The Denver Business Journal announces 12 Outstanding Women in Business for 2013

DBJ’s Outstanding Women in Business Communications, Media and Public Relations Winner Timi Aguilar of Aguilar Public Relations

The Denver Business Journal honored 12 distinctive women during their annual Outstanding Women in Business awards luncheon held earlier today at the Grand Hyatt hotel in downtown Denver. Winners in the categories of architecture, engineering and construction; banking, finance and accounting; communications, media and public relations; education, government and nonprofits; health care; large business owner; law; Mile High Leaders; real estate; small business owner; technology and telecommunications were announced, as well as a special lifetime achievement recipient.

Timi Aguilar, Principal of Castle Rock, Colorado-based Aguilar Public Relations was this year’s winner in the category of communications, media and public relations. Timi’s fellow finalists include Meg VanderLaan, Vice President of Corporate Communications for MWH Global in Broomfield, Colorado, and Megan Moye Zacher, founding partner and designer with Zebra Inc. in Denver, Colorado.

The winner of the lifetime achievement award for this year was Jane Miller, CEO of Charter Baking in Boulder Colorado makers of Rudi’s Organic and Gluten-free baked goods.  Ms. Miller has held an executive position at every company she’s worked for — Frito-Lay, Bestfoods and H.J. Heinz in London, to name a few. She is also a mentor and board member for the Boulder-based Unreasonable Institute, which connects entrepreneurs from around the world with successful mentors in business, technology, social change and other areas.

A full breakdown of today’s event, including expanded information on all of the very talented finalists in all the categories, will be available on The Denver Business Journal web site Friday.

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Starwood Hotels announce Aloft will soon join downtown Denver hotels

Servic bellDowntown Denver will soon get a new hip and trendy hotel to add to its roster. Plans were recently announced for a new Starwood Hotels property known as Aloft to grace the corner of 15th and Stout Street. The Aloft Hotels are geared to a younger, hipper demographic by boasting a more sleek urban aesthetic.

The project will be six-stories high and about 70,000 square feet in size. A below-grade level will include hotel functions and a swimming pool/fitness area. The ground floor will include about 2,000 SF of retail and lobby uses and a porte-cochère with vehicle ingress off Stout Street and vehicle egress via the alley between Stout and Champa. The upper five floors will contain approximately 140 hotel rooms.

The current occupant of the space is a former Burger King. While BK hasn’t occupied the space in many years, a revolving door of food service businesses has opened in the space; only to close shortly thereafter. That building will be razed to make room for the new hotel. Plans for the new hotel have been completed by the architecture firm of Olive Architecture of Raleigh, NC

According to the Aloft web site, the vibe of their hotels is geared towards an experience that celebrates the individual and gives you freedom to control and customize your travel adventure to fit your personal style. While still in the planning stages, the Aloft Denver project is slated for completion in April of 2014.

For more information on this new venture, and to see a rendering of the new structure click here. For more info on Starwood Hotels Aloft properties, follow this link. And tell us, what are some of your favorite hotel spaces or buildings in downtown Denver.

Li’l Devils Lounge adds new life to S. Broadway bar scene

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A new bar has opened up on the S. Broadway corridor. Li’l Devils Lounge has taken over the spot previously occupied by controversial tavern The Barker Lounge. In this story on Examiner.com, new owners Tony Fleith and Justin McConnell talk about revamping the space into a more upscale space, and the challenges of living down the legacy of the past. Fleith also talks about a hope that the bar can bring folks back to the table for discussions…instead of to the nearest smart device.

Check out the article here, and share with us what some of your favorite watering holes are in your local.

Community forum for Denver Independent Monitor to be held on Tuesday, July 24th

The mission of the Office of the Independent Monitor is to provide fair and objective oversight of the Denver Police and Sheriff’s Departments. To insure that you have a voice in the selection of this important position, we invite you to attend a community forum for Denver residents. You will have the opportunity to meet and speak with the 3 finalists in the running for the position.

Couple denied service by Colorado bakery and its owner, on basis of sexual orientation

A wedding cake was denied to a couple…fair or unfair?

