Executive Profile: Vail Valley Partnership Exec Likes Big Ideas, Values Problem Solving, Helping Others

Chris Romer, ACE President and CEO of the Vail Valley (CO) Partnership 2021 Chair of the Board of W.A.C.E.


Personal: Born in Chicago, raised in Cincinnati, got to Colorado as fast as I could! Married for 19 years to Stacey; 13 year old daughter Kylah; golden retriever Cayman.

Education: B.S., business administration, University of Colorado, Boulder.

Chamber Experience: 14 years chamber experience, all at Vail Valley Partnership. 2016 and 2020 ACCE Chamber of the Year. Launched Vail Valley Economic Development in 2015 (economic development arm of the chamber).

Business Philosophy

Guiding Principles: I’m a fan of six-word stories made famous by Ernest Hemmingway. My six-word story is a good summary of my guiding principles: Big ideas. Intentional efforts. Desired results.

Yardstick of Success: Solving problems and helping others. As Simon Sinek said, “When we help ourselves, we find moments of happiness. When we help others, we find lasting fulfillment.”

Advice to Others: Don’t be afraid to fail; be afraid not to try.

Judgment Calls

Best Business Decision: A number of years back I made a conscious, intentional decision to hire for heart. This has made a huge difference in our organization and our impacts.

Worst Business Decision: Sticking with a program after I knew it had run its course — lacking the courage to just stop doing it.

One-Word Description of You: Tenacious

True Confessions

Like Best About Current Job: Being looked to as a community problem solver. I love that nothing happens in the community without someone saying, “We need to see what the Partnership says.” We get to be at the table on most every community conversation.

Interests/Hobbies: Skiing, trail running, hiking, sports and traveling.

Pet Peeve: Just one? Being late.

Your No. 1 Strength: Maximizer — focus on strengths as a way to stimulate personal and group excellence. Seek to transform something strong into something superb.

Things You Need to Work On: Channeling my inner Elsa and learning to “let it go.”

First Choice for a New Career: Late night comedy writer (think “Saturday Night Live” or “The Tonight Show”).


Favorite Book: Fiction: The Stand, Stephen King. Nonfiction: The Infinite Game, Simon Sinek.

Favorite Movie: “Star Wars.”

Favorite Quote: “Do or do not. There is no try.” —Yoda.

Favorite Song: “The Weight” (The Band).

Favorite Vacation Spot: Hawaii (Big Island).

Favorite Way to Spend Free Time: Ski or read.