New name, new strategic focus for Chamber and EDC

September 26, 2012
photo - The Greater Colorado Springs Chamber and EDC is rebranding itself as the Colorado Springs Regional Business Alliance. Photo by
The Greater Colorado Springs Chamber and EDC is rebranding itself as the Colorado Springs Regional Business Alliance. Photo by  

The Greater Colorado Springs Chamber and EDC has changed its identity: Starting Thursday, the organization has rebranded itself as the Colorado Springs Regional Business Alliance.

The new name, along with a new logo and strategic focus, is the latest change for the organization after a merger in February of the Greater Colorado Springs Chamber of Commerce and the Colorado Springs Regional Economic Development Corp.

Joe Raso, who came on board in May as president and CEO after serving in a similar position for an economic development group in Iowa City, Iowa, said Wednesday that the new name came about after meetings with a broad cross-section of the organization’s leadership and other members of the community.

The name change then was tested with community members, along with state and national site selection consultants, Raso said. Cukjati Design + Technology + Strategy, a Springs firm, also assisted with the name and produced the logo, he said.

Each word in the name has a meaning, Raso said. “Colorado Springs” identifies the organization’s location; “regional” suggests broader interests beyond the city; “business” states the focus on development of all companies, whether small, medium or large; and “alliance” captures a partnership with government, the local workforce and educational institutions, among others.

The new logo, meanwhile, is a mountain icon that reflects the community’s most identifiable landmark, Pikes Peak, and the mountain backdrop. Looked at an angle, a pair of side-by-side buildings also can be seen in the logo, which represent business, Raso said.

The new group’s strategic focus includes a commitment to “being the primary advocate of the region’s business community, dedicated to serving business of all sizes to build regional economic growth and prosperity,” Raso said.

According to a news release, the organization’s board over the last few months worked with civic leaders and local organizations to establish a 20-year vision for the region. From that vision, the Business Alliance plans to develop a strategic plan, reflecting its own vision and values that focus on:

• Taking care of all-sized businesses.

• Continuing and enhancing the organization’s leadership role in government affairs.

• Improving internal and external communications to promote the region’s assets, grow the economy and improve the area’s quality of life.

• Creating a workforce development system that meets the employment needs of area businesses.

• Establishing a culture of innovation and an entrepreneurial spirit to attract and retain top young talent that will be key to area’s business survival.

 As part of rolling out its new name and logo, the Business Alliance also revealed an employee roster that shows a streamlined workforce that follows several layoffs this summer and the decision by some top executives to leave the organization. Longtime EDC vice president Julie Boswell is now listed as the Business Alliance’s chief operations officer, while EDC marketing vice president David White is now chief business development officer.

The group also has a new website:, although the main page still offers links to the websites of the former Chamber and the former EDC.

Contact Rich Laden: 636-0228 Twitter @richladen
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