A wedding is a joyous occasion. Choosing the venue, the invitations, the wardrobe, the reception, all this is part of the fun in planning such a momentous event. But for a Denver couple, their planning was indelibly marked with the stain of homophobia.

Charlie Craig and Dave Mullins, a same-sex couple, were recently denied service by a local bakery on the basis of their sexual orientation. Masterpiece Cakeshop, and its owner Jack Phillips, told the couple that his business doesn’t support same-sex marriage. According to local newspaper Westword, when asked for a comment on the accusations, an unidentified employee of Masterpiece Cakeshop would only comment “We have nothing to say about that.” When pressed, the employee stated “We don’t want to talk about that, so you’ll just have to make something up.”

Craig and Mullins, who are planning their ceremony for the September, opted to take their business to the “gayest bakery they could find.” Still, the couple can’t help but be troubled by the bakery and its owner’s reaction to their request.

“This is the first time I’ve ever been refused service at a business because I was gay,” Mullins told another media outlet.  “I want (bakery owner Phillips) to know that what he did hurt us. All we wanted was a cake. We didn’t want him to put on a rainbow shirt and march in the gay pride parade.”

Since the story broke last week, the bakery has slammed via social media with negative posts to their Yelp! account, and an entire Facebook page devoted to calling a boycott of the bakery.

What do you think of the actions of the bakery? Weigh in with your opinion in our comments.

Become a brand stand-out when it comes to digital media

Feel you have to go to extremes to set yourself apart?

Gretchen came to us with a problem. She felt that in the land of digital media, she was nothing more than a blip on the radar. Her efforts in that arena were minimal at best; her belief was that the digital airwaves would do all the work for her. Poor little naïve Gretchen!

It’s the 21st century, and digital media is definitely here to stay. As such, we have to put forth more than a bit of effort to “stand out” in the realm of the digital media monster. It’s important also to remember that you bottom line is this; to find new and innovative ways to assert your brand in your marketplace.

Read more here, about ways you can prevent your brand from getting lost in the crowd when it comes to digital media.  From reaching the “fragmented” consumer, to preventing the “over=reach” to the masses, this may help you solidify your place in the digitized media world.

What other ways to you set yourself apart in the digital media realm? We welcome your input and your comments.

As victims of movie theater shooting deal with their grief, Evangelicals play the “blame game” as to responsibility

Evangelicals blame media, Hollywood for movie theater shootings

The shootings in Aurora Colorado this past week were horrific. There is no question about that…so much is reminiscent of the Columbine High School shootings. And whenever such an event occurs, it is only fair to assume that many, victims and those in the community, will turn to their faith for strength and support. But a recent story has shined an unbelievable light on the Evangelical movement that may have many thinking twice.

Jerry Newcombe, a spokesperson for the Evangelical group “Truth in Action Ministries, “said in a radio interview that blame for tragedy of the Aurora shooting should be placed on “the nation’s loss of fear of God and hell.” Newcombe also went as far as to claim that the non-Christian victims were not going to heaven, but rather to hell.

“If a Christian dies early, if a Christian dies young, it seems tragic,” Newcombe said. “But really it is not tragic because they are going to a wonderful place… on the other hand, if a person doesn’t know Jesus Christ… if they knowingly rejected Jesus Christ, then, basically, they are going to a terrible place.”

The radio show Newcombe made his comments to is called “AFA Today,” a conservative Christian program hosted by American Family Association director Fred Johnson, who also weighed in on the topic during the program. In Johnson’s opinion, blame for the shooting can be placed squarely on the shoulders of Hollywood films, the liberal media, and churches that do not follow similar Evangelical practices.

“I have to think that all of this, whether it’s the Hollywood movies, whether it’s what we see on the internets, whether it’s liberal bias in the media, whether it’s our politicians changing public policy, I think all of those somehow have fit together—and I have to say also churches who are leaving the authority of Scripture and losing their fear of God—all of those things have seem to have come together to give us these kinds of incidents,” Johnson said.

According to the Jackson, Mississippi branch of the Southern Poverty Law Center, the AFA, based in Tupelo, is on their radar as a “hate group;” primarily because of their demonization of homosexuality.

What do you think of the statements of Newcombe and Johnson? Please leave your comments.