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Growth in the New West: Maximizing Immigrant Contributions to Denver's Prosperity

Americas Society / Council of the Americas

October 28, 2015
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(Image: Matt Santomarco)

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As Denver’s economy continues to grow, it is critical that the metro area attract and retain a talented and diverse workforce. Immigrants are essential to this process: they fill key roles in the region’s largest industries, strengthen the local tax base, and start new businesses that are creating jobs in Denver and across Colorado.

Join us for a conversation with leaders from business and government on how immigrants contribute to Denver’s economic growth and vitality, strategies to attract new talent and business, and leveraging immigrants’ contributions to create opportunities for all Denver residents. Luncheon panelists will discuss best practices from across the country on facilitating immigrant integration, attracting and retaining international talent, and supporting economic development and growth.

Welcome and Introduction:

  • Brian Winter, Vice President of Policy, Americas Society and Council of the Americas; Editor-in-Chief, Americas Quarterly
  • Kate Brick, Associate Director, State and Local Initiatives, Partnership for a New American Economy

Opening Keynotes:

  • Michael B. Hancock, Mayor, City and County of Denver
  • Hikmet Ersek, President and CEO, The Western Union Company

Panel Discussion:

  • Brent Boydston, Vice President of Public Policy, Colorado Farm Bureau
  • Kelly Brough, President and CEO, Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce
  • Betsy Cohen, Executive Director, St. Louis Mosaic Project
  • Jamie Torres, Director, Office of Immigrant & Refugee Affairs; Deputy Director, Agency for Human Rights & Community Partnerships, City and County of Denver
  • Brian Winter, Vice President of Policy, Americas Society and Council of the Americas; Editor-in-Chief, Americas Quarterly (Moderator)

Follow the conversation on Twitter: @ASCOA | #ImmigrationASCOA

Download "Fact Sheet: New Americans in Denver."

Prior registration is required.

Registration Fee: Members of AS, COA, PNAE, Welcoming America, Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition, Biennial of the Americas, Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce, and Denver Metro Government: $15 for individual seats, $100 for a 10-person table; Non-members: $25 for individual seats, $160 for a 10-person table.

Event Information: Sarah Bons | sbons@as-coa.org | 212-277-8392
Press: Adriana La Rotta | alarotta@as-coa.org | 212-277-8384
Cancellation: Contact Juan Serrano-Badrena at jserrano@counciloftheamericas.org before 3:00 p.m. on Tuesday, October 27.

Brent Boydston

Vice President of Public Policy, Colorado Farm Bureau

Brent Boydston is vice president of public policy at the Colorado Farm Bureau (CFB). In this role he oversees the day-to-day operations of CFB policy and political operations. Prior to joining the CFB, Boydston served as senior legislative assistant to Congressman Steve King (R-IA). He worked in depth on the 2008 Farm Bill, Cap and Trade legislation, the Colombian Free Trade Agreement, and the 2007 and 2009 Energy Bills while serving for Congressman King.

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Kate Brick

Associate Director, State and Local Initiatives, Partnership for a New American Economy

Kate Brick is the associate director of state and local initiatives at the Partnership for a New American Economy, a bipartisan research and policy organization focused on immigration reform and immigrant integration. Previously, Brick led the Immigration and Integration Initiative at Americas Society/Council of the Americas (AS/COA).

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Kelly J. Brough

President and CEO, Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce

Kelly J. Brough is the president and CEO of the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce. Prior to joining the Chamber, she served as chief of staff for the City and County of Denver and Mayor John Hickenlooper, overseeing a general fund of $857 million. Brough also served as deputy chief of staff and director of the Denver Office of Accountability and Reform, and was the first female director of human resources for the city of Denver.

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Betsy Heller Cohen

Executive Director, St. Louis Mosaic Project

Betsy Heller Cohen is the executive director for the St. Louis Mosaic Project, a regional Immigration & Innovation Initiative involving the joint collaboration of the St. Louis Economic Development Partnership, the Regional Chamber, and leaders of more than 20 other organizations on the Steering Committee. Previously, she was vice president at Nestle Purina, where she launched and led a St. Louis regional coalition. Cohen is on the board of the St. Louis United Way, the advisory board of the St. Louis University Cook School of Business, the St.

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Hikmet Ersek

President and CEO, The Western Union Company

Hikmet Ersek is president and CEO of The Western Union Company. Prior to becoming CEO, he served as the company’s chief operating officer. Ersek joined Western Union in September 1999. He began his career in financial services in 1986 at Europay/MasterCard in Austria. In 1996, Ersek joined General Electric (GE) Capital. He also represented the GE Corporation as a national executive in Austria and Slovenia. Ersek is a member of the World Economic Forum International Business Council.

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Michael B. Hancock

Mayor, City and County of Denver

Michael B. Hancock became Denver, Colorado’s forty-fifth mayor in July 2011. His top priorities include reducing homelessness, increasing affordable housing options, strengthening workforce training partnerships with community colleges, and finding solutions to chronic mental health and substance abuse challenges in the community. Hancock was recently named the first mayor to serve on the Federal Aviation Administration’s Management Advisory Council. He also serves on the U.S. Conference of Mayors Transportation Committee.

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Jamie Torres

Director, Office of Immigrant & Refugee Affairs; Deputy Director, Agency for Human Rights & Community Partnerships, City and County of Denver

Jamie Torres serves as deputy director for the Denver mayor's agency for Human Rights and Community Partnerships and director of the Denver Office of Immigrant & Refugee Affairs, where she coordinates city-wide immigrant and refugee integration efforts. Torres provides staff support to Denver's Immigrant & Refugee Commission and Agency Advisory Board, promoting collaborative opportunities and dynamic community engagement.

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Brian Winter

Vice President of Policy, Americas Society and Council of the Americas; Editor-in-Chief, Americas Quarterly

Brian Winter is a vice president of Policy at Americas Society and Council of the Americas, and serves as the editor-in-chief of the policy journal Americas Quarterly. Throughout a decade in Latin America as a correspondent for Reuters, he covered politics and economics in virtually every country in the region and lived in São Paulo, Buenos Aires, and Mexico City.

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12:00 to 12:30 p.m.  Registration

12:30 to 12:40 p.m.  Welcome

  • Brian Winter, Vice President of Policy, Americas Society and Council of the Americas; Editor-in-Chief, Americas Quarterly
  • Kate Brick, Associate Director, State and Local Initiatives, Partnership for a New American Economy

12:40 to 12:50 p.m.  Keynote Remarks

  • Michael B. Hancock, Mayor, City and County of Denver

12:50 to 1:00 p.m.  Keynote Remarks

  • Hikmet Ersek, President and CEO, The Western Union Company

1:00 to 2:00 p.m.  Panel Discussion

  • Brent Boydston, Vice President of Public Policy, Colorado Farm Bureau
  • Kelly Brough, President and CEO, Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce
  • Betsy Cohen, Executive Director, St. Louis Mosaic Project
  • Jamie Torres, Director, Office of Immigrant & Refugee Affairs; Deputy Director, Agency for Human Rights & Community Partnerships, City and County of Denver
  • Brian Winter, Vice President of Policy, Americas Society and Council of the Americas; Editor-in-Chief, Americas Quarterly (moderator)