With Thanksgiving soon approaching, I would like to give thanks to Black Belt Cohort #81 for being my first cohort as a Black Belt Liaison. It was a jam-packed week full of amazing people from inside and outside the City of Denver.

Cohort 81 Group Photo
Congratulations to Cohort 81 (In alphabetical order): Michele Acklin, Marcus Danko, Debbie DeLue, Neil DeSouza, Charlie Garcia, Dusty Jones, Brittney Largent, Sarah Lower, Erin Mays, Maurice Murray, Feven Netsanet, Whitney Nettleton, Ginabeth Pearson, Katherine Pease, Paul Riedesel, Judy Rigg, Carol Rolfe, Chris Rutan, Tori Soler, Mikel Stone, Brian Westerfield, and Joe Zamora.

A total of 22 individuals attended November’s training representing the following organizations:

  • Back of the Napkin Visual Thinking
  • City of Boulder
  • Community Planning & Development
  • Denver Human Services
  • Denver International Airport
  • Department of Environmental Health
  • Department of Finance
  • Denver Police Department
  • Denver Public Library
  • Denver Sheriff Department
  • District Attorney
  • Kaiser Permanente
  • Office of Economic Development
  • Office of Human Resources
  • Parks & Recreation
  • Public Works

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Throughout the week the cohort took part in a variety of lectures, discussions, and activities centered around process improvement and change management. Some highlights of the week include:

  • Gemba Walking with Public Works Right-of-Way, the City Attorney Office, and the Office of the Medical Examiner where we observed their processes and put our Gap Analysis skills to the test.
  •  Discussing how to implement innovations in their processes and creating a culture of innovation in the workplace.
  • The Denver Parks Simulation which challenged the cohort to use everything they learned during the week See it, Say it, and Solve it.
  • Ignite Presentations where each participant shared 3 innovations with their cohort, coworkers and supervisors.


Black Belt week is an engaging week of training where City of Denver and external employees can come together to bond, engage with new ways of thinking, and learn new skills that they can bring to their teams in order to deliver positive, impactful changes this holiday season.

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