The Peak Team finished the 2010’s with a strong showing in 2019! Before we head into 2020, we would like to highlight the Peak Team’s metrics, reflections and some of our favorite pictures from the past year.

The Peak Team

  • $37,462,469 in Total Actualized Savings since Peak began
  • $4,378,328 in Actualized Savings in 2019
  • 278 Black Belts Trained in 2019
  • 320 Green Belts Trained in 2019

Melissa Wiley

In 2019, the Peak team facilitated over $4.3 million in savings and over 450 projects. We welcomed two new team members and celebrated the promotions of former team members to leadership positions throughout the city. As we look toward 2020, we are excited to celebrate our 100th cohort and achieve $40 million in the savings mark. We traveled to Santa Barbara, California to help them build their own Peak Academy program and continued to welcome participants from Juneau, Alaska all the way to Santa Monica, California. Our theme of 2019 was celebration and as part of that theme, we launched the Denver Peak Academy Awards. An event that celebrated the top innovations of the year. This new annual event brought in nearly 300 employees in its first year. We also launched Green Belt for Leaders and changed the leadership requirements for leaders coming through Black Belt. These efforts led to a more thoughtful and cohesive approach to innovative leadership throughout the city. I am immensely proud to lead the bright, bold, and good hearted individuals who make up Denver Peak Academy. I continue to focus on self-improvement so that I can be a leader worthy of their talent and energy. As part of that effort, I set out to read 40 books this year (I am currently on book number 32). On a more personal note, my daughter, Sydney Jo, transformed overnight into a vibrant and caring toddler and my husband and I spent so much of 2019 marveling at her untethered joy and delight for a world we so often forget to cherish. In 2020, may you each find renewed joy in your purpose with the love and support of all of us at Denver Peak Academy.

Jerraud Coleman

In 2019, I helped facilitate and document over 200 Innovation Forms. These innovations resulted in over $970,000 in savings to the City & County of Denver. Moreover, I worked with Denver’s Sheriffs’ Department, County Courts, City Attorney’s Office, Police Department, The Office of Human Resources, and the Department of Finance, on identifying & crafting a plan for continuous improvement, as well as strategic initiatives and ideas, to name a few. Furthermore, I would like to highlight that I had the honor of presenting what the Denver Peak Academy does, as well as some of the academy’s tools at the Pretrial Justice Institute yearly conference, which took place in Denver this year. Additionally, I facilitated the Human Rights & Community Partnerships (HRCP) Commission Partnership Day, which allowed me to hear some of the issues facing Denver’s communities. Also, I helped identify and present some of their concerns & solutions.Overall, 2019 delivered more than I could’ve imagined; we successfully rebooted the Denver Peak Academy’s Book Club and the Denver Peak Academy as a whole, produced some of the best results in the programs’ tenure.

Drew Brown

2019 has been a great year! I was able to work with some different agencies, including Public Works and the new Department of Housing Stability (HOST). Peak was invited to collaborate on a new pilot project, which was created to engage previously trained Public Works Black Belts and utilize their process improvement, leadership, and project management skills within a different team in PW. The pilot was a huge success and they have now turned it into an official employee engagement program! 

As for my personal life, this year was again filled with lots of live music and a healthy amount of adulting. My wife and I became home owners, yay! We are still trying to figure out how to rid our property of a comically absurd amount of pine needles, tips welcome… I learned this year that getting a new front tooth is exactly how you might expect, super fun! Jk, NOT FUN AT ALL. In better news, I got to see my favorite DJ Bassnectar while celebrating my birthday in Mexico. 2019 has been a great year, looking forward to what life will bring in 2020! 😊  

Andy Rees

Well here we are, staring down the end of 2019 and planning for 2020. Growing up, my mom always told me as you get older, time moves more quickly – I’ve discovered that’s becoming truer each year, but don’t tell her I said she was right. 2019 had a lot of great moments. My daughter, Ada, is pushing two years old and has grown so much over the course of the year. She’s very curious about everything and constantly asking “what’s this?” She also loves to read – her current favorites are Llama Llama Red Pajama and Dinosaur Dance. My house projects continued in 2019 which included painting the exterior, insulating and drywalling the garage, building a new workbench and adding garage storage, and beginning work on new landscaping for our front yard.

