April Breakfast with the Journal: A national identity

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csbj_square_logo_vert_hiresThe importance of having a single Colorado Springs national identity is the topic of discussion at the second Breakfast with the Journal, which starts at 7 a.m. Friday at The Broadmoor West.

Four speakers – all of whom represent iconic Colorado Springs institutions – will discuss why having a brand is important, and what their individual missions and visions are, said CSBJ Associate Publisher Jenifer Furda.

“They’re going to be talking about ways their groups spotlight the region in a positive manner,” she said.

The speakers are Air Force Academy Superintendent Gen. Michael Gould, United States Olympic Committee CEO Scott Blackmun, Focus on the Family Vice President of Community Outreach Kelly Rosati and Broadmoor General Manager Steve Bartolin.

Each speaker has a specific brand that attracts people to the Springs.

“Why is it important to have a national brand?” Furda asks. “It’s important because it brings new students, new talent, new businesses. It matters in discussions in policy in Denver and Washington. It matters – and these are the people who are going to tell you why it matters.”

The breakfast is $30 for subscribers to the CSBJ and $40 for non-subscribers. Click here to register for the event. Click here to subscribe to the newspaper.

16 Responses to April Breakfast with the Journal: A national identity

  1. Focus on the Family does not belong as part of our National Brand. They have shown complete disregard for how their actions have affected our ability to attract real businesses to town. Go back through the EDC’s archieves and reach out to Yahoo and Google….ask them why they didn’t come here and they’ll tell you it’s the image Focus on the Family has. They don’t belong on ANY panel about the future of this town. They don’t give back, they only take. Don’t believe me? Look up how much they give back to Colorado Springs….aside from what Dobson spends on gardening at home. ;)

    I would like to see how we can use the Olympic brand to our advantage. The 10 years I’ve been here I’ve never once been to the OTC for anything. It’s like its’ a closed off entity. I’ve met many great people who work their and current/former athletes. I’ve had Apollo Ono zip by me on the Incline. That’s cool stuff. Was very happy they did their downtown celebration for the Olympics…that was one of the best things I’ve seen ever in town. How can we help them do more?

    The Broadmoor is a huge understated resource. Plus the history of the place alone. Yet too often its’ overlooked and I think Mr Bartolin will have some fantastic insight being the head of the #1 hotel in North America. Why don’t we tap into him more????

    Little confused how the AFA fits in with our brand. It’s really it’s own world by design and not much to change that. While AFA football, basketball, and innovation(few realize what they’re working on there) is amazing…how does it qualify as being part of our brand? It doesn’t.

    Jon Severson
    April 10, 2013 at 12:11 pm

  2. A brand wont cure the Colorado Springs. Colorado Springs can’t accurately see what it is: a small, regional town that is significantly over exposed to the defense industry and economically stagnant.

    That’s really it folks.

    Thank God We Left
    April 10, 2013 at 4:41 pm

  3. Jon Severson is spot on regarding Focus on the Family not deserving to be part of our National Brand. If the point is to attract new businesses, students, and to drive public policy, CSBJ is shooting itself in the foot, not to mention our economic and cultural future. Remember Amendment 2? Remember Colorado being named the Hate State? Remember losing the U.S. Conference of Mayors’ convention because of this? Colorado still suffers nationally with this emblem. Thank Focus on the Family for this. Focus stains us with an intolerant and divisive brand, not one that says “All are welcome”.

    The other organizations which will be represented are stellar. But unfortunately the presence of Focus as part of the “branding effort” could well neutralize their positive message.

    Rob Millman
    April 10, 2013 at 6:24 pm

  4. For a city desperately in need of a positive image, including Focus on the Family as part of a ‘branding’ effort seems to be counter-productive; similar to having McDonald’s come on-board as a sponsor for a PETA event.

    Rick Wehner
    April 11, 2013 at 8:31 am

  5. the title of the program is “what is our national id” …it is not a branding effort…the question is why does our national id matter…and right wrong or indifferent all of these organizations are part of our national id…including focus the family… We could have had many other organizations at the table these are the four we chose to start the conversation…tourism/hospitality, military/education, sports/wellness, and religious organizations…they are all covered…I am glad that discussions are happening….come to the breakfast and be part of the conversation.

