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J. J. Ament is the Chief Executive Officer of the Metro Denver Economic Development Corporation, the largest privately funded and governed economic development organization in Colorado. With experience in the private, public, and nonprofit sectors, J. J. brings a unique combination of expertise to the role. An investment banker for most of his career, he participated in more than $15 billion of transactions for governments and public-private partnerships throughout the U.S. before leaving the industry in 2016. J. J. has been a member and Chairman of the Colorado Economic Development Commission, where he considered state economic development incentives, grants, and tax credits for business and tourism projects statewide. As CEO, J. J. is responsible for leading the Metro Denver EDC’s mission to grow and retain primary jobs and promote capital investment in Colorado. In the last two years, the Metro Denver EDC has helped facilitate the creation of nearly 14,000 new jobs and nearly $800 million of capital investment in the nine-county Metro Denver and Northern Colorado region.
Kelly Brough (pronounced "bruff") took the helm of the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce and the Metro Denver EDC in October 2009. Previously, she worked as the Chief of Staff for the City and County of Denver, after serving as the Deputy Chief of Staff and Director of the Office of Accountability and Reform. During her career, Kelly’s work has focused on improving public sector performance and service delivery and developing stronger working relationships between the public, non-profit and private sectors. Kelly has a Master’s of Business Administration from the University of Colorado at Denver and a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Sociology, Criminal Justice from Montana State University.
Sam Bailey serves as Vice President of Economic Development at the Metro Denver EDC. As Vice President of Economic Development, Sam oversees the business recruitment, retention, and expansion efforts of the Metro Denver region working in partnership with state, county, and local economic developers to secure job creation and capital investment projects. Prior to joining Metro Denver EDC, Sam served as president and Chief Executive Officer of the Jefferson County Economic Development Corporation where he oversaw a major reorganization of the Board of Directors and governing bylaws, county and municipal partnerships, and revamped the county’s economic development marketing. Sam’s start in economic development began at the Governor’s Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT) in May 2011 where he served for six years focused on global business development, incentive analysis and negotiation, and site selection. Between 2011 and 2017, Sam supported the recruitment and expansion of nearly 16,000 jobs from companies such as; Amazon, Arrow, Agilent Technologies, Coyote Logistics, Craftsy, Five Stars, General Assembly, Gusto, HomeAdvisor, Intel, Lockheed Martin, Osprey, Partners Group, the J.M. Smucker Company, Sunrun, Vertafore, Viega, Webroot, and more. As a 2014 graduate and 2015 coach of the Denver Leadership Foundation’s Impact Denver program, Sam has been recognized by ColoradoBiz Magazine as one of Colorado’s Top 25 Most Influential Young Professionals and has received the Public Service Recognition Award from the State of Colorado and United States Congress. He graduated from Regis University in 2011 and is a native of Chicago, Illinois.
Amy Guttmann is a creative director, brand storyteller and strategic communications expert with nearly 20 years of experience leading integrated campaigns. Since 2019, she’s directed marketing and branding initiatives for the Metro Denver EDC – playing a pivotal role in both developing our strategic foundation and guiding our day-to-day promotions of the region. Amy spent the bulk of her career at SE2, a Denver-based consultancy specializing in public and social issues. While there, she built the agency’s creative department from the ground up, serving a distinguished list of nonprofits, government organizations, advocacy groups and corporate clients. Her experience includes everything from brand strategy to large-scale advertising and behavior change campaigns, to audience segmentation and targeted messaging efforts, to a global diversity and inclusion initiative for a Fortune 100 company. A lifelong Coloradan, Amy has committed her career to making our state even better. Whether that's through one of many creative campaigns, her role as president of Ad Club Colorado or her recent participation in the esteemed Leadership Denver program, she strives to be an active part of what makes our community the best place to live and work in the country.
Lisa joined the Metro Denver EDC in July 2017. She supports economic development efforts in several industry clusters and manages two industry affiliates - the Colorado Resource Council and the Colorado Investment Services Coalition. In her role, she is growing the organization’s efforts in the food and beverage economy and with agribusinesses. She has more than 20 years of experience developing and managing strategic external affairs for government, private corporations, and nonprofits. Prior to joining the Metro Denver EDC, Lisa’s diverse experience spanned from serving as a senior director at BP America to working at an energy startup in Boulder. Lisa holds a B.A. in History and Canadian Studies from Duke University and a J. D. from the University of Denver College of Law. In her free time, she and her husband Campbell enjoy everything Colorado has to offer including skiing, golf, and live music.
Vicky joined the Metro Denver EDC in March 2009. She supports the region’s aviation and aerospace industries, and manages the Colorado Space Coalition and the Metro Denver Aviation Coalition. Vicky was previously Aerospace Industry Coordinator with the Metro Denver WIRED Initiative, a U.S. Department of Labor grant to increase the pipeline of workers to the region’s targeted growth industries. Vicky previously worked for UK Trade and Investment at the British Consulate in Denver, where she helped Colorado companies expand business operations into the United Kingdom, and assisted British companies conducting business in Colorado. Vicky also worked to build education and non-profit partnerships for international social economic development programs. Originally from the UK, Vicky received her Master’s degree in Development Studies from Manchester University.
Ellie Maguire joined the Metro Denver EDC as Assistant Director of Investor Relations in May 2019. Her responsibilities include maintaining relationships with existing investors, helping new companies invest in the EDC, and supporting other EDC and Chamber activities. Prior to joining the EDC, she served as Director of International Engagement at the Dallas Regional Chamber in Dallas, Texas. Her primary responsibilities included recruiting international companies to the Dallas area; creating, updating, and distributing marketing collateral; and maintaining relationships between the DRC and international companies and organizations. She is a graduate of Southern Methodist University in Dallas, where she received bachelor’s degrees in English, Spanish, and Human Rights. She also received minor certificates in History, Psychology, and Women’s and Gender Studies. Her hobbies include traveling, supporting the fine arts community, and exploring Denver with her fiancé.
Chelsea joined the Metro Denver EDC in January 2016 after two years in the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce’s Public Affairs department. She works on business recruitment, retention, and expansion efforts in the Metro Denver region, as well as managing the EDC's operating budget and special events. Chelsea brings with her experience from the Colorado Innovation Network, a division of the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in Accounting and Entrepreneurship from the University of Arizona. In her free time, she enjoys reading, yoga, and working her way through Denver's restaurant scene with her husband Cody.
Zach Katz joined the Metro Denver EDC in August 2019, as the Graphic Design and Content Manager. He supports the organization’s brand development and national marketing efforts. Beyond promoting Metro Denver, he also works to market the region’s nine key industry clusters. Zach graduated from Parsons School of Design with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree.
Emma joined the Metro Denver EDC in February 2018. She provides support for the senior team and Vice President of Investor Relations in research, recruitment, and meeting scheduling with potential new investors. Emma is a Graduate of the Leeds School of Business at the University of Colorado Boulder with a B.A. in Business Administration with a dual emphasis in Marketing and Operations Management. Prior to joining the Metro Denver EDC, Emma worked in sales and marketing for Vail Resorts. Her interests include skiing, fitness, live music, and breakfast food.
Daryl joined the Metro Denver EDC in January 2016. As executive assistant to the CEO, she provides support to the executive team by managing schedules and coordinating meetings, as well as assisting the Metro Denver EDC staff with events and special projects. Prior to her role with the Metro Denver EDC, Daryl worked as the office services coordinator for the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce. Previously an Iowa resident, Daryl has a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Directing from Drake University. She enjoys puzzles, fiction, and Denver’s performance arts scene.