BY BOB SWEENEY
The modern Lone Tree Arts Center hosted the Denver South Economic Development Partnership breakfast meeting Oct. 4 with vice chairman Buz Koelbel presiding. Koelbel is president and CEO of Koelbel and Company, a major local development firm. One of his largest projects is the Preserve in Greenwood Village.
Koelbel opened the meeting by greeting the large audience of business and government officials and described the audience as “Pillars of the economic development program in Denver South.”
He welcomed two new members to the organization that have both expanded to the Denver South region of Arapahoe and Douglas Counties, Toastmasters International and the Zillow Group.
Toastmasters started in 1924 in Southern California and recently moved to Denver South with 160 staff members. Zillow, a New York Stock Exchange firm, has 11 U.S. offices with the second largest office located in South Metro with 600 employees.
Koelbel related that Charles Schwab relocated their tax department to Douglas County in 2012 and have now expanded their campus in Lone Tree with over 4,500 employees. He noted other firms that have moved to the area that include Redwood Trust, Cool Planet Ring Central and Viveve Inc.
He introduced Daniel Rex who gave high praise to Colorado lifestyle and mass transit RTD as one of the major reasons he and his Toastmaster board chose the Denver South location during a broad search of cities.
Toastmasters International is a nonprofit with a mission “To Make the World A Better Place,” he related. Rex assumed the helm of the organization in 2013 as executive director of the 357,000-member organization with 16,000 clubs in 143 countries. He has been with Toastmasters for 28 years, operating several different departments.
Toastmasters completed their move from Orange County California to Douglas County earlier this year and related, “It was a very difficult decision for us to move.” He related that he really liked the light rail system and lower housing and operating costs here in the Denver area. He said that traffic congestion was much better here than in Southern California and the cost of living is lower for his employees.
The second speaker of the morning, Gregory David, was a former East High School graduate and star football running back, who also played college football for a Kansas University before starting his successful rise in the business world becoming the general manager and site leader for the Denver Zillow group. The Denver office is the second largest office, next to the Oregon headquarters, with 600 employees and growing upward to 1,000, Gregory Davis related.
Davis spent 17 years in the real estate business and mortgage banking before joining the Zillow group. He is a graduate of Toastmasters International and had high praise for their communication techniques that he has mastered very well.
Zillow is a high-tech real estate listing and real estate sales organization with 11 offices in the United States. He said that 50 percent of his staff are millenniums. The company likes a Peter Drucker statement that “Culture Eats Strategy for Breakfast.”
The Denver South EDP State Ballot measures were distributed on the tables and voting recommendations for members were the following:
Yes on Amendments Y and Z (Fair election maps Colorado) and Proposition 110 (Let’s Go Colorado), and No on Amendments 73 (Funding for schools), 74 (Government takings), Proposition 109 (Fix our Damn Roads) and
112 (Oil and Gas setbacks).
The annual EDP business luncheon is scheduled at the Marriott South hotel Nov. 15 featuring columnist George F. Will. Ticket Info: denver