DENVER — Vanecia Kerr, the Chief Impact Officer at Mile High United Way, was named 2023 9NEWS Leader of the Year on Thursday.
This is the 25th year the award recognizing outstanding community leadership has been awarded. The winner is chosen by a public vote and the award is presented by 9NEWS and the Denver Metro Chamber Leadership Foundation.
“It's a such a honor to be recognized as the 25th 9NEWS Leader of the Year and stand with the 24 outstanding recipients who received the award before me," Kerr said. "They and my fellow finalists, Helen and Elsa, show what's truly special about Denver -- We come together to find ways to create opportunity for everyone. My hope is that we inspire future generations to prioritize community involvement, too. Thank you to the Denver Metro Chamber Leadership Foundation for this recognition and for investing in our community's leaders."
As the leader of Mile High United Way’s community impact division, Kerr works on initiatives that offer efficient, effective and sustainable solutions to critical human services issues.
Throughout the voting process, Kerr was described as a compassionate community leader whose outcomes-driven style inspires teams into action and results in meaningful change.
"For 25 years we have enjoyed recognizing outstanding and emerging leaders in our community," said Mark Cornetta, general manager of 9NEWS. "The Colorado Spirit is defined by strong leadership and Vanecia is a shining example of that. She brings out the best in those around her and is truly an inspirational leader who is making a difference in our community. Congratulations Vanecia!"
“Vanecia is enthusiastic, collaborative, innovative and above all else, she embodies our mission at the Denver Metro Chamber Leadership Foundation to educate and inspire others to make a difference in Colorado and beyond,” said Jerome Davis, executive vice president of the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce and president of the Denver Metro Chamber Leadership Foundation. “This year is especially remarkable as we’re celebrating the 25th anniversary of honoring the 9NEWS Leader of the Year. We’re grateful for the opportunity to continue our legacy of leadership alongside 9NEWS.”
The other finalists for this year's award were Helen Young Hayes, Founder & CEO of ActivateWork and Elsa Holguín, President & CEO of the Denver Preschool Program.
Since 1999, 9NEWS has recognized outstanding leaders in our community, with the 9NEWS Leader of the Year award.
Past winners have included:
2022: Lydia Prado, executive director of Lifespan Local.
2021: Jesse Ogas, CEO and executive director of Firefly Autism.
2020: Jerome Davis, regional vice president of Xcel Energy Colorado.
The Denver Metro Chamber Leadership Foundation, an affiliate of the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce, partners with 9NEWS to honor individuals for their leadership and commitment to our state.
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