    April 11, 2013 at 9:41 am

  6. Like it or not, Focus on the Family is a part of our community. And having personally experienced someone saying, ‘Oh your from Colorado Springs,’ (me thinking they are going to say Pikes Peak, Garden of the Gods, OTC, etc), they say ‘Focus on the Family is out there’. I was shocked, but I realized a lot of people in the nation associate Colorado Springs with Focus (again, like or not). I am glad they are on the panel. I personally want to hear what they are going to say and how they portray Colorado Springs to their followers. My thinking is definitely not in line with theirs, but still they are part of our community and are a fairly large employer. I think it’s going to be a great breakfast!

    Shannon Rogers
    April 11, 2013 at 10:05 am

  7. For those of us that don’t subscribe to Focus on the Family’s philosophy, this is a perfect opportunity to hear what they have to say, and how they envision their role in the city moving forward. Information is power, and it’s always good to be informed on where “the other side” stands on issues that might affect the public in general. You can’t present an offensive blindly.

    I don’t think this event is intended as a branding effort for the city, but more a conversation about what our national identity IS. Not including Focus on that conversation would have been like leaving animal rights out of PETA.

    April 11, 2013 at 11:42 am

  8. Jen

    I think it would be most illuminating for you and some of the other twinkee types (Stephannie Finley, Cindy Aubrey) to travel to:

    A) Reno. Talk to Mike re: the number and types of companies who have moved to that area.

    B)West Coast Cities: Those with venture capital, investment funds, and companies who are looking to expand and ask why Colorado Springs is not showing up on their short lists?

    One cannot escape the fact that the Pikes Peak Region has a horrid reputation around the nation – and this is probably the number one primary reason the needed revenues from expanded employment is not taking place.

    It does no good to hide from the fact – carry our little Mary Poppins umbrella into the Antlers once a week and and brag about being such a wonderful, all inclusive community this is because simply, it is not and Focus had done much to foster that image which began gaining national attention from the press generated by Amendment 2. Initiated locally by Center for Family Values and the Will Perkins group – partially funded by Phillip Anschutz.

    The very problems we see being created to deal with infrastructure needs by the ‘divided and confrontational’ nature of the local political structure was forecast years ago by the Project 6035 group and has come true.

    The need to look inward and correct the local image problems is a great need.

    Rick Wehner
    April 11, 2013 at 11:59 am

  9. Jon, if you are involved in local business, I would love to talk to you more about the Air Force Academy’s involvement with the local community and commerce. I work to help connect local businesses to the Academy and other military within a very successful program. You seem in tune with the community and interested in its growth. If you’re at the breakfast tomorrow, or any time really, I’d love to chat!

    April 11, 2013 at 12:24 pm

  10. CSBJ: Thanks for starting the conversation! As a business advocate, woman and community member, I look forward to listening. Together we as a group – even with divergent industries/constituents/goals/etc. – can advance the vitality of the greater COS region. See you bright & early.

    April 11, 2013 at 8:46 pm

  11. WOW…the haters, finger pointers, and ignorant are out!
    Rick, Richard/Dick Whiner… I got it. What are you talking about, love the passion but seriously…dude, no one is keeping you here! And the comment about the ‘Twinkies’…just mean, unprofessional, and shows your matarity level and actual understanding of their value to the community. Jon, nice soap box but who said this was a branding event…when I read about it, it spoke of national identity NOT branding…yes there is a difference – (cudo’s Shannon for pointing that out)…but love your YP drinking parties. Get rid of the 4 parties speaking and what is COS left with…mountains and army bases.

    Maybe if we quit hating and embraced all that COS has to offer rather than bashing everything and everyone we might get to ‘a better place’. In order for change to happen YOU must be willing to change.

