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Door's job as president of the Downtown Denver Partnership is to boost the downtown area.

"I love Denver. I love the people here. I love the vision," she said.

It's her passion to build a better community.

"I know if you build a strong city, business will prosper, people will prosper, everyone will have a solid quality of life, and people will be inspired," Door said.

Door says the proudest accomplishment of her career was pulling together more than 3,000 people to craft a new 20-year plan for downtown Denver.

"The build out of Union Station, and how we activate those spaces is going to be incredibly important, but we also have 31 blocks in our center city called Arapahoe Square that has amazing potential to be a very high density, features-use neighborhood," Door said.

"She's never telling people that you have to do this or that, she has people convinced it's their idea. She has people convinced they're doing this for their own purposes, but really they're doing what she wants them to do," Gov. John Hickenlooper said.

Hickenlooper worked with Door when he was mayor of Denver. Door has also worked with the Denver City Council, leaning on her integrity and creating strong relationships to create success.

"Councilwoman Carla Madison willed this to me. We had a very special connection, and I always found her to be such an inspiration. She really believed in this city, and most importantly, she really believed in people. So for me, that's the legacy I take from her," Door said.

She says that friends and family keep her grounded.

"It's the one place in my life that no matter what - good, bad or indifferent - they're just there for you," she said.

She also has a lighter side to her leadership style.

"There are a lot of fun stories that I can tell you about Tami Door, but none that I can tell on camera," Denver Mayor Michael Hancock said.

Door spends time working to end homelessness in Denver.

"It's important to look at long-term solutions, and it's very important to make sure the private sector is engaged," she said.

She also works to bring new retailers into downtown Denver.

"Our downtown is the welcome mat, and we need to make sure it reflects not only our city but our state," she said.

Door says she is driven to make a difference by the wise words of her father.

"'Always be kind, have a good attitude and never ever give up,' and I'm sticking to it," she said.

Door was celebrated as the 9NEWS 2012 Leader of the Year at a special luncheon on Thursday.

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