On March 16, City and County of Denver employees Jamie Torres and Will Chan were honored by the Denver Business Journal as winners of the 2017 40 Under 40 awards. Jamie and Will, both Peak Academy Black Belts, were selected from a list of 307 total nominees for their business success and community contributions. We’d like to give a HUGE shout out to Jamie and Will for this well deserved honor!

We caught up with Jamie and Will to ask about receiving the 40 Under 40 Award, what inspires them, their hobbies, and what their super power would be if they could choose one. Check out their Q&A below.

For more information about the Denver Business Journal 40 Under 40 and to view other recipients of the award, visit the Denver Business Journal website.

Name: Jamie TorresJamie Torres 2
Hometown:  Denver, CO
CCD Agency: Agency for Human Rights and Community Partnerships / Office of Immigrant & Refugee Affairs
Black Belt Cohort: 17

  1. What does your selection by the Denver Business Journal as a 40 under 40 winner mean to you?

“I’m truly honored by the recognition. What it exposes to me is the incredible wealth of passionate and active people in this city. It certainly keeps me motivated.”

  1. How long have you worked for the City and County of Denver, and what do you enjoy most about working for the City?

“I started working for the city in 2001 right here in the Agency for Human Rights. I love my team and the work we are able to do in the community. My work specifically was something I was able to craft and grow. This level of creativity, autonomy, and responsiveness to direct resident engagement is special and fulfilling.”

  1. What do you like to do in your spare time (assuming you have spare time)?

“I enjoy making jewelry, something I’ve done since I was in high school, and I love to read.”

  1. Who or what inspires you?

“My work gives me the opportunity to meet and get to know immigrants and refugees who are rebuilding their lives in Denver. Their stories and their capacity to continue to give and contribute are inspiring to me on a regular basis. I can’t count the number of times I’ve been moved to tears by seeing people overcome fears and barriers to achieve new dreams.”

  1. If you could have any super power, what would it be, and why?

“The power of mind control. It would make being a human rights advocate so much easier!”

Name: Will ChanWill Chan
Hometown: Denver. CO
CCD Agency: Denver Public Library – soon to be North Denver Cornerstone Collaborative
Black Belt Cohort: 52

  1. What does your selection by the Denver Business Journal as a 40 under 40 winner mean to you?

“It was certainly an unexpected honor and humbling to be highlighted among so many local leaders who have accomplished so much in their careers and are so passionate about their community.  It was notable to have the work that we are doing to welcome Denver’s newest immigrant, refugee, and asylee audiences highlighted amongst that work.  For this work to be supported by the community means so much more now than ever, this recognition further solidified my commitment to ensuring all communities are welcome and integrated in our community.”

  1. How long have you worked for the City and County of Denver, and what do you enjoy most about working for the City?

“I’ve been with the City for six years.  I am actually a native to Denver but left for many years.  I spent a lot of time away and in that time away, I came to appreciate Denver in ways I never did before.  Returning to work in a city I love couldn’t make more sense to me and to work with under resourced, under voiced communities has been a consistent passion throughout my career.”

  1. What do you like to do in your spare time (assuming you have spare time)?

“I’m currently renovating and adding onto my childhood home and merging families under one roof.  It feels like a second job at times and I can’t wait until it’s done, but right now all my free time goes into this project.”

  1. Who or what inspires you?

“My parents have been a consistent inspiration throughout my life.  When they came to this country over thirty years ago, they left everything they had known in their lives behind. How many people are able to do that?  Whether it was to leave conflict or to seek better opportunities, when my parents arrived to this country it was in hopes of achieving that American dream for themselves and their families.  To preserve that value and help others realize their own American dream (whatever that may mean to them) is a personal motivation in everything I do.”

  1. If you could have any super power, what would it be, and why?

“I would love to be able to teleport.  I love exploring new places and meeting new people. If I could transport myself to anyplace in the world would be a dream.  Also, I would never need to worry about traffic again!”

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