In Dot Wright’s office, her favorite thing is a shelf filled with cards from grateful businesses that the Arvada Chamber of Commerce has helped.
The cards are a tangible sign of how big Wright’s influence has been on the city.
After five years as the Arvada Chamber of Commerce’s president, Wright is leaving the chamber at the end of October.
Wright has accepted a position at the Professional Independent Insurance Agents of Colorado (PIIAC), and will begin working there on Nov. 1.
“It’s been fantastic to have this chance to work with all these businesses in Arvada,” Wright said. “It’s pretty rewarding helping businesses succeed, grow and prosper.”
Wright got her start as a business owner at Pump It Up (an inflatable party toy company) in 2004, and was a member of the chamber. In 2006 she joined the chamber’s board of directors.
She sold her business in June of 2008, and took the job of president in August of that same year.
In the five years that Wright has been president, membership in the chamber has increased from 450 to around 700, they’ve helped to create an Arvada visitor Center and started up Leadership Arvada.
“I worked with all kinds of businesses to keep the from shutting their doors, and in some cases expanding to a second location,” she said. “In my time here, those two things have been the most rewarding things I’ve done.”
Wright said that, especially in a tough economy like when she started, the fact that the chamber has grown — including increasing its budget and putting money in the reserves — is something to be very proud of.
Wright credits the chamber’s partners, especially the City of Arvada, with much of business community’s success.
“We partnered with the city on everything. The chamber was on the table from day one,” she said. “We helped to rewrite the sign code, and if anything came up, we were always a part of it.”
Partner groups included urban renewal, economic development, police and fire departments are crucial because Wright said they all affect businesses.
“It’s so important to have great relationships,” she said. “We’re all working together for the betterment of the business community.”
The staff and the synergy at the chamber have also been crucial to its success, according to Wright, and she is confident that the next president will continue to do great things.
“My only wish is that the chamber continues to thrive,” she said. “Arvada has this great sense of community. I had the greatest job in the city.”