Family 2017By Casey McCurdy, Cohort 66 – Sunlight Peak, Lead Tax Auditor, Denver Department of Finance – August 2017 

The City of Denver is a group of folks who are so much more than just what they do. I work as a Tax Auditor, but I am a dad of twins (Ruby & Reid), a husband, a veteran, and an aspiring poet. Peak helped me draw from all of those areas to become an agent of change.

Peak Cohort #66 - Sunlight Peak14Challenging, humbling, frustrating, inspiring. Those are just a few of the multitude of descriptive words that come to mind when I think back on my week in Black Belt at the Denver Peak Academy. The people I met in the class are now valued friends and supporters. We came from various cities and worked different jobs, and all had our ideas of what leadership and innovation were. Five days later we knew the impact we could and would have on our cities, our jobs, and our co-workers.

Peak Cohort #66 - Sunlight Peak2We found strength in our support for one another. We found creativity and vision in our pursuit of innovation. We found encouragement and hope in the facilitators. In the end, I believe our cohort mirrored the sentiment of former President Barack Obama: “Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for; we are the change we seek.”

Cohort #66 Wordcloud
After the week of training was over, Casey gathered 3 to 5 words from each person in Cohort #66 – Sunlight Peak that described their week. Along with the poem below, the image pictured above is the result of that cohort’s survey.

One Week Wasn’t Long Enough

By Casey McCurdy

5 days, 24 people, all different.

Front-line to Director, behind the scenes to the face of the City. Different work, different styles, yet all leaders. Quiet, loud, reserved, spontaneous, calm, outgoing, motivated and charismatic. Outside-the-box thinkers, influencers, and innovators.

We started confused, frustrated, overwhelmed, challenged and asking ourselves why. Pushed to go beyond the surface of ourselves, to find our purpose and our passion. Learning the principles and tools of innovation sparked the embers of change within each one of us.

Inclusive, supportive, focused and linked. Our progressive, dynamic minds coming together. Motivated and energized by passion and purpose. Our thinking elevated, our minds enlightened, and our spirits refreshed. Empowered, inspired, and eager are we.

24 to 1. Embers to flame. Asking everyone else why.


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