Through some of the most challenging times and quite a few good times, Marianne Virgili has been one of the constants in the community for 32 years with the Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association.
Now, as she prepares to retire at the end of the year from her longtime position as president and CEO for the organization and pass the baton to longtime chamber protege Angie Anderson, Virgili is certain Glenwood Springs has some of its greatest times ahead.
"With the completion of the largest construction project on the Western Slope in 25 years, the future for the chamber and community is bright," Virgili said on the occasion of her retirement announcement last week, referencing the soon-to-be-completed Grand Avenue bridge project.
"It's a perfect time for the transition of leadership," she said.
The chamber board has decided to hire 10-year chamber employee and current GSCRA Executive Vice President Anderson as the new president and CEO of the organization.
Anderson, who grew up in Glenwood Springs and returned after earning a degree in organizational management at Colorado State University, said it's her dream job. She credits Virgili in many ways with preparing her for the challenge.
"Marianne has taught me, by example, the importance of thinking big, working hard, building strong relationships and striving for excellence," Anderson said. "This community has benefited immensely from her leadership, and I am honored and grateful to call her my mentor."
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After 32 years with the Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association (GSCRA), Marianne Virgili has announced that she will retire from her position as President and CEO at the end of 2017.
Virgili stated, “I have been extremely fortunate to have worked with the most dedicated civic leaders and talented staff over the course of three decades. These visionaries encouraged me to dream big for myself and the organization. Any success that I’ve enjoyed is due to them.”
GSCRA Board Chair Ian Exelbert said, “During Marianne’s tenure the GSCRA earned dozens of accolades including a Daily Points of Light Award from President Bill Clinton and being named the National Chamber of the Year by the Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives in 2013. The chamber has also racked up more than two dozen national awards of excellence for print and electronic publications. It’s these promotional efforts that have helped garner dozens of community awards including “Most Fun Town in America,” “One of 8 Best Places to Retire,” and one of America’s best small towns. We may have a small budget and live in rural Colorado, but in the chamber, community development and tourism industries, the GSCRA is a player.”
Virgili started as Special Events Director for the Glenwood Springs Chamber of Commerce in 1985 and produced Strawberry Days, which has grown significantly in attendance and stature over the past 32 years. In 1987 she was promoted to Executive Director. In 1989 when the city and community tourism functions merged with the chamber of commerce, the new organization was named the Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association and Virgili was appointed as its first President & CEO.
Virgili stated, “The formation of the GSCRA was a gamechanger for us and the community. Despite limited resources, my team leveraged talent, determination and partnerships to establish Glenwood Springs as a top Colorado tourism destination. Tourism is the economic engine of Glenwood Springs, and the chamber is the driver.”
She added, “Tourism is what we are known for because you can’t ignore over 1M people a year visiting your town. But what people may not know is that the chamber’s Community on the Move Committee (COM) has passed every major civic and tax initiative in the past three decades.”
Past Board Chair and a 25-year volunteer leader of COM Michael McCallum commented, “I look around our City and see all of the improvements over the last 3 decades with great pride. Marianne and the chamber provided the expertise and were the driving force to pass ballot measures for the amenities we deserve and enjoy. West Glenwood streetscapes, sidewalks and lighting; the raw water delivery system; city hall; the community center; the municipal operations center; trails; parks; schools; the fire station and equipment; transportation; arts; the Glenwood Springs Historic Society; and the formation of the Downtown Development Authority (DDA) have all benefited significantly from Marianne’s efforts. She continually impressed the community with her healthy attitude that became contagious for us all.”
He added that these improvements would not have happened without Virgili’s ability to cultivate partnerships and bring together coalitions of people with diverse concerns and agendas. He said, “Collaboration was essential from Colorado Mountain College, Valley View, local governments, the DDA, the Glenwood Hot Springs, the business community and tourism industry.
“Glenwood Springs being designated ‘Best Small Town in America,’ -- Virgili’s finger prints are all over that little gem! I do not know what Marianne’s next endeavor will be, but I want to be involved because I admire her, she makes it easy and fun, and you’d better believe it will have impact!”
One of less than 500 people who have ever earned the Certified Chamber of Commerce Executive designation (CCE), Virgili has been in active in state and national organizations. She served as President of the Colorado Chamber of Commerce Executives on the boards of the Western Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives and national Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives; was national chair of the U.S. Chamber’s Institute for Organization Management and is a member of the U.S. Chamber’s prestigious Committee of 100. She formed the Glenwood Springs Film Commission and was appointed by the Governor to the boards of the Colorado Film Commission and Colorado Creative Industries.
Regarding future chamber leadership, Exelbert said, “Marianne let the board know of her long-term retirement plans several months ago and our Succession Planning Committee has been working on a smooth transition for the past year. We will make an announcement at our annual meeting this Saturday, October 21 at Morgridge Commons.”
