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January 25, 2006 - Denver Hispanic Chamber Hosts Legislative Luncheon

Where: Hershner Room, Wells Fargo Building

When: January 25, 2006

Beneficiary: Denver Hispanic Chamber of Commerce

Master of Ceremonies: Scott Bemis, Publisher of the Denver Businss Journal

Presenting Sponsor(s): The Hartford Insurance Company and The Altria Group

President(s): Jeff Campos

Staff: Jeffrey Campos, Stephen Hazel, Ann Bayles, Danny Martinez, Patricia Mejia, Kristin De Pizzol, Erika Reyes, Melissa Rojo, Monica Rodriguez

Speaker: House Republican Leader, Joe Stengel, State Senator Peter Groff, Senate Minority Leader, State Senator Andy McElhany, Speaker of the Colorado House of Representatives, Andrew Romanoff

Catering: Lifestyles Catering

Attendance: 120

Attire: Business

Information: Call 303-534-7783or visit

Planning Committee: Rachel Chaparro, Jerry Natividad, Julie Sequiera, Rachel Sellers, Ken Santistevan, Larry Martinez, Nolbert Chavez, LeRoy Garcia

Board of Directors: Martha Rubi, Chairwoman; Luis Colon, Chair-Elect; Denise Maes, Secretary; Jeffrey Campos, President & CEO; Tim Padilla, Treasurer; Liz Alicea-Velez, Faustina Carrasco, Mario Carrera, Lloyd Chavez Jr., Nolbert Chavez, Troy Eid, Janina Ferguson, Zee Ferrufino, Sal Gomez, Greg Lopez, Monique Lovato, Alicia V. Mahoney, Giovanni Mercia, Keith Montoya, Don Pacheco, Ric Padilla, Carlos Rocabado, Suzanne Shaw, Elizabeth Suarez

Blacktie Photos by: Elizabeth Byrnes Crony

 Jeff Campos, President and CEO of the Denver Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, left, and DHCC Board Chair Martha Rubi pose with the Legislative Lunch speakers.  House Republican Leader, Representative Joe Stengel, from left, Senate Minority Leader, State Senator Andy McElhany and Speaker of the Colorado...
Jeff Campos, President and CEO of the Denver Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, left, and DHCC Board Chair Martha Rubi pose with the Legislative Lunch speakers. House Republican Leader, Representative Joe Stengel, from left, Senate Minority Leader, State Senator Andy McElhany and Speaker of the Colorado...

Elizabeth Byrnes Crony

The Denver Hispanic Chamber of Commerce invited the community to a complimentary lunch with its members to kick off the first Legislative Session of 2006. The event, held on January 25th, in the Hershner room at the Wells Fargo Building, gave the DHCC members the opportunity to meet their legislators and learn about pressing issues on this year’s agenda.

“Today’s luncheon is an example of our commitment to increasing our focus on and presence in Colorado public affairs,” said Martha Rubi, DHCC Board Chair, as she welcomed the over one hundred guests. “We believe that active participation in the public policy arena is critical to our mission as a Hispanic business chamber.”

The luncheon was sponsored by The Harford Insurance Group and The Altria Group and Wells Fargo, a Platinum member of the chamber, generously assisted with the venue. Scott Bemis, the Publisher of the Denver Business Journal was the emcee, introducing the speakers House Republican Leader, Joe Stengel; State Senator Peter Groff; Senate Minority Leader, State Senator Andy McElhany and Speaker of the Colorado House of Representatives, Andrew Romanoff.

“Open communications between the business community and our elected officials are critical elements for maintaining a thriving society,” said Bemis. “It’s exciting to have the Denver Hispanic Chamber of Commerce encouraging those communications by organizing an event such as this.” The speakers spoke about the leadership on Education, Referendum C and Insurance initiatives affecting the Hispanic community in 2006 and shared their perspective regarding these topics.

The mission of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce is to provide leadership, which promotes economic growth, professional development, and political awareness through the self-determination of our members. The DHCC is a voluntary membership network of Hispanic businesses, professional associations, and corporations working together to expand business opportunities by encouraging mutually beneficial ties with the public and private sectors; to serve as active and visible advocator for Hispanic business legislative issues; and to actively promote trade between the Hispanic American business community and its intranational and international counterparts.

“Thank you in advance for your guidance and support on Ref. C,” said Andrew Romanoff, Speaker of the Colorado House of Representatives, the first Democrat to hold that post since 1975. Romanoff was elected to the House in 2000 and reelected in 2002 and 2004. Before his election to the speakership in 2005, he served as the House Minority Leader. “Every ounce of energy you gave, showed with the 52/48 vote.” Romanoff spoke about needing to do a better job of educating at a young age, in K-12, and having those kids graduate and move onto college.

Following him was the recently elected Senate Minority Leader, State Senator Andy McElhany. “The challenge for businesses if Ref. C passed was to make sure to stay involved.” He continued on the topic of education both K-12 to Higher Ed, echoing the thoughts of Romanoff. “The challenge of higher education is to keep the kids interested all the way through to graduation – regardless of their economical financial status.”

State Senator Peter Groff was elected to the Colorado House of Representatives in 2000 and was then appointed to the Senate in 2003. “With Ref. C, you have given us a ‘lifeline’,” said Senator Groff, as he arrived to the podium. “Thirty percent will be spent on K-12 and we will use it to build the best schools in the country – not just Colorado. Thirty percent will go to Higher Education, so we can make it affordable to all. Thirty percent goes to Health Care and the last ten percent goes to continuing to build the police and fireman services and to Transportation for improving the infrastructure of the roads and bridges.”

“What’s good for Hispanics is good for Colorado,” said Joe Stengel, House Republican Leader, following Senator Groff. “My side lost,” he joked, referring to Ref. C, “But I am over it.” Stengel agreed with the preceding speakers on the issues of children and education in keeping them interested through graduation, giving them the best education possible and making them the focus of the future of Colorado.

Senator Groff summed up all sides and opinions best. “These goals can be reached by coming together and using the goodwill to move this state forward. We need to do this for our children and their children.”

Jeff Campos, the President and CEO of the Denver Hispanic Chamber concluded the luncheon by thanking all who participated and acknowledged the board and staff, as well as the many legislators present. “Establishing an open dialogue with our state legislators is an import first step for the DHCC. I am confident that we will be successful in increasing our on-going participation and presence in the public policy sector. I encourage you all to take with you the urgency to get involved during this legislation to make your voice heard.”

The DHCC is now requesting volunteers for special event committees in 2006. Committee time requirements will vary from two to five one-hour meetings prior to the event. § State of the Economy Breakfast (Event Date: February 16) § Annual Meeting and Business Awards Luncheon (Event Date: April 28) § Career Connections (Event Date: May 10) § Golf Invitational (Event Date: June 23) § Fiesta Colorado (Event Date: September 30) § Feliz Navidad (Event Date: December 8) If you are interested in joining a committee, please call the DHCC at 303.534.7783 or email with your event preference. Committees will be filled on a first response basis.

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