Leadership Fellows Spotlight: Kyle Blackmer

A recent alum of Leadership Fellows Boulder County – a joint leadership development and networking program of the Community Foundation and the Boulder Chamber – Kyle Blackmer’s “yearning for a more diverse network” was met, and exceeded.

“What I was most interested in came to fruition,” says Kyle, who was made a shareholder and director at Otten Johnson Robinson Neff + Ragonetti PC earlier this year. He practices in the Real Estate and Real Estate Finance practice groups. “To get to meet and learn from people from all walks of life – different backgrounds, experiences, professions – is incredibly meaningful.”
Indeed, some 35 participants are selected for the 11-month program every year from across sectors. Monthly curriculum topics include Boulder County economics, Local Government 101, inclusive leadership, planning and development, critical human needs, health, education, the arts and culture, and selling your vision, and more.
“My professional life is fairly narrow – lawyers and clients – and the majority are white men,” continues Kyle. “But in my Leadership Fellows class, only five or six of us were in the for-profit and corporate sector. The rest were from the government or nonprofit sectors, which was just wonderful. 
“That, in and of itself, sets the stage for a lot of personal growth.”
The Leadership Fellows program further comprises roundtable discussions on a range of timely issues, from affordable housing to immigration and criminal justice. “Besides expanding my network in an authentically diverse way, another objective I had was to ultimately be able to better serve and contribute to Boulder County and its various communities,” says Kyle, a fifth-generation, self-described “Boulder County-ian.”
He concludes, “The Leadership Fellows program provided me a roadmap, a better lay of the land … and showed me a more well-rounded reality of our community, which is incredibly valuable.
“I am extraordinarily grateful to have been a part of Leadership Fellows and – as someone who doesn’t check any orthodox box of diverse – to have been so openly welcomed within my cohort.”