Within the City, I had the opportunity to work with numerous groups and amazing people from around the City. The groups I worked with included: Technology Services, City Attorney’s Office, County Courts, District Attorney’s Office, Denver Public Library, Denver Fire Department, and the Controller’s Office. Additionally, I had the opportunity to support agencies in developing their process metrics and return on investment projections for their iFund business case presentations and trained a group of professors and faculty at the Colorado State University School of Business. The groups and individuals I supported in 2019 have actualized 65 innovations for a total of $1.45 million in savings for the City of Denver – I’m constantly blown away by our CCD employees’ commitment to and love for public service! Cheers to 2019 and here’s to a great year of joy, love, laughter, and continuous improvement in 2020!

Nate Bradley

Where has the time gone? 2019 proved to be a year full of personal growth and professional development for me. Personally, I took the next step in the world of adulting by moving out of my family’s house and into an apartment. While I’m still getting used to the bills and responsibilities that come with it, I am proud to say that it has been a success (so far haha).

Professionally, I completed my first full year as the coordinator of our monthly Black Belt trainings, which scored high marks this year from the 250+ people that attended. I was also fortunate enough to work with several groups on various workshops and projects including: Denver Public Library, OHR Classifications and Compensation, OHR Campus Relations, and the Mayor’s Office. I produced my first video made for the Peak Academy Awards titled “#WeAreInnovators.” I collaborated with the Budget team to participate in a Denver Public Schools CareerConnect event, where we taught middle school students about working in government. Additionally, I partnered with the Intern Professional Development program to train the City’s interns in Green Belt each season. I also had the opportunity to revive and facilitate the Peak Academy Quarterly Book Club discussions alongside several Peak teammates including: Jerraud, Drew, Drew’s dad Kreg, and our amazing summer intern Lara. It has been a productive and exciting year and I can’t wait to see where 2020 takes the team!

Check out the #WeAreInnovators video!

Katie McCune

What a year it has been! I kicked off 2019 by joining the Peak Team and am so happy to be able to say this is the best job I’ve ever had! Seriously! I had the privilege of supporting the Purchasing division within General Service as they took on a lot of big projects to reduce wait times for customers and enhance trainings. I also assisted Denver Public Library in re-vamping their Engage programming brochure production process, as well as their internal event management process. Finally, I coordinated the first Peak Academy Awards event. Over 250 people attended to help us celebrate stand-out innovations and we had a blast! Personally, it’s also been a milestone year. In August, my partner Nick and I welcomed our first kiddo, Aidan. He is amazing, and I count it among my biggest accomplishments that he is still alive and well! Here’s to another big year in 2020!

Megan Williams

2019 was an incredible year for me where I embraced change, laughter and connection. I finally made the jump to work for Peak Academy after being in love with the program for five years from afar, and have so enjoyed all of the Black Belts and other amazing public servants I have gotten to work with since joining the team in May. The traffic signals crew in Public Works (soon to be DOTI!) is a talented, caring and loveable bunch. The new Housing and Stability team is finding their way in a new department with grace and heart, not to mention a passion for their important work. And all of the individual Black Belts that I got to work with in several other departments, along with the entire Peak team, have reaffirmed that municipal employees are full of all of the best stuff the human race has to offer. Other highlights of 2019 include helping to create the first ever Colorado Women Leading Government Conference in April, celebrating my daughter turning one in May and wrangling all of my extended family into celebrating Thanksgiving at my parents’ house (there were 44 of us).

Thank you so much for a wonderful year and we can’t wait to continue building up the culture of innovation in 2020!

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