Chris Shapard has seen a lot over her 20 years helping lead Colorado’s economic development, public sector, and business communities. She brings this experience and thought leadership to her work every day as she takes on the challenges and opportunities to help Denver South grow.

We know the old saying that a rising tide lifts all boats; in Denver South, part of our rising tide is expanding the number and diversity of companies in Denver South. Chris has focused much of her time on recruiting new companies to the region, and is leading a number of efforts to expand our awareness and impact both nationally and globally.

“Over the past two years, Denver South has taken a very proactive approach to recruiting new companies to the region,” Chris says. “I engage with them one-on-one or virtually to build a personal relationship, and I provide the data and analysis that helps them make an informed location decision for their company.” 

One example is her recent trip to Germany. There, Chris met with over 30 European companies who are considering expanding to the US market face-to-face to share the Denver South story. Her trip and connections have resulted in at least three companies planning visits to Denver South in 2023. These visits are a critical first step to bring new vitality and opportunity to the region. We are excited about these conversations she has started that have the potential to bring new opportunities to our region from across the globe.

Another critical connection for Chris is the Economic Development Council of Colorado (EDCC), where she serves on the Board of Directors. As a Director, Chris has an impact on policy and legislation affecting our business climate, and helps shape the critical ties between Denver South, the EDCC and the state. The relationships and connections Chris makes in this role enhance the work we are doing in our region.

“The best part of being a member of EDCC are the connections I’ve built across the state with other economic development organizations. More than just the connections, it’s what I’ve learned from them and how much they are willing to share that’s more valuable. It’s been easy to pick up the phone or chat with someone at an EDCC conference and ask them how they approached an issue. I’ve used my connections to help with questions around policy, entrepreneurship and communications,” she shares.

At Denver South, we work with many partners to collaborate and build diverse programs and services designed to benefit our business community. We work with state and federal government agencies, other economic development partners, workforce centers, education institutions, and local chambers of commerce to ensure economic development expands your business opportunity. To better serve you, we have developed a suite of services designed to empower and support business. You can check them out here.

Chris and her team would love to buy you a cup of coffee and learn how they can support your business. Meeting and engaging with you helps us learn and prepare for what lies ahead. We would love to connect to share what we’re working on and hear your ideas for Denver South.