We had the good fortune of connecting with Allyson Fredeen and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Allyson, what role has risk played in your life or career?
For me, risk taking comes down to purpose, intent and of course, evaluating the risk vs. reward. I ask myself, “Who or what will be impacted, positively or negatively? Is there potential to generate a strong force for positive change or growth? What am I ultimately trying to achieve by taking this risk, and what are the stakes if the risk doesn’t pan out?” I tend to be an “overthinker” and carefully examine heavy decisions I make, personally and professionally, sometimes keeping me up at night. Ultimately, if I feel, deep down that integrity and improvement are at the forefront, the reward will be worth the risk taken.
When I think about where I am now, it was a series of pretty big risks that led me to here. I moved to Chicago without knowing a soul for my college internship at Bloomingdale’s, working in the Public Relations department. I knew nothing about PR (I was a design & merchandising major). After landing my dream job as an Assistant PR Manager for their Miami stores, I eventually moved back home to Denver. I accepted an admin-level PR position with Ritz-Carlton in the Sales & Marketing department (yes, another DREAM job), hoping that risk of feeling like I was going “backwards” would eventually lead to a management role. Fast forward ten years and two properties later, my cup was overrun with endless rewards more meaningful than just being a part of the hotel’s leadership team.
Now, three and a half years into my time at Stanley Marketplace, I’ve realized just how rewarding big risks can be. Leaving everything I knew to embark on this chapter terrified me. The unknown can be petrifying, yet filled with opportunity, with endless possibilities. I am inspired daily by our incredible Stanley Family and am so proud to be a part of this project. We lift each other up and are each other’s allies. Best risk taken, hands down.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Getting through this last year was extremely challenging. Our business owners at Stanley Marketplace experienced endless pivots in how they did business, they navigated through the various economic support opportunities and had to adapt to the ever- changing rules – and they executed on all fronts beautifully. We all tried to remain optimistic but it wasn’t always easy. Operating a 140,000 sf public marketplace with 50 + small, independent businesses during a pandemic was certainly not on my Bingo card, but we all weathered the storm and are now in the midst what I think may be the most pivotal and exciting time for the marketplace.
In this chapter, we will welcome new businesses and continue to celebrate our existing tenants. We are seeing foot traffic increase each week, with April’s visitor numbers just shy of 2019’s, a pretty good indicator of returning to pre-pandemic life. Hopefully the days of running retail and food-to-go pop-ups out of our parking lot are a thing of the past. There’s an onslaught of exciting events to look forward to this spring/summer season including Denver Philharmonic Orchestra, Van Gogh Alive, Top Taco, and the Denver Burger Battle. We’ll also continue to host community-driven events like artistic performances, blood drives, vaccine clinics, dog & puppy adoptions and so much more. I am proud of the community we’ve built, inside and outside of these walls, I and really see that when existing business owners here have opened or are opening second concepts at Stanley. At the end of the day, it’s all about the people. Fostering and maintaining good relationships is very important to me.
What sets me apart is I have an enormous heart. I care. A lot. I really don’t like disappointing myself or others. I enjoy giving back and supporting those in-need. Some of my fondest memories over the years include being on the Make-A-Wish Committee at the Ritz-Carlton where we played a significant role in granting wishes to families with critically ill children. I helped lead our property’s Community Footprints program for 10 years where we supported countless non-profit organizations in the metro-area. The hotel ended up winning a national award recognizing our efforts in making a difference in our community. So when I read the Stanifesto for the first time, I knew I was in the right place. Conducting businesses and social responsibility can go hand-in-hand. Our Stanley community really does makes a difference. Every single day at Stanley Marketplace, someone, somehow is doing something to better this world. We’ve become a front-range destination and at the same time, we are a safe haven for our neighbors. A place where all are welcome, small businesses are supported and voices of all backgrounds are heard. We have the chance every day to positively impact one another and our community, and I’m certain we achieve that. I could go on forever in the collective ways we strive for this.
A few other proud moments as I reflect back on my career include being the first-ever recipient of Visit Denver’s Going the Extra Mile award where I received a surprise visit from the Big Blue Bear; I was awarded Employee of the Year by the Colorado Hotel & Lodging Association in 2014; finally during my last year with Ritz-Carlton, I achieved Chairman’s Circle, affording me the most incredible trip to celebrate collective success with colleagues from about the globe. I took my Mom and Dad as my guests, and that year the company selected the Canary Islands property for the trip. It’s a memory I’ll never forget.
Another fun highlight was working with Peyton Manning when he was a Bronco to hold various private events. He’s a great guy, and is still actively supporting metro area communities.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
As a Denver native, this question really excites me. The possibilities are endless, but here goes my top hits:
Day 1: Breakfast at Lucille’s followed by a lap around at Wash Park, and then we’d hit the Museum of Contemporary Art. Next, Union Station to peruse the Farmers Market and have lunch at Mercantile Dining & Provisions with a pit stop afterwards at Rockmount on Larimer Square, and walking tour of RiNo, including a visit to Denver Central Market for a coffee pick-me-up. That night, we’d hit Uchi for dinner and close out the night with a Rockies game or concert at Mission Ballroom.
Day 2: Brunch at Annette at Stanley Marketplace (pork hash for the win!) and then a full morning of shopping and beautifying at Stanley Marketplace. In the afternoon, we’d relax with a picnic at Cheesman Park (after stocking up on provisions from Stanley) as we geared up for a fun night at Red Rocks. We’d plan the entire next day in the backseat of our Uber on the way to one of my favorite places on earth. 😊
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My mom and my dad. They both still work full time and love what they do. They are my biggest champions and have always believed in me, more than I have in myself. They motivate me to be the best human I can be while I’m on this plane.