Longtime Denver business leader J.J. Ament will lead the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce as its CEO and president, according to a chamber release Tuesday.
Ament, most recently the CEO of the Metro Denver Economic Development Corporation, takes over for Kelly Brough, who announced last month she was leaving after 12 years at the helm.
The 3,000-member organization took about a month to find Brough’s replacement, using a third-party search firm.
“J.J.’s intimate knowledge of the Chamber, the business community and the region is invaluable for bringing stability, continuity and consistency to a complex organization,” according to a statement by Mark Spiecker, STAQ Pharma president and chairman of the Chamber’s board of directors who co-chaired the executive search committee.
“I am excited about partnering with J.J. to usher in a new era for the Chamber, focused on efforts to solve the state’s most pressing issues to strategically accelerate Colorado’s extraordinary growth.”
Ament served as chairman for the Colorado Economic Development Commission until 2017. It’s now called the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade. He also served as managing director for RBC Capital Markets’ Municipal Finance unit from 2011 to 2016.
“It’s a great privilege and responsibility to continue the collaborative, inclusive and bipartisan leadership of the Chamber, representing the diverse voices of our vibrant community to create advantages for Denver-based businesses,” Ament said in a statement.
Committee members said in a statement that Ament was chosen, in part, because of “his intimate knowledge of the Chamber, the business community and the region is invaluable for bringing stability, continuity and consistency to our complex organization.”
Ament will be formally introduced at the chamber’s Sept. 17 annual meeting event at the Hyatt Regency Denver at Colorado Convention Center.
“J.J. is passionate about the Chamber’s mission and possesses the skills and experience to excel as our new president and CEO. After nearly five years leading the EDC, he will hit the ground running,” Trey Rogers, shareholder with Recht Kornfeld and co-chair of the search committee, said in a statement.
The chamber used search firm HR Advantage Group of Denver and said it looked at some 450 “highly qualified candidates.”
“Denver is at a crossroads -- facing an on-going pandemic, slow but steady business recovery and a high amount of turnover in both companies and local leadership,” Ament said in a statement. “It’s a critical time for our business community to coalesce around the needs of the economy and workforce. I look forward to working with our partners in a shared effort to address the issues we face and plan together for the road ahead. It’s important that we get this right.”