications. Included in that number are my work-based learning experiences – WBL has been invaluable to my success where I learned professional skills early on in a work setting. I am stepping even further into my unique abilities as the chamber’s Integrator within the Entrepreneurial Operating System model, or EOS. As Integrator my role is to maintain accountability across the organization and streamline communication to keep our work moving forward – my dream job. I believe that every small business should run on EOS that leverages their data, people, systems, and processes to their competitive advantage. I’d love to chat about how EOS supports our own business and can support yours.

          When I’m not at work, I’m usually playing with my husband Chad, pup Clover, and kitties Lucia and Edgar, crushing my workouts at F45 (Functional 45), traveling all over the country, and soaking up all that the Denver area has to offer with friends and family.

          Certifications or awards

          • Certificate of Completion – Peak Academy Black Belt Training – City and County of Denver

          Boards, committees, or groups

          • Development Committee – Family Tree Member
          • Female Integrator Mastermind (FIM)
          • Gala Planning Committee – Arvada Center for the Arts & Humanities

          Your favorite quote to live by

          One I will always remember is “the first time is not always the right time.” You can always try again – personally and professionally.

          What is your walk-up song?

          “I Got You” – Michael Franti & Spearhead

          Ryan Hecht

          Ryan Hecht

          Marketing Director

          ryan@arvadachamber.org
          More About Ryan

          I’m proud to say I have worked at the Arvada Chamber for over four years, helping the organization, our member businesses, and our community tell its story. I have 10+ years of experience as a multi-channel brand communicator, working with start-ups, content agencies, and inside Fortune 500 companies. Every business owner and brand has an engaging story to tell and I’m passionate about playing a meaningful role in that narrative. Ask me about: authentic content marketing, creative campaign strategy, event promotion, inclusive marketing, email marketing, digital and print design, and social media management. I may also steer the conversation to indie rock music, the Denver Nuggets, southern foods, or something funny that happened with my wife and son.

          Certifications or awards

          • 2021 Association of Colorado Chambers of Commerce Award for Best Communications Campaign (Badass Women of Arvada)
          • Colorado Inclusive Economy Community of Practice Cohort 5

          Boards, committees, or groups

          • Arvada Chamber Diversity, Equity, Inclusion + Belonging KAPS Council (Lead)
          • The City of Arvada Retirement Plan Board (Member)

          Your favorite quote to live by

          “Whatever the problem, be part of the solution. Don’t just sit around raising questions and pointing out obstacles.” – Tina Fey

          What is your walk-up song?

          “Intergalactic” – Beastie Boys

          Our Team Values

          The Arvada Chamber’s Team Values are a playlist we practice and perfect to be in sync for each other and our business community.

          GROWTH-MINDED | “LET IT GROW

          • We are always seeking growth and new potential
          • We are dedicated to innovation
          • We are willing to take risks, fail, learn, and evolve

          DEVOTED | “SMELLS LIKE TEAM SPIRIT”

          • We are selflessly committed to the team’s success
          • We are purposefully inclusive
          • We take the responsibility – blame no one

          DELIGHTFUL  | “RIGHT HERE, RIGHT WOW

          • We seek out “wow” moments both internally and externally
          • We exceed expectations in roles and responsibilities
          • We are thorough, efficient, and independent problem solvers

          AUTHENTIC | “WE BUILT THIS AUTHENTICITY”

          • We are humbly confident
          • We check our ego at the door
          • We are open and honest 

          COMPASSIONATE | “ALL OF ME”

          • We lead with a big heart
          • We are enthusiastic and energizing team members
          • We reserve time to be supportive

          We are here to help! Not sure who you should connect with?
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