Last week, Metro State leaders, including President Stephen Jordan and Vice President for Institutional Advancement Carrie Besnette Hauser, traveled to Portland, Oregon as part of the 2010 City-to-City Leadership Exchange (LEX) sponsored by the Denver Metro Chamber Leadership Foundation (DMCLF).
They were part of a 150-member delegation of Denver business and civic leaders who converged on the city to discuss innovations and best practices of a city facing relevant business and policy issues. Themes addressed included sustainability, health care, historic redevelopment, and growth and transportation.
LEX, now in its 21st year, offered a peek inside a familiar relationship for Jordan, also a DMCLF board member, when he attended a presentation by Portland State University President Wim Wiewel.
“Similar to the relationship between the City of Denver and Metro State, one of Portland’s attributes is the symbiotic relationship with Portland State University where the value of an urban campus has been fully integrated in the downtown core,” said Jordan, who was also part of the 2009 LEX delegation to Minneapolis. Other Metro State leaders on the trip were Board of Trustees Chair Robert Cohen and member Maria Garcia Berry, and Foundation Board Chair Jon Robinson and members Marilee Utter, Don Marshall, Cindy Parsons, Carolynne C. White and Charlie Walling. Numerous members of President Jordan’s Community Cabinet, state legislators, and city council members were also part of the delegation. The honorary co-chairs of the trip were Governor Bill Ritter and Mayor John Hickenlooper.
According to Besnette Hauser, the annual trips provide a first-hand opportunity to learn about another region’s successes and challenges, and to bring back relevant ideas to the College and the city. “The annual Leadership Exchange is an unparalleled opportunity to connect with civic, community, and business leaders to share exciting activities happening at Metro State, and to build long-term partnerships,” she said.
Besnette Hauser, a past chair of the DMCLF board, was chair for the 2007 Phoenix trip that resulted in the Decision Theatre/Community Action Theatre concept, which, once completed, will be housed in the new Student Success Building.
This year’s LEX chair was Walter Isenberg, president and CEO of Sage Hospitality, the College’s partner in the development of the Hotel and Hospitality Learning Center. “Given the public-private-partnership nature of the HLC project, there was great interest and buzz among the delegates about its future impact on the Auraria Campus and our community,” said Isenberg.
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