    As for the parties speaking…AWESOME JOB CSBJ on bringing a diverse and obviously controversial group together…isn’t that what news is/does! This ain’t no Regional Business Allience Event where politics and kissing babies is the norm.

    Great Job see you all tomorrow bright and early.

    PS…’Thank god YOU Left’! :)

    Ryan Ellis
    April 11, 2013 at 9:18 pm

  12. The idea of a panel is to get different views. If everyone agreed we would not learn much. Congrads to the Journal for getting such varied people on the panel.

    April 11, 2013 at 10:25 pm

  13. If you all want growth, spend your energy on impactful items. Most national people don’t know much about CS and why the heck should they? Denver is what people know about Colorado, and the mass shootings that go on out there.

    Thank God We Left
    April 12, 2013 at 4:57 am

  14. Mr. Ellis,

    Thanks for the insightful reply. Prior to shoving the throttles forward on a 747 to get the 255,000 pounds of thrust to get that magnificent bird rolling and to climb to altitude – – the chocks are pulled from the wheels – – once she gains altitude, it takes only 150,000 pounds of thrust to maintain cruise at mach .85

    The Springs is a magnificent bird with all the attributes to be a city of substance – one with a future – and one that is a desirable destination for those companies seeking new locations. Locations where they feel there is a secure local government and an environment inclusive to all.

    I would submit to you, sir, that an extensive review of how the village is viewed around the nation will bring forth surprising results and partially explains the fact that no new significant announcements have been made re: major employers moving to the region.

    The ‘Twinkees’ constantly with their pom poms in the air seem to be stumbling over the chocks firmly wedged against the wheels, preventing movement. While ‘growth’ for the sake of growth may be a topic of discussions with many views – – so is that image held of the Springs.

    If that image is not improved, we will continue to reduce that pool of firms who can move to the region and contribute to the quality of life for all people – not just the heterosexual community. And the pool is therefore reduced as to those who may offer employment to the out of work community –

    Focus on the Family is one of the chocks. There are hundreds of religious non-profits who contribute much to the community. Focus, in my opinion, is not one of those who contributes anything other than the sales tax revenue from purchases by their dwindling number of employees. They do not contribute property taxes to support the services accorded them, nor do they make up that number by the good work they do as a community partner as does Catholic Charities or Care and Share.

    There are fantastic opportunities in the future for the community from those who are, in fact, participating members of the community whose work is recognized nationwide with a high degree of respect. Until we remove the chocks that prevent movement, it would be my thought that those who create unity and harmony in the region are the ones to “Focus” on.

    Rick Wehner
    April 12, 2013 at 8:54 am

  15. “PS…’Thank god YOU Left’! ”


    There is more energy in two square blocks of where I am now than in the entire city of CS.

    I only post here because it is so interesting how out of touch CS and most of it’s people are. Even people from a real city, like Denver, don’t care what CS does because it’s so insignificant. So a national this or that really doesn’t matter, most people don’t know and don’t care. And business would be foolish to move to CS over the tech center in Denver anyway.

    Thank God We Left
    April 12, 2013 at 9:45 am

  16. Colorado Springs’ national brand/image has evolved. It changes year to year, fortunately or unfortunately, depending on your view.

    The organizations featured at the CSBJ breakfast are mainstays in the community, and presumably will be in the near future. They will continue to contribute to the community’s culture for decades. One huge factor that is changing on our national brand and city culture is the statewide legalization of recreational marijuana and the allowance of medicinal marijuana dispensaries in our boundaries. Throw into the mix gun legislation, gun related crimes and the demise of prominent mega-religious organizations and quite a different city brand has emerged.

    Like it or not, Colorado Springs has become a more liberal city. For the better, I think. I predict conservatives on our new City Council will soon start moving legislation to try to swing Colorado Springs back to the conservative mecca of our near past. I hope strong voices and forces unite to impeding their efforts.

    Cultural progress in Colorado Springs has been slow and steady. I believe the image of our city has been positively enhanced over the 10 years. Also, I believe the current cultural climate is helping set the stage for strong economic stability and progress for our city.

    April 17, 2013 at 3:56 pm