2019 Economic Summit Schedule

13th Annual Economic Summit

This year’s theme is FORWARD TOGETHER!


The 13th Annual Economic Summit is designed to look at our communities across the region and learn what attributes we have and what challenges we face. This is an opportunity for us to come together as a region and gain knowledge of these issues, acquire tools and resources to implement in our communities and businesses, and to better the economy as a whole. Topics range from infrastructure, small business development, workforce challenges, economic resiliency and more.

Topics to be presented:

Economic Development Readiness

Multi-Generational Workforce Development

Start-up Business Resources

Best Practices for Board of Directors

Communication Styles

Employee Retention

Changes in Retail Sales Strategies


Strategic Planning


Summit Speaker Bios

Keynote Speaker – Tim Kirkland

How do leaders grow their brands and shape the future of their organizations even when economic conditions aren’t optimal? Tim Kirkland shows you how with The Renegade Philosophy™. Companies grow and thrive when they hire right, train right, and treat right. In his engaging and entertaining presentations, Kirkland outlines the proven methods he’s learned in his 30+ years in the hospitality industry.

Kirkland’s best-selling books, The Renegade Server and COACH are used in over 15,000 restaurants, hotels, retail locations, customer service companies, and universities worldwide to improve the engagement and performance of both front-line teams and all levels of leadership. His content and technology can be found woven into the culture and training of some of the top brands in the world. Leading companies that use Kirkland’s materials include Applebee’s, Subway, Buffalo Wild Wings, Marriott, Kimpton, Coca-Cola, Beam Suntory, Sodexo, Reinhart Food Service, and many, many more

Kirkland is a proven operator, executive, and best-selling author; and during his career, he has led training, operations, and marketing departments for numerous respected restaurant brands. He’s been an award-winning operator and successful entrepreneur with a deep understanding of the unique challenges faced by the hospitality industry. He walks the talk and shares tools for success.

Kirkland delivers highly customized keynotes and master classes on leadership, team engagement & retention, customer service, and local restaurant marketing. Over 20,000 people attend his live seminars and workshops every year.

Kirkland is an alumnus of the Harvard Kennedy School, where his focus was the Art and Practice of Leadership Development. He is CEO of Renegade Hospitality Group, which serves as a professional advisory resource to the restaurant, hotel, retail and customer service industries.

Tim Kirkland

Speaker announcements:

Tim Kirkland, CEO, Renegade Hospitality Group

Tom Stritikus, President, Fort Lewis College

Aaron Fernandes, Founder & CEO, Open Sky Wilderness Therapy

Deanne J. Idar, PhD, ICF Professional Certified Coach (PCC), Top Seed Leadership Coaching

Bryan Dear, Owner & Founder, The Payroll Department

Loretta Velasquez, Small Business Specialist, Southern Ute Indian Tribe

Roger Zalneraitis, Economic Development Manager, Southern Ute Indian Tribe

Sandhya Tillotson, Founder/CEO, Sagebrush Limited

Christi Zeller, Executive Director, La Plata County Energy Council

Ellen Roberts, Attorney at Law

Gary Masner, Co-Founder, SCAPE

Tami Graham, Executive Director, KSUT

Lisa Branner, Co-Founder, Venture Snowboards

Patrick Cain, CEO, Clutch Hemp

Tony Vicari, Director of Aviation, Durango-La Plata County Airport

Dan Harms, Manager of Rates, Technology and Energy Policy, LPEA

Bert Carder, COO, Local NEWS Network, Inc.

And MANY more!


Local leaders and businesses, government agencies, non-profit organizations, higher education