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Denver Metro Chamber Leadership Foundation Announces 2020 9NEWS Leader of the Year Finalists

Editor's Note: Content provided by the Denver Metro Chamber Leadership Foundation.
Credit: Denver Metro Chamber Leadership Foundation

DENVER — Since 1999, 9NEWS has recognized outstanding leaders in the community.

This year, 9NEWS has again partnered with the Denver Metro Chamber Leadership Foundation – an affiliate of the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce that educates and inspires people who want to make a difference as leaders in the community – to select and honor the next 9NEWS Leader of the Year.

The three finalists are:

  • Luis Benitez, vice president of government affairs and global impact for VF Corporation
  • Jerome Davis, regional vice president of Xcel Energy – Colorado
  • Tasha Jones, senior director of marketing and community relations for Brookfield Properties

The 2020 9NEWS Leader of the Year will be announced live at the Leadership Foundation’s Leading Colorado luncheon on March 12. This event recognizes exceptional leadership in the community while raising scholarship funds to support leaders with diverse viewpoints and backgrounds who want to further develop their skills and use them to make the community better for all.

“Our three finalists are making a real impact on our communities,” said Denver Metro Chamber Leadership Foundation Executive Director Dan Lewis. “They each represent different styles of leadership but all embody the values of Colorado’s Civic DNA™ – collaboration, inclusivity, shared vision, leadership and responsibility.”  

Alumni of the Leadership Foundation, members of B:CIVIC and Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce members will have the opportunity to vote to select this year’s winner.

“Each of these finalists has made an incredible impact in the community,” said 9NEWS President and General Manager Mark Cornetta. “We can’t wait to see who is named the 2020 9NEWS Leader of the Year. “

Voting will officially open Jan. 29.

Get to know the finalists:

Benitez works to ensure everyone has access to the outdoors and the health benefits it creates. He has scaled Mount Everest six times – and on his first expedition guided the first blind hiker to summit the world’s tallest peak. He then led the state’s Outdoor Recreation Industry Office and now represents some of the outdoor industry’s most iconic brands at VF Corporation. He has served on the Town Council in Eagle, Colorado, helped create the nonprofit Trekking For Kids and is a founding partner of Warriors to Summits, connecting veterans to the outdoors.

Davis leads from behind the scenes, creating big impact. He is the visionary behind Xcel’s Day of Service, which has contributed more than 71,000 volunteer hours from 24,000 people across Colorado over the last nine years. He’s passionate about promoting our state as a destination for events like the World Cup, and he gives his time to countless organizations, including the Colorado Health Foundation, Denver Chapter of the American Association of Blacks in Energy, the Metro Denver Economic Development Corporation and VISIT DENVER.

Jones says she works to get people close to their dreams. And she does that by leveraging her network to create more connections across the community for good. As a dedicated mentor and supporter of organizations like The Challenge Foundation, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Colorado and the Colorado “I Have A Dream” Foundation, she builds relationships that inspire and empower future leaders.

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