Virgili said, “Thirty years is a long time. I started at the chamber during the Oil Shale Bust; worked with FEMA after natural disasters like the Coal Seam Fire; celebrated election victories; helped entertain thousands of people at Strawberry Days; and applauded outstanding businesses and leaders with community awards. Now, with the completion of the largest construction project on the Western Slope in 25 years, the future for the chamber and community is bright. It’s a perfect time for the transition of leadership.”
Virgili’s retirement celebration will take place at the chamber’s annual gala on Saturday evening, January 27, 2018 at the Hotel Colorado.
Have fun collecting your Halloween candy and then get paid for it while helping Hurricane Harvey Relief through United Way. Bring in your Halloween Candy to All Kids Dental in Glenwood Springs or Rifle on Wednesday, November 1st between 3:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. and get $1 for every pound of candy. 100% of collected candy, cash donations and donated items will be shipped through United Way to Hurricane Harvey Relief. In addition, All Kids Dental will also be donating toothbrushes and toothpaste to the organized effort. You can also be entered to win a $50 gift card if you bring in new items for donation.
Suggested needed items include:
• Baby items (wipes, diaper cream, formula/food)
• Basic toiletries (shampoo, conditioner, razors, deodorant, soap)
• School supplies & other children’s activities (notebooks, pens/pencils, crayons)
All Kids Dental will also provide prizes, free goodie bags and toothbrushes. All Kids Dental in Glenwood Springs is located upstairs in the ANB Bank Building at 2624 Grand Avenue. The Rifle location is 900 Airport Road. All Kids Dental can be reached at 928-9500.
Local Filmmakers Invited to Submit Works for a Chance to Win a 2017-18 Season Pass.
Sunlight Mountain Resort is inviting local filmmakers to submit their best winter videos to be featured in the second annual Winter Stoke Film Festival. The film festival, produced in conjunction with the non-profit True Media Foundation of Carbondale, highlights a series of locally-produced short videos followed by the feature movie presentation “Line of Descent” by Warren Miller.
Filmmakers are asked to submit outdoor adventure videos that “get us stoked for winter.” Three finalists are chosen for each Winter Stoke venue, and the audience votes for their favorite film. All finalists will receive two lift tickets to Sunlight and the crowd favorite wins a 2017-18 season pass. The evening includes a prize giveaway including a pair of Sunlight’s hand-crafted Sunny 700 skis by Meier.
NEW! Winter Stoke Travels to Rifle’s Ute Theatre Dec. 21st!
Winter Stoke organizers also announced that the traveling film festival has added a third showing in Rifle. Winter Stoke will be shown at these venues on the following dates:
HOW TO ENTER: Videos must be less than 3 minutes long. Submit videos by emailing a YouTube link to email@example.com. The deadline to enter is Weds., Nov. 1. Find more info about Winter Stoke at www.WinterStoke.org or email info@WinterStoke.org.
About Winter Stoke Film Festival: Founded in 2016, Winter Stoke Film Festival is produced in partnership with the True Media Foundation , a non-profit based in Carbondale committed to working with local youth to produce media with positive social impact. Event proceeds supports the organization’s future programming. Learn more at www.TrueMediaFoundation.org
Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park introduces Shop Your Way to the Top promotion to support local merchants
Locals and visitors can show receipts from downtown Glenwood Springs and Glenwood Meadows businesses to receive a free tram ride to Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park
To support Glenwood Springs merchants during the Grand Avenue Bridge detour, locals and tourists can receive a free, round-trip tram ride to Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park through its Shop Your Way to the Top promotion. It’s as easy as showing a receipt for at least $16 from any merchant located downtown between Cooper and Colorado, from 6th to 10th streets, or in the Glenwood Meadows.
“We are very enthusiastic about the impact that the new Grand Avenue Bridge will have on Glenwood Springs,” Nancy Heard, general manager for the Adventure Park, said. “With that being said, the detour is taking a toll on businesses in the downtown core and in Glenwood Meadows. To encourage locals and visitors to support these merchants, we’re going to reward them with a free tram ride. And there’s a lot going on at the Park this fall that’s included with that.”
Octoberfest is now in progress and continues through Oct. 29, with daily activities such as a pumpkin patch and panoramic, mountain-top views of the fall colors. On Saturdays, tractor-pulled hayrides, face painting, pumpkin decorating and family-friendly games are included as well. The pumpkins may be purchased for just $3 each. German oompah band Alpine Echo will entertain guests Sat., Oct. 14, and Sat., Oct. 21, from noon to 4 p.m., with crowd-pleasing tunes like the chicken dance, polkas, waltzes, Bavarian pub songs and “Edelweiss,” everyone’s favorite from the “Sound of Music.”
Winter on the Mountain, with its display of a half million lights, a giant Christmas tree with a lightshow that’s choreographed to music and firepits for warming up, begins Fri., Nov. 10. Santa Claus will make a guest appearance at the kick-off party on Sat., Nov. 18. The winter celebration continues through Feb. 25, 2018.
Marianne Virgili, CEO of the Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association, remarked, “The latest Bridge Bargain shows we are all in this together. We so appreciate Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park being inclusive of the retail areas most affected by the closure.”
Receipts must be dated between Oct. 6 and the day that the bridge reopens. Passes must be redeemed by Dec. 17, 2017. The minimum purchase required is $16 for one round-trip tram pass. A receipt for $32 is good for two tram passes, a $48 receipt is good for three and a $64 receipt for four. Each $16 tram ticket can be upgraded to a Tram and Cave Tour combo or a Funday Pass that includes unlimited turns on all rides and both walking cave tours at an additional cost.
Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park is America’s only mountain-top theme park. More information about hours of operation can be found atwww.GlenwoodCaverns.com. Questions about the Shop Your Way to the Top promotion can be answered by calling 970-945-4228, ext. 0.
Garfield County Public Health and the Valley Well Workplace Partnership would like to
invite you to a free Webinar for employers. Learn more about the solid business case for
workplace wellness programs.
Wednesday, October 11, 11:30 am – 1:00 pm. RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org
to receive meeting login.
Renowned workplace wellness consultant Colleen Reilly will deliver an interactive presentation
Providing participants with:
Presenter Colleen Reilly has worked as a health strategist with more than 60 Fortune 500 clients.
Reilly led Coors Brewing Company toward being one of the healthiest workplaces in the U.S.,
served on the Colorado Governor’s Council for Physical Fitness, and has been adjunct faculty
at the University of Denver.
To RSVP please contact:
Public Health Specialist
Garfield County Public Health
2014 Blake Ave. Glenwood Springs, 81601
One-night-only Halloween Dinner on Tuesday, 10/31. 7 course meal, beginning at 7:30 with wine-pairings included with the dinner. The Riviera will transform into the "Phantom's Lair" and guests will be entertained by none other than Tim Martin Gleason, who played the role of "Phantom" in the Broadway and Las Vegas Productions of "The Phantom of the Opera". He will be joined by Alexandra Trosper, who just returned from a guest artist performance at the International Music Theatre Festival in Munich, Germany. This event will sell out.
Reservations Required (970)945-7692 email@example.com
In this workshop, attendees will learn about mental health stigma in the workplace and the cycle that perpetuates it. Attendees will discuss the benefits available to them, have open and honest conversations about mental health and stress, and use breathing exercises to destress. Light snacks and refreshments will be served. October 10, 2017 5:00pm - 7:00pm Colorado Mountain College 815 Cooper Ave. Glenwood Springs, CO Destigmatizing Mental Health and Managing Stress
The City of Glenwood Springs' would like to cordially invite you to join us in the Grand Opening of the Grandstaff Trail Ribbon Cutting Ceremony.
The City of Glenwood Springs' would like to cordially invite you to join us in the Grand Opening of the Grandstaff Trail Ribbon Cutting Ceremony.
Please join us on Thursday, October 5th at 12 p.m.
Parking at the Red Mountain Jeanne Golay Trail is quite limited, and attendees are asked to hike, ride bikes or ride a free shuttle to the grand opening celebration.
A special thank you to our invaluable community partners, our elected officials, RFMBA and city staff for all the hard work and commitment put forth to better Glenwood Springs.
Megan Cooley has joined us as our new Director of Catering for the Hotel Colorado. Megan comes to us from Albuquerque, NM and has spent the last 15 years working in the hospitality industry. Her career began at 15 years of age in Telluride cleaning condos on the weekends. She has worked as a director of catering and group sales manager for hotel brands including Marriott, Sheraton, and Hilton as well as boutique hotels such as the Inn and Spa at Loretto located in Santa Fe, NM with her top clients following her from hotel to hotel. Her strong focus on relationship building has made her successful and forged long lasting friendships with her in house groups and clients.
Megan is passionate about volunteering and has been part of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Light the Night and Man/Woman of the Year campaigns raising funds for cancer patients for the last 3 years. She has a soft spot for animal rescue as well, and acted as the President of a non-profit organization focused on Pit Bull advocacy in Albuquerque. Green Chile is her favorite food, music and attempting to dance to it, although it’s not usually a pretty sight. Additionally, Megan has many hobbies and enjoys playing sand volleyball! She’s excited to become actively involved in the Glenwood Springs community and can be contacted via phone or e-mail at 970-945-8948 ext. 114 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association was named 2013 Chamber of the Year by